Have you ever made a sales plan? Was the process complicated or easy? Do you have a particular sales plan that you follow?
Everyone follows a different process to create a sales plan. But whatever method you follow, it’s beneficial for everyone. You should know what goes into a sales plan, what key targets to hit, and mention the strategies you’ll be using. Let’s take a look at what goes into a smart sales plan and how you can create one.
What is a sales plan?
In a sales plan, you mention the goals, strategies, target audience, and potential roadblocks if you have any. A B2B sales plan is like a traditional business plan, but it focuses more on laying down the sales strategies, among other things. While a business plan lays out your goals, and a sales plan lays out the steps to achieve those goals.
The sales plan aims to:
- Mention the company’s goals and objectives to the sales team.
- It gives clear steps on how to achieve those goals.
- Assign roles and responsibilities to the sales team.
- Monitor the sales team’s progress on organizational goals.
How to create a process for your sales plan?
The process of creating a sales plan doesn’t only entail creating a sales plan document. To make that helpful document, it also encompasses some high-level objectives and tactics.
In a sales plan, you should:
- Do research based on previous year’s sales data and trends and define the discovery call questions based on the insights.
- Mention out your business goals and create small achievable targets to meet those revenue goals.
- Note down the metrics and KPIs that you want to use to measure your success.
- Take a look at your current situation and include your strong and weak points that can act as your strength and roadblocks.
- Conduct sales forecasting based on the previous year’s data and demand trends.
- Find out any gaps that need to be filled to meet your goals.
- Do some creative thinking and come up with new ideas based on the opportunities that you may have passed on last year.
- Include stakeholders from different departments that can affect your outcomes, like marketing and product departments.
- Make a list of action items based on capacity and quota numbers.
You’ll have to follow this process every year to maintain your company’s sales excellence.
What to include in a sales plan template?
An ideal sales plan includes the following sections:
- Target audience: your ideal audience that your company plans to target with its product and services.
- Revenue targets: how much revenue your sales team wants to bring in at that particular time.
- Tactics and strategies: including the specific list of action items your sales team has to do to meet those revenue goals.
- Promotions and pricing: creating documentation of your product’s pricing and any upcoming campaigns/promotions you want to do to engage your target audience.
- DRIs (Directly Responsible Individuals) and deadlines: include any important dates for project submission and mention the team member responsible for the task.
- Team structure: make a list of your team members and their potential roles.
- Resources: list the social media marketing tools that your team wants to use to reach those revenue targets.
- Market conditions: mention down the important information about your industry and the competitive landscape.
Follow these steps to write a sales plan
The sales plan is not tough to create. By following these ten steps, you would be able to create your sales plan.
Background and mission
You should start by creating your sales plan by mentioning your company mission and vision statements. You should include a brief history of your company — that will help provide the necessary background information as you plan out more important details.
The second step is to describe your team members and their roles. You can also add a headcount by adding the number of employees, their job titles, and when they will start their job.
Learning about your customers is an important part of the sales process. You can create a buyer persona and include basic things like what pain points and challenges your target audience face? What do they look like? What kind of work do they do?
For different products, you may have different buyer personas. However, you should make a note that your ideal customers may change or evolve as your strategy and product evolve. That’s why it is important to review and update your buyer personas regularly.
Software, resources, and tools
You should also include the list of tools and resources that your team is planning to use. Also, mention the software that you’ll use and the budget you have for these resources. And certainly you can use social media analytics that allow you to analyze different trends.
In this section, you should include the list of your competitors — what products they sell, in what ways they are similar to yours, make a comparison of yours and their pricing.
You should also add the latest market trends and the strategies that are popular currently. Include in the plan how these different strategies will influence your business basics.
Here, you should describe your pricing plans, the campaigns and promotions you’re planning on running. What strategies will you use? Which KPIs will you use to measure your success? What key steps will you take to generate leads and increase brand awareness? Note down how doing the action steps will impact your sales.
Product 1: No change
Product 2: Give a one-month free subscription with every successful referral (10% increase in monthly sales)
Product 3: Reduce the price from $20 to $15 on Sep 5. (5% reduction in monthly sales)
In this section, you will create a strategy to qualify the leads. Include the criteria and necessary steps that your sales team will follow to qualify the leads. Also, mention which outbound and inbound methods your teams will use to qualify those leads.
Now you have created the plan, and it’s time to figure out the right path to meet those goals. Here, you’ll summarize your action plan for meeting your revenue goals.
Most of the goals in the sales plan are revenue-based. Like, you can set a total target of $5 million in ARR. You can also set a volume goal. Such as making 100 new sales or acquiring 50 new customers. But make sure to set goals that are realistic and achievable.
Some factors that can affect your goals are market penetration, product price, marketing support, marketing automation resources, and total addressable market (TAM).
The goals you set should also align with your high-level business goals. For example, if your business goal is to acquire a new market, then your goals should be “acquiring 15 enterprise customers” instead of “making x new sales,” as it will help you focus on the right type of customers.
You can have more than one goal, which you can do one by one by completing the important ones first. Then, set your timeline and assign small, doable goals to your team members, which will help to complete tasks on time.
For example, for the second quarter, your sales goal is to make $30,000. Based on the previous year’s sales, you know that April and May are slower than June. keeping that in mind, you can prepare your timeline:
If possible, you can also mention the DRIs. By allocating individual monthly quotas to every team member.
Here, you should illustrate the expenses that you will need to spend to meet your sales targets. Which includes:
Sales resources and tools
Team bonding activities
You can also manage your budget using different social media tools. After listing the items, you can compare your sales plan budget to your sales forecast for accurate budgeting.
There’s no perfect sales plan that can suit all your needs. To create your perfect sales plan, you will have to write it and review it regularly according to your requirements. By regularly updating your plan, you can ensure you’re on the right track and hitting your goals.