What is a Sales Plan?
In its basic form, a sales plan outlines a company’s goals, the sales team’s objectives, and creates a concrete process on how to execute these steps. This guides sales teams to make strategic actions in order to reach their revenue targets.
How to Write a Sales Plan
In order for sales teams to generate more revenue, they need direction on who, where, and how to target accounts. Sales Managers could use this project as an opportunity to increase collaboration. Everyone in your sales team has insights about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats the company faces. Use the SWOT steps to build up your success and improve business operations.
These are typically positive elements about your company and are within your company’s control. Questions to ask yourself and sales team may include:
- What assets do you have in your team, such as knowledge, education, network, skills, and reputation?
- What competitive advantages do you have over your competition?
Look for areas that your company can improve in so you can get ahead of your competitors. Questions to ask yourself and sales team may include:
- Are there things that your business needs to be competitive?
- What business processes need improvement?
Opportunities include any external factors that can help bring your company business. For example, video is one of the biggest content trends today. Covideo offers sales professionals video messaging software. The video content trend is an external factor that is helping Covideo grow and attract new business. So, here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine opportunities:
- Is your market growing and are there trends that will encourage people to buy more of what you are selling?
- If your business is up and running, do customers think highly of you?
External factors that you have no control over are considered threats. Questions to ask yourself and sales team may include:
- Do you have potential competitors who may enter your market?
- Could future developments in technology change how you do business?
With your SWOT analysis complete, you will understand the areas your company succeeds at and the areas that need more attention. We recommend writing out your team’s sales objectives, their roles and responsibilities, and describe your ideal customers. You can download free sales plan templates from Hubspot or build your own with the information below.
Sales Plan Template
Use the SMART goals format to guide your sales team’s to your sales objectives.
For a more descriptive review about the SMART goals read our blog about setting sales goals.
Provide each member on the sales team with a description of their role and responsibility. Each sales representative should get key performance indicators (KPIs). According to Fitsmallbusiness.com, “This step benefits the team by providing clear expectations for performance and details how they will be held accountable.” You can’t go anywhere if you don’t know where or how you’re going to get there. Make sure you establish expectations early with your sales team and provide a paved path to follow along.
For B2B companies, this step needs to include your ideal customer’s industry, job title, gender, education, interest, and their current sales channels. The more specific you can get the better your sales reps will be able to identify your ideal buyer. Sales teams can conquer a lot when they’re able to eliminate wasted time talking to unqualified prospects. Take your time with this area so your team knows exactly who they should reach out to when they come to work.
Get Ahead of Your Competition
A sales plan will provide a process for your team to develop firm goals, explain expectations for each sales rep, and create a system to accomplish those goals.
As a Sales Manager, you are responsible for the sales teams’ success. Use a SWOT analysis to understand your sales objectives, apply the SMART format to guide your team to your goals, create KPIs to target your ideal customer.