During the summer, most B2B companies will start their annual planning exercise – reflecting on their ambitions for 2019 and identifying which strategies and initiatives will be most effective to win in the market and achieve business growth.
From our experience over the past eight years, we see too many B2B companies struggle with their planning process or developing plans that don’t deliver the desired impact. Common pain points we hear include:
- The quality of our plans is generally poor, not actionable and missing key insights
- Our plans take too much time to develop, process not clear and we are not aligned within the organization
- We develop plans with too much of an internal bias – without integrating the view of the customer
- Our objectives are not clear – is it volume we go after? is it margins? Is it market share?
- We lack focus – we want to be everything to everyone, and we do not make relevant choices
- We don’t live our plans – once done not reviewed, not updated
Research* done, with our partners (align.me), shows that for companies where marketing and sales teams are aligned they achieve:
Planning jointly, quickly results in improving the performance of the commercial ‘engine’
- Revenue growing by 5.4% faster (year-on-year) than their competition
- Get more qualified leads (and with higher acceptance from sales teams)
- Better focus the investment of resources (people and money)
- Lower customer churn – as initiatives more customer centric and relevant
*Source: Findings from the 2013 Sales and Marketing Alignment study, and original study in 2005
A methodology that we find very helpful for effective marketing and sales plans is Funnel Plan™ – a structured approach that helps companies think about elements of the plan and end up with an actionable plan to support clear goals with focused tactics – and that has internal alignment within your team.
The steps and benefits of Funnel Plan™ include:
- Alignment on the plan and strategy among your stakeholders
- Definition of what incremental sales will be needed by month, quarter, year
- Prioritize those market or customer problems your product/services solve
- Align on the current strategy – what we sell to whom, through whom (direct sales, channels)
- Understand sales capacity (number of people, meetings that can be done, …)
- Define tactics to progress your target customers through the buyer journey
- Connect tactics so they are effective
- Focus your resources (people, time, money) on relevant initiatives
- Plan that can be evaluated and easily updated
We are the distributors of Funnel Plan™ for BENELUX based companies and have partnership agreement with the firm Align.me and we can also provide your organization access to your Funnel Plan™ tool.