Most sales leaders are finalizing their 2013 plans. (If you haven’t download our 2013 Sales Planning Development Tool Kit you should, because you’re now officially in the cycle and it’s only going to get worse.) For those of you who are finalizing your plans, there is something 90% of you won’t have in your plan. Almost every plan will have revenue numbers. Some plans will have strategies or initiatives to support their revenue goals. A few will have specific tactics and timelines associated with goals. But even fewer, if any at all, will have a documented tracking process designed to ensure all the moving pieces are headed in the right direction. They are missing a key execution element.
Executing means keeping track of a lot. Planning is important, but it’s the execution that matters. Too often plans are built without the underlying processes to make them work. People are to be managed, objectives and goals reached, strategies evaluated, tasks completed, pivots made, and more. If you stop and think about it, we attend to a million things through out the year. We contend with a lot. Most sales leaders plans don’t account for all the moving parts. They don’t account for the execution piece, the evaluation, assessment, and feedback part of getting things done. What’s missing from most sales leaders plan is the execution cadence.
The execution cadence is the pre-scheduled evaluations, reviews, assessments and feedback loops required to get something done. A good sales organizational cadence is a series of pitstops, designed to evaluate where the organization is in the process, how the players are doing, and what needs to change to make sure the goals are met. Without a good cadence, the probability of success is dramatically impacted.
A good execution cadence addresses the following:
Day to day progress – these are usually pipeline review meetings. Normally weekly, they keep you apprised of the daily momentum, issues, and challenges.
Coaching – Less frequent, these meetings are feedback meetings. They are designed to provide coaching, guidance, insight and support to the people executing the plan.
Plan Review – Quarterly, this part of the cadence is designed to assess plan progress. It’s where you find out if your on track or not, what resources you still need, if you need to pivot, if assumptions were wrong, if you are in jeopardy of missing the goals, etc. The most critical part of the sales cadence, plan reviews are key to making your numer. We have a killer quarterly plan review guide that can improve the value of your quarterly sales reviews by ten fold. You can download it here.
Performance Reviews – most organizations do this via HR. They are important. Performance reviews are different than coaching. They are designed to let the players on the team know if they are doing what they need to be doing or if they aren’t.
The Team – do you have the right people on the bus, in the right seats? Is your team structured to meet the goals and objectives? Is there a succession plan in place? Answering this question is critical. Things change, the right people resources will make or break success. Ensuring your cadence reviews the team provides added insight into execution.
Cadence is putting the right checkpoints, follow up and review meetings in place at the start. It’s creating the agendas and the approaches to the meetings. It’s knowing who the players and participants are and what their role in the cadence is.
Getting 2013 right starts with the plan, but it ends with execution and execution needs a cadence.
Create your execution cadence now, you’ll be happy you did.