As the calendar year draws to a rapid end, many of us are eager to have 2020 be in the rearview mirror. This is the time of the year that sales teams start to plan for the upcoming year.
If you are like most sales executives, you are focused on using the precious few selling days between now and year-end.
Unfortunately, you are also being tasked with creating your 2021 business development plans. Hopefully, this guide will help you create it with a little more ease.
The most important thing to know before anything else gets done is to know what you will be responsible for next year. What is your mandate? What are you responsible for accomplishing? Are your bonuses structured for 2021? What will make your boss pat you on the back and proclaim you are a rock star?
First things first, nail down what your VP, CEO, CFO, or COO (…or whatever the title of the individual you report to) that you understand what they expect from you!
- What growth goals have been set for the company?
- What part of the growth goals are you and your team responsible for?
- What services will be emphasized?
- What markets will be targeted?
- What major sales initiatives will be started in 2021?
Ideally, there is a well-structured plan or system in place for setting and hitting the company’s goals. A strong plan provides you with the direction that you need to build action steps to hit 2021 goals. Once you have the goals set, you need to think about the overall framework for planning.
Start building your Strategy!
Strategy: Strategy is all about HOW. It is HOW you are going to achieve those goals that are largely dictated by your leadership. They could include things like:
- Key Accounts to target
- Growth percentages
- Growing Gross Margins by seeking certain client/patient types that have higher reimbursement
- Improving public image by doing more community events
- New product/program launch
Structure: Structure follows strategy. Structure describes the pieces related to how your sales resources will be organized, distributed, layered, and compensated.
- Territory management and expansion
- Inside sales development
- Sales Budget
- New and expansion business (hunters/Farmers)
Sales: This is where you want your most valuable resources (your clinical team) to benefit from the new business coming in the door. This is the time of year to have your sales reps have a virtual meeting with the caregivers providing services in their market space and discuss details such as: Which doctors do they want more patients from? What is the best facility for them to work with?
When you support growth where the clinical teams what to do business it is a win-win for everyone.
You can also suggest that the sales executives take the clinicians out to meet the accounts! This can be remarkably successful.
- Training needs for 2021: consider new product training
- Resources for 2021 such as promo items, marketing materials
- Compensation and Quota setting for 2021
- Reward and Recognition for 2021
People: Your organization will succeed or fail based on the strength of your people. You need to plan on recruiting and retaining amazing clinical talent. In order to hit growth projections, you need additional clinical team members in order to grow!
- Recruitment Process Improvement Program
- Retention Program and Committee
- Allocation for budgeted funds to include additional recruiting
- Orientation programs that produce highly qualified staff
- Ongoing personal development, training, and coaching
Process: Process is at the heart of getting things done. A good process removes friction! Process is not a bad word. Having a solid process makes getting to your goals easier. (and honestly… who doesn’t want that?)
As you begin to think about next year, start looking around your organization and ask:
- Are the current processes making things easier or more difficult?
- Could we make changes that would save us time?
- What needs an upgrade?
- Is the current process going to help you achieve your goals or create another problem that needs to be fixed?
BONUS: Could you onboard 40 new employees a week? Owners: If you can’t answer that with a resounding yes, then you need to fix your onboarding system.
Time to Build Your Roadmap To Hitting Your Goals
Step One: Start by listing each category, Strategy, Structure, People, and Process. Under each category list the appropriate measures that apply in your organization.
Step Two: Scan down the list of measures and identify what components are currently out of alignment with your 2021 goals. You need to allocate more of your time to get them in alignment or you will set yourself up for failure.
Step Three: Now it is time to assess each of the problem areas based on some key metrics.
- Complexity: Challenges are associated with timing, resources, scarcity, or cultural barrier from within the organization’s leadership. Use a ranking system 1 – 10 (where 1 is an easy fix, and 10 will require specific efforts and buy-in from all levels of the organization)
- Impact: This refers to the positive effect this initiative would have on attaining your goals if time and energy were invested. Here you are trying to assess how much benefit you would gain by focusing on this process issue. Again use 1-10 scale where 1 means focusing here would barely move the needle and 10 means it would significantly impact your year.
Step Four: This is the toughest part of the planning. Since we all know there is never enough time or money to do everything we want, it’s time to prioritize all of your potential initiatives. Start at the top of your list and assign each potential initiative a letter grade of A, B, or C. An “A” means this initiative is critical to your success and you will unlikely reach your goal if this is not addressed. “B” means important but not essential, and “C” refers to something that, in all likelihood will have to wait for another year.
Be careful here – the usual tendency is to rate most or every this as an “A”
Unfortunately, for this to work, you need to be brutally honest with yourself. You may need to go back over the list a couple of times, but you should aim for an even distribution of As, Bs, and Cs.
I made you a quick spreadsheet that you can download and make your own.
Step Five: Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing how and what, questioning, tenaciously follow through, and ensuring accountability. It includes making assumptions about the business environment, assessing the organization’s capabilities, linking strategy to operations, and the people who are going to implement the strategy.
During this final step, you’ll be synchronizing those people and their various disciplines and aligning rewards to outcomes. It also includes mechanisms for changing assumptions as the environment changes and upgrading the company’s capabilities to meet the challenges of an ambitious strategy.
In its most fundamental sense, execution is a systematic way of exposing reality and acting on it!
Be successful in 2021!
Have a plan and execute on it! To make this easier for you we would love for you to consider joining our new Caring Agency Mastermind! (CAM FAM, for short) Not only do we cover business growth planning, but we include information on all 5 pillars of success.
To learn more, go to www.homecaresales.com/cam. We have only a few spots remaining to get you started for the 2021 year!