How to Create a Sales Plan for your business
What do you do when someone asks about your business sales plan? Do you question how to do business as you’ve never thought of writing a sales plan for your business?
According to HireDNA, 90% of businesses with guided sales processes are top performers. Sounds great, right? But how do you create a sales plan that works?
Don’t worry. Here’s a guide to creating a sales plan that will help you achieve your sales targets. So, grab a cup of coffee, be ready with a scribble pad, and let’s get started.
What is a Sales Plan?
A sales plan is a roadmap that outlines your goals, strategies, budget, and metrics for success. It's like giving your sales team the power and confidence to take on any sales challenge that comes on the way.
A robust business sales plan helps you focus on your intents, whether it is boosting revenue, expanding target customers, or launching something new. But don't take our word for it.
Philosopher Plato once said, "who fails to plan, plan to fail", and if it's good enough for Plato, then it's good enough for us. If you're looking for a sales plan example to get started, check out some free sales plan templates here or consult a sales expert to create a plan that fits your unique business needs.
Components of a Functional Sales Plan
Target Customers (Prospects)
Knowing your target customers is the first and most crucial step in creating a sales plan. With this knowledge, your plan will be directionless, and your efforts will be well-spent.
To ensure your plan is built on a strong foundation, research and gather data on your target customers' common traits, key demographics, behaviors, interests, geographic information, buying habits, and pain points.
Doing so can create a fictional representation of your ideal customers, which will help you tailor your sales strategies. You can create a compelling, successful sales plan example with a solid understanding of your target customers.
You need to set a revenue model to ensure your sales team is moving in the right direction. A model that aims to bring a certain amount of revenue during a certain time frame. Setting a revenue target is not just gathering numbers out of thin air and hoping for the best.
It needs careful analysis of your business goals, historical sales data, and market trends. By analyzing your business objectives, you can determine how much revenue you need to achieve from them.
Once you have your revenue targets, break them down into smaller sections and achievable milestones, It will help you motivate your team by reaching each milestone.
Sales Strategies and Tactics
Your sales strategy and tactics are like secret weapons. If well-executed, it will result in market dominance. There are many factors to consider while crafting sales strategies. Start by identifying the sales channels that work best for your business. It can be social media, email marketing, or old cold calling.
Afterward, determine the messaging and value proposition that will resonate with your target customers. Make sure your messaging is clear and concise. You can develop a sales process that outlines the steps your sales team will take to close deals, including lead generation, prospecting, presentations, and closing.
Ensure everyone on your sales team is on the same page and understands their role in the process. Now, you are on your way to creating a business sales plan to knock the socks off your competitors.
Pricing is a delicate and balancing act, but you can nail it with the right strategy. It is essential to research your competitors' pricing models and how often they deliver discounts and promotions.
This detail determines where you fit in the market and how you can position your pricing to be competitive. Now, you have enough sense to calculate your production costs, overhead costs, and profit margins. While calculating, ensure you cover all the costs associated with your product or service. Afterward, you can select your pricing models, like whether you will charge a subscription fee, a variable rate base, a flat rate, or an hourly pricing model. Each has pros and cons, so choose the one that makes the most sense for your business.
In the end, consider any discount and promotion you may offer. So these are the effective ways to retain and attract customers by setting up effective pricing.
Understanding your audience better will help you craft your promotional tactics easier. You can choose your promotional channels by knowing how they are engaging with you and their pain points.
Will you use social media, content marketing, email marketing, or paid advertising? Each channel has its benefits and drawbacks.
After deciding on track, it's time to create messaging and creative assets for what your ad will look like and its message. Make sure you maintain message consistency in all the channels to avoid confusion.
Finally, remember to track and analyze your promotion tactics. Use data to optimize your tactics and improve results.
Deadlines may not be the most exciting part of any marketing plan, and Keeping your team on track and motivated is crucial. But without deadlines, you might find losing focus.
Setting reasonable deadlines gives you answers to the questions like what do you want to achieve and by when?
Breakdown your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks will help you achieve deadlines easier and keep your team motivated. Feel free to reschedule your deadlines if necessary. Sometimes unexpected challenges arise.
Just make sure to communicate properly with your team about the changes accordingly. With a deadline, you can stay focused and motivated with your goals. Stay tuned for the final component of the plan.
The team structure is like the backbone of your sales plan. To define your team structure, firstly, you need to define your needs by asking the following questions:
- What roles do you need to fill?
- Which types of skills help to achieve your sales goals?
- Will you need sales managers, account managers, or customer support specialists?
Once you know who you need, it's important to define their roles and responsibilities. Clarifying roles will help avoid confusion and ensure everyone is working towards the same goals.
After you successfully structure your team, provide them appropriate resources and support they need. It includes training, sales tools, applause, and incentives for meeting targets. With a solid team structure in place, it's time to put it into action and watch your business thrive.
Steps to Create a Sales Plan
Before hitting a bullseye, you need to know where the target is. The same goes for sales planning. The first step is to define your goals.
Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). Don't just set "Boost sales." Instead, set a target like "Boost sales by 30% by the end of the next quarter". It gives you a clear target to work towards easier success.
Make sure your goals are realistic. Setting goals that are impossible to achieve can be demotivating. You must analyze your team's capabilities, market conditions, and budget when setting your goals.
Keep your goal in mind throughout the process, and make sure each component of your plan is aligned with your goal.
Metrics are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to track the success of your strategies and tactics. They're essential for measuring success and making data-driven decisions.
Identify the metrics that matter most to your business. It may includes total sales, conversion rates, customer acquisition cost (CAC), Lifetime customer value (LTV), and sales cycle length. Ask relevant questions and define a corresponding KPI to each of the answers you are seeking. Here are a few examples:
After defining metrics, set specific targets for each one. Ex: If your goal is to boost sales by the end of the next quarter, you should target generating 3 Lakhs in new sales per month.
Make sure your metrics are realistic and aligned with your overall business goals. They should also be easy to track and measure using CRM and call monitoring software. Remember, what gets measured gets managed! Stay tuned for the next step in creating a killer business sales plan.
Assess Current Situation
Having a clear understanding of the current scenarios of your sales processes is essential. It means looking closely at your existing sales process, identifying areas of improvement and strength, and determining what's working and what's not.
To know the current status, you must review your sales data from the past year, including revenue, conversion rates, acquisition costs, and how your KPIs are performed.
You should also take a closer look at your sales team and performance. You may find the answers to:
- Are they meeting their target?
- Are there any training needs?
- Do you have the right people in the right roles?
Then evaluate your competitors and their sales strategies. By assessing your current situation, you can identify opportunities for improvement and develop a reliable sales plan. Please don't skip this step. It's essential for creating a sales plan that works.
Forecast Sales Figures
After successfully conducting all the essential steps above, it's time to forecast your sales figures now. It involves estimating how much revenue you expect to generate in the coming months or years based on your sales goals and historical data.
It would help if you also considered various factors, including market trends, economic conditions, and upcoming product launches or marketing campaigns.
Breaking down your revenue targets into smaller, more manageable sections would be best. Ex: If you aim to generate 10 Lakhs in sales this year, aim for 2.5 Lakhs in each sales quarter. Look for seasonal fluctuations, growth rates, and other factors to help you predict future sales. By forecasting your sales figures, you can track your progress over time and make data-driven decisions about your sales strategies.
Outline Action Items
Now that you clearly understand your sales goals, metrics, current situation, and sales forecasts, it's time to outline the specific action items that will help you achieve your sales targets.
Ex: If your goal is to increase sales by 20% this quarter, you must identify action items such as launching a new marketing campaign, improving your lead generation process, or offering a new product or service.
Remember to keep your action items realistic and achievable. Only try to do a little at a time. Focus on the most important tasks that will impact your campaign the most. Review and update your action items to ensure you are on track to achieve your targets.
Outline Software, Tools & Tactics
This step involves identifying and outlining the software, tools, and tactics you will use to support your sales strategy.
Based on your needs, research and identify the suitable software and tool that will help you overcome the challenges of managing leads, tracking sales activities, and getting all the details of the sales campaign.
Many software and tools are available in￼ the market, including call tracking software, CRM software, sales automation tools, lead tracking, generation tool, and email marketing software.
Additionally, consider the tactics you will use to support your sales strategy.
- Will you focus on outbound marketing efforts such as cold calling and email outreach?
- Or will you focus on inbound marketing, such as content marketing and social media?
Once you have identified the software, tools, and tactics you will use, outline how they will be integrated into your sales strategy.
Free Sales Plan Template Download
Feeling confused after looking at so many steps? Don’t worry, we’ve got a free template you can use to create your first sales plan. Use the link below to download the sales plan template, fill in the blanks and use it for your business.
What to Do After You Create a Sales Plan?
Congrats! You've worked hard and created a successful sales plan, But what comes next? It's time to implement your project and realize those sales goals. Here are some tips to follow:
Communicate the Plan
Communication is key when it comes to executing a sales plan successfully. Schedule a meeting with your team and present the project to them, ensuring everyone understands their role in achieving the sales goals. Make it fun! Host a sales plan reveal party, complete with confetti and party hats. Who says work can't be a party?
Set Up a Sales Dashboard
Set up a sales dashboard to monitor your metrics in real time, allowing you to see how well your team performs and make adjustments as needed. There are a plethora of sales dashboards available, so find one that works for you and your team. And hey, remember to make it a friendly competition. Have some fun with it.
Review and Adjust as Needed
Schedule regular check-ins with your team to discuss progress and make any necessary changes to the plan. A certain tactic isn't working as well as you had hoped, or you may need to shift your focus to a different target audience. Be flexible and willing to make changes to keep your plan on track. Don't just make it all about work. Celebrate your successes, whether hitting a major sales milestone or having a team member achieve a personal goal. You can also review one of the successful sales plan examples to gain more details.
Creating a sales plan is essential for any business to achieve its goals and increase revenue. By understanding the components of a sales plan, such as identifying target customers, setting revenue targets, and outlining sales strategies and tactics, businesses can create a clear roadmap to success.
Additionally, following the steps to create a sales plan, including defining goals and metrics, assessing the current scenarios, forecasting sales figures, and outlining action items, can help businesses stay organized and focused on achieving their objectives. It's important to regularly review and adjust your plan as needed to stay on track and keep up with changing market conditions.
And remember to leverage technology like Callyzer. This tool can help you track and analyze sales calls, measure your sales team's effectiveness, and identify improvement areas. By integrating Callyzer into your sales plan, you can gain valuable insights that will help you optimize your sales process and ultimately achieve your revenue targets.