Because our world changes on a daily basis, your sales plan is something that needs to be fluid in order to keep it relevant, potent, and effective. When you feel influenced by a success story, get inspired by new technology, feel creative, or are just in the mood for a makeover, that’s a good time to focus on your strategy. Here are a few tips that will help you evaluate and update your sales plan.
Look at the big picture
When you’re too close to something you have a tendency to focus on the little things. That can be great in some situations, but when you are trying to see how well the machine runs and what needs tweaking, you have to be able to see the whole machine and consider all aspects.
Put it in writing
Always document everything, and then review it. When things are working, try and figure out what makes that happen. When things aren’t working, try and see what has changed. Use the data to identify when your plan needs tweaking, before it turns into a crisis situation.
Get a new perspective
It might be your company, but that does not mean you are the most qualified person to troubleshoot. Because of ego, finances, emotional proximity, and a number of other aspects, it might actually make you the least qualified person to recognize when something isn’t right. Go to the end user, which is your customer. They are the ones who truly know what’s working and what isn’t.
Think outside your demographic
Having a core consumer base is certainly great. However, how can you effectively reach and service people outside of that demographic? That could be the key between an inspired idea and a lucrative lifelong endeavor.
Creating problems is the only way to determine if something really works in all scenarios. Coders use this trick all the time to test their products. The game is to use it, and try to break it. In regard to your sales plan, create problems, catastrophes, and what-ifs. See how your company would do in less than desirable circumstances, and use that knowledge to forge an unsinkable juggernaut.
Are the Joneses ahead?
Technology changes so quickly it’s easy to fall behind. The minute you stop keeping up, is the moment you are behind. Make sure your company is utilizing everything available to continue to be a corporate forerunner.
Change the rules
There are times when you have played the game for so long, you stop thinking of new strategies and just doggedly rely on what has been successful in the past. In order to keep yourself sharp, change things up every now and then to force yourself to be innovative and resourceful.
Take a good look in the mirror
Sometimes, the answers lie within. Take a look at what you already have. Is every employee being used to his or her maximum potential? Are there talents and strengths you are overlooking that could really make a difference? Revisit your givens and expand upon them to help you grow and excel.
This article was written by Allen Foster for CBS Small Business Pulse.