Almost any business can stand to benefit from a sales plan. It takes a little planning and forethought, but it will be well worth your time and energy when you see the results and meet your goals at the end of the quarter!
But it can be easy to feel lost when you are starting from scratch and have never made a sales strategy before. There is so much information about how to plan this aspect of a business you might be overwhelmed and not know which information to trust.
Look no further! We have done the research for you and boiled down our findings into six simple steps for you to follow to design a sales strategy for your business, large or small.
Ready to start creating your new sales strategy? Read on to learn the six essential steps to success!
Step 1: Set Your Sales Goals
Goal-setting is one of the most frequently neglected but essential steps to any successful sales strategy. Your objectives should be specific, realistic, timely, and measurable. Sales goals can be but do not always have to be about profits. For example, you might want to lay out an objective to secure a challenging client or to close a certain number of deals in a set period.
Your goals should not be random or unrealistic. It is a good idea to base your plans on numbers that you recently achieved. For example, if your company typically closes 50 deals in a month, you may set a goal to close 60 deals in a month by every person on your sales team making 10 percent more cold calls.
Whatever your goal may be, it is critical to let everyone on your sales team know of your objectives and expectations.
No matter what, when you set a quota, it must always have a basis in the past and present market conditions. It can never come out of nowhere.
Step 2: Organize Your Sales Team
Your sales team will be the key players in executing your sales strategy. Your team should consist of people you trust who you know are up to any task you set in front of them, and they should be open to feedback about how they can improve. You may have to ask that your sales reps learn to write better, and you can provide them with tools to do so.
Many companies offer rewards or incentives for meeting sales goals. Find out what kinds of things motivate the members of your team, and do your best to come up with a reward that will be motivational for them.
Step 3: Define Your Target Market
Some refer to the process of defining your market as sales prospecting. No matter what you choose to call it, this step is critical to successfully executing any sales strategy.
You will need to determine what your ideal customer looks like. Describe what industry they belong to, their company size, their location, and any other helpful information in as much detail as possible. You may also think about gathering this same information about the top customers you currently work with.
Then, make a list of current or potential clients that fit the description of your ideal customer. This list makes up your target market.
Step 4: Establish Strategies
No sales plan is complete without developing strategies for success. It is not enough to say your strategy is to “call more clients.” You will need to lay out a process for all your sales reps to follow. Following the process, monitoring how it goes, and adjusting accordingly will help your sales team reach the goals that you’ve set.
One essential tool for any outbound sales team is sales outreach software. The best cold email software allows to churn out mass amounts of outreach email, without sacrificing personalization.
No matter what the specifics of your sales program are, strategic planning is crucial to its success.
You will want to think about strategies that have worked for you in the past, as well as ones that have not been effective. Brainstorm new strategies to replace the ones you want to phase out of your plan.
Step 5: Create a Specific Action Plan
Creating an action plan is one of the most critical steps in this process. Once you have your revenue goals, target market, and ideas of strategies, it’s time to make a plan of how to put all of this together.
This plan will be highly individual and might vary even within your company. Each team member should be involved in planning how they can achieve their quotas.
Action plans should include detailed information about how many calls to make and how often, what kind of emails to send, and how many new and returning customers to secure.
Step 6: Measure Your Progress (KPIs)
Businesses typically measure progress and success with key performance indicators or KPIs. These metrics will vary depending on your goals and the nature of your company. Some of the most common KPIs are gross profit margins and return on investment, but you may use any metric that makes sense for your business.
If you set a yearly sales goal, you will want to have checkpoints to measure your KPIs at least three other times throughout the year to see if you are making enough progress to reach your goal.
If you are ahead of schedule, think about raising your goal to be loftier. If you are behind, figure out the weaknesses in your strategy and reassess what changes you can implement.
You should always involve your full sales team in these measurement reports and assessments. You can even set up a virtual mailbox to take feedback about what parts of the sales strategy could be better.
There you have it! The only six steps you need to create and execute a sales strategy for your business.
If you set your sales goals, organize your team, define your target market, establish strategies, create an action plan, and measure your progress, you will set your business up for great success.
Don’t hesitate to bookmark this article to return to if you have any questions about how to set realistic goals or create action plans!