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. Download our workbook and flip to the Corporate Objectives phase on pages 54 – 58 of the PDF. Create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser-focused on the real drivers of revenue growth.
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.
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.
To go deeper and analyze your sales strategy, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Strategy section and start by reviewing “Is My Sales Strategy a Problem?” on page 260 of the PDF workbook.