In my martial arts training, one of my favorite weapons was the staff. The best-known staffs are the Japanese Bo and Jo. The Bo staff, made of hardwood, is five or six feet in length; its practice is called Bojitsu. The Jo staff is more appropriately a stick, as it is much shorter; its art is called Jojitsu. The use of both weapons can be applied, metaphorically at least, to Radio sales. In one case (Bojitsu), the sales staff employs tactics that have a long-term impact, such as strategic planning that is done twice a year.The other (Jujitsu) uses projections that are done with a short lead-time.
THE BO OF PROJECTIONS
The Strategic Budget Planner, or SBP, is the longrange planning tool that takes each account through five account-list management processes:
- Account analysis
- Time allocation
- Customer sales planning
- Account-list coverage
- Account-list control
The accounts are broken into critical areas of influence and then segmented according to types of accounts. The objective is to overcome sales productivity problems, which are in most cases:
- Unfocused sales people,
- Teflon training,
- Spotty sales coverage,
- Expensive sales promotions,
- Phantom clients
Once you have segmented your accounts based on estimated billing and historical billing activity, you can then build your business plan. Sales budgeting is not an exact science, but you can use experience and common sense to make value judgments. The SBPs will give you an indepth process for figuring your annual income potential by completing a worksheet that compares billing and earning potential. The SBPs are done in November (if your fiscal year runs January through December) for the upcoming year and then again as a check system against annual projections in June to compare activity and progress on each account's status-to-date. The SBP meetings, held twice a year, are the most important meetings of the year for the sales staff. The breakdown of each account is the thrust of accurate strategic planning.
(Three-Sectional Staff is a Chinese - weapon constructed of three pieces of wood connected by metal rings. Your projections are similar: What ties everything together are the weekly projections, which sales reps record in their weekly planners, and which the sales manager then compares against the rep?s SBP and MBP for total accuracy and strategic development of each account. The result: projections that come within 1 to 3 percent of their objectives on their MBPs. Now you can sweep your accounts with up-selling techniques and development of new target accounts with a higher monetary return from their time invested on new accounts.)
THE JO OF PROJECTIONS
These are the short-term, detailed next-month projections that salespeople fill out on the 15th of the month. For example, for projecting August revenue, you would do the Monthly Budget Planners (MBPs) on the 15th of July.Many sales managers ask their reps to do three-month-out projections each month, and that's fine - but all you get is a projection that looks like this: August $2,000; September $2,000; October $2,000. In other words, if the account is not already on a long-term schedule, the rep's true accuracy compares what that account did in August 2002, and then they project August 2003.
At the time reps fill out the MBP, however, they calculate what they have on the books as of the date prepared. The MBP makes sure nothing falls through the cracks from the year before and at least lets the reps know what the account billed the same month last year.The sales manager then takes each rep's total figure from the MBP and calculates that figure by 80 percent to give the rep a realistic projection for the upcoming month. This is the strike of projections.