A sales plan is a document that encompasses goals, target audience, and sales strategy aimed at attaining necessary results. It enables a company’s team to predict business-related risks and avoid them.
In this article, we’ll uncover the importance, components, and examples of sales plans. We’ll also find out how to write a sales plan and explore 8 tips to follow to create a successful sales plan.
Why is it important to have a sales plan?
Planning is an essential point for any business, especially when talking about sales targets. Before selling your product, you need to outline your main goals and the ways you can achieve them. This includes various sales strategies, tactics, and approaches. Once you have your objectives identified, you need to create a plan where you can mention all the details of your marketing strategy.
A sales plan enables you to predict possible problems and risks related to your product and sales. As a result, you can eliminate these risks before the problem arises and escalates. When you have a clear plan of action, you can be confident about the correctness of your decisions. Besides, you can keep an eye on the product’s sales performance and decide what else you can do to get closer to your short-term and long-term goals.
A sales plan will also come in handy if you conquer international markets. This document will serve you as an overview of customers’ needs, requirements, and preferences in different countries. Also, it’ll contain sales strategies that suit different geographics. As a result, you can successfully reach your goals.
Now that you know the importance, let’s discover the components of a sales plan.
What should a sales plan include?
A sales plan is a comprehensive document covering many aspects of your business. You need to create it as detailed as possible to attain your objectives faster. Your plan should contain the following sections:
- company goals;
- revenue expectations;
- target market;
- business performance for the previous period;
- market trends;
- industry conditions;
- competitor analysis;
- marketing strategy;
- sales strategies, tactics, techniques;
- human and financial resources available;
- tasks and responsibilities of different departments;
It’s time to reveal how to write a sales plan.
How to write a sales plan?
Creating a sales plan might require you to spend some time defining goals, revenue targets, tasks for departments, but it’s worth it. In the end, you’ll have a clear roadmap for a certain period your company’s team should follow to get great results in sales. If you don’t know where to start, we’ll help you. Follow our guide to clarify the details of the process.
- Determine your major goals. The first and foremost is to define your main goals. Think of the things you want to achieve related to sales. For example, sell 500 items in one month or earn $20,000 in one year. Make sure that your goals are specific, achievable, and measurable. Besides accurate sales targets, you can also think about more general things like the growth of your brand, new markets, or the production of new products.
- Make your targets more specific and accurate. If you are ready with more general objectives, it’s time to proceed to the next stage and identify more specific goals. Be realistic and set goals possible to reach. Let’s imagine that you want to enter the Latin America region. In this case, you need to list all countries where you want to present your product. As an option, give tasks to your team members to research which countries will accept your product.
- Assess your resources. At this stage, you need to evaluate your human resources and money opportunities. Analyze whether you have enough employees to bring your plan to life and financial support to purchase all the necessary inventory.
- Choose KPIs. Key performance indicators are necessary to figure out whether your plan works and brings you closer to your main goals. Choose the most appropriate metrics. It’s perfect to have 3-5 indicators to control business performance.
- Allocate time wisely. There’s no need to rush since this process can be time-consuming. Your company’s team will help you manage all the tasks efficiently. Have a week or more to develop an accurate and realistic plan that includes all the details of your sales strategy, tactics, goals, revenue targets, etc.
Now you know the steps necessary to write a sales plan, so let’s proceed to the next section to explore tips for creating a successful plan.
8 Tips for Creating a Successful Sales Plan
Sales plans vary in different companies. However, there are some critical points you should consider in your sales plan to be more effective. The following tips will provide you with a clue.
- Make sure that you have realistic objectives.
- Set deadlines.
- Consult with sales representatives.
- Conduct competitive analysis.
- Develop a budget proposal that encompasses previous performance data and forecasts for the future.
- Write specific plans for each department of your company.
- Analyze issues your sales representatives find challenging.
- Use special tools to simplify your work.
You need to do profound research and work with your teams to understand what information to include in your sales plan. For sure, it’ll require your effort. However, after you do all the work, you’ll be able to develop a plan that will lead you towards success and growth.
Now that you know some tips, it’s time to grab some inspiration from the examples below.
Examples of Sales Plans
We’ve prepared different examples of sales plans you can consider for your business. The type you choose depends on your business objectives, so take a closer look at each of them to find a perfect option.
- Market expansion. If you decide to reach new markets, you should consider this sales plan. This document outlines your tasks, goals, and metrics to track your progress. With its help, you’ll address the needs of a new target audience in a completely new geographic area. Besides, a market expansion plan usually includes distribution costs, logistics, and time zone.
- New product. The main aim of a new product launch is to bring ROI. That’s the main focus of the new product sales plan. When you create this type of plan, it’s a must to conduct a competitive analysis, identify sales strategy, and take care of your brand positioning.
- 30-60-90-day plan. This is the most general sales plan which focuses on a timeframe by which you should reach certain goals. You can set a deadline to do something in 30, 60, and 90 days. For example, you can decide to acquire 10 new customers in 30 days, increase ROI by 10% in 60 days, and reduce churn by 2% in 90 days.
A sales plan is an essential element of your business that helps predict all the possible risks and prevent them. Once you have a roadmap, you know in what direction you should move to attain your targets.
- This article defines the term, unveils the objectives and structure of a sales plan.
- In this article, you’ll find components of a sales plan.
- This article provides readers with templates and examples of sales plans.
Last Updated: 22.03.2023