Congratulations! You’ve got this great new sales job… Now what? Get out your pencil, your smartphone, tablet, whatever! because the most impactful activity for you at this point is to create a PLAN!
Ok, I know what you’re thinking… Lots of people associate ‘business plans’ with lengthy documents, charts with lines pointing up and to the right, and tons of extraneous B.S. and references to God-knows-what… Not me! If it doesn’t fit on one page, I NEVER read it, let alone write it! For me, the most well-thought-out business plans MUST fit on one page. So, take a deep breath. This isn’t going to take you forever. Even better, you may actually enjoy it!
What’s the Goal?
The first step that I take when starting any project (including a new territory) is to create a plan. A successful sales person acts with Intention and Discipline. Both of these require the use of a plan. However, it’s interesting that very few medical device companies work their employees to help them create a usable plan. I’ve worked with and coached many sales people that wait for their manager or sales training support to provide them with a plan. So, here you go. For those of you that have never created a business plan, I’m about to make you a lot of money, because THAT’S THE GOAL, RIGHT?!?
I’m a pretty simple guy and most of the business plans that I create are less than one page long. I’ve adopted a simple process to develop a plan to accomplish anything. Most people will tell you that the first thing that you need to start with is your goal. My process is no different. However I like to focus on goals that matter to you as an individual. I don’t mean some outlandish goal that you feel your manager will appreciate (e.g. a goal to make quota or grow your business by 30%). My goals are a lot more meaningful to me. My goal is to make $X in time period Y so that I can do Z. All 3 of these variables a incredibly important.
You have to know What you want, When you’re going to get it, and Why it’s important… to YOU!
There’s a lot of information out there about creating SMART goal. Here’s a basic rundown of the SMART goal if you are not 100% clear. At the end of the day, your goal has to really matter to you and has to include some sort of time period that you’re trying to accomplish it. For example a goal to make $200,000 a year in 12 months so that you can take your kids to Disney World would be a good goal. Another example would be to buy your significant other a car, in cash, in January so that they will have safe transportation without increased debt. Both of these examples are very personal to you. I won’t bore you with the psychology, but it matters. Trust me!
In order to accomplish these goals you have to understand how you will make money in your given position. You have to understand your base pay, your commission rate, and your incentive structure. Because there are so many different commission structures base plan and incentive structures out there, I will leave you to do the research and fully understand your comp plan. For simplicity’s sake, in this example, I will use some fictitious numbers:
Base pay = $0, Commission Rate = 10%, No Sales Incentives.
Therefore I know that if I want to make $200,000 a year by next year I need to be selling close to $167,000 a month is given my job. I recommend setting three specific goals one will be your long-term goal what will happen in year three for example from there I work backwards and create my midterm goal. Finally I will create my short term goal. I always utilize this method when creating goals because it allows me to create a road-map to my ultimate goal.
Stay tuned… In my next post I will cover the SWOT analysis. If you’d like to download my template for the One Page Business Plan, you can get it here. Thanks for checking out my blog. Please leave a comment or feel free to contact me with any feedback that you have. Happy Selling!