Best CRM practices

How to create a sales plan: templates+ examples

Introduction:

 Without a business plan or a sales plan, the business ship is going nowhere. The sales plan is more like a road map that empowers the sales management team and guides every department toward business growth. Every business should develop strategies to build customer relationships and drive leads. However, creating a sales plan requires time as it has to be created based on the business requirements and every business is unique. Please read the article if you are contemplating increasing the sales of your business, and don’t know where to start. This article lets you have an insight into the benefits of having a sales plan, and how it helps business growth. 

What is a Sales plan? Why do we need it?

A sales plan is more like a schedule that instructs your Sales management team what to do and when. It brings in discipline and diligence concerning sales and helps drive more sales to the business. The modern digital world has created massive opportunities to gain customers and ways to reach out to them. A clearly defined strategy helps the Sales management team to plan for the future, assess problems and manage multiple approaches. Although many of us don't plan everything, we understand that nothing happens unless we are accountable. A sales plan accumulates all the best ideas and helps you to execute them at the right time. Keeping a solid sales plan helps you in the following ways

  • Keeps the Sales management team as a team, all the strategies are known for every representative and help them to focus on the same target and priorities.

  • Keeps all the sales team knows about their goals and revenue objectives.
  • The team will have a direction and know what should be done next
  • The team can quickly adopt a unified set of strategies and other resources.
  • Let's you understand your team better concerning their capabilities, talent, resources and tools required for your team.
  • Track your team’s progress better, you can have better transparency and easily optimize business operations and performance.

What should you do to create a sales plan for your business?

There is no one right thing in a sales plan. Every business would need a unique way of writing a sales plan. Generally, a sales plan is more straightforward and can be written in informal language. However, you should cover the outline of your plans for the upcoming period which can be a year, a month or a couple of months.

 

A solid sales plan should cover the following categories:

 

  1. Setting goals:

Without setting a goal for your team, your team is going nowhere. Instead of focusing on numbers, setting goals that are more specific, achievable and time-bound helps in stretching the team’s capabilities. Making the target more precise and accurate helps you to achieve them easier.

 

  1.     SWOT analysis:

Analyze the key parameters such as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of your Sales management team. This helps to protect your team and understand what you lack and what improvement should you make.

  •   Sales strategy:
  • A detailed sales strategy with time bounds segregated based on sales channels and products/services should be documented. This helps you to differentiate your solution for the problem and stay unique in the market amidst competitors.

While crafting sales strategies, you should consider customers’ needs at every stage of the sales plan. Apart from this important information, you should also include your mission for the period in which the sales plan is getting created, market trends, industry conditions, revenue expectations, the performance of the business and a comparison of the present performance with the previous period and responsibilities of every department.

Four top-notch tips to create a sales plan for your business:

 

1.Do deep research:

 You should research relevant statistics, trends, niches and potential customers. You would need to research every time you sit to the craft sales plan because market trends and customers tend to flux constantly. By researching your potential customers, you can stop your team from chasing prospects that are not a good fit.

 

2.Utilize data and statistics:

A good CRM like ZONE CRM helps to acquire reliable data on your business progress and statistics. Real-time data and statistics help in identifying problematic areas and opportunities in your business.

 With accurate facts and figures, you can effortlessly build your plan. With the help of a CRM, you don’t have to spend time reviewing the facts, figures and forecasts while documenting the sales plan.

 Considering the historical data including revenue targets, help you set achievable goals for the current period. The historical data obtained from reliable CRM like ZONE help you avoid mistakes.

 

3.List down the software you use:

 

Your Sales management team should know the list of software and tools you use to track. Listing down performance metrics, monitoring techniques, tools, and selling strategies that suit your business model help your team to stick to them.

 

4.Collaborate with other teams:

 

Assigning action plans to other segments of the sales department helps the team to stay cohesive. Other cross-functional teams such as marketing, product teams, customer support and channel monitoring teams should know their action plans.

 

An effective sales plan template:

If you are ready to kick start writing your sales plan, here we have provided a template for your reference. You can simply follow the prompts in the template and you can use simple language.

 

1.Summary: Begin with a formal summary that sums up the categories included in the sales plan. The summary should be precise and should share an overview with the team. It shall include Goals, strategies to achieve them Time-bound or restrictions  How do these goals impact your business growth  

2. Goals and revenue targets:  This section will include categorizing the goals and revenue figures along with the sales strategies. 

For every category mentioned in the first column, you can enter the current outcome in sales and what you hope to achieve in the upcoming period in the consecutive columns.

3.Review of the historical data and performance:  Take a trip to the previous performances and analyze your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to set a solid and achievable goal for the upcoming period. 

4.Mention strategies, software, and methods: The next step is to list down the strategies across every channel, the costs involved, and the goals. It could be like this:

Take away:

Sales happen only when the is accountable, keeping the team accountable is possible only by creating a sales plan. Creating a sales plan that suits your business and team might take time as it involves identifying your challenges and drafting problem-solving strategies and significant others. However, it’s worth your time and effort!