Focus on Action

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In my last article I talked about the importance of understanding your target client base as a key part of building a sales plan. This time I want to consider goals and processes that lead to a defined action plan.

When building a sales plan we are all taught that the most important element is to set a goal, and this is very true. There are numerous books articles and seminars available on goal setting which will be of help if goal setting is new to you and I would recommend you research the goal setting process and ensure your goal is based on sound principles.

As important as goal setting is however, it is only a part of the process of building a successful sales plan. Having a goal, even a well-defined goal, will not generate any revenue. In fact your goals can sometimes stand in the way of your success. What I mean by that is, if you start to fall behind the pace necessary to achieve your goal, focusing only on the ultimate goal can prove de-motivating rather than motivating.

So what is the alternative?

Well it’s not really an alternative, it’s an as well. Success is achieved when goals are supplemented by a process that leads to action. If your goal is to generate £500,000 in revenue over the next 12 months you firstly need to believe you can achieve this goal. However belief itself is not enough, you need a process of defined actions that are capable of returning the required £500,000 in revenue. It is the focus on the process that is more likely to keep you motivated during the difficult times than the goal itself.

Let me explain

The process is the way we break down the goal into an action plan that we can use to guide us over the next 12 months. Here is a simple example;

Goal                                                                      £500,000 new sales

Average sale                                                       £20,000

Number of sales required                               25

Conversion rate from proposal                      1:2

Proposals required                                          50

Conversion rate meeting to proposal          1:3

Meetings required                                          150

Meetings per months                                    12 (rounded down)

Meetings per week                                         3

So what has this process done for us? Well it has taken a £500,000 goal and broken it down into an achievable weekly none revenue objective that leads us to the achievement of our £500,000 goal. It has also given us a range of metrics by which we can measure and adapt our on-going sales performance.

Focusing on achieving £500,000 at the start of the year when the sales board shows a big fat 0 is difficult. The key to succeeding is to break it down into smaller chunks that can be achieved and monitored on a weekly basis. In the above example its simple – this week I need 3 new sales meetings, and next week…I need another 3 new sales meetings. Get the idea?

It is easier to focus on achieving an objective of 3 sales meetings per week than getting too caught up with a £500,000 annual sales goal.

In your sales plan now you need to focus your planning on a series of actions that will generate 3 meetings a week, rather than focussing on the big monster of £500,000.

An example of things to consider

  •  Define the sources of your new leads
  1.  Referrals
  2.  Professional introductions
  3.  Networking
  4.  On-line & social media
  5.  Cold calling
  • Set an action plan for each source
  • Diarise your actions in advance

Focussing on the actions rather than the goal is the way you will stay motivated to succeed.

Sales need not be complicated.

Big Bang Your Business

 

Niccolo Machiavelli the 16th century Italian philosopher stated that “Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past,” and even in a world that changes with incredible speed there are lots of lessons to be learned by casting a backward glance. I want to spend a few minutes looking at how something from our rather distant past may be help us in growing our business today.

To do this let’s take a journey back in time some 13.8 billion years, to a time of – well we are not really sure – perhaps nothing. However around this time 13.7 to 13.8 billion years ago the universe as we now know it came into existence with a burst of energy so large and temperatures so unimaginably high that the remnants of it can still be detected by scientists today. This was the start of the universe, energy; nothing solid and physical that we would associate with our real, material universe we interact with every day.

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So what happened to take us from a massive burst of energy to the physical reality that allows me to feel the keys of the laptop under my fingers?  The answer lies with Albert Einstein and his E=MC2 equation that turned the world of science on its head early last century.

Einstein’s theory states that Energy and Mass are interchangeable. One of the most dramatic examples of this was the Hiroshima atomic bomb that converted a mass of uranium into energy unleashing energy in the most devastating proportions. However Einstein’s equation also suggests that Energy can create Matter (mass) and that’s what we see at the big bang.

The initial burst of energy that was released at the beginning of the universe created matter, particles of energy that eventually formed protons, neutrons and electrons that became atoms the basis of our physical reality. This soup of particles created from pure energy began an amazing journey that has led to the spectacular cosmos we inhabit.

A great story but how does this help our business growth. The answer is ENERGY. The universe was created out of energy, everything we see around us comes from energy and if we want to Big Bang our business growth the foremost thing we are going to need to do is input a source of energy.

I understand that we will need a vision, a plan, strategies, objectives, KPI’s, management philosophies, measurement tools, CRM software, a new website – and the list goes on and on. A lot of these things will have an important part to play in the building of a successful business. BUT, they are tools that assist with rather than the originators of growth.

Energy is the beginning of everything and whilst I am a firm believer that energy in business needs to be directed, focussed and managed into areas where it will bring the best results. Without that initial energy you will not have to worry too much about management as you will have little to manage.

As entrepreneurs, business leaders and managers we are the people responsible for leading our businesses forward. People look to us and mirror our persona and behaviour. If we exhibit low energy attitudes in the workplace how can we expect to inspire the people around us into making a real difference.

I have had the pleasure of recent times to engage with a number of young entrepreneurs who have achieved fantastic growth within their businesses. They all have different personalities, different skill sets, education and experience but they all exhibit one common trait – high levels of energy.

The truth is we have a choice every day as to how much energy we will bring to that day’s proceedings. My experience is that energy is contagious, if you mix with energetic people you feel a boost in your own energy levels and you too can be an energy radiator within your business.

Think back through your business or your career.  I guarantee the highest moments of achievement correspond to the highest levels of energy imparted into the business. Einstein predicted that energy and mass are interchangeable. If you want to increase the mass of your business you need to input energy.

Machiavelli exhorts us to learn from the past, the big bang shows us what can be created from nothing but energy.  Give it a go and BIG BANG your business.