Are You Ready for 2015 Business Planning?

Are You Ready for 2015 Business Planning?

Last week I did a web cast for a vendor that was designed for their channel resellers. Its purpose was to discuss effective Business Planning and to review a specific process to ensure their plans and more importantly their execution in 2015 will be at higher levels. When people think about a Business Plan, we normally find an Excel spreadsheet with estimated revenues and expenses; we believe it needs to be more comprehensive with specific departmental action plans. The content of the webcast was based upon our ESTEEM Formula, a format we use to work our clients through a process to build their business plans. The program was an effort by the vendor to increase the professionalism and productivity of their partners.  While I can’t obviously share the entire 60 minute program here, I thought I might share a few elements.

First, take the business assessment evaluation from our website. It is a comprehensive tool designed to reflect your maturity level and an organization. It will measure management, sales, HR, marketing and other components of your business, the assessment will grade each section and provide you insights into what to potentially focus on in the new year.

Second, uses the following questions and pass them out to your management team, they have two weeks to complete them. At your management meeting compare everyone’s thoughts and discuss the findings.  Then you can begin to develop your Business Plan.

  • What went well in the past year?
  • What did not go well?
  • What are the key drivers?
  • What are the key metrics?
  • What are the risks?
  • What are the opportunities?
  • What are some of the specific factors you will be facing in 2015?
  • What assumptions are you making about the market in 2015?
  • What assumptions did you make about your product offerings in 2014? Still true?
  • What assumptions did you make about your company capability in 2014? Still true?


Third: use a format that makes sense for your firm. This is Acumen’s ESTEEM format:

  • Environment
  • Strategy
  • Tactical Effect
  • Execution
  • Evaluation
  • Measurement

However you get ready for 2015, it’s critical to establish a vision, strategic objectives and then develop actionable/tactical programs that are designed to achieve the goals. Then as these action plans are detailed, assign responsibility and hold people accountable! We use a tool call the Business Plan Roadmap, it allow the executive to follow each objective and the action tracts and timelines to ensure success. If you want a copy, please send me an email.

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 16 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2014.

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.