How To Create A Perfect Sales Plan
Updated: Jan 22
Business excellence requires you to have a perfect sales plan which you have to follow to execute your sales activities perfectly. Planning involves coming up with something visible. Let’s say a document; this could be a guide or a write-up on getting started. A perfect sales plan goes along with execution or putting something into practice and doing it hands-on. Having a good sales plan without execution is a waste of time.
I believe in a well-thought-out and successful sales plan to create a successful and achievable sales strategy. Often you have seen what happens to salesmen or women who go to the field without a clear sales plan; their sales goals are never met.
A perfect sales plan shows the salesman; his goals, priorities, outcomes and guidelines, but without a sales plan, decisions are taken depending on what is available, which won’t lead to the estimated success in sales.
You could be interested in knowing what a sales plan is!! Or you are probably wondering how a sales plan looks like and what it includes.
A sales plan is the; who, where, why, when, how, and whom will guide you towards hitting your yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly or daily sales goals.
Alternatively, according to Jess Pingrey, a sales plan is used to establish sales objectives and develop strategies necessary to achieve them. Typically, this document establishes a plan for revenue growth and other measurements of success. Sales plans consist of sections outlining goals, identifying key customer attributes, and listing necessary strategies, tools, metrics, and estimated expenses.
A sales plan can be drafted on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, quarterly, or yearly plan focusing on the sales you are ought to make depending on the given time period and how you will achieve them.
Creating a sales plan involves knowing who your customers are, how you will find them, where they are, how to get to them, what kind of products they like, and how to engage with them until they are convinced to become prospective buyers.
A perfect sales plan helps salespeople spend an adequate amount of time growing and developing their business startup compared to responding to the day-to-day developments in sales.
A sales plan can help find out at an early stage the upcoming problems within the sales team and in the field, whether making sales or not, the sales team's performance and many other opportunities around that. Then find solutions to challenges, drops and do something about them, making it easy for you to harvest good results that match the investment.
Learn how to create a successful sales plan with Monkeypesa through these simple 8 steps.
1. Put down your mission
Start with your mission statement as a company and your sales objectives; this acts as a foundation for your sales plan and helps define your unique selling proposition or point; this makes it vital to your plan’s success because it will guide your future sales efforts. A mission statement is a formal statement describing what your business stands for and what it aims to achieve. Clearly defining your mission statement and what you stand for is a good driving factor towards creating a perfect sales plan. Here is an example of a mission statement “We provide customers with cutting-edge digital marketing solutions with best-in-class technical support at a profit to our shareholders.” A clearly defined mission statement is the best sales management practice that drives you towards achieving the set sales goals.
2. Clearly Indicate Your Sales Objectives
What is an execution without an objective behind it? A sales plan without clearly defined sales objectives is like investing in a business without any aim. Sales objectives are goals supporting the company’s growth currently and years in the future in terms of revenue, market share, or profit margin. By establishing clear sales goals, you are explaining what success will look like in the clearest terms while also giving your sales team targets to follow. Your sales objectives should be smart that is specific, which means clearly defining the goal, measurable. This includes how the goal will be measured, attainable; this looks at the possibility of achieving the goal, realistic. It looks at whether the goal is real and whether it has been assigned to the right people and time-bound. It looks at the deadline on which the goal will be achieved. This is one of the basics for a clear sales plan.
3. Assess your past and future sales plans.
Unless it’s a new sales plan for a new business, but if it’s a sales plan for a business that has been or already in existence, looking back into the past would make sense as your plan. Assessing your performance with the previous year helps you know various aspects of planning for the future as you copy for the previous selling methods. Looking into the history is important in that it helps you to know;
§ What was the performance of the sales team?
§ Who did they sell to?
§ What did they sell?
§ How did they sell?
§ Who sold most than the other?
§ Who were the target clients?
§ Which kind of clients were more profitable than the others and
§ Finally, how much profit did the sales reps make for the business? Looking back helps to borrow knowledge from the previous drafts to base the current or future sales plan.
4. Set measurable and achievable goals for your sales plan
When you are drafting a sales plan, you need to think about goals. Goals help to tell how much sales you are going to make and how you will make them. Your sales plan template needs an end goal. This helps you to know whether what you’ve done has been a success or not. Setting realistic sales goals is a great tool for enhancing performance. Working without a goal seems to be more like wastage of time as well as resources; hence your achievements won’t be directed towards anything, and the speed of work will be low, and the time is taken to accomplish a single sale will also belong without a clear sales plan as compared to having a plan.
Check this out and avoid these pitfalls while setting sales goals for your business.
Wishful thinking; don’t be over-optimistic
Ignore your own assumptions; don’t assume based on your thinking. Make sure your forecast is based on your assumptions about the market.
Moving the goalposts; Avoid making adjustments to the goals outlined in your sales plan, even if it is overly optimistic or pessimistic in your sales planning.
Failure to consult; assuming that you have the best knowledge about your customer’s interests and likes; is unfair to your sales plan. Ask your customers about their opinions and include them in the sales plan.
Failure to have time for feedback from your clients: some salespeople end their talk or conversation with clients after making a sale though this is not effective if you want to retain your clients. Include having time for feedback in your sales plan.
5. Set and include deadlines in your sales plan.
Deadlines bring things that would not end to put a full stop on them, making it one of the most effective ways of achieving the set targets; putting strict deadlines helps break that big number down into smaller expectations. Clear deadlines and manageable sales plans take research and time to develop; they should challenge and motivate your sales team without being so difficult to kill their morale. Be specific and clear with your team's deadlines; for example, if you want to increase your customers' number by 15% and sales by 45%, you must have set hard deadlines if they are to be achieved in time. Finally, set individual deadlines and milestones for your sales team; these individual goals push salespeople to work harder towards closing deals.
6. Research about your customers and know more about them.
If you want to make more sales, then you must first understand who your customers are. Imagine if you are a salesman and bring something to the table that your customers are not interested in. What would happen automatically is that they would keep looking on. None of them would even dare touch your product; this is because of the little or no interest at all. As a result, this teaches you to research, know and understand who your potential customers are. It is impossible to build a sales and marketing plan if you don’t know who you’re selling to. Many companies often fail to define who they are selling to, irrespective of the fact that it’s a basic marketing component for any sales plan. Be sure to define who your ideal customer is and then research! Who are my target customers, how many are they, what social media platforms they use most, where can they be found, and how do I approach them? This will help you understand the types of sales channels you can effectively use to reach them and act as a guide to draft your plan accordingly.
7. Define the Roles & Responsibilities of the sales team.
One of the most effective ways to drive crazy sales for your company is the rule of dividing and allocating tasks to each of the team's individual members. Your sales plan should include the list of roles for your sales team clearly defined. Allocate each role's responsibilities to each individual on the sales team and their expected contribution to the sales process. Set key performance indicators for each person. T, his will help you to track their performance and can also be held accountable. In addition to the team’s direct sales activities, you should also list indirect sales responsibilities. Some indirect sales responsibilities include; website enablement, running lead acquisition campaigns, and developing sales collateral.
8. Create Your Sales Plan Budget
We all know that you must incur a certain cost; if you want to execute the best sales activities that will earn you much more money, you must invest in them. A perfect sales plan should cost you less than the business is expected to earn in return, and if it costs you much more than what you expect to get back, then it’s not worth it. By itemizing expected costs, you will be better able to measure the anticipated return on your investment. List down all those items that you will need from the start of the sales process until the closing of the deal; some of these items might include; sales team salaries, commission, service subscription costs, video conferencing calls, travel allowances, airtime, purchase of prospects lists and so many more. Once you have your well-drafted budget, it helps you plan accordingly in terms of resource allocation, depending on which one is more demanding than the other.
In conclusion, the sales plan is a tool every business involved in sales should have to guide them through the whole sales process. If you want to have the best sales approach, you need the eight steps discussed by Monkeypesa.