Accountability: Critical To Any BD Strategic Plan

I learned the power of coaching from an early stage in my career and you can't coach anyone without accountability.  I think some people view accountability in a negative way or relate it to micro-managing. It shouldn't be that way. Accountability to me is simply helping your team members, in a positive way, reach their personal and professional goals.  So, when you start to build that business development strategic plan, whether it's for the end of the year push or for 2019, accountability measures have to be a part of the program.

I usually include accountability in the last section of my plan so that once the team knows the vision, the goals, the tactics and KPI's (key performance indicators), you can establish accountability measures.  That simply means how you're going to help your team achieve the set goals.  For a simple example, let's say that, as the leader in your sales organization, one of your strategic plan goals for hitting your end of year number is for your sales people to attend 5 appointments or pitch meetings per week.  One of the tactics is to go networking. One of your KPI's for that tactic is for your sales people to attend 4 events per month. Your accountability measure for your sales people can then be a number of things including having them document those events on their calendar or in your CRM, holding weekly meetings with your sales people to review networking activity and its effectiveness or helping them select the best events to attend.  Keep accountability positive. Your ultimate goal as a servant leader is to is to help them with ideas, tactics and methods to hit their goals.

 Accountability takes work and time, there's no doubt about it.  However without it, you can't measure success and more often than not your sales people will be left feeling they don't have direction or support.  I've seen it too many times and have been guilty of it myself in the past. As hard as it is sometimes, it's also one of the most important management tools you can use.