The first question you might ask is, will I be able to execute my sales without having a sales plan?
If you are lucky, yes. But you can run out of luck, and it’s not good to rely on it for something as crucial as sales.
Which is why it is very important to have a clear sales plan in your mind. You need to strategize your sales according to pipelining architectures.
So, let’s take a look at what exactly is a sales strategy and how we can design a winning sales plan.
What is a Sales Plan?
A sales plan is a strategic sketch of how your business can increase revenue, sales funnel, and profit of a particular product.
Developing a sales strategy will help you determine the areas where you need to put your efforts on a particular product.
While creating a sales plan, ask yourself the following questions.
- What is your target market?
- Why should they buy a particular product or service from you?
- What are your USPs?
- How can you convey the value of your products to your customers?
- How should your strategy impact your sales?
- When do you expect to see results?
Sales planning is important because it will help you foresee any potential risks in the market, and if you have planned accordingly, it will be helpful for your business.
A sales plan will put you in charge of every action you take for the system. You can take charge of where your products stand now, and where you want to see it next.
Steps involved in sales planning
1. Outline your mission and goals
The first thing you need to do is to outline what you want to achieve by the end of your sales process. You have to make a set target that you want to hit in a particular time interval.
For example, you can set a target of doing sales for 1 million in a month.
This depends on the nature of your business. The revenue you will generate from sales will be the outcome of the success of your business. Always make sure that your goals are SMART.
○ Have Specific goals for your sales. They need to be clear and well explained.
○ Your goals need to be Measurable. You have to decide a parameter on which you are measuring your progress. In the case of sales, it can be a number of products or amount of revenue generated.
○ They should be Achievable. Make sure everything you are planning is possible.
○ Your goals need to be Realistic and they need to be Timely.
2. Define the roles and responsibilities of the sales team
Your complete team needs to have some responsibilities.
For example, if one member is focusing on determining the target market the second person should be working on finding out the desirable aspects of your products.
Every responsibility should be divided with a restriction of time so that your sales plan will execute in a given time frame.
3. Identify your target market – create a customer persona and understand your customer’s journey
The most important aspect while selling any product is to know where you want to sell your product.
You need to narrow down the set of customers, who will be interested in your product and focus all your sales effort in that region.
You need to create a story for your brand. It should resemble and relate the story of your potential customers. It will be a good sales strategy.
4. Outline sales strategies and tactics for the target market
Now that you have narrowed down your target market you need to define a sales strategy for your market.
Every field will have its own challenges and its own sales tactics.
For example, if you are a technology startup, there are going to be various sales aspects like standing out from your competition.
If you are selling a mobile phone, thousands of other companies are doing it as well. But what is special about your phone that people should buy yours and not any other?
You need to create a sales strategy specifically tailored to your business.
5. List down the needed tools, software, and resources
There are various tools and software available that will help you in planning and strategizing your sales.
If we take one example of such software, it will be analytics. There are various analytics platforms available online.
These platforms will help you measure different statistics about your business. This data can help you plan a strategy for your sales.
6. Define metrics to measure sales performance
There can be several metrics that can be used to measure sales performance.
Sales are directly related to the revenue and sales of the product. Sales can be defined by the number of the product you are selling, the number of people subscribing to your services, or the revenue generated in a set period of time.
These metrics will be used to measure the success of your sales plan.
7. Create a budget for the sales plan
Creating a sales plan needs investments. You need to have a sales team, some sales tools, etc.
So, you need to create a proper budget for your sales plan. Your efforts should match the level of the expected results. They should not be so little that there is no advantage to it.
But the budget requirement of your sales plan should not be higher than the value required for manufacturing the product. Otherwise, you will be in loss.
8. Build your action plan
With all these aspects given above, we need to build an action plan. You need to consider the following points while building a plan.
A. What do you want to achieve with this sales effort?
B. What should be the responsibilities of various team members?
C. Where do you want to sell my product?
D. What will be the time period for my sales strategy?
E. What will be the budget for sales planning?
F. What are the metrics you use to measure your success?
Once you have answers to all these questions you are ready to set the plan you designed in action.
If you want a successful outcome from these sales, you need to continuously monitor and measure the outcomes of the plan. It will give you an idea about the execution of plan at every single step.
About the Author
Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Cinergix, the team behind the development of Creately. She is an avid reader, an experienced writer, and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.