Have you ever thought of preparing a successful sales plan to double your profits? Or do you have a startup or a new project and would like to expand your customer base in order to increase your sales and promote your products and services? If you are seeking to grow your business, the solution lies in developing a successful and effective sales plan, in which you define your goals accurately, focus your efforts on your target audience, and work on implementing the plan to achieve your desired goals.
table of contents:
- What is the sales plan?
- What does sales planning mean?
- The importance of developing a successful sales plan for your company
- Sales plan components
- How to make a successful sales plan?
- How do you set sales plan goals?
- The three most common sales goals
- Golden tips to increase sales
- Ready sales plan template
What is the sales plan?
A sales plan is a monthly or annual forecast of the expected level of sales to be achieved during a specific period of time. It includes defining goals, the target audience, how to find and interact with potential customers, as well as defining high-level sales techniques while developing effective strategies to overcome potential challenges that the company or team may face. the sales.
The sales plan is an urgent necessity to support the growth of companies, maintain their stability, and increase their profits annually. Therefore, a solid sales plan should be designed because without the planning process, you will not be able to reach your final goal. It can be said that the sales plan is a strategic document that aims to grow sales and improve the results of its objectives during a predetermined period of time and to work on applying it according to certain steps and strategies.
What does sales planning mean?
Sales planning is one of the processes that must be taken into account to ensure the success of entrepreneurs and start-ups and to achieve the desired goals, because sales planning is not limited to formulating a sales plan only, but rather requires the development of a serious strategy of a high level in order to achieve sales goals and the company alike.
Planning in general is a process through which goals are defined in advance, along with monitoring the available resources and how they are used to achieve the goals. Achieving goals and developing business.
Therefore, sales planning is an important and necessary tool to help companies increase sales and improve the sales process, as it requires annual sales data collection and sales targets. In addition, identifying the main and secondary performance indicators to know the amount of progress achieved towards these goals and monitoring the goals that the company was unable to achieve. Performance indicators also help in assessing the current situation of your company, analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and forecasting sales based on market research, historical data and statistics.
What is the importance of developing a successful sales plan for your company?
David Cowper, one of the world’s most successful insurance agents, author of Giant Sales: Secrets of a Great Salesman says:
Your dream will not see the light and become a reality unless you develop a workable plan of action in order to reach your goals and stick to them. Having a plan to follow makes you able to make the right decision.
1. Revenue growth and increased profits
The sales plan contributes to keeping the sales department on the right track and making sure that it is moving towards achieving the company’s goals in a correct way, and this is very necessary, especially since the sales team is primarily responsible for the growth of revenues in the company, and through it these revenues grow, which are the lifeblood of your company and with it Ensure profitability, continuity and growth.
Revenue growth goals are vital to any outline of a company’s overall goals, especially as they interact with other sales goals. Let’s say you set a goal of increasing revenue for a new product by 25% over the course of a year. This is very important, but it takes a lot of effort. Therefore, you need to take some action to prevent your team from feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, or unable to deliver on this goal.
Here comes the importance of dividing the goal into several small goals or defining specific actions that help you achieve the goal, such as determining the number of offers that team members should arrange weekly or monthly, and knowing the number of phone calls that should be made with existing and potential customers per day that would increase product revenue In addition to determining the expected growth rate per month. These small activities contribute to achieving the primary goal of sales.
2. Achieving sales targets
It is absolutely essential to have a sales plan, without this plan it is almost impossible to achieve your company’s sales goals
3. Sales forecasting
Sales planning helps to estimate the volume of expected sales that can be achieved from a specific product in a specific market during a specific future period of time, in the light of following a successful and specific marketing plan , and this is known as the concept of sales forecasting .
The importance of forecasting sales increases when estimating the expected profits during a certain period of time, and is the basis when making various marketing decisions, such as pricing , production, promotion, and others. So, it can be said that sales forecasting is one of the most important aspects of management and an important step in the field of sales and marketing of products, goods and services.
4. Overcoming risks
It is normal to encounter obstacles in front of you during the sales process, but with a successful sales plan it is easy to face these difficulties, as the sales plan reduces risks after identifying them and developing ways to overcome them, and also allows measuring performance and the team’s ability to face these risks.
This means that you must be aware of the art of managing risks , developing strategies for managing them, anticipating when they will occur, how to avoid and overcome them, steps to manage them, and how to predict the losses that may occur as a result of these risks.
5. Strengthening the sales team
The sales plan helps the business team implement the best sales development ideas, enhance discipline and diligence among team members, invest time, focus on priorities, identify the team’s skills and capabilities, track its progress and improve its performance over time. By developing a successful sales plan, your team members become familiar with the basics of strategic planning , and you also help them enhance sales, marketing and persuasion skills that contribute to increasing sales.
What are the elements of a sales plan?
The process of preparing a sales plan requires that you be aware of the elements and basics of the sales plan, and this is explained by the global expert in the field of sales, “Tony Parinello”, who indicates that the elements of a successful sales plan include strategies and tactics.
First: sales strategies
The sales plan should be simple, clear, and precise, and include strategies to increase sales, gain customer trust and loyalty, and be the main driver for maximizing profits and meeting customer needs at all stages of the sales funnel to achieve a higher sales rate.
Here, Tony Parinello refers to two types of sales strategies: new business acquisition strategies and existing business growth strategies. Therefore, it is necessary to know the basic steps to build a successful sales strategy for your company.
Second: sales tactics
They represent the steps and ways in which strategies can be achieved, and are divided into: new business winning tactics and existing business growth tactics. If the strategy is to increase awareness of your company’s products and services, the tactics may include the need to represent your company at trade fairs and economic conferences, volunteer in non-profit organizations or participate in professional associations and organizations that include potential customers, and interact with the target audience on various social media platforms.
How to make a successful sales plan?
A successful sales plan includes many aspects necessary for business growth, represented in revenue and sales goals, potential customers, sales methods, and the current capabilities of the sales team, and in order to create a successful sales plan, you must cover nine major sections in the sales plan form, according to what sales experts confirm , which are as follows:
First: the executive summary and scope of the sales plan
When you prepare a business plan for the company’s sales, you must present a short summary that represents a general view of the sales plan with a focus on your goals and the strategies you have set to achieve these goals, along with some important information about your company’s activity.
For example: There are key points that must be included in the executive summary, such as: the name of your company, its geographical location, the value it provides, the name of the product you are promoting and its market value, in addition to defining the target audience, the customer’s personality, the services you provide, revenue and sales goals, and financial projections .
Second: market and industry conditions
It is important to write a summary of market conditions and trends that will affect sales performance during the current and future period, while studying competitors and monitoring their strengths and weaknesses through a SWOT analysis , which is one of the best frameworks for analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Market studies and research are among the necessary steps in the sales plan. Through it, we can accurately define the target audience, and the company is well aware of its competitors and their products, in addition to monitoring the targeted geographical areas.
Third: Target customer segments
Divides the target customers into segments, so that each customer segment has common demographics and characteristics, and these characteristics may be common in terms of demographics, personal layout, beliefs and values, geographic region, or behavior. It is also important to understand your customer on an individual level, as this helps increase sales and achieve the overall goals of your company.
Fourth: sales goals and target revenue
Sales and revenue targets are among the most important pieces of information to put into a sales plan, as they are the foundation on which your plan is built. In this section, revenue and sales goals are clearly presented without ambiguity, and it also includes overall business goals, such as optimizing project lifecycle value, sales and marketing through customer success programs, and setting short-term and long-term sales goals.
Perhaps your sales goal is to increase the sale of a product by 10% during the month of August 2022, and you note here that the goal is SMART, that is, it is specific, clear, relevant, achievable, measurable, and linked to a specific time period. It is necessary to define a key performance indicator for this goal, for example, the number of product sales during the month. Hence, a distinction must be made between sales objectives and KPIs. The goals the company seeks to achieve, and performance indicators are measures by which you can measure the extent to which your company’s goals are achieved.
Fifth: strategies, tactics and methodologies
This is the most important section of the sales plan, especially since it includes the sales strategies, tactics and methodologies to be applied in order to achieve the objectives, so it must be formulated very clearly and precisely.
For example, your organization’s strategy might be to “win new customers for your company”. Thus, the tactic is that you will ask each current customer to send a certain number of names and phone numbers of people they know well, who may use your products and services in the future, and with this procedure you will be able to implement your strategy.
Sixth: Reviewing performance in the past period
It is also necessary to review the performance in the previous periods, by mentioning this in the sales plan that you prepare, so that you allocate a part of your plan in which you briefly summarize the performance review during the past period in order to evaluate the company’s performance or sales during that period, with the need to identify the errors that affected negatively on performance, in addition to monitoring serious decisions and the critical step that led to positive results to invest in.
During this step in the sales plan, you may discover that the sales targets for the past year were not achieved as required, for certain reasons such as the failure of sales representatives, lack of capabilities, increased cost of production, or failure of the marketing team. This information will help you develop strategies, solutions, alternatives and proposals to prevent recurrence in future sales plans.
Seventh: Action plan for teams and individuals
This section recommends defining tasks, activities, and responsibilities for different individuals and teams, including scheduling meetings, events, product presentations, and other activities. Also in this part, the roles of team members are defined in proportion to their skills. For example, in the plan, we describe the task of making phone calls to consumers and potential customers with a specific member of the sales team.
Eighth: The capabilities and skills of the sales team
Knowing the capabilities of the sales force and identifying its skills is very important in the sales plan. Therefore, allocate space in the plan to describe the status of the sales team and its capabilities to develop and implement the plan, and to know the weaknesses and strengths that they have.
This step helps the sales team identify the needs of the team, and then work to provide them. The sales team may need to hone its skills in direct selling, as this calls for providing specialized training courses in sales and marketing for team members.
Ninth: Performance and Review Standards
In this step, we define the indicators and measures that tell us the level of performance towards the goals, through which we measure the extent to which the plan’s goals are achieved, in addition to analyzing performance and working to improve it in the future in order to develop the company’s activity.
Sometimes Arab entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups are in dire need of some advice on how to develop a successful sales plan, and here they can use the e-marketing services offered by professionals on the Fiverr platform, which includes many services such as preparing sales and marketing plans and providing advice that will improve Performance and support of the sales development plan.
How do you define sales plan objectives?
Objectives represent a very necessary step in any business plan, and are an important part that the sales team determines. At this stage, the goals must be more SMART so that they are specific, clear, realistic, consistent with company strategies, executable within a specific period of time, and measurable.
When setting sales plan goals, you must take into account that they are ambitious and drive sales forward, and this requires you to formulate smaller goals to achieve larger goals. Let’s assume that you set a goal to increase the sale of a specific product by 48% this year. Here, you can divide this percentage to increase the sale of this product by 4% per month.
The three most common sales goals
Sales goals are specific goals for the sales team within your company. These goals focus on a key performance indicator to measure them, and are often closely linked to the company’s overall goals. Examples of typical sales goals include increasing revenue by 35% over the course of the year or increasing customer retention by 30% over the course of the year.
The specialized departments of your company, such as the financial department, the sales team, and the administrative and executive leadership, collaborate to set sales goals that achieve the organization’s vision and ambitions. This underscores the importance of involving the employees and concerned departments in developing the plan.
Once the objectives are precisely defined and agreed upon, it is the responsibility of the sales team to translate them and work to implement them according to specific strategies and tactics developed in the plan, leading to practical results that achieve the vision of the plan and help you grow sales and revenues. So you need to know the most common sales goals. They are as follows:
1. Objectives of selling products and services
Your plan could include goals for selling products and services, such as increasing annual sales, increasing sales in 5 years, increasing monthly sales, or increasing the average deal size for your company. But how do you achieve these goals?
Let’s assume that you have a current and permanent customer who obtains your services or products continuously and regularly every month, for example, you can make a phone call to him or schedule a business meeting in order to urge him to benefit from your other services or products, thus driving sales growth forward.
2. Objectives of gaining and retaining customer trust
Earning and retaining customer trust are among the most important and common sales and marketing goals. Statistics show that acquiring a new customer costs an organization 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing customer.
A study conducted by “Frederick Richold” of (Bain & Company) found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%, so your goal may be to develop a database of existing customers who trust your services in order to increase Share and retain them, thus keeping your company doing well.
3. Objectives of strengthening the capabilities of the sales team
In any case, revenue and sales goals can only be achieved if you have a strong and capable team that is equipped with the right tools and training to do the job, has the right skills and is equipped with the technological techniques that help it to perform the tasks of selling.
Thus, it is necessary to set goals for the capabilities of the team, and for example, working to increase the knowledge of the team about a specific product, its characteristics and advantages, to encourage it to improve additional sales operations within a specific period of time. You can also organize training courses periodically to strengthen the team’s capabilities and skills.
10 golden tips to increase sales
1. Don’t ignore performance data
It is very important not to ignore performance data during previous work periods, because it will help you set sales and revenue goals so that they are achievable and measurable, and you are also able to analyze errors that hindered the implementation of some goals or monitor sound decisions that contributed to achieving other goals.
2. Verify information
This is done through the use of information verification tools. Don’t be too quick to believe the data as soon as you get it, because something might be wrong that will ultimately ruin your plan.
3. Relying on data and statistics
You should delve into market research, study competitors, analyze strengths and weaknesses relevant to your field of specialization, and link the statistics you obtained to the goals of your plan.
4. Actively listen to your customers
Always set your first goal to help customers, show them your respect, and form direct relationships with customers without intermediaries, because this increases their sense that the company pays the appropriate attention. Then, when the customer feels that your first goal is to sell the product without interest in helping and respecting him, his desire to buy from your store is greatly reduced.
5. Paying attention to performance measures and indicators
Sales experts also recommend that your plan include key performance indicators, metrics, and tracking methods that you will use to measure your achievement of goals and help you keep your plan moving forward.
6. Write down the budget details
You must make the budget that you propose in your plan detailed and written carefully because it will help you implement the sales plan smoothly, and also contribute to knowing the amount of spending on your products.
7. Provide after-sales services
Customers care a lot about after-sales services, so if the company has this service, the chances that the customer will accept its products are greater. Therefore, it is important to provide after-sales services, work to satisfy customers, and build a good reputation for your company to increase its popularity.
8. Define tactics clearly
Determine the tactical plans for sales and the procedures for achieving your strategy very accurately, and this is in coordination with the marketing and customer support team and the competent and concerned parties within the company. If you do not clearly define the tactics, your plan is bound to collapse and not achieve its objectives.
9. Evaluate sales team members
Some companies ignore the quality of their sales team’s performance, and this greatly affects the company’s performance in the future. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate and listen to the sales team members about the goals they believe are achievable, while rewarding the employees who perform better than others. This encourages others to strengthen their performance and skills.
10. Always prepare for Plan B
A plan must be developed for the failure of your goals. If you fail to achieve a goal, you must know the obstacles that prevented the achievement of the goal and work on developing a sales plan to deal with these obstacles. And you have to realize that failure is part of success, so don’t despair.