So you’ve got it: a good product, an efficient team, and a cozy and beautiful office. What’s missing? A Sales Plan! This is core to achieve lasting growth for your company.
Take a look at our Sales Plan Template which will be helpful to establish your team’s strategy to achieve your sales goals.
What is a Sales Plan?
A sales plan defines an estimate of how much you want to sell and how to get there. You should include past sales, your potential or current customers (who they are and how to reach them), your company’s place within the market, and any possible obstacles you may face in the selling race.
In some cases a Sales Plan can be used for budget approvals, in other cases, it can be a handy tool to learn from the company’s past performance and align your team’s objectives towards a new sales goal.
The first thing that needs to be decided is your goal. After choosing your metric (either sales or quantity of customers), your goal is next: how many customers you'd like to reach, what percentage of growth would you want to achieve in the upcoming months, etc. Always keep your feet on the ground and be realistic. Optimism is good but don’t forget to take into account other goals in your company, the size of the market you are in, and your available resources.
It’s a good practice to look for feedback and advice from an expert: an experienced salesperson, an accountant or someone you trust in the matter. Do it!
What should a sales plan template include?
A sales plan should foresee the upcoming yearly events in your company (regarding sales, that is). This may end up in a very overwhelming piece of information for you and your team. A good idea to avoid this feeling is to set clear deadlines from week to week, or month to month.
Small milestones will look less intimidating and more reachable for your sales or marketing team.
You should also recognize your place in the market. Who your customers are and how you are going to reach them. Don’t ever try to be a product or service for everybody. This doesn’t work. Invest time in learning who would need your product and how to win their hearts over. Now, attack!
Take into consideration how your customers will get to your product and what may happen after they purchase it. In other words, learn about your customer’s journey and map it: start from when your customer didn’t even know about your service or product until they are a loyal customer recommending your company to their friends and family.
Which information about my company should be included in a Sales Plan?
Make sure to detail your competitive advantage in a clear and simple way. If it’s taking too much time or words to explain why your product is better, rephrase it. What will your product do for your potential customers? Keep it short and sweet!
- Think about your strategies and tactics for capturing new customers. Maximize your potential while being realistic.
- List the tools that you will need to support the implementation of your sales plan.
- Key metrics (Conversion rates, for example)
- Your budget. List the costs necessary to achieve your goals: Team salaries, subscription to online tools, travel expenses, general office costs, etc.)
- Strategic partners: these are group or individuals in your same industry that offers a product or service that complements yours. Growing together is easier than growing alone. Create a community and complement each other, when possible.
As you may imagine, there’s not a template that works for every company. It should be adapted to your own needs, resources and goals. In some cases, the sales plan is enclosed to the company’s Business plan, but it makes sense to create a separate document for your sales plan. A company’s revenue is what keeps it alive, and it requires your team’s attention and care.
Remember to review your sales plan as the year goes by constantly. It may need updates from time to time as your revenue, expenses, and conditions change. It will also help your team to make sure that your actions are well directed towards your goal.