Are You Going To Make Plan?

As we cruise toward the end of summer and typically take a few days of well deserved R&R or family time I always believed it was a good idea to check the scoreboard.  On the calendar year we are mid 3rd quarter and our performance plan and outcomes are becoming more concrete and defined.  It’s time to ask the BIG question:  Are you going to deliver your number?  Are you tracking to make plan?

Every seller who has ever lined up with me has heard this speech:  “At the end of the year we have two possible outcomes:  results or excuses.  You will either deliver your plan or miss your target (and in my experience missing typically involves a lot of rationalizing).  And so we are all clear, we are in the results business.  There are always challenging external circumstances that exist beyond our control.  They matter not.  Those are excuses if we tolerate that kind of thinking.  And to reinforce, effort and results are not the same.  What matters is, did you make plan?”

Hardcore?  Damn straight. When your number is my number we are going to roll up our sleeves and fight like hell to cross the finish line victorious.  Together.  Better for you. Better for me.  Better for the team.  Its what we signed up for.  Careers are made (and derailed) on the ability to consistently deliver plan.

Regardless of the functional area (Sales or otherwise), everyone has key performance indicators that impact the business.  Everyone has a plan.

It’s no different in my new business.  We have a speaking plan and consulting plan.  Our speaking target for 2010 was 30 events.  And in setting that plan we knew it was going to be a battle because we started the year with a big goose egg in January and February.  Now, that was entirely due to improper focus and alignment in Q3 and Q4 2009.  No matter.  We have a no excuse policy.  Fight to recover.  30 is the number.  That was plan.

In checking the scoreboard a couple weeks ago I knew our plan was in question.  We weren’t tracking properly and our Q3/Q4 pipe wasn’t strong enough.  And that is why I decided to pass on a wonderful vacation invitation to spend a long weekend on the east coast at the beach home of a very good personal friend.  Frankly, sitting on the beach for a couple days when plan is in jeopardy doesn’t sound all that appealing to me.

It was time for a big sprint toward the finish line.  In any good race there is pace time and sprint time.  And by the end of the day Thursday we had booked 6 new events for REA this week alone.  Sprint week worked!  Perhaps a weekend at the beach was motivation?  Or maybe it was a good halftime speech (“the inches we need are all around us”)…either way, plan is looking a lot more manageable now.  29 down…1 more to go…and I am at the beach!

Might be a good time to check the scoreboard?  There is nothing like taking a well deserved break with the peace of mind knowing you are going to make your plan!

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