As an Eagle Scout I can discuss the topic of “Be Prepared” easily and based upon my upcoming vacation next week it could lend more credibility. Last year I had to catch two planes and a ferry to end up on an island in the Caribbean, while that sounds somewhat easy, it took planning and preparation. Taking a vacation for me becomes a big project for a variety of reasons-but mainly it’s time to unplug and “breathe fresh air”.

We researched a wide variety of destinations, resorts and optional packages, we narrowed the search and checked out online evaluations and then compared costs. I posted potential locations and asked for opinions on Facebook, I asked my travel agent for her thoughts and friends for their experiences. All of this helped us pick a great spot, it was rated the “best beach resort in the world”.

Next I had to organize my professional life. Client projects needed to be finalized, meetings re-scheduled, mobile phones had to find International plans, and new proposals completed.

Now just a few day to go, we had to pack, purchase last minute items and think through options like umbrellas, sun tan lotion, books, mosquito spray and other health related item.

What does this have to do with sales management? As a manager you must be prepared-at all times for almost any event. The best plan is to have a plan and to consider what might go wrong or what could impact your ability to exceed your objectives. I have simply listed below a series of topics for your consideration and for you to double check against your plan or lack of plan.

Do you have a plan?

 If you lose a salesperson

 If your sales team needs sales training

 To increase the sales culture of your team

 To increase your networking/partnering function

 That generates excitement for your products/services

 To say thank you to your support team

 That increases your level of professionalism/education

 To create a sales contest that drives revenue

 That adds net new customers to your base

 That drives the necessary sales leads for each month

 To say thank you to your existing customer base

 To increase your public relations exposure within your community or market

 That will increase/improve your vendor relations

 To improve your CRM effectiveness

 If your computer systems fail or are destroyed

That’s enough for now, but if I missed anything, comment below, let’s build a complete list for the future.

HINT: this is a great idea for your next management meeting, simply begin by asking each of the departmental managers about their problems or contingency issues that arise on a day to day basis or what might occur if a disaster of any kind happens-then ask them for their plan.

Why is this critically important today? In any kind of business environment, the organization that operates the most efficiently generally out performs their competition, in more challenging times a focus on efficient effectiveness must become the mantra for the day.