At the beginning of the new year, sales organizations get their new quotas. For people who work in sales, something that always accompanies this moment is the frenzy to figure out how-in-the-world our organizations will make these new, seemingly huge numbers. One action that helps me to achieve my sales goals is to write down my plans.
Putting my plans into writing is helpful more broadly as well.
I know that I am easily distracted by new projects, new goals, or even an interesting newspaper article. When I have a written plan-to-achieve that I can reread regularly, I am able to remind myself of how excited I felt about my original objectives. And remembering that excitement helps me to better avoid the daily distractions that inevitably arise.
In order to follow my advice to write down your plans, you need to be willing to write down (1) things you know you can accomplish and (2) a longer list (i.e. a “funnel”) of goals that you are not certain you can achieve. The key to the second item is that you need to be comfortable commemorating ideas that may fall through. Over time, you’ll then whittle down the funnel. My rule of thumb is that if I want to get two big deals, I write down ten ideas. Then, over time, I do good research on those ten (read 10Ks, job site research, news articles, etc.). I aim to spend about twenty minutes thinking through each deal. After a bit of qualification, I focus on three to five. With some luck, at the end of the half, I’ll arrive at two active deals.
I encourage you try this and let me know how it goes.