Your Chicagoland Sales Strategist

“Sales Strategist” – sounds good, right?

During the Q&A portion of a recent presentation that I gave, I began thinking about sales plans, their connection to the business plan, and how to have the most significant impact on business. What I came up with is a new job description – the ‘Sales Strategist’.

Everyone with basic Excel skills can forecast (all you need is a crystal ball), and picturing an organization is fairly simple as well. Leading a sales team is actually quite easy (show them the money) – managing the sales team is challenging, but that’s only because it’s like herding cats. But there is a massive chasm between a business plan and a forecast – the strategy of how to translate from theory to reality.

What is the primary purpose of a business plan? To get money from banks or investors. A forecast is nothing more than a management tool- if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. But how do you know what needs to be done in order to achieve forecast within the constraints of your business? Yes, that’s the sales plan! Sure, you can download a great template from Hubspot – but that is just a piece of paper.

It is the sales strategist who will help you fill in those blanks. But are all sales managers good strategists? Or, asked another way-  do you have to be a good strategist to be a good sales manager? I’ve previously mentioned a company I’m working with that actually has a VP of Sales – and he is good at his job. He does a great job leading and managing the sales team, but everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. The key is to have the self-realization and courage it takes to admit those weaknesses and take action to minimize their impact.

Until next week!

Rick – your Chicagoland Sales Strategist

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