A company sales plan should be the sales team's bible and should be the first thing any new hires receive during on-boarding. It should give your organisation clarity on everything sales, from your mission, your target market and positioning through to your marketing and lead generation strategy. Essentially, it is a more detailed business plan that focuses on sales, the sales strategy and how you plan on reaching your goals and objectives.
A structured sales plan is a guide for a productive sales team which means less wasted time and money, increased sales and profits, and a greatly enhanced value of your business. A plan is necessary to provide employees and managers alike with the tools to make educated decisions, channel resources and set goals. Because of that, the time you spent writing a strategy is far more valuable than the time wasted not .
A clear strategy enables you to focus on the highest priorities and largest opportunities to achieve success rather than wasting time on tasks and leads that do not provide value.
What should my company sales plan cover?
While a business plan will look at the company's goals and objectives, a sales plan outlines exactly how you'll hit those targets. A new salesperson should be able to pick your sales plan up, read it and know their role for the company to hit their targets or it can be used as a tool to align team members who've been in the business long-term.
1. Mission and Background
Your mission and background should set the scene of who you are as a business, why you do what you do and a brief history of where you've been. This should help give the reader context on your company and it should tie in with the goals, objectives and the strategy that is outlined in the sections to come. With the number of services and products available to consumers in today's age, people buy into why you do what you do and the story your services tell, not necessarily just the product so it's important for your staff to understand.
This is to outline who is on the sales team and should have an organisational structure chart to visualise the hierarchy of the sales team. If your team is not big enough yet to warrant a full-blown org chart, then simply listing team members and who reports to who is completely fine.
3. Target Market
We've spoken about it numerous times but knowing your target market, your buyer personas and your customer journey is crucial for a successful sales plan and business. This should give sales a clear indication of which leads are more likely to purchase and who they should be spending time focusing on, rather than wasting their time on people not ready to buy.
If you've created buyer personas for your business, include both the positive and negative personas in this part of the document. If you haven't created personas, we strongly recommend it as if you don't know exactly who you're selling to, how can you effectively sell to them? To create your own, check out our 10 steps for creating perfect buyer personas here.
4. Tools Software
What tools, software or resources should your sales team have access to and use to hit their sales goals. Outline the CRM you use, any documents, case studies or sales enablement tools that will assist the sales team to effectively do their jobs and hit the goals outlined in step 9.
This section should be a snapshot of the current scene in your industry, who are the big hitters, your biggest competitors and what differentiates you from the rest? A sales member should be able to read this and begin to formulate a sales pitch to best sell your service or product. It will give an insight into what the current scene looks like and where your company fits in as well as your competitive advantage.
6. Marketing Strategy
Your sales team should work alongside the marketing department to better understand the marketing strategy and the content they are delivering to consumers. An SLA agreement is a helpful tool that helps align both the sales and marketing teams with the focus of reaching both departments goals, working as a team. This section shouldn't be a complete copy and paste of the marketing strategy, rather just a rundown of what sales should know about brand awareness and the content used to generate leads so that they may tailor their sales approach.
7. Lead Generation Strategy
If you want to sell effectively, it's important to understand where consumers are coming from, how they found your service and what problem they believe your service is solving so that once again, the sales approach can be tailored for the consumer. This should outline where lead generation efforts will be focused, how they will be qualified and when the appropriate time on the buyer's journey will be to engage with them.
8. Action Plan
The action plan should set expectations the organisation has for the sales team. It should outline the strategy and steps required to be taken to reach the company's goals. For example, how many calls per day should be made, how many meetings etc.
This is primarily focused on your sales targets. We touched on the company's mission and vision earlier but this is purely the goals that sales will target. This will vary depending on your industry and product but it should include revenue, deal or units sold targets based on a certain time period.
Outline the budget allocated for sales initiatives. It's important to align the sales budget with your sales forecast and goals because if down the track you realise you are spending at a much higher rather than selling, you could be in some strife.
A clear and structured company sales plan should be your sales teams bible, best friend and guide for all things sales. A team with focus and clear direction will outperform a sales team that are just winging it nines times out of ten. If you're serious about business development and long-term growth, a sales plan is essential for reaching your targets and for the longevity of your business.
For your own free sales plan template and to create your own, click the link below.