Tis the season for eating, drinking, being merry…and strategic planning (ugh!). While the budgeting piece of the process can be painful (you submit your number, the boss says “nope, I need something better,” you submit your revision, the boss says “we’re not there yet,” you submit what you hope is the final revision…and the boss finally says “okay”). Whew, glad that’s over!
But right after you breathe a sigh of relief, you start feeling sick. How in the world are you going to make that number next year??
What you don’t want to do is what we’re often tempted to do as sales leaders: rely on the additional sales or recruiter headcount you’re budgeted to add to hit your numbers. In today’s hyper-competitive staffing environment, it takes 4-6 months to ramp a new producer. That means by the time you hire, onboard, train, and ramp, it’s the middle of the year before you really start to see any traction from the additional headcount. And that doesn’t take in to consideration what could happen with your existing headcount…turnover, promotions, etc. The one constant is change, and in my estimation, managing change in the producer ranks are what owners and executives spend 75% of their time on. Net net, you can’t rely solely on adding seats to make your numbers. You have to have a growth strategy and even more important, a solid execution plan (who will do what by when to make the strategy a reality?).
Beyond the org chart, here are the three most critical drivers of growth to consider as you develop your 2016 growth plan:
- Sales Strategy
- New markets
- New industries
- New verticals
- Marketing Strategy
- Grass-roots/local referrals
- Social networking
- Recruiting Strategy
- Creative sourcing
- Improve fill rates
- Increase contractor retention
Your plan doesn’t have to be a 25-page document – but it does have to be written down and revisited regularly to make sure key initiatives are implemented. So make those key decisions, get your plan on paper, and assign resources to bring it to life. You’ll make that number next year (and the year after, and the year after that…!).
By Amy Bingham, manager partner, Bingham Consulting Professionals