We’ve all heard: “If you fail to plan, you should plan to fail.”   Not having a strategy in place is one of the largest contributors to missing the number.  SBI’s 8th Annual Research Report reveals that 78% of Sales teams do not have the correct strategy in place.  If you’re part of the focused 22%, great.  If you have executed your strategy, chances are the rest of this year will be gravy for you. 


If you are part of the masses without the correct strategy, are you hitting your number?  If not, it’s probably time to reassess.  If so, congrats. It’s great that things went well this year.  But what about 2015?  How do you ensure that you stay on top of the leaderboard?


  1. Develop a solid sales strategy: But what does this mean?  A strategy is an operating plan for your patch.  Think about your accounts—what do they need and what will make you stand out from the competition.  Having a strategy that is the same as your competitors is the #1 reason for having a wrong sales strategy.  A strategy that is not aligned with buyer needs is #2.  Don’t fall into these traps.  See all of the reasons in the full report here.
  1. Understand what you have to start AND stop doing to be successful. The first part is a no-brainer, right?  Too often though, we ignore the things that get in the way of our success.  Identify what you are doing today that gets in your way.  Make a plan to remove these activities from your routine.
  1. Identify quick wins. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your sales excellence.  The journey to the finish line can take time.  Make sure to identify quick wins that you can track.  Without these, it is easy to lose sight of your progress.   Watch your successes build upon themselves.  Celebrate the milestones on the way to the finish line.
  1. Determine re-evaluation points. There may be times when you feel that your strategy might not be working.  Sometimes things will take longer than others to gain traction.  Don’t allow yourself to make knee-jerk changes to your approach.  Plan points throughout the year when you will assess your execution.  Is it producing the desired result?  Great!  If not, how will you alter your tactics to get things on track?  Make sure to stick to your timeline to avoid thrashing.
  1. Execute! Now that you have your plan in place, Execute!  Review your overall strategy on a regular basis (your weekly planning time works best.)  Make sure that your tactics are in line with your plan.  Are you executing your start and stop doing list? Are your actions moving you toward the goal?  Proper execution of the right strategy will win every time.


Make sure that you finish this year and approach 2015 with the right strategy.  A little planning and strong execution will pay dividends.  Download SBI’s 8th Annual Research Report for more perspective and background.  Be part of the 22% and top the leaderboard in ’15!