Your annual plan in and of itself cannot be the end. It’s really just the start.
Preparing for the year ahead brings many benefits, including those that come via the process of just sitting down and creating one.
Assessing yourself and your business can bring about an awareness that allows you to avoid pitfalls in the upcoming year–because you’ve thought it through, and done your research.
Of course, everyone could use an annual plan. But what you need is a really great one.
Look out for my Masterclass available later this month at The Sales Hunter University where I’ll teach you each element of a powerful annual plan.
1. Greater confidence
Your annual plan helps you enter the coming year proactively instead of reactively. You cannot just sit back and hope your customers bring you something good next year. That’s not good enough.
An annual plan is going to give you that confidence, because a good one helps you know what needs to be done, and how you’re going to accomplish it.
2. Understand the results
I’m talking about the results you achieved in the year just ending. Take time to look at your results. What happened in the past year might be history, but that doesn’t mean forget it all and move on.
In fact, just because I write a plan down on a piece of paper, it doesn’t mean it’s going to come to fruition. You must think about: What were you able to accomplish last year? What makes you think you’re capable of doing something greater, or different?
When you understand and can analyze where you’re coming from, that helps you set achievable goals. Now if you follow my videos or writing, you know I advocate for big goals. When you aim higher, you can attain more. I also advocate for simplifying your goals–you don’t need 15.
Take a moment to analyze the results and draw some basic conclusions, first.
3. Assess the current state of affairs
It’s a crazy environment out there between the economy, COVID, and everything else. The current state of affairs means I need to know what’s happening in the industry, too.
Knowledge is power! Educate yourself a little so you can tailor your plan as needed.
4. Identify weaknesses
What gaps need to be addressed? What are some of the weaknesses that I need to manage?
Of course, I don’t want to dwell on weaknesses, but I need to be able to call them out and deal with them.
5. Identify opportunities
What is going to help me succeed? There might be a new product or a new service coming out. Or you’re going to have a new geographical territory next year, or a major competitor is exiting the business, whatever it might be.
These are opportunities that will give you momentum for the upcoming year.
6. Allocate resources.
It’s not just you and your time. Allocate resources in terms of: Who are the subject matter experts you need to bring in? Where are the knowledge gaps where you need to learn? What are things that you know you can exploit?
Help yourself maximize. Because there may be a new opportunity identified, but in order for me to maximize that opportunity, it’s possible I need to line up with a subject matter expert, or increase my knowledge.
On the other hand, there may be a weakness that you identified, and now you’ve got to figure out–how do I overcome this weakness? Let’s say I need to find new prospects. So, I’m going to have to allocate more resources to be prospecting.
Why do you need an annual plan? Ultimately, it starts with achieving greater confidence.
I want to give you that, as well as the certainty of a well-made annual plan. Check back next week for more on this topic, and head on over to The Sales Hunter University for great continued learning opportunities.
If you’re looking to gain knowledge in the upcoming year, and invest in educating yourself, I commend you. And I invite you to see what TSHU has to offer.
If proficiency in sales skills is one of your professional goals, Level 3 – All Access is a great choice. That gives you unlimited access to all past Masterclasses, and each month’s new course in 2021.
I can also help you on a more personal level, as this membership gives you drop-in office hours, and monthly coaching, too.
Let’s get off to a great start.
Copyright 2021, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.