You have an improvement plan to increase revenue, and as CEO you need to ask, “Who will own the roll-out of the plan? Who on my executive team will manage my initiative?”


Before launching your team into the improvement plan, invest fifteen minutes to review the emerging best practices for articulating your corporate objectives. It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors. Leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access a revenue growth methodology to hit your number quarter after quarter, and year after year. 


Your improvement plan started with an assessment. This is a comprehensive environmental scan of your entire sales force. After that, you likely conducted a Feasibility Study. This Study helped calculate the impact of your proposed solutions.


Now it’s time to transition from strategy to results. You need to define roles and responsibilities according to a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Download this Work Breakdown Guide to see a portion of a WBS. Essentially, the WBS has the following features:


  • Assign specific individuals to tasks.
  • Define tasks that are clear to achieve.
  • Accomplish strategic objectives with every task.


Why Care About the Details


Without a WBS, a sales improvement initiative is susceptible to role corruption. This leads to two common CEO pitfalls:


  • You blame others for things you didn’t ask for.
  • You ask for things you don’t need.


Avoid the Pitfalls


Defining roles and responsibilities is not just for the lower layers of the organization. Strategic sales initiatives need this level of detail at the executive level too. To get started, make sure your executive team follows these simple rules of thumb:


  • Start with the objective of the sales improvement plan.
  • Don’t over-engineer the solution.
  • Keep the roles, responsibilities, and deliverables simple.
  • Obtain executive team agreement on who owns what.
  • Get to work.


Benefits of Clearly Defined Work Breakdown


Clearly defining the execution plan will have several benefits to your organization:


  • Avoid Disruption. If the executive staff does not clearly define who does what, the finger pointing begins. Details are missed. This leads to organizational disruption. Avoid disruption by defining roles up front.
  • Minimize Opportunity Cost. You are rolling out an initiative for one reason: to make the number. With every initiative delay, it’s likely you’ll continue to miss your number. Defining roles and deliverables with a WBS avoids this cost.
  • Reduce Sales Overhead. As initiatives stall, your team is distracted. They become less effective at generating revenue. Then, the team focuses on non-sales activity. This ultimately cuts into your margin. A rapid initiative roll-out allows your team to get back to their “day jobs.”
  • Assign roles according to know-how. Align your experts with the work at hand. A clear Work Breakdown makes it easier to identify the experts and align them with tasks. Your experts will produce superior results.


Next Steps


You missed the number. You quantified the impact of your improvement plan. Now is time to define roles and responsibilities according to a Work Breakdown Structure. Download this brief Work Breakdown Guide to get started.


Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if:

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job






Dan Bernoske

Develops innovative revenue growth solutions and designs the SBI client experience.

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

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