‘The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.’ Babe Ruth, American baseballer player known as ‘the greatest player in history’
This workshop Like Formula One drivers who pull in for a pit-stop during a Grand Prix race, Bite-Sized Business Plans is a workshop in which your team takes time out from the business to work on practical sales solutions to current business challenges. The workshop includes: An analysis of your team’s current and past performance. Steps to create a one page action plan of goals and strategies to enhance your business performance over the next twelve months. Version xx. DD Month YYYY
The Benefits The benefits to you in using this system are: Improve your individual and team results Increase your business profit. Lift motivation and morale. Become a stronger, more focused team.
Team Activity Close your eyes and imagine the days of the week What colour is each day? Write down the colour of each day. Now compare your answers with the rest of your team….……………………..
Understanding differences The days of the week are a simple fixed pattern. Yet we all see them in different ways. It is easy to imagine the potential for far greater differences in the way we see more complex situations - like our work, our responsibilities and our relationships. Human beings will never see things in exactly the same way but we can understand each other's views far better, so that we can minimise conflict and maximise cooperation.
Team Analysis As a team, you are now going to use all those different perspectives, to analyse your business. On the following pages there are some questions. Take five minutes to answer each one. (There is space for each in your workbook). When every team member has finished each answer, go around the table and explain what you have written down and why. Then move on to the next one.
Question: What were your achievements in the last twelve months? For instance, did you achieve budgeted figures; exceed them, set any personal bests, or maybe have some team members do amazing things? Take 5 minutes to write down everything you can think of, that you felt was an achievement. Then read out your answers around the table.
How did you rate? Lots of achievements? Great – you have a good base to build on in the next twelve months. Not many achievements? No problem. The purpose of the workshop is to create a plan so that you see some improvement over the next 12 months.
Disappointments Understanding and examining past disappointments is a key to success. Otherwise we simply repeat the same ones year after year. We’ve all known someone who repeatedly goes out with the wrong type of person, or is always having money troubles. This is often because they don’t face their disappointments head on and learn from them.
Disappointments or Opportunities? The Story of Ray Kroc Ray Kroc was 54 and an outstanding salesperson, selling milk shake machines. Someone invented an automatic milkshake machine that made the product he was selling obsolete. This was a terrible disappointment to him. Out of work, he wandered the streets and discovered two brothers who had a super-fast system for making hamburgers. He bought the concept from them and turned the idea into the most successful small retail business in the world – starting McDonalds, at 54! This story shows that disappointments can become your greatest opportunities.
Question: What were your disappointments in the last twelve months? Take 5 minutes and put down everything you can think of. This is your chance to purge them from the previous year. Then go around the table and get each person to read out their answers – don’t discuss them at this stage.
The Two Circles Bestselling author Stephen Covey explains that everyone has a circle of influence and a circle of concern. Your circle of concern contains all the things you worry about in life but can’t do anything about. Eg You might worry that people are dying in a war but there is nothing you can change about this. Your circle of influence contains all the things you can control. Eg If you worry that you might be late for work, you could get up half an hour earlier.
Which Circle? Now look at your list of disappointments. Which circle does each one fit into? If it belongs in your circle of concern, can you drag it into your circle of influence by changing your actions. If not, then just cross it off the list - there is no point wasting time and energy thinking about it. High achievers focus on their circle of influence, that is, on what they CAN do to make a difference to their lives. By focusing on goals and strategies within this circle, you will have a much greater chance of success.
Learning Learning new things is also important. Knowledge x learning = effectiveness. You can have all the knowledge in the world but as soon as you stop learning you stop being effective. Results are simply a measure of improvement, so when a team stops learning, they tend to plateau in their achievements.
Question: What have you learnt in the last twelve months? What things have helped or hindered your performance? Take 5 minutes and put down everything you can think of. Then go around the table and get each person to read out their answers.
Limitations Often the reason we haven’t enjoyed the success we might have wanted is because we have been holding ourselves back in some way, which we haven’t realised. For instance, when Flight Centre, a large global travel agency, opened a new operation in the UK the most commission a consultant could transfer in one month was £4000. Eighteen months later they had improved all of their systems, but consultants were still only transferring £4000 in commission. A high performing consultant then arrived from Australia and in her first month she transferred £8000 commission. In the following month eight UK consultants also transferred over £8000 commission. The only thing that had been restricting them was their own belief, that this wasn’t possible.
Everyone Restricts Themselves We all restrict ourselves in some way and, like these UK consultants, we often don’t recognise that we are doing it. The best way to identify our own limitations is to look at where we are constantly disappointed. Have a look back at your own team’s disappointments this year and answer the following question……………………
Question: In the last twelve months, how did you restrict yourselves? Take 5 minutes and put down everything you can think of. Then go around the table and get each person to read out their answers.
Creating The Plan You’ve now taken some time to assess your team’s current and past performance. Now we’re going to look at how you can improve these results over the next twelve months. First of all you need to set one or two goals……..
Goal-setting People often confuse goals and strategies. According to the Oxford Concise Dictionary, a goal is: The point marking the end of the race; object of effort or ambition. A goal is how you measure the achievement of all your strategies and improvements over the year. Usually there would only be one or two of these, at the most.
Why do we set goals? What you focus on is what you get! A study began in 1953 of the Yale graduates of that year. They found that only 3% had goals. In 1973 those 3% were worth more than the entire 97% of the rest of the class.
Smart Goals Goals need to be smart with the following characteristics: Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Compare the goal, "Get in shape“ with the more specific, "Join a gym and workout 4 days a week." Measurable: To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself, “How will I know when it is accomplished?” Achievable: You can achieve almost any goal you set as long as you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Realistic: To be realistic, you must be both willing and able to work towards your goal. Your goal should be a real stretch for you - a high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Timelined: A goal should have a time-frame attached to it. For example, rather than “I will lose 5 kilograms”, a timely goal would be Ï will lose 5 kilograms by 30 June.”
How Smart Are You Feeling? How can you get ten horses into nine stables, one per stable?
Example goals Here are some examples of some successful goals: We break even by the end of the financial year. We triple our number of clients this year. We exceed our budgeted revenue by 20%. This year we set new records for this store. We are the highest performing team in the company in 2015.
The Team Goal Now you need to decide on one or two good goals for the next twelve months. What would you like to achieve, as a business, that would really excite you as a team? Write this down as individuals and then compare and discuss your answers, to come up with your final one or two team goal/s.
Strategies Once you have agreed on suitable team goals, the next step in creating an effective business plan is to work out strategies. Strategies are the specific steps required to attain your goals. Once again these should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-lined.
Brainteaser Before you start looking at your team’s sales strategies let’s first sharpen your thinking with the following brainteaser: Polly Perkins was after a talking parrot, so she went to the local pet shop in the hope of securing such a find. She was in luck. The shop assistant assured her that the parrot would learn and repeat any word or phrase it heard. Polly was delighted. However, a week later, the parrot still hadn't spoken a word. Polly returned to the shop to complain, however, it appeared that the assistant was accurate in what he had said, and refused a refund. Why didn't the parrot talk?
The Answer The parrot was deaf. Therefore it couldn’t repeat a single word she said.
Simple, Simple, Simple! Strategies do not have to be elaborate. Sales success is the result of doing simple things in a consistent fashion. For instance, compare these two business development managers: BDM 1: Visits 100 clients. Asks for orders every time. Has a 50% conversion rate. Gets 50 orders. BDM 2: Visits 100 clients. Asks for orders half the time. Has a 70% conversion rate. Gets 35 orders. So even though BDM 2 had better sales skills and a higher conversion rate, they received less orders, simply because they didn’t ask for them every time.
Example strategies Here are some examples of successful strategies: We give every buying customer 3 business cards and ask them to pass them on to friends and family. We ask every customer if they are interested in our other products as well. We create a discount flyer for local retailers and drop it in to every shop twice a year. We give a bottle of wine to every customer who spends over $1000 with us. We celebrate every time someone achieves a personal best.
Your Team Strategies Now as individuals, write down the single biggest things that you believe are going to make a difference to your business achieving its goals. There should be a maximum of ten. Too many steps is unrealistic and non-achievable. Your total business goals and strategies should fit on one page.
The Final List Compare and discuss your answers to create an agreed list of team strategies for the next twelve months.
The Whole Plan Now write your whole team plan on the planning page in your workbook.
Assigning Responsibility Most strategies fail unless someone is tracking their progress. As a team, now work out who is going to be responsible for tracking each strategy over the next twelve months. For instance, one strategy might be ‘We double our number of clients this year.’ This might be tracked by Susan. Susan is not responsible for finding these new clients. She is responsible for measuring monthly progress; raising the strategy at meetings; and brainstorming for solutions, if the strategy is not progressing.
Roadblocks To Success What are the roadblocks to this plan? Now that you’ve worked out your plan, you need to identify the potential obstacles to it? What can you do to overcome these?
Commitment To The Plan Many people come up with great plans but the secret to success is committing to it. As well as working out the plan you need to work out a system of commitment to the plan to make it truly effective. Here are some ideas……………………………….
Commitment Ideas Laminate the plan and give a copy to every team member – if a new team member starts, give them a copy as well, and go through the plan so they are on board with it. Diarise the plan: Each member of your team needs to diarise what they need to do to make their strategy happen. Eg. ‘Get team to brainstorm ideas for getting new clients at this week’s meeting.’ Measure progress: Measure the progress of the plan at weekly and monthly meetings. Reinforce the plan: Put a poster or other visual symbols of your goal and your progress towards it, around your office. This can include, screensavers, mouse pads, hats T-shirts etc.
Plus one more secret ingredient… There’s just one more secret ingredient that will ensure your team’s success in achieving this plan………
Celebration!! Don’t forget to celebrate every step of your improvement!