Document your strategies, plans and key processes, to inform, educate and influence your key stakeholders whilst also protecting your knowledge assets.

Documenting your strategies, plan and processes provides a strong foundation for knowledge capture, management and sharing. This way you both protect your knowledge assets and use them to help you to achieve your business goals.

Here are some examples of the type of resource you may wish to document.

1. Insights

  • Market Insights
  • Value Insights
Markets are constantly changing and so to remain competitive, you need to continually assess what these changes are, what their impact might be and how they might affect how you add value to your customers. By regularly documenting, analysing, and discussing both your markets and your value proposition, you can be alert and ready for change. 

2. Plans

  • Business plans
  • Business strategy plans
  • Leadership succession plans
  • Marketing plans
  • Project plans
  • Risk management plans
  • Sales plans
  • Strategic marketing plans
Planning provides direction. Without direction, we have a problem because what we are really saying is that any course will do, which means that any activity and any way of spending our time and budget is OK. Whilst we know that doesn’t make sense, often we can still be reluctant to plan. Planning after all takes time. Also, plans are out of date as soon as they are written, right? Well, that depends on the type of plan. Some executives have for some time now ditched old fashioned static plans and have replaced them with more flexible ‘agile’ type plans which bring people and teams together and get results faster. With sales, marketing and strategy, planning has always been essential. It is what marks out the best operators from the average. It is what drives the right activity, behaviours and results.

3. Processes

  • Marketing processes
  • Sales processes
  • Strategic processes
The busier we are, the more tempting it is for us to ‘just get on with it.’ There is a time to “just do it.” Responding to a fire alarm which we know is not a test is a good example. We know instinctively to get out of the building. However, even here there is both process and best practice. We have likely been told to use the stairwell rather than the lift. Also where to assemble when outside.
Successful sales and marketing professionals follow good, proven processes. Less successful people just ‘wing it.’ By documenting, analysing, and discussing your processes, you can share what works best to improve performance in your organisation.

4. Playbooks

  • Sales playbooks
  • Marketing playbooks

If you want to increase your chances of winning, then a ‘playbook’ can be a very useful tool. A playbook describes both a specific situation and the required actions necessary for a successful outcome. Good playbooks stay on point by excluding unnecessary information, but including what the person doing the job needs to know. Sales managers for example know that good sales leads are opportunities that need to be converted into sales, and sales playbooks help salespeople do just that. Happier and more successful salespeople also create happier and more successful sales managers and sales directors. Also, because sales playbooks are produced by marketing, happier and more successful marketing content managers and heads of marketing.

5. Presentations

  • Sales presentations
  • Marketing plan presentations
  • Marketing strategy presentations
  • Business strategy presentations
Good presentations are the key to the door of sales deals, successful internal recommendations and interviews. The ability to produce and present confidently and clearly to the right people, when it matters most and when the stakes are high and the pressure is on, is what marks out the top performers from the rest.
Getting it right requires desire, preparation, and practice, but as any seasoned presenter will tell you, all the effort is worth it. 

6. Proposals and Recommendations

  • Business case
  • Product business case
  • Sales Proposals
There can be very different attitudes and approaches to business proposals. In some sales teams sending out proposals is a “numbers game.” In other words, send out enough proposals and some will drop into sales. Other sales directors are more scientific. They look carefully at the percentage “win-rate” of successful closed-won conversions and learn where to allocate sales resources from the findings. The right approach can depend on various factors, but the key point is that whatever your situation, taking time to document, analyse and discuss the quality of proposals being sent out and the results they achieve, is likely to improve your sales results.
Of course, proposals also include non-sales activities, for example making a business case to spend budget, or proposing a new initiative or new product or service. These types of internal recommendations can be career-defining and need to be thought-through and prepared for very well indeed.
Whether a sales proposal or an internal recommendation, the ability to document your ideas and articulate them in important meetings is essential to a successful outcome.

7. Reports

  • Strategic report elements
Whether you need to prepare a strategic report for legal reasons, or you simply want to document your strategy in the way that larger organisations do in their annual reports, then collecting the right information in the right categories, on an ongoing basis can be a good way to go. This way, when you need to finally produce your report, you will be well prepared.