Crush Your Sales Quota With An Individual Business Plan


Last month I was reading through one of my favorite books of 2015, Sales Management. Simplified. by Mike Weinberg, and I came across a novel idea I hadn’t thought of, an individual salesperson business plan. In order for startups to get funding they typically have to have a clear business plan for the future. He proposes taking a similar idea and tailoring it as an individual business plan for the salesperson. Now, I learned early on in my career to set goals for myself but I’ve never gotten as intentional as what Mike suggests. I got to thinking, how much more could I accomplish if I wrote out an individual business plan? How much more effective could I be? How much more would I sell?

I like the idea of creating an individual business plan for two reasons: 1) It breaks a year down to the ‘what’ and ‘how’ a sales quota will be reached, instead of just wishful thinking or elbow grease. Any great salesperson will tell you this is key. 2) It informs your boss on how he/she can help support you — another key to successful salespeople crushing their quota.

Here’s the excerpt from Chapter 26 of Mike’s book on structuring out the business plan:

Goals — What are you going to achieve? We always start with the end in mind. Possible categories in this section would include total revenue or gross margin goals for the year, number of new accounts or new pieces of business acquired, dollars sold to both existing and new accounts, and specific product-mix goals.

Strategies — How are you going to do it? Where is it going to come from? In this section, I like to ask questions about market focus, target account lists, major cross-sell opportunities, most growable, and most at-risk accounts.

Actions — What are you going to do? In this section, we want to hear about activity and metrics. What’s “The Math”? How many calls, initial face-to-face meetings, presentations, etc. will the salesperson commit to making? How will the salesperson block calendar time to prospect and pursue pure new business?

Personal Development, Growth, and Motivation — How do you want to grow this year and what will keep you motivated? If we are not growing, then we are dying. Salespeople need to take responsibility for their own personal development. Ask them how they intend to do that.

An individual business plan is a strategy that will keep you focused, on track, and intentional throughout this year. I’ve finished mine. Now it’s time for you to get started on yours. I guarantee it will have an impact on your career and you’ll make more money. I’ll leave you with a quote by Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to plan you are planning to fail.” Here’s to a new year!

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