Strategic planning is an essential dogma for successful businesses. However, simply creating a great plan does not mean that it will be a lucrative one, especially when it comes to putting it into action.
The initial step towards achieving the goals and objectives in mind is to take a look at the ‘who’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘how’. Answering these can greatly help with strategy implementation and give you an upper-hand within your market. Furthermore, an effective strategy execution is highly dependent on its quality and how ingrained it is within the company culture. Your strategy has to become a living, breathing influence on everything you do and every decision you make.
Here are three key areas to focus on:
1. Concentrate on your sales efforts
Creating a focused, proactive and high performing sales function is often one of the biggest challenges facing a business.
Effective sales management incorporates the following:
- Profile and target your Most Valuable Customers (MVC). Who is it that values most what you do best?
- Analyse and prioritise sales opportunities. Look at opportunities to awaken ‘dormant’ clients and sell more to existing customers.
- Monitor and manage sales activities. Look at the conversion from call to visit, to quote to order.
- Set effective client/key account strategies – build those relationships.
- Get to key influencers – make sure you have multi-level contacts in the customers’ organisations.
- Map your sales process and think like a customer – help your customers to buy. Be easy to do business with.
- Build the revenue pipeline – note hot prospects and prioritise what needs to be done to convert them.
- Monitor the competition – understand what you need to do to take business from them - that is, after all, what sales is about.
2. Align your employees to deliver
Make sure you are able to maximise the performance and profitability of all the people involved in your business.
- Ensure everyone knows what is expected of them with clear job descriptions, person specifications and details on how performance will be measured.
- Set goals for each member of your team.
- Set up a structure to support the organisation’s vision, as well as its current framework. Remember the ‘Five Rs’ - retaining, retraining, recruiting, rewarding and releasing. Make sure you have the right people on the bus.
- Give regular feedback and talk to people about their aspirations and personal development goals.
- Find ways to motivate performance in line with the strategic plan.
3. What gets measured gets done – Ensure you are on track
The strategic planning process will identify the critical performance areas you need to measure.
- Understand financial performance. Evaluate profitability by product/customer/sales channel
- Set up a formal budget/forecast framework – breaking down the longer term vision into 12 monthly business development objectives and plans.
- Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the business and develop a monthly performance dashboard.
- Implement a monthly management meeting /performance review. This drives accountability and is an opportunity to report on the organisation’s performance against its plan.
- The above steps will help to achieve ‘true line of sight’ and drive the vision and strategy from the top-level of the business right down to the day-to-day activities and behaviours.
Get in touch with your local Business Doctor to learn more about creating the right strategy plan and implementing it within your company.