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Improve Performance, Provoke Thought, Think Critically.

You are constantly striving to improve.  You are looking for practical tips you can apply to your daily work that will impact your performance.  You are looking for advice from professionals who do the work. You want to engage with professionals who have been in your shoes.

Be the Founder that can clearly articulate the problem your company solves.

Be the Sales Professional that your customers want to work with.

Be the Learning Professional who can deliver your solution in the context of the business.

The Catalyst Sale Podcast is published weekly.  We take listener questions at @catalystsale on twitter or hello@catalystsale.com via email.

Topics discussed - B2B Sales, Sales Training, Product Market Fit, Growth, Hiring, Recruitment, Sales Process, Business Acumen, Startups, Leadership.

May 22, 2018

Failing to Plan is a Plan to Fail

Part II in our series on common challenges that we see across our customer and prospect base is focused on planning.  Specifically developing the plan, adapting the plan, and execution.  One of the biggest challenges organizations we work with have relative to planning, is clarity around expectations, which leads to issues with focus & expectations around speed. 

Setting expectations, establishing a plan, working the plan, and adapting the plan all play a critical role in this process.  We hope you enjoy the discussion and look forward to your feedback.

Questions Addressed

  • What are some of the challenges organizations face when it comes to planning?
  • Why is adapting the plan the third step?
  • Why is it important as a park ranger to know how to take a punch in the head?
  • How does this apply to us in Sales?

Key Takeaways

  • Defining expectations, creating a plan, adapting the plan. 
  • One of the biggest challenges organizations face relative to planning, is clarity around expectations.  This usually leads to issues with focus. 
  • Ryan Carson reinforced this point on a previous podcast, when talking about issues with hiring that first Sales VP.
  • When it comes to planning - begin with the end in mind.
  • Know that perspective may be different depending on role.  i.e. VP of Marketing vs VP of Sales vs VP of Operations. 
  • Design thinking - once we understand the objective, we design backward. 
  • Create a plan that helps you get to that objective. 
  • It is important to identify the gates that you will need to get through in order to meet the objective. (Think of a road trip)
  • "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" - Mike Tyson 
  • Know that you will need to adjust the plan once you start gathering additional information. Maybe the use cases you have identified are not accurate.
  • Your plan is philosophical, it will never be perfect. 
  • Apply your OODA loop - Observe, Orient, Decide, Act, and repeat the loop. (link) 
  • Communicate the plan, adjust, iterate, optimize.
  • Something is going to happen, that you do not expect
  • One question we should ask ourselves - What are the things you are doing on your end to adjust your loop, so that the competition cannot get inside your loop?
  • The fundamentals.
    • How do you ask the right questions to get to the root problem/challenge?
    • How do you position your solution in the context of the customer need?
  • You don't know until you know
    • As you go through this, you identify patterns, and identify different ways to address the issue.
    • Training helps you prepare and know how you will react to the situation.  (Pepper spray discussion/example)
  • Experience should provide clarity.
  • Everyone wants to move fast.
  • The process we follow
    • Set a goal - Buy-in on the objective is important (identify and establish your goals)
    • Establish measurable items that work toward the goal
    • Set a plan to help you execute on the measurables - consider how you might address the objective (i.e. growth within the base, identifying partners, etc.)
    • Evaluate the data to determine success.
  • A weak plan with a solid foundation is better than a solid plan with a weak foundation.

Show Links

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Growth Acceleration - Plateau Breakthrough

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Catalyst Sale

In every business, in every opportunity, there is someone who can help you navigate the internal challenges and close the deal.  There is a Catalyst.  We integrate process (Catalyst Sale Process), technology and people, with the purpose of accelerating revenue. Our thoughtful approach minimizes false starts that are common in emerging markets and high-growth environments. We continue to evolve our practice based on customer needs and emerging technology. We care about a thinking process that enables results versus a process that tells people what to do.  

Sales is a Thinking Process.