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Philip Fitzsimon

90 Day Business Plan Presentation

‘Given a ‘blank sheet of paper’, what would you do in the first three months/90 days?’

So, you’ve succeeded at the first interview and have now been tasked with a second interview presentation. 

The most common second interview task that we encounter is along the lines of:

‘Given a ‘blank sheet of paper’, what would you do in the first three months/90 days?’ 

Why Do Sales Employers ask for Presentations?

For me, the reasons are two-fold.

First, it is a test of your commitment.  Do you choose to go down to the pub on a Sunday afternoon rather than spend four hours on a presentation, and;

Two, it offers the prospective employer the chance to understand better your professional approach and the process you will employ to ensure maximum return on their investment.

What is The Second Interview Task Actually Asking?

It is, in essence, ‘what’s your business plan’.  It demonstrates that you have the competency and experience necessary to succeed and that you are personally invested in their opportunity.  Executed well, it will differentiate you from the competition as an elite candidate.

How to Break The 90-Day Task Down

A logical and practical format is to break the presentation down into your planned activity in the first weeks and months in the role.

As with all presentations, less is more in terms of written text.  You don’t want your audience to read your presentation and ignore you; instead, they should take cues of your thinking from the slides.  This will enable you to utilise your presentation skills to elaborate on bullet points and your personality and charisma to ensure you engage your audience.

How to Present at a Second or Final Interview

An effective presentation is a dialogue, a gateway to enquiry and further discourse, rather than a lecture or a monologue.  Invite questions, seek agreement and gauge comprehension, offering clarification whenever necessary.

Ensure you remain concise and relevant in your answers whilst being generous with information.  Relate this to your professional experience and give examples of similar situations you have encountered, how you dealt with them, and what positive outcomes you achieved.

Be alert to body language and non-verbal cues that may indicate allies in the room or individuals that require further reassurance regarding your suitability for the role.  To aid you in this, ensure that you address yourself to everyone in the room, regularly shifting your attention and eye contact to ensure no one feels excluded.  This will assist you in building rapport with your audience.

Additional information on how to succeed in a panel interview can be found here - How to Wow at a Panel Interview


Do’s and Don’ts of Second Interview Presentations

The Do’s!

  • Do your research – Know the company, the job responsibilities, and the team you’ll be joining. Every business plan must be researched and personalised to the company and the opportunity in question.
  • Do tailor your presentation to every opportunity - It is immediately obvious when a generic format is recycled. It can therfore be damaging, demonstrating indifference or contempt for your audience and the opportunity.
  • Do import and insert their company logo and format with their brand colours. It may be wise to ask permission beforehand out of politeness and not to infringe trademarks/copyright.
  • Do reference their specific products or services, their customers and competition.
  • Do include verified numbers and data wherever available. Make realistic growth projections based on your understanding of their expectations and marketplace.  It doesn’t matter if this does not entirely align with the company, as long as you can elaborate on your thought process and conclusions.
  • Do practice – Practice your presentation out loud in a location similar to where you’ll be presenting.
  • Do make it visual presentation to engage the audience and explain your points. No one likes ‘Death by PowerPoint’!
  • Do be prepared to be challenged on your presentation. Most sales leaders will want to see how you respond to objections.
  • Do prepare questions for the interviewers.
  • Do arrive early to give yourself enough time to get set up and relaxed
  • Do ensure it is saved to an older version of your presentation software. If prepared in the latest version, it can sometimes skew the formatting on older editions.
  • Do start with an agenda and invite them to ask questions throughout.
  • Do use the final slide as an opportunity to close. You are a sales professional in a sales meeting. The final slide should be either i) Where do we go from here? Or, if you're very confident ii) When do I start!  See Closing a Sales Interview

The Don'ts!

  • Don’t be overly casual. I like the odd joke, but on the whole, keep your presentation professional and don’t use slang or jargon.
  • Don’t be too long-winded – Stick to the essential points and keep your presentation concise.
  • Don't forget to bring all the necessary materials and have a ‘Plan B’. I always recommend taking your presentation on a USB Stick as well as having it on your laptop. Also, copy it to your ‘phone just in case and then you can email it to the hiring manager.

Example 90 Day Business Plan Second Interview Presentation

Below is an example of a basic business plan you can utilise.  This requires personalising to each opportunity.  You may wish to preface it with a slide detailing you and your credentials and a concluding slide summarising your suitability and inviting questions-  

Week 1

  • Understand internal functions and processes.
  • Get to know internal and external colleagues.
  • Gain clarity on all reporting and administrative responsibilities.
  • Fully align with company strategy and goals
  • Introduce myself to all levels of staff
  • Understand and comply with all company rules
  • Fully understand sales targets and company expectations
  • Update with line manager – informal review of week one

Month 1

  • Gain a fundamental level of product/service knowledge and potential applications
  • Understand markets and potential avenues for growth
  • Gain an understanding of all existing/lapsed end user and distribution accounts.
  • Contact and visit existing accounts by geographic area
  • Understand product/service features and benefits to potential users
  • Build a base pitch for key products/services
  • Build knowledge of existing markets, end users and their needs
  • Update with line manager – formal review of month one

Month 2

  • Research market sectors to begin Pipeline formulation.
  • Identify target accounts and populate the Pipeline
  • Define a map of accounts /prospects for efficient territory planning
  • Create targeted Features & benefits approach by Products /Market sectors
  • Gain knowledge of main competitors –strengths & limitations
  • Understand how we are perceived in the market
  • Build a twenty-day journey plan based on postcodes and geographic area
  • Have a prospect list prepared for each postcode
  • Research and visit all existing customers and update CRM
  • Prospects with potential to be added into the journey plan so that regular contact is made
  • All prospects to be added into sales pipeline and kept up to date
  • Update with line manager – formal review of month two

Month 3

  • Have a solid pipeline of accounts being worked and closed
  • Increased turnover and lines in existing accounts
  • Monthly sales targets being achieved
  • Reports presented to RSM on all activity
  • Re-visit initial training
  • Customer visits with Technical support colleagues
  • Customer visits with Sales colleagues
  • Progress opportunities to Buying Platform
  • Continue to review and critique pipeline
  • Update with line manager – formal review of month three

3 Months +

  • Product knowledge is continually growing
  • New account Targets being hit
  • Sales pipeline is continually being added to and worked
  • Monthly targets being exceeded
  • Meeting KPI’s set by line manager
  • Growth from existing accounts
  • Lapsed accounts being reactivated
  • Ongoing formal reviews

Date published: 28th February 2024

A photo of Simon Bonner, Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

About the author

Simon Bonner

With over 25 years in B2B sales and recruitment, Simon is an English Graduate from UEA and specialises in recruiting commercial and FMCG sales positions. Simon joined the sales recruitment industry in 1998 before progressing into field sales and returning to recruitment in 2015. As an Associate Director, Simon is well placed to understand the needs of clients and candidates' needs, having spent ten years selling electronic security and managing National Accounts within OEM manufacturers and distribution channels. An avid Luton Town football fan, Simon dotes on his two daughters and enjoys keeping fit, socialising, food and wine.

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