What’s all the fuss about having an effective action plan template? And what’s more important: creating the plan, executing it or ‘enjoying’ the process of planning?
When I used to work in the corporate world I remember managers, CEO’s and sales people meet several times and for several hours simply to discuss layouts and pagination of business and marketing plan templates. Imagine a few hundred people engage into this activity for hours and hours. We’re talking weeks and huge amounts of money (salaries!) here. And the outcome?
“OK, we’re going to use last years templates. We’re going to add these 5 charts, tweak those other 2 slides and we’re good to go. We have 120 powerpoint slides and we’re ready for next years battle.”
Every year the same meetings. Every year the same outcome.
But this was just the beginning of an ‘outstanding’ planning process followed by weeks and months of people from different departments planning for the next year. And if everybody within the organization would have used the same template I’m sure we could have finished the process a lot sooner. But this wasn’t the case. Different departments meant different templates. Different people within one department meant different templates within the same department. Not very efficient you might recon.
Purpose of an action plan template
Ask people within a company what the purpose of an action plan template is and they will come up with different answers. Managers are looking for their teams to see the template completed. Sales people on the other hand want to be out talking to customers and implementing. To many sales people filling a template is a waste of their precious ‘execution’ time.
Here’s what Business2Community had to say recently about templates and forms…
Templates and forms help us structure our thinking and planning. Hopefully, they aren’t just a standard form, but they’ve been customized, based on the organization’s best experience of practices. Opportunity/deal planning templates help you think about developing deal strategies that maximize the value you create in helping the customer buy, maximize your ability to win, help you and the customer reduce the buying cycle, and maximize deal value/profitability.
Success in sales is not about a bunch of random acts that might produce a sale. It’s not about being fast on your feet (though that’s a great skill), or being able to handle anything the customer dishes out. It’s not about being a fantastic pitch person–particularly if you are pitching the wrong thing to a person who doesn’t care.
What it’s all about is the process of thinking, analyzing, collaborating with colleagues to come up with the best possible ideas to achieve the goal. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about how to win a deal, how to maximize share of the account, how to have the maximum impact in a call.
Bottom Line: If you don’t take the time to think, analyze and plan what you are trying to achieve, you won’t be able to have a strong and long-lasting impact on sales, marketing, business, relationships, and life. Use your action plan template to design your roadmap to success.
Are you ready for some action?
Let’s have some fun together and enjoy the first official trailer released for the much anticipated action thriller with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Escape Plan!
Escape Plan Trailer
Sly and Arnie team up to break out of prison
The following insights from this short movie trailer might help you in business too….
A successful breakout depends on 3 things:
- Knowing the layout.
- Understanding the routine and
- Help from outside or in.
What about you?
Do you have a smart action plan template that will get you where you want? What other navigation systems and maps do you use in business to increase sales & profits? Looking forward to your insights in the comments below.