Learn how to create a successful sales plan with 10 easy steps
Having a sales plan is a crucial part of business. Having unexpected times like these are specifically why a sales plan is necessary. A sales plan shared throughout the necessary teams will do a lot to keep their motivation up and goals aligned with everyone in the company. If you haven’t developed a plan already, now is the time to get started.
What is a Sales Plan and Why is it so Important?
A sales plan lays out your objectives, high-level tactics, target audience, and potential obstacles for your company. It’s like a traditional business plan but focuses specifically on your sales strategy as a whole. Having a business plan is a great way to lay out your goals, but a sales plan describes exactly how you’ll make those goals a reality. Sales plans often include information about the business’ target customers, revenue goals, team structure, and the strategies and resources necessary for achieving its set targets. If you’re wondering what a sales plan is and why it’s necessary to the growth of your company, consider these benefits and practices.
An effective sales plan should do the following for your team:
- Communicate your company’s overall goals and ambitions with everyone.
- Provide strategic direction for your sales teams day to day and future plans.
- Outline and detail all the roles and responsibilities for your sales team and leadership groups.
- Monitor your sales team’s progress towards your set goals.
When considering your sales plan, keep in mind that it will be the driving force and measure of your team’s productivity and organization. A good plan will keep your team motivated and strong despite unforeseen changes in the sales industry like COVID-19.
- Establish Your Company Mission and Background. The best way to begin your sales plan is by writing down your vision and mission statement for company success. This will provide background information to guide the rest of your sales plan decisions.
- Decide on a Target Market. Even if you’ve already written down facts about your target market, revisit it and make sure it’s accurate. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve written out a description of your key demographic because it can always change. Ask the following questions when considering this: What does your best customer look like? What struggles does this customer face? Do they belong to a specific industry? etc.
- Make a Prospecting Strategy. Before your reps plan their routes, create a checklist of criteria to find a qualified buyer. Doing this pre-screening makes sure your reps don’t waste their time on unqualified buyers.
- List Everyone on Your Team. Write down the names and roles of your team members. This is a great way to keep your current team organized and helps you recognize what gaps in roles you might have.
- Tools, Software, and Resources. Include a detailed list and description of all the CRM softwares, tools, training, and documentation you’ll need to run your business smoothly. If you find gaps in your resources, also include a list of what you plan to use in the future. Making a list of priced resources will also help you in the budgeting step of your sales plan.
- Name your competitors. Don’t be afraid to create a list of your competitors and figure out what they’re doing that you’re not. Explain how your products compare, where theirs are stronger than yours, and vice versa. In addition, discuss their pricing versus yours to give your potential clients all the information they need to pick your company for their services.
- Develop an entire Marketing Strategy. Marketing includes: pricing, paid partnerships, promotions you plan on implementing, and what key actions need to be taken to increase your brand awareness. Having solid marketing will result in clearer online visibility and more lead generation. Having sales and marketing strategies on the same page will ensure that the success of your company is amplified and well-known.
- Outline an Action Plan With Goals. Once you have identified your specific company objectives to work towards, you need to create an action plan to actually accomplish those set objectives. But don’t overcomplicate it. Creating a simplified action plan will make those objectives much more manageable. Your goals should be based on what you’ve already accomplished and how much you can and expect your team to progress from that knowledge.
- Create a Budget. Consider the following when making your plan: salaries, sales training, sales tools and resources, team bonding activities, travel costs, electronic expenses, swag cost.
- Include the Entire Team. Even if a portion of your sales plan does not involve an employee, involve them anyway. Sales plans are far more likely to succeed when they’re implemented by the entire staff. Having transparent workflows of how the company operates will also give them a better understanding of what it takes to keep a company afloat.
Create a Sales Plan Now
If you don’t have a sales plan yet, start today. Having a solid sales plan not only boosts the productivity of your company, it also keeps your team on the same page no matter where they are. Get started with a basic sales plan template now and adjust it to the wants and needs of your specific team as you grow.