What is the ideal mix of daily and weekly activities – the mix that best supports our income goals? We should know. If we have a personalized daily “recipe” for daily and weekly progress toward key activity benchmarks, also known as a cookbook or a behavioral plan, we can identify exactly how many dials we need to make, how many conversations we need to have, how many referrals we need to ask for, and so on… every single working day.
Here are three reasons why it’s important to closely analyze our own performance history, set up such a behavioral plan, follow it, and track its results over time.
- A behavioral plan gives us a victory to celebrate every day. If we only keep score when we sell something, the next could be months down the road, depending on our sales cycle. That's a long time to wait for a win. Sometimes we will compensate for this by celebrating a presentation that “went well” – but all too often that turns out to be a false positive. On the other hand, if we complete our behavioral plan for the day, that's a victory, regardless of whether a deal happened to close that day or not. We are mathematically closer to bringing about the outcome we want. That's a win!
- A behavioral plan keeps us on track. We're making steady, incremental progress each day. We're not stressing ourselves out and reducing our effectiveness by bunching all the business development activities into the last few days of the month.
- A behavioral plan gives us a tool we can use to course-correct if we need to. If our behaviors are not producing the outcomes that we want, we're going to pick up on that when we track our own numbers. We can then make adjustments in a very specific way. We can decide for ourselves, based on our own data, what specific daily and weekly activities will need to change, and by how much, to deliver the results we want. That’s a lot more meaningful than simply telling ourselves “I need to close more deals.”
You may have heard the old saying, “You can't manage what you can't measure.” It’s widely attributed to Peter Drucker, but it appears to go back to well before his time. Whoever came up with it, the idea worth considering closely. If we don't measure the activities that generate income for us, the leading indicators of success, we can't effectively manage them. Too many salespeople make the mistake of measuring only the outcome of their behaviors, the lagging indicator: the closed sale. As a result, they miss out on the opportunity to measure, and manage, all the steps that take place before that sale closes. The personalized behavioral plan, or cookbook, is the answer to that problem.