Joe Girard points out that salespeople don’t actively think about their territory sales plan and tend to be more reactive. But companies get held hostage by the best their salespeople can do. Without a plan, you aspire to be the best and just hope it happens. But a company can’t survive on hope. That’s why creating a territory sales plan and executing that plan is key. Hear more of Joe’s thoughts on the strategy in this episode of Sales Reinvented.
Most salespeople are busy getting leads and trying to convert them. But you must take a step back and make a plan. Joe notes that it’s very uncomfortable for salespeople because they feel like they need to be selling. But they need to do more of the right things. How do you spend more time doing the right stuff and less time doing things that won’t make an impact? Focus on high-value activities.
Joe implores salespeople to use a ranking system. Look at the opportunities you think you should go after (your ICP) and rank who you want to sell to. Then rank the activities you need to do to sell to them. Rank your team's level of ability to do those activities. Then you have to execute that plan. You have to commit to 90 days or six months and see your plan through. Give your team the space to execute the plan and be successful.
But you also have to be adaptable in the trenches. How will everything you do contribute to your plan? You need to make your plan, test it, and come back and revise it as needed. It’s an ever-evolving sales process. You’ll begin to see repeating patterns. Then you can build out best practices and share them with your team.
Are you serious about your results? Joe always sets a 90-day plan or sprint. Then he breaks it down into activities and holds himself accountable to those activities. Implementing a 90-day sprint helps you focus.
Secondly, if you’re trying to figure out how to help new customers, talk to old or current customers. How did your service or product help them? Validate your assumptions and build in a feedback loop. Get the customer language into your sales language.
Make the time to plan and review your work. Even something as simple as looking at your daily activities. Did you miss something? Write it down and make a plan for the next day. Then review the week and make sure you didn’t miss anything. If you did, knock it out and close out the week.
Joe notes that there’s no shortage of training and tactics and it can be overwhelming. He emphasizes that it’s not about what you can put into salespeople, it’s about what you can pull out of them. Territory sales planning should be about making the most of each individual and helping them shine.
When Joe started in sales, he wasn’t doing well. His boss told him that if he didn’t pick things up in the next 60 days, he wouldn’t make it. The other rep working with Joe gave up and went to work for the competition. They were sitting at $2.3 million between the two of them. Joe put a plan together—based on him being the sole salesperson—to reach sales of $4 million. Joe was told that if he didn’t hit his target, he wouldn’t get paid. He had to almost double his current sales.
So he broke down what his activities would need to look like monthly, weekly, and daily. He looked at how many people he needed to have on his list, how many he needed to talk to, and how many appointments he needed to book. You have to break things down to what needs to happen every day to stay on track. You can’t make up for lost weeks and months. By the end of the year, Joe hit his target and surpassed it—landing at $4.1 million. He didn’t work harder but made the most of his time with a clear plan.
Low-level salesmen who make plans can outperform the highest performers if they build a good plan and execute it day after day. It’s all about execution. Don't wait for someone else to tell you how to plan your territory and above all—don’t give up.
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