It’s easy to read about the best way to make your number. But now it’s time to sit down and actually plan out the calendar for the year ahead.
You may be asking yourself: Am I where I need to be in my annual timeline? When should I launch the strategic alignment process? What do I need to accomplish in each quarter?
As SBI learned, there’s a common annual strategic planning process used by all leading organizations. The “How to Make Your Number in 2018” or will guide you through that. You can also request a Workshop with us to help guide your business through these steps and make sure you’re set to make the number in 2018.
First, we’ll provide an outline of what that common process looks like.
And we’ll begin with Q4
Q4: Refine Product, Marketing, Sales, and Pricing Strategies
You most likely have already started on your path to strategic alignment by conducting Market Research and developing your Corporate strategy.
Now, the Product, Marketing, Sales, and Pricing strategies teams are preparing their strategies to enable your business to adapt to and work with changing trends in the marketplace.
Once each strategy is drafted and reviewed, a priority list of three to five key integration points must be made. These points will be your KPIs going forward, and will keep your teams and strategies aligned.
With these strategies nailed down, you’re ready to put them into action.
Q1: Strategy Launch
Once your strategies are launched, you still have to make sure each team stays on track and aligned. To do this, weekly and monthly reviews must be put in place.
On a weekly basis, functional leaders meet one-on-one to look for areas of misalignment, share new market intelligence, and find out what each function needs from the others. On a monthly basis, each team must review the KPIs and address any larger scale alignment issues.
If your operation is running like a well-oiled machine, there’s only one more tactic to set in motion.
Q2: Strategy Refreshes
With one quarter of the new strategy under your belt, the Quarterly Business Review (QBR) starts and continues through the rest of the quarters.
The purpose of the QBR is to update strategies to review financial performance, adjust each strategy to new market conditions, and address any outstanding alignment issues.
In the next Q3, this whole process repeats.
Q3: Validate Market Research and Corporate Strategies
This is when you start to refresh your strategic alignment plan. Q3 is all about understanding the changes in the market, buyer, and competitive landscapes. You’ll also compare how well your Corporate Strategy is performing against a set of productivity measures relative to investor or board expectations.
These tasks are crucial because they set the foundation of your next year ahead and account for new and emerging trends that will affect the market.
Putting Your Plan Into Action
Evidently, documenting your strategic alignment process is one thing. Launching it is another. And keeping it in check throughout the year is the ultimate test of how prepared you are to make the number.
Need guidance getting your company’s annual planning process ready? Leverage the “How to Make Your Number in 2018” or to help guide your business through these steps and make sure you’re set to make the number in 2018. You can also request a Workshop and we’ll help you do the legwork.