How often should you update your sales and marketing plan? [video]

How often should you review your sales and marketing plan? Whenever it changes, right? I want to give you 39 reasons why that’s 100% the wrong answer.

Collaborators working on high-growth plans modify their plans 39% more often than those with slower growth plans.  Today, I will show you this data, with some quick analysis, as well as what you can do to take advantage of this.

 

Conclusions from data

  1. Make your plan a ‘play book’.
  2. Get enough collaborators on board. Frankly, 2 – 3 with added access is a working minimum, but consider viewers as well.
  3. Measure your progress against your plan every month. The plan is right and you’re working the plan, or the plan is wrong and you’re fixing it. Don’t ever allow your plan and what you’re doing to be different.
  4. Finally, refine your plan every month, and make it a date to do so. Again, I would actually consider doing it more often than this, but I will explain why at least monthly makes sense.

Let me briefly show you the data I found, with a brief analysis.  This will explain why I made the aforementioned recommendations (I will dive into these in further detail, below).  Importantly, the context should be understood.

Context

As you can imagine, the plans in our database vary from selling very small products to very large products, as well as from very few to very many.  However, on average, the companies who have built plans in Funnel Plan are selling:

  • About 2 to 3 deals every week.
  • They’re doing this with 5 sales people, and
  • The average deal size is about $400k.

Now for you, this might sound quite big. On the other hand, it might sound quite small. The range is huge. However, the sweet spot for a sale, when made, is between $10k to $1m. The average, though, is $400k.

Data

What we found in the data was that:

  • One login by one of your collaborators occurs, on average, every week. This may be to simply print the plan, or it may be to tweak it. Reviewing the plan doesn’t necessarily mean changing it. It does, however, mean to look at it.
  • There were 39% more logins for plans that were targeting high growth compared with those for low growth.
  • There is a link with our alignment research conducted in 2013, and published in 2014. We found that moving from reviewing a plan once a year to reviewing it twice or more a year lifted:
    • Lead closure rates by 20% – the probability that a lead generated by marketing would ever close.
    • Lead acceptance rates by 16% – the acceptance and usage of a marketing lead by sales.

The increase in results of lead closure rates and lead acceptance rates was simply by planning more often.

review sales and marketing plan more often

Review your sales and marketing plan more often for high growth

 Insight

The insight is clearly, sweat your plans:

  • Is the 39% more logins for plans a cause or a consequence?
    • Are high growth companies sweating their plan more often, and so reviewing it is just a consequence of the fact that it is a high growth plan, or
    • Are those who are reviewing their plan more often, more likely to grow?
  • I actually don’t care! The conclusion is that high growth plans are sweat more often than low growth plans. If you want to grow quickly, don’t sit and forget. This is a simple, logical and irrefutable conclusion.
  • So why? And what do we do about this?

Conclusion

The research clearly highlights that you need to measure and review your sales and marketing plan more often. More concretely, the 4 specific recommendations include:

  1. Make your plan your ‘play book’. Sales in some organizations have a concept of a ‘play book’ – here is how we generate new business. If you’ve been watching our videos for a while, you’ll know that we’re all about sales and marketing aligned together.  Subsequently, we need an end-to-end ‘playbook’. Your plan should be your playbook, where it describes your strategy, your velocity, and your tactics.
  2. Invite enough collaborators on-board. Now, what’s enough? At least 2 – 3 who have access and can contribute to your plan but consider having viewers only, as well. In the settings section of your Funnel Plan, you can add the collaborators and viewers.
  3. Measure your progress against your plan every month. To reiterate, the plan’s either right and you’re working it, or it’s wrong, and you’re fixing it. Don’t let your plan and what you’re doing ever be different.
  4. Refine your plan every month, and make it a date! If you’re just starting out with your plan, consider doing it weekly, but refine it at least once a month as a team.

Share and Subscribe

  • In your Funnel Plan, add collaborators and viewers to bring them on-board. This can be done in the settings page. Below is a section of the settings page.
review sales and marketing plan more often

How to add collaborators and viewers to your Funnel Plan

  • Consider having more than one plan. You should have one plan per major segment. Why? Because the problem you solve, as well as the solution you offer, may possibly be different. The velocity and the tactics will definitely be different. Subsequently, consider having multiple plans.
  • If you don’t have a Funnel Plan, get yourself a free trial here.

funnel-plan-sales-and-marketing-planning-tool

 

Our thanks

  • Claudia Ivanka for production.
  • Hannah Sivalingam for her support in video production.
  • 2014 Sales and Marketing Alignment Report at http://bit.ly/2eAvEoz
  • Hugh Macfarlane for scripting and presenting this week’s show.