Every business, from a fortune 500 company to a locally operated shop, exists to sell products and services. A sales plan is therefore necessary to guarantee efficiency. A sales plan is an overall sale strategy for achieving the business goal of making profit. Without the guidance of a sound sales plan, the business can waste time and resources on campaigns that hardly benefit them. And without the help of a good account management app, keeping track of all customer interactions can be very challenging. Businesses that implement good sales plans experience rapid growth. Therefore, creating a sales plan is one of the most critical roles of the leadership team. Various organizations use different approaches for developing a sales plan, although the principles guiding the process is the same. The guidelines for creating a sales plan are outlined below.
Create A Customer Profile
A great sales plan has a specific customer in mind. Implementing a generic sales plan exposes a business to failure. In the highly competitive and specific business environment, success is possible only by adopting a specific approach. Identifying a particular market segment and targeting it with the sales plan definitely is a great way to utilize resources. To create a customer profile, it is necessary to carry out research to identify customer needs upon which to base the sales plan. A perfect customer profile is crucial in qualifying new leads before spending company resources on them. Creating a customer profile involves asking such questions as:
- What does the customer really need? What are their pain points?
- Where are they located?
- What are their preferences and purchasing behavior?
- What is the best way to reach them?
Answering these questions will narrow down the target market segment and enhance the effectiveness of the sales plan.
Specify Goals And Objectives
Clearly stated objectives are an important component of a good sales plan. Goals are critical for determining the success of the plan. Common objectives included in a sales plan are the target number of customers to reach, sales volume, specific geographical area to cover, among others. Such relevant metrics are necessary for evaluating the success of the sales campaign. It is important that the goals included in the sales plan be as specific as possible. Vague goals are undesirable because it is difficult to determine whether the company has achieved them or not. In setting goals in the sales plan, factors like the size of the target market, size of the firm, resources available and the experience of the sales team are considered.
Outlining Sale Strategies
A sales strategy deals with how to carry out the sales plan, including how the sales team will reach the target customers. A strategy helps identify priority areas during sales plan implementation. These are areas and tasks with the potential to yield higher returns and to which more time and resources are dedicated. The selected sales strategies should be relevant to the firm for ease of implementation. A review of the existing strategies is necessary to determine whether they are effective or not. Those found to be effective are reapplied while the ineffective ones are discarded. The most common sales strategies include grassroots mobilization, ad campaigns, phone and social media campaigns.
Leverage Sales Tools
A tool is a device that makes work easier. Various tools exist to facilitate the development and implementation of a sales plan. With the advance in technology, companies are able to create better and more useful tools to make their work easier. Such tools include:
- Lead generation and sales prospecting tool
- Account management app
- Sales analytics tool
- Sales scheduling software
These and other tools are useful for streamlining sales operations, facilitating cooperation for members of the sales team as well as monitoring the progress of sales plan execution. Businesses that adopt innovative approaches to sales marketing such as the use of an account management app to keep track of current and potential customers gain an advantage over their competitors, thereby guaranteeing themselves a significant market share.