The Blueprint For an Effective Annual Strategic Plan


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. In our consultation workshop, we’ll guide your business through these steps and make sure you’re set to make the number in 2016.


First, we’ll provide an outline of what that common process looks like.


And we’ll begin with Q4

If your operation is running like a well-oiled machine, there’s only one more tactic to set in motion.


Q4: Refine Product, Marketing, Sales, and Talent Strategies

You’ve already started on your path to strategic alignment by conducting Market Research and developing your Corporate strategy.


Now, the Product, Marketing, Sales, and Talent 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? Register for our workshop and we’ll help you do the legwork in just 90 minutes.


Matt Sharrers

Studies and works with the top 1% of B2B sales and marketing leaders who generate above average revenue growth for their companies.

Matt is arguably one of the industry’s most connected, and physically fit, sales leaders. He “lives in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. Because of Matt’s unique access to the best sales talent, private equity investors tend to turn to him first when they need to hire remarkable leaders to unlock trapped growth inside of their portfolio companies. Matt’s recent engagements include work commissioned by private equity leaders Permira, TPG, Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman.


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