Have you prepared a sales plan? Whether entrepreneurs, sales managers or sales agents, they all have noticed the benefits of a having a sales plan – regardless of it being for the whole business, the department they coordinate or the team they lead.
But, what exactly is a sales plan? In the following 2 articles on our blog, we will consider all aspects that must be taken into account in order to make a sales plan.
A sales plan outlines clearly your objectives, the tactics needed to achieve them, the target audience as well as the potential obstacles to be encountered along the way. It resembles very well a traditional business plan, yet the sales plan focuses more on the sales strategy. A business plan presents your objectives, while a sales plan describes the way you are going to get those sales quotas.
A well-made sales plan should:
- Efficiently communicate the company’s objectives to the sales team;
- Offer strategic directions to the sales team;
- Outline the roles and responsibilities for the entire team;
- Oversee the progress of the sales team with regard to the organization of the objectives
- Mission and history
Begin the sales plan by enumerating a few of the company’s missions, but also the general vision and a few of the statements that represent your company. Also, try to write a short history account of your business – this will generate essential information as the sales plan begins to take shape.
- The team
Next, describe your team and the role of each member. Maybe you are the manager of a team of 3 people and you work alongside a specialist. If you plan to have new members join the team, mention here the number of employees, their job titles and when do you plan to have them join the team.
- The target audience
Regardless whether this is the first plan you make or the 50th, knowing your target audience is essential. How are your best clients? Do all of them perform in the same industry sector? Are they similar in size? Do they encounter the same difficulties?
This section of the sales plan can undergo drastic modifications in time, as the solution and strategy change and you are able to find your perfect target. Maybe at the beginning, when the products and services promoted by you were still in a start faze, they were enjoying a success among the start-ups. Now that the products are better defined and you increased the prices, the middle companies are the right target. Precisely because of this it is important to constantly review and update the buyer persona.
- Tools, software and resources
It would be advisable to also include the description of your resources. What CRM software are you planning to use? Do you have a budget to raise the awareness via competitions or other promotion channels? Here you should write exactly what tools and which people you will delegate to do this so that everything will be a success. Will you help them by sending them to training? Or maybe you will buy the license for a program that will automatize a part of the marketing activities?
Now write down who are your direct competitors. Explain the difference between the products you sell and theirs, what are your strengths versus theirs and vice versa. Take into account the price differences.
At the same time, you must write down what is the market trend. If you are an advertising strategy, mention also the increase of the automation in publishing the ads. Try to foresee these changes and how they will influence your business.
The next blog article will present you additional 5 actions that you can take in order to make a proper sales plan.