article | January 30, 2014
How to Perfectly Execute Your Next Sales Project
As sales leader in a small or medium-size company, your resources are limited. Many times there’s not a process to get stuff done. You get one or two chances each year to execute an initiative. Even if you pick the right one, how can you pull it off? How do you ensure it will work?
Far too many organizations spend more time on strategy than execution. This is a mistake. A good game plan outlines an end result, sure. But it also includes all the sub-tasks that need to be completed. This year, make sure that the strategy or project you decide on gets executed.
To do this, you need a tool. Something to help you think about the work that needs to get done. A way to visualize who on your team will do what. Download the SBI Perfect Initiative Planner. Use it and you will get things done. Your initiatives will be:
The Perfect Initiative Planner (PIP) isn’t a project plan or a schedule. It specifies what will be done, not how or when. It takes a strategy and subdivides the actions and tasks needed to get there. You get smaller, manageable packages of activities. This gives your initiative a path. It’s a simple tool to help ensure you have thought about everything.
The PIP is a deliverable-oriented grouping of project elements. It organizes and defines the total extent of your project. Each descending level shows an increasingly detailed definition of your project’s components. A PIP can be based on requirements, activities, deliverables, or a combination of the three.
The PIP is structured from a life cycle perspective. Each high level component of your PIP will match a major project phase. You’ll think about all the deliverables you need to produce to complete each phase. You will start with high-level outcomes. Then you’ll decompose all the deliverables into high level activities. Finally, you’ll break down every key activity into smaller sub activities. Download the Perfect Initiative Planner to see an example.
Then comes the fun part. After you’ve filled out the PIP to the sub activity level, start assigning the boxes. This is where you decide who does what. Some items may go to sales ops, HR, or Marketing, depending on the initiative. But don’t just assign activities to a department. Assign every one to a specific person. You’ll also assign many activities to yourself. This brings great clarity to how team members specifically contribute to your initiative. It allows you to hold individuals accountable. It lets your team know exactly what will be required of them.
It’s a scramble to make the quarterly number. Some sales leaders have a tendency to blow off planning. Instead they rely on “gut feel.” But gut feel doesn’t always produce results. And great execution does. It also gets you promoted. Your CEO loves to see it.
We’ve all had initiatives fail in the past. It’s a part of figuring out how to be a good sales leader. Think about it, and you’ll realize most failures occurred for one of three reasons. Either the plan was bad, the timing was wrong, or the execution failed.
Most of the time it is number 3. The SBI Perfect Initiative Planner will fix this. It’s the critical component you need to help you get stuff done.