Please forward this post to your coaching staff and encourage them and your athletes to follow us on Facebook for more great content. Are you a Captain Wing It in sales?  Do you have a tendency to spray your actions all of the place and then pray something will stick?  If so, possibly the answer to not being one of the many Captain Wing Its is an action plan to increase sales. With the marketplace even more crowded and getting even more congested every day, attempting to land a sale (close a deal) is much like landing a fairly large plane on a very congested runway.
An action plan to increase sales is your flight plan and helps you to avoid hitting some of those other planes and other unknown obstacles.  Flight plans for planes are detailed documents that are up to date and well researched including weather conditions, known airfields (in case of an emergency) and existing air space.
Having this action plan to increase sales as simple as possible allows you as the Captain of your SMB to be more efficient and effective in your marketing and selling actions. Regardless of what tool or document you use, the important item is to use the action plan to increase sales.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver for leaders who desire a Forward Thinking Sales Culture. WAY SMART goals do propel people to greater goal achievement provided they go beyond just being smart (intelligence).  For us to achieve our goals, we must and I repeat must emotionalize them. Human beings are creatures of emotions.  When we take those emotions out of the goal setting and goal achievement process we are working at a disadvantage. How many times have you been in a meeting and a goal is set?  Then what happens?  Action steps are being listed.  This is so backwards because it fails to bring the human emotion into the goal setting process. When we emotionalize the importance to us for achieving the WAY SMART goals, we feel greater intrapersonal accountability or personal accountability (ownership) of the goals.  This emotionalization looks to the positive and to the negative.
What are all the good feelings I would have if I achieved this goal?  What rewards would I receive? Years ago I read some research that the majority of CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies surveyed achieved their goals not for money (rewards), but because of the fear of failure (consequences).  Negative emotions can be just as powerful to moving us forward as positive emotions.
The emotionalization of these goals should be part of the overall goal setting and goal achievement process as well as within the goal setting worksheet. Many have heard about SMART goals.  From my research, the first person to talk about SMART goals was Zig Ziglar.  My simple question is if SMART goals have been around for at least 50 years, then why are so many goals still not achieved? Possibly the reason for the failure is today, the SMART goal setting criteria is not smart enough and probably was never enough.  There were three other criteria embedded into the SMART goals that most people never realized. Goals must be written down.  Yes some people are able to achieve goals without writing them down.
Writing provides clarity of thought and therefore of action.  We are better able to visualize what we desire to achieve.
Probably the most valid reason why SMART goals are not smart enough is because the goal in many instances is not owned by the individual.  Someone else set the goal such as a parent, teacher or sales manager. The goal must be Yours.  If you do not truly own the goal, then you will only demonstrate a half-hearted response to achieve the goal. When creating actions plans to increase sales growth, the first question to be asked is where to begin.  Some will start writing down goals, others may start with action steps while others may focus on their sales funnel.
We know from continued sales research that many salespeople do not meet company sales goals or even their own. My sense is the reason there is failure to increase sales is because there is no consistent goal setting process and goal achievement process behind the action plans to increase sales growth. Goal setting, consistent goal setting, is a process along with a finely honed skill.  This skill unites the many critical thinking skills within problem solving as well as reflection.
After many years in sales, I recognize the importance of writing (the W in WAY) things down and alignment (the A in WAY) with my other actions.  Failure to write things down and misalignment contribute to failed execution. Finally, the workplace culture can also contribute to the inability to increase sales.  When salespeople find resistance within the other internal departments such as customer service to shipping to accounting, making those sales goals is very difficult if not impossible. By taking these two actions before the creation of any action plans to increase sales, may just save you a lot of time, money and wasted emotions. Yesterday I read a posting about how bad business strategy keeps salespeople and mid-size to small business owners from being able to increase sales.


Bad execution not bad business strategy is truly the primary obstacle to business growth including increase sales. To improve execution  simply starts with a shared tool that delineates who does what by when.  Believe it or not this shared tool is a goal setting worksheet. Later leveraging their business growth, these individuals started to be more strategic in their business activities, but getting things done was always the driver to their success.
Most people understand the value of a simple written grocery list.  Just imagine if those who make a living selling would adopt the same attitude by having a simple written action plan to increase sales?
Now the rest of the action plan to increase sales is probably up to each salesperson.  For me, since I believe in balance, I would construct the action plan to reflect the 6 areas within sales leadership success.
When salespeople only focus on sales goals or productivity, they may create an internal unbalance specific to the other areas of sales.  For example, the real estate industry commissioned a report, The Danger Report, which discussed critical dangerous trends facing realtors both residential and commercial. No action plan to increase sales will work without written goals and a proven goal setting worksheet.
Some in sales fail to understand the importance of adopting a proven goal setting process reinforced by a proven goal setting worksheet or tool. After 18 years in small business coaching, sales consulting and talent management executive coaching along with over 30 years in corporate sales, not having a written action plan to increase sales is foolhardy.  If you disagree, just remember the last time you went to the grocery store without that written list, what happened? Self improvement is hot wired in human beings otherwise we would still be living in caves.  Of course environment can dim that desire for becoming better. Having worked with many salespeople to entrepreneurs including small business owners it seems every sales action plan is really an incomplete puzzle missing at least one if not several or more pieces.  Here are a few of the more common missing puzzle pieces. If human beings are emotional creatures, have you emotionalized your desires to achieve the results.  By listing all the positive outcomes and negative outcomes through an emotional filter helps to build up commitment to achieve the desired results within your action plan to increase sales. Since your action plan to increase sales is part of your overall business strategy, where is your strategic business plan.  Even if you work for someone else, you are your own small business and require a well thought out course plan of action. If people buy first on emotions, followed by logic, then what is your emotionally compelling story?  Without a story to differentiate you, to allow you to Be the Red Jacket in a sea of gray suits, you end up sounding like everyone else. Due to negative conditioning people are more focused on what they do not do well than what they do well. This is another puzzle piece that is often missing, self-leadership.  Through ongoing leadership development, top sales performers continue to hone their craft while balancing their personal lives with their professional lives. These are just a few of the missing puzzle pieces I have observed to help answer the real question of Are You Where You Want To Be?  Yes there are more. After having sat through various sales training seminars, workshops to 2 day learning engagements, I realized that the majority shared this common presumption that was a barrier to increase sales. Goals, sales targets, quotas, call them what you will are part of the dialogue in any small business.
In working with my executive sales coaching clients as well as small business owners through strategic planning, this simple one page goal worksheet has produced incredible results including increase sales. Consistent goal achievement requires critical thinking skills and not necessarily specific sales skills like fact finding or negotiation. So if you are seeking some sales training or even executive coaching for your sales team, check to make sure the presumption that everyone knows how to consistently set and achieve goals is addressed. When salespeople attend training without follow-up communication and reinforcement, much of the value of the training can be lost in a short time. Depending on organization size and managers’ spans of control, it is not always feasible for sales management to coach and mentor to the extent they would like to.
Dedicated writers offering online essay for sale to students who need help with their written academic assignments. This requires a daily visit so that you have intentional top of mind awareness (top).  By being intentional every day with clarity of thought as to what you must accomplish, you will increase sales unless of course you retreat into the more comfortable role of Captain Wing It where your best sales referral is anyone with a pulse. She supports executive leadership in bridging the sales culture gap of people and processes that restricts SMB sales results.
Then after all of this emotionalization happens, there can be a return to being SMART by listing the barriers obstructing this WAY SMART goal from being achieved.


She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. By being Yours, there is now an emotional investment into the goal through ownership.  Remember, people change their behaviors because of emotions, not because of logic or reason. If you need a goal setting worksheet that brings into the goal setting process your talents, then consider the Results Tool™. Those in sales become extremely busy as the end of each quarter approaches in their rush to increase sales. When the goal setting is emotionalized, there is a stronger desire to achieve the goal.  This is why SMART goals are ineffective because they fail to bring in the emotions into the goal achievement process.
Many employees have undertaken well known psychometric assessments such DISC, Values, 360 to other not so well known and even more effective including the Attribute Index (AI). This self-directed learning is not only beneficial for my professional growth, it has grown sales both directly and indirectly. The action plan just captures the goals for the current month, quarter or year depending upon the salesperson. Then what happens is they may give up the action plan to increase sales to worse yet believing any action plan won’t work. Yet, self improvement can be recharged when people understand and try on these Fail-Safe Leadership traits. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  The emotional outcomes should be part of the goal setting worksheet and goal setting process.
By having a simple business plan to stop the bleeding, you are honing your critical thought processes. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Your brand (your promise to your stakeholders) should be part of that story. However if you take action on these seven missing puzzle pieces, I am fairly confident you will see improvement, rather quickly I might add,  in your action plan to increase sales.
Being human beings and being focused on one objective such as learning specific sales skills, we overlook the obvious. Yet a review of many of the learning objectives within the numerous sales training engagements either fail to identify goal achievement or gloss over the ability to consistently set and achieve goals. Stand next to top sales performer, Fred, who consistently achieves the sales goals and you will magically become a consistent goal achiever. One of my sales coaching clients just shared he and his team secured one of the largest accounts for his territory because of The Results Tool™.
Then check to make sure there is a shared goal setting process reinforced by a simple goal setting worksheet.  You may be amazed by the results.
Ongoing coaching and reinforcement of desired skills and strategies is the key to long-term performance improvement. Sales Success Skills thus offers a full range of affordable coaching and mentoring services through our team of coaching professionals.
Staying ahead of the any industry is necessary for those in self-leadership roles (one must first lead one’s self before leading others). Sales Training Coaching Tip: Winning teams win because of the talents, strengths of their team not the weaknesses. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Hiring an executive coach to finding a mentor helps to bring this piece back into the puzzle to increase sales. We have ongoing research about all the failed goals from New Years Resolutions, to weight loss to missed sales quotas. We provide our clients with a comprehensive menu of reinforcement and coaching options to accomplish this.



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