Just like with any goal, having a written sales plan will only serve to benefit any online marketer just as it would in the traditional business world. Knowing where your key indicators are, what strategies you need to take, as well as any contingencies help show where your business is succeeding or failing.
Before we get into how to create a sales plan, we need to answer a simple but important question. What is a sales plan?
Simply put, a sales plan is a plan that lays out the objectives, strategies, target market, and potential setbacks. This is a plan that provides the “how” to your business plan’s “why”.
Usually, an effective sales plan should include the following:
· Effective communication of your sales team’s overall goals and objectives.
· Strategic direction for your sales team.
· What roles and responsibilities each member of the sales team may have.
· Ways to monitor the team’s progress in achieving the established goals.
Process for an Effective Sales Plan
We should note that a good sales plan doesn’t just mean writing stuff down, otherwise it’s just going to go to waste. Just like with any good goal setting, you must-have strategy. And it usually helps to follow a template.
So, what goes in a sales plan template?
The first step is to gather as much data from the last year as possible. Comparing that with current trends can help you see what has worked and what needs to be updated.
Next, you need to clearly define your objective and create sales targets to meet or exceed your income goals. This also includes defining what metrics you’re going to us to measure these objectives to meet these targets. Finding out where certain gaps are will help as well.
Third, look at your current situation. Sometimes there are roadblocks and other setbacks that can impact your success. Look into your strengths as well. In many cases, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. In cases where you might need a new process, come up with ideas that not only maintain successes you have seen but build on them as well.
If you need to involve others from different departments, such as marketing and product development, do so. Sometimes it helps to have multiple sets of eyes on the plan than just those trained for sales.
Once you have the document created, this should be in a place where it can be referred to constantly. This is your action plan, and if you don’t see and refer to it regularly, you might as well have not written it at all.
Also read: Why Is Image Optimization Important?
How to Write a Sales Plan
All in all, there are ten basic elements to writing an effective sales plan.
1. Mission and Background – You want to have these clearly defined as you begin. This gives the background for your team when you start getting into specific details.
2. Team – Who all is a part of this project and what are their roles? Will you need only five people? Or maybe you need more. If you find that you might need more people on the team, what will their roles be and how will work be divided among them?
3. Target Market – Who is your ideal customer? What do they look like? How old are they? If you’re doing B2B sales, what industry do they belong in? Keep in mind that this could end up shifting as your strategy evolves over time. Have that plan in place for your initial target demographic but be flexible to allow it to change if needed.
4. Tools – Are you planning on using a CRM software? If so, which one? What other software or resources will you need?
5. Positioning – Who are your competitors? How do your products and/or services compare with theirs? Do you have a better price point than they do? What makes your product better?
6. Marketing Strategy – This is where you would need to nail down not just the pricing but any promotions you want to include. While it’s possible to get sales by word of mouth alone, it’s difficult and rare that it’s successful. Having this plan in place will help get eyes on your product and generate leads.
7. Prospecting – Determine what is a qualified lead before your sales reps reach out to close. You also need to identify whether you want the primary source of your sales to be through inbound or outbound methods.
8. Action Plan – This is your plan to get from point A to point B. Your ultimate goal has to have smaller goals to reach to show you are on track.
9. Goals – In connection with the action plan, having markers that show how successful you have been along the way is paramount. Most goals can be revenue-based, but another goal could be how many leads or impressions have been generated. Determine what success means for this plan.
10. Budget – Finally, you need to know how much your sales plan will ultimately cost. This needs to include salary for your team, onboarding and training expenses, tools and other resources, contest prizes (if applicable), team bonding activities, travel costs, food, etc. Everything must be accounted for.
Also read: Why is Getting Indexed by Google So Hard
What Sales Plan Templates Can I Use?
This question comes down to your preference. Here are a few examples of strategic sales plan templates you can use:
· 30-60-90 sales plan
· Marketing Alignment sales plan
· Business Development strategic sales plan
· Market Expansion sales plan
· New Product sales plan
Play around with what best fits your product or service and determine how long you want that campaign to run. Once you have that in place, make any adjustments needed and you’ll be hitting your sales goals in no time.
As always, whatever marketing strategy you decide on, we at Marketing Agency in Utah are here to help you. Contact us here to set up a consultation to discuss other marketing strategies that best suit your business needs!