As the market continues to deal us tough challenges it is time to look deeply at your sales and marketing strategies. Take a few moments away from trying to grind out sales and think about the big picture. Where are you headed in 2009?
1. Write Down Your Mission: It is amazing how powerful simply writing down an idea can be to it’s execution. Think about what you are trying to accomplish. Make that concept simple, but big. Then write it down.
2. List Your Strengths and Weaknesses: Take inventory of what you have to work with in making that mission a reality. Every organization and/or individual has strengths and weaknesses–list them. Now understand how you can leverage the strengths while minimizing or improving the weaknesses.
3. Review External Threats: Who are your competitors? What technologies, processes, or approaches are beating you in the market? These are your threats. Review them for opportunities to pivot or beat them head-on. Don’t hope they will go away–deal with them.
4. Look for Growth Opportunities: You will be amazed at how likely you are to find these growth opportunities in analyzing your threats. Regardless of where you get your inspiration, itemize your potential opportunities and use them as a foundation to your plan.
5. What are Your Options: Roll together your strengths and weakness inventory, your threat analysis, and growth opportunities. Now look at that data and assess your options. This is going to help you build all of the facets of your strategy.
6. Create Long-term Goals Vision: The foundation of your strategy needs to have a vision. This is supported by long-term (specific) goals. Get as concrete and measurable as possible. Again, write it down!
7. Develop Short-term Benchmarks: Break that big goal into little bite-size chucks. These smaller goals should be easily actionable and tied directly to measurements. These benchmarks are going to be your roadmap to success.
8. Implement Business Plan: Planning time is over. Now it is time to get to work. You now have a new business plan. Start executing. The hardest part is the first step–do it!
9. Evaluate Decisions, Adjust: No plan executes flawlessly. Your benchmarks and metrics are going to help you quickly identify what is working and what isn’t. Don’t ignore these indicators. Adapt and reposition your plan. Every decision gives you an opportunity to build a new success, make sure you are evaluating each carefully.
Don’t put your head in the sand in these tough times–look at it as an opportunity to grow and build marketshare.