By Gary Walker, EVP of Channel Sales & Operations, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

I’m not going to say that exceptional sales performance doesn’t “just happen” because sometime it does…sometimes. 

2016 sales planI remember my first year as a salesperson. The only thing that changed for me on January 1st was the date, my sales compensation plan, and the amount of revenue I was being asked to generate over the next twelve months! My business plan (if you want to call it one) was simply to work on the pipeline I brought with me from the previous year. I had no proactive plan in place as to how I was going to generate the revenue that I was being tasked with generating. None! 

I realized very quickly that if I was going to fulfill my revenue obligation to my employer and earn the amount of money I wanted to make, I was going to have to come up with a plan – a Territory Sales Plan. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a system, plan, course, or book that I could turn to that would tell me what to do and how to do it. However, what I did have was basic management training, skills and education. It was time to apply those basic management skills (planning, organization, delegation, and control) to my sales territory and job function.

I’m not going to say that exceptional sales performance doesn’t “just happen” because sometime it does…sometimes. Whatever the chances of it happening, the probability of you achieving your sales goals are much better when you have thought about HOW you are going to achieve it and have a PLAN in place to make it happen.

If you’re a sales manager reading this, your role is to accomplish your company’s sales goals through the people that report to you. Your job isn’t simply to parachute in at the eleventh hour and close your salespeople’s business for them.

  • Ask your salespeople to develop a 2016 Territory Sales Plan
  • Provide them with the data (average transaction size, 2016 revenue goals, etc.) they are going to need to effectively develop their plan
  • Facilitate its development by scheduling a one day planning session
  • And review it with each salesperson on a monthly basis

This activity will pay HUGE dividends to the salesperson, the sales manager and your company.