Top-Shelf Tip No. 9: 

"Think ahead. Don’t let day-to-day operations drive out planning."
Donald Rumsfeld

Actionable Tips To Hit Your Territory Plan Numbers

With a new year upon us, many sales reps are busy setting goals for the year ahead. They're adapting new methods and dreaming up better ways of accomplishing their tasks. They're envisioning a bigger and brighter year than the one before. However, many of these goals, while admirable, end up being short-lived. Most don't make it to February.

Instead of setting lofty goals that are difficult or nearly impossible to reach, Jeff Hoffman, creator of YourSalesMBA, suggests sales reps should focus on refining their skills and setting a clear plan to reach their goals. You can have a phenomenal sales year if you take the right approach with your territory plan. Whether you have recently received a new territory, or you are starting from scratch with your current one, there are some smart ways you can take action now that will help you crush your goals in 2019. 

Hoffman shared these actionable tips in a recent article, which we are sharing in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today. 

Include time-sensitive action items in your territory plan. It's important to organize your territory plan with tangible and specific time goals. Without time commitments, territory plans are just good intentions. If you don't have deadlines, you won't have the urgency or driving force to accomplish your goals, which could wreak havoc on your year. For example, if you want to host an onsite marketing event with certain top accounts, assign a clear date so you know how much time you have to hit the goal. 

Be sure to follow up on your action items. Take some time to set clear follow-up tasks for your goals to help you stay on track. If you don't completely finish a goal or get to where you need to be with that goal, what happens next? Is there a consequence? When you let unmet goals remain unchecked, you'll eventually get to a point where you don't prioritize or make those goals. You should always have a way to close the loop on your action items to ensure commitment and focus. 

Collaborate with your colleagues. Hoffman encourages sales reps to ask colleagues to poke holes in their territory plan. Rather than collaborating with a manager, go to a fellow rep and ask him or her for their honest feedback on your plan. What changes would they make? What do they think works well? When you ask a co-worker to poke holes in your territory plan, you'll uncover things you didn't notice before and you can see your territory from someone else's perspective. Plus, working with a colleague relieves some of the pressure and promotes collaborating and learning. You wouldn't be able to get the same unbiased feedback from a manager or VP, who is mostly concerned with quotas, numbers and the bigger picture. 

Rather than kicking off a fresh sales year with a disorganized start, apply the tips above to clearly define the next steps in your territory plan. When you do, you'll see your pipeline grow, your productivity increase and your sales numbers soar. 

Source: Jeff Hoffman is president at M.J. Hoffman and Associates, LLC and creator of YourSalesMBA. A renowned sales executive and entrepreneur, Hoffman has consulted with industry leaders throughout the world on the topics of sales, sales management, and sales operations.

Compiled by Audrey Seller