What Did You Say You Would Do?

What did you say you would do? Did you do it? What happened? What are you going to do next? Why? Repeat

To be successful in sales and to run a successful business these questions have to be asked, literally, every quarter.

I’ve have participated and still participate in a lot of review meetings, monthly business reviews, quarterly business reviews etc. (MBR’s, QBR’s) and think they are informative. Review meetings are critical to connecting the business stakeholders with what is going on. It’s important to keep the team informed and give them visibility to what is happening and what the future looks like. The problem for me with most review meetings, is they are just that, review meetings. They rarely focus on the execution. They primarily focus on the results.

To be effective, I believe you have to review the actions the team took, not just the results.

The best way to do this is everyone must commit to not only numbers but to actions. By committing to actions, it is easier to see the failures in what is being done and change course.

In my quarterly sales plan and business reviews we start with what we said we would do, then what we actually did. We outline our actions from the quarter, discussing what steps we took, what approaches we employed, what happened and what the gaps were. We talk a lot about the how. It’s only in the context of what we DID that we talk about the results.

After we’ve reviewed what we did and the results we then evaluate if what we are doing is working. We discuss as a team if we need to change course, if our efforts are providing the return we need, if our plans our working. From there we map out new actions, reaffirm those that are working, outline why we believe the new choice of actions are right and list the expected outcomes.

I’ve been doing this approach for years. It has worked very well for me. It gives accountability to planning. It focuses on execution.

I’ve been part of teams that don’t do this and on teams that do. I’ve learned that the teams whose effort focuses more on results and less on what people are doing are far less apt to achieve their goals.

Reviews where the focus is on what we said we would do are more successful. They are engaging and energetic. They connect our actions with our goals.

If you are a Sales Manager or a General Manager, think about changing your reviews. Start with: what did you say you would do? Did you do it? Did it work? What do you need to do different? Why? Then go from there. The results will speak for themselves.