9 Strategic Planning Models and Tools for the Customer-Focused Business


Because the economist and enterprise technique guru, Michael Porter, says, “The essence of technique is selecting what to not do.”

With strategic planning, companies determine their strengths and weaknesses, select what to not do, and decide which alternatives needs to be pursued. In gross sales operations, having a clearly outlined technique will assist your group plan for the longer term, set viable objectives, and obtain them.

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So, how do you get began with strategic planning? You‘ll start with strategic planning fashions and instruments. Let’s check out 9 of essentially the most outstanding ones right here.

Strategic Planning Fashions

Strategic planning is used to arrange long-term objectives and priorities for a corporation. A strategic plan is a written doc that outlines these objectives.

Do not confuse strategic planning and tactical planning. Strategic planning is concentrated on long-term objectives, whereas tactical planning is concentrated on the short-term.

Listed below are a number of strategic planning fashions you need to use to get began.

1. The Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is among the most outstanding strategic planning fashions, tailor-made to present managers a complete overview of their firms’ operations on tight timelines. It considers each monetary and operational metrics to offer worthwhile context about how a enterprise has carried out beforehand, is at present performing, and is more likely to carry out sooner or later.

The mannequin performs on these considerations: time, high quality, efficiency/service, and price. The sum of these elements quantity to 4 particular reference factors for goal-setting and efficiency measurement:

  • Buyer: How clients view what you are promoting
  • Inner Course of: How one can enhance your inner processes
  • Organizational Capability: How what you are promoting can develop, adapt, and enhance
  • Monetary: The potential profitability of what you are promoting

These 4 classes can inform objectives which can be extra considerate and targeted whereas surfacing essentially the most applicable metrics with which you need to use to trace them. However the parts you select to pursue and measure are finally as much as you. As there isn’t any definitive listing, they’ll range from group to group.

That being stated, there‘s a universally relevant approach you need to use when leveraging the mannequin—making a scorecard. It is a doc that retains observe of your objectives and the way you apply them. Right here’s an instance of what a scorecard would possibly appear to be:

Strategic Planning Model Balanced Scorecard

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The Balanced Scorecard is right for companies trying to break up higher-level objectives into extra particular, measurable aims. In the event you’re focused on translating your big-picture ambitions into actionable initiatives, contemplate trying into it.

Instance of the Balanced Scorecard

Let‘s think about a B2B SaaS firm that sells a building administration resolution. It’s been operating into hassle from nearly all angles. It‘s combating buyer retention and, in flip, is hemorrhaging income. The corporate’s gross sales reps are working with only a few certified leads and the group’s tech stack is limiting progress and innovation.

The enterprise decides to leverage a Balanced Scorecard method to treatment its varied points. On this case, the complete strategic plan—developed in line with this mannequin—would possibly appear to be this:

  • The corporate units a broad monetary objective of boosting income by 10% 12 months over 12 months.
  • To assist get there, it goals to enhance its buyer retention fee by 5% yearly by investing in a extra sturdy customer support infrastructure.
  • Internally, management seems to enhance the corporate’s lead technology figures by 20% 12 months over 12 months by revamping its onboarding course of for its pre-sales crew.
  • Lastly, the enterprise decides to maneuver on from its legacy tech stack in favor of a virtualized working system, making for no less than 50% sooner software program supply for constant enhancements to its product.

The weather listed above deal with key flaws within the firm‘s buyer notion, inner processes, monetary state of affairs, and organizational capability. Each enchancment the enterprise is hoping to make entails a concrete objective with clearly outlined metrics and definitive figures to gauge every one’s success. Taken collectively, the group’s plan abides by the Balanced Scorecard mannequin.

2. Goals and Key Outcomes

As its identify implies, the OKR strategic planning mannequin revolves round translating broader organizational objectives into aims and monitoring their key outcomes. The framework rests on figuring out three to 5 attainable aims and three to 5 outcomes that ought to stem from every of them. After getting these in place, you intend tactical initiatives round these outcomes.

After you‘ve discovered these reference factors, you identify essentially the most applicable metrics for measuring their success. And when you’ve carried out the initiatives knowledgeable by these excellent outcomes, you gauge their success by giving a rating on a scale from 0 to 1 or 0%-100%.

For example, your objective could be creating relationships with 100 new targets or named accounts in a particular area. In the event you solely have been capable of develop 95, you’d have a rating of .95 or 95%. This is an instance of what an OKR mannequin would possibly appear to be:

Strategic Planning Model Objectives and Key Results

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It is really useful that you just construction your targets to land at a rating of round 70% — taking some pressure off staff whereas providing them a definitive excellent end result. The OKR mannequin is comparatively simple and near-universally relevant. If what you are promoting is focused on a strategy to work in direction of firmly established, readily seen requirements this mannequin might give you the results you want.

Instance of the Goals and Key Outcomes

Let’s contemplate a hypothetical firm that makes academic curriculum and schedule planning for higher-education establishments. The corporate decides it wish to develop its presence locally school system in California, one thing that constitutes an goal.

However what’s going to it take to perform that? And the way will the corporate know if it is profitable? Effectively, on this occasion, management throughout the enterprise would get there by establishing three to 5 outcomes they wish to see. These might be:

  • Producing certified leads from 30 establishments
  • Conducting demos at 10 schools
  • Closing offers at 5 campuses

These outcomes would result in initiatives like setting requirements for lead qualification and coaching reps on the high of the funnel on use them appropriately, revamping gross sales messaging for discovery calls, and conducting analysis to higher tailor the demo course of to the wants of group schools.

Leveraging this mannequin usually entails repeating that course of between two and 4 extra occasions, finally resulting in a large crop of thorough, actionable, formidable, measurable, lifelike plans.

3. Principle of Change (TOC)

The Principle of Change (TOC) mannequin revolves round organizations establishing long-term objectives and primarily “working backward” to perform them. When leveraging the technique, you begin by setting a bigger, big-picture objective.

Then, you determine the intermediate-term changes and plans you must make to attain your required end result. Lastly, you’re employed down a stage and plan the varied short-term adjustments you must make to appreciate the intermediate ones. Extra particularly, you must take these strides:

  • Establish your long-term objectives.
  • Backward map the preconditions crucial to attain your objective, and clarify why they’re crucial.
  • Establish your primary assumptions in regards to the state of affairs.
  • Decide the interventions your initiative will fulfill to attain your objectives.
  • Give you indicators to judge the efficiency of your initiative.
  • Write an evidence of the logic behind your initiative.

This is one other visualization of what that appears like.

Strategic Planning Model Theory of Change

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This planning mannequin works finest for organizations focused on taking up endeavors like constructing a crew, planning an initiative, or creating an motion plan. It is distinct from different fashions in its skill that will help you differentiate between desired and precise outcomes. It additionally makes stakeholders extra actively concerned within the planning course of by making them mannequin precisely what they need out of a undertaking.

It depends on extra pointed element than related fashions. Stakeholders usually want to put out a number of specifics, together with data associated to the corporate’s goal inhabitants, how success might be recognized, and a definitive timeline for each motion and intervention deliberate. Once more, nearly any group — be it public, company, nonprofit, or the rest — can get loads out of this technique mannequin.

Instance of the Principle of Change

For the sake of this instance, think about a enterprise that makes HR Payroll Software program, however hasn‘t been doing too effectively as of late. Management on the firm feels directionless. They suppose it’s time to buckle down and put some agency plans in movement, however proper now, they’ve some huge image outcomes in thoughts for the corporate with no really feel for the way they will get achieved.

On this case, the enterprise would possibly profit from leveraging the Principle of Change mannequin. Let‘s say its final objective is to develop its market share. Management would then contemplate the preconditions that will finally result in that objective and why they’re related.

For example, a type of preconditions could be tapping into a brand new buyer base with out alienating its present one. The corporate might make an assumption like, “We at present cater to mid-size companies virtually solely, and we lack the assets to develop up-market to enterprise-level prospects. We have to discover a strategy to extra successfully enchantment to small companies.”

Now, the corporate can begin trying into the precise initiatives it could actually take to treatment its overarching downside. For example it solely sells its product at a set worth level that fits midsize companies far more than smaller ones. So the corporate decides that it ought to leverage a tiered pricing construction that gives a restricted suite of options at a worth that small companies and startups can afford.

The components the corporate elects to make use of as reference factors for the plan’s success are buyer retention and new person acquisition. As soon as these have been established, management would clarify why the objectives, plans, and metrics it has outlined make sense.

In the event you observe the method I‘ve simply plotted, you’ll see the Principle of Change in movement. It begins with a big-picture objective and works its means right down to particular initiatives and methods to gauge their effectiveness.

4. Hoshin Planning

The Hoshin Planning mannequin is a course of that goals to scale back friction and inefficiency by selling energetic and open communication all through a corporation. On this mannequin, everybody inside a corporation—no matter division or seniority—is made conscious of the corporate’s objectives.

Hoshin Planning rests on the notion that thorough communication creates cohesion, however that takes greater than contributions from management. This mannequin requires that outcomes from each stage be shared with administration.

The best outcomes set in line with this mannequin are additionally conceived of by committee to a sure extent. Hoshin Planning entails administration listening to and contemplating suggestions from subordinates to provide you with affordable, lifelike, and mutually understood objectives.

Strategic Planning Model Hoshin Planning

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The mannequin is often partitioned into seven steps:

  • establishing a imaginative and prescient
  • creating breakthrough aims
  • creating annual aims
  • deploying annual aims
  • implementing annual aims
  • conducting month-to-month and quarterly evaluations
  • conducting an annual evaluate.

Be aware: The primary three steps are known as the “catchball course of.” It is the place firm management units objectives and establishes strategic plans to ship down the meals chain for suggestions and new concepts. That stage is what actually separates Hoshin Planning from different fashions.

Instance of Hoshin Planning

For this instance, let‘s think about an organization that manufactures business display screen printing machines. The enterprise has seen success with smaller-scale, retail printing operations, however realizes that promoting virtually solely to that market gained’t make for long-term, sustainable progress.

Management on the firm decides that it is focused on making an aggressive push to maneuver up-market in direction of bigger enterprise firms. Nevertheless, earlier than they will set up that imaginative and prescient, they need to be certain that the whole firm is prepared and capable of work with them to achieve these objectives.

As soon as they‘ve set a tentative imaginative and prescient, they start to determine extra concrete aims and ship them down the administration hierarchy. One of the crucial urgent actions they’re focused on pursuing is a near-comprehensive product redesign to make their machines higher fitted to greater quantity orders.

They convey these objectives all through the group and ask for suggestions alongside the best way. After the product crew hears their excellent plans, it relays that the product overhaul that management is trying into isn‘t viable throughout the timeframe they’ve supplied. Management hears this and adjusts their expectations earlier than doling out any type of calls for for the redesign.

As soon as each events agree on a possible timeline, they start to set extra definitive aims that go well with each the corporate‘s ambitions and the product crew’s capabilities.

Strategic Plan Instance
Strategic Plan Example

The strategic plan above is for a fictitious shoe firm and descriptions the best way during which it will differentiate itself throughout the market. It successfully makes use of every step within the strategic planning mannequin framework and is written in a strategy to give a quick overview of how the corporate will enter the market and maintain longevity.

In the event you’re engaged on a strategic planning mannequin for an present enterprise, your plan will look related, however have a number of tweaks to the objectives, together with extra objectives about bettering gross sales and processes. When drafting the motion plan and analysis elements of the plan, you should definitely suppose tactically in regards to the actions that can allow you to obtain the objectives, and use your mission, imaginative and prescient, and values to information the alternatives you make.

Strategic Planning Instruments

There are extra assets you need to use to assist no matter strategic planning mannequin you place in place. Listed below are a few of these:

1. SWOT Evaluation

SWOT evaluation is a strategic planning instrument and acronym for strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, and threats. It is used to determine every of those parts in relation to what you are promoting.

This strategic planning instrument permits you to decide new alternatives and which areas of what you are promoting want enchancment. You will additionally determine any components or threats that may negatively influence what you are promoting or success.

Strategic Planning Tools SWOT Analysis

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2. Porter’s 5 Forces

Use Porter‘s 5 Forces as a strategic planning instrument to determine the financial forces that influence your business and decide what you are promoting’ aggressive place. The 5 forces embrace:

  • Competitors within the business
  • Potential of recent entrants into the business
  • Energy of suppliers
  • Energy of consumers
  • Menace of substitute merchandise

To study extra, try this complete information to utilizing Porter’s 5 Forces.

Strategic Planning Tools Porter's Five ForcesPicture Supply

3. Visioning

Visioning is a goal-setting technique utilized in strategic planning. It helps your group develop a imaginative and prescient for the longer term and the outcomes you want to attain.

When you mirror on the objectives you‘d like to achieve throughout the subsequent 5 years or extra, you and your crew can determine the steps you must take to get the place you’d prefer to be. From there, you’ll be able to create your strategic plan.

4. PESTLE Evaluation

The PESTLE evaluation is one other strategic planning instrument you need to use. It stands for:

  • P: Political
  • E: Financial
  • S: Social
  • T: Technological
  • L: Authorized
  • E: Environmental

Every of those parts enable a corporation to take inventory of the enterprise surroundings they’re working in, which helps them develop a method for fulfillment. Use a PESTLE Evaluation template that will help you get began.

Strategic Planning Tools: Pestle

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5. VRIO Framework

The VRIO framework is one other strategic planning instrument that‘s used to determine the aggressive benefits of your services or products. It’s composed of 4 completely different parts:

  • Worth: Does it present worth to clients?
  • Rarity: Do you will have management over a uncommon useful resource or piece of expertise?
  • Imitability: Can it simply be copied by opponents?
  • Group: Does what you are promoting have the operations and methods in place to capitalize on its assets?

By analyzing every of those areas in what you are promoting, you can create a strategic plan that helps you cater to the wants of your buyer.

Editor’s notice: This submit was initially printed on Might 17, 2019 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

This text was written by a human, however our crew makes use of AI in our editorial course of. Try our full disclosure to study extra about how we use AI.

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