Being Autonomous or having an SME requires a lot of effort on a day-to-day basis and it is tremendously easy to “get lost” on the road, putting out fires or resolving crises, which means leaving aside the main thing of your business, which is sales. What is the best solution? The best recommendation is to have a solid commercial action plan, since sales is what sustains your entire business.
In my professional career I have seen several types of business plans, but I have a predilection for one of a large Finnish company and it is the one I always carry with me and which I will detail below.
But what is a commercial action plan? It is a set of planned actions that are intended to achieve or exceed some objectives. The commercial action plan has to be written, after a thoughtful process and agreed with the sales team, so that everyone is aligned on the steps that must be taken to achieve the objectives that have been set at the beginning of the year. I propose 4 crucial steps that are the ones that you must first define, second execute and third re-adapt for a period of time, (check it every quarter) if you want to achieve your goals.
Define the objectives
To define some objectives you must have some kind of historical data to help you in this work of defining objectives. If your business is new or you do not have any reference data, nothing happens, the world does not end, on the contrary we will build it from below with new guidelines.
Depending on the business, I support having a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 objectives. The objectives must be clear, concise and above all that can be measured. Remember, you cannot have an action plan without first stopping to think that you want to get from your potential clients and how long you want to get it.
Once we have clearly defined the objectives, we will describe which strategy / s we will implement to achieve those objectives. The strategy should be the way forward, where it shows all the details and steps on how to achieve the objectives that we have set.
One thing, there are elements that can change, so analyze and understand these changes well because they will affect the strategy to follow. The important thing is to be prepared for these changes by staying firm in your goals.
Tasks and responsible
Depending on the objectives set and the strategies defined to achieve these objectives, you need to assign each of the tasks to your team or a partner to help you in this management of the business action plan. If you do not have equipment to carry out the tasks, you have to look for a partner that helps you in the development of the tasks or your objectives will be difficult to achieve, which will lead to dismissing your plan. Think: who can help me with my tasks? How can I reach an agreement with this partner to perform these tasks in order to achieve my goals in the defined time? Seek help, and a good source of information is Linkedin. Ask, because the ‘no’ you already have ahead.
And finally, run
Now that you have all the previous steps well defined, it is time to carry out your business action plan by executing it. This is the main action for which you defined some objectives so start the engine (for that you are autonomous or you run an SME) and go out to achieve your objectives.
Do not forget to measure your milestones because it is the only action that will allow you to implement commercial improvements and support to accelerate the achievement of your objectives.
Now that we are about to finish the first semester of the year, it is an ideal time to review your plan and after an analysis, evaluate what we have been right and what we have failed. What it is about is to have a constant improvement and if we have to make modifications, not be afraid, make changes and keep track of our goals.
If you want a recommendation, planning is an essential element for business success. Carrying out the achievement of commercial success is a process of constant improvement that forces you to question and measure everything, clean the corners that do not work and establish a new approach that will force you to face the following quarters to achieve your goals.