It’s quite an eye-grabbing statement to make – that a one page plan will bring in more results.
But after 20+ years of shaping the sales and marketing of high growth businesses, our co-founder Hugh Macfarlane has found that brevity really does have merit. And this has never been more relevant than when it comes to your sales and marketing plans.
Most sales and marketing plans are quite lengthy due to how much information is in them – everything from your target audience to your problem statements and your tactics. The intention when we build them is good, but –
We sat down with Hugh to explain the why’s and the how’s of one-page plans.
3 big problems with 20+ page sales and marketing plans
One quote that gets mentioned around our office is, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” This is attributed to various authors throughout the centuries, and its earliest origins can be traced to the 1600s – half a millennia ago.
Even in the late 1600s, people understood the need to keep things short. We’ve found that there are three reasons behind this:
1. People have short attention spans. Perhaps they were a bit longer three hundred years ago, but in today’s age of 30-second-long TikToks this is no longer the case. Sales and marketing professionals don’t have the time (nor desire) in their busy days to flip through a massive slide deck to figure out why they’re doing what they’re doing.
2. Longer content buries the lede. When people have all the time in the world to speak or write, they tend to meander. A 20+ page sales and marketing plan will give its creators a lot of time to deep dive into fine details but less time to find the secret sauce.
3. Longer content and plans often miss the point. When a writer can say something in 10 words but chooses to say it in 1,000, those unnecessary 990 words dilute the message. And as a general rule, a higher word count is often due to the author not fully understanding the message even as it’s being written.
These all lead to sales and marketing teams disagreeing and not aligning on core objectives. When there’s 20+ pages to agree on, there’s bound to be some dissonance.
The solution? Condense it into one page.
Why you should condense your plan
When building your plan, we recommend condensing it as much as possible. This forces you to:
- Distil complex thoughts down to their essence
- Become more efficient in your work
These two elements will mean that you become far better at emphasising the most important parts of your plan (or any content).
Hugh will tell you that, “If you can’t say it on one page, you probably don’t understand it.” And we do this with our own sales and marketing strategies for our clients.
Every client that utilises Funnel Plan (our famous B2B go-to-market strategy builder) gets a single page that can then be stuck onto their office walls (or in their homes). This process still involves building that 20+ page plan, but we then take the most important parts of it (the objectives, the strategy, the velocity, and the tactics) and put it on one page.
And so far, we have yet to have anyone tell us that they wish it was longer.
How to use your one-page plan to improve the performance of your and marketing team
Ok, so a one-page plan can help create alignment and clarity. But how does it actually deliver better results? Simply, it’s a powerful tool that empowers your sales and marketing teams to be:
- More committed – working together to build a strategy allows executive, sales, and marketing teams to commit to a strategy that they all agree on and believe in.
- More focused – condensing a plan onto a single page forces teams to prioritise tasks, tactics, and targets and leads to new insights on the most important tactics and objectives to focus on.
- More likely to act – when they can see the plan and the steps needed to achieve it, it becomes much easier for teams to follow through and understand where they currently are vs. where they need to be.
- More efficient – with no need to waste time trawling through a long plan or chasing the wrong targets, sales and marketing can maximise their time to focus on the most valuable activities.
- More successful – the numbers speak for themselves. We’ve seen a in marketing-generated revenue, amongst other great results.
Get started on your own one page plan
It’s not easy to reduce your word count and condense complex plans into one page – but you don’t have to do it alone.
We’ve written several articles on doing this yourself, including a 6 step guide on getting your sales and marketing teams on one page. You’re also able to find further content in the alignment category of our blog.
And if you need a helping hand to bring your team together and create a clear and comprehensive B2B go-to-market strategy, you can contact us today to discuss how we can help.
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