The latest State of Sales report found that 72% of sales reps don’t expect to meet their annual quota this next year because of the lingering pandemic, inflation, and supply-chain issues. Your sales team must create a strong sales plan to maximize efficiency, cut costs, and find new customers.
We’ll break down how to create an effective sales plan so that your sales team can grow your business despite tough economic conditions.
5 Critical Steps to Developing a Successful Sales Plan
Creating a successful sales plan involves several steps:
1. Define Your Target Market
Identify your ideal customer and understand their needs and wants. This will help you to tailor your sales approach and messaging to effectively reach and appeal to your target audience.
Market research is the best way to define your target market. 3 out of 4 top sales teams conduct market research before reaching out to prospects. This research should include gathering data on your potential customers' demographics, psychographics, and buying habits.
Once you have gathered this information, you can use it to create a detailed buyer persona of your ideal customer. This persona should pinpoint your target market and its:
2. Set Clear and Measurable Goals
A sales team can set clear and measurable goals by first identifying the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most important to the success of their sales plan. These KPIs should be specific, measurable, and aligned with the business's overall goals.
The most common KPI for a sales team include:
Revenue targets: This can be measured by setting a specific revenue number for each sales team.
The number of new customers: This can be measured by setting a goal for the number of new customers the sales team should acquire.
Close rate: This can be measured by setting a goal for the percentage of successfully converted leads into paying customers.
Average deal size: This can be measured by setting a goal for the sales team's average monetary value of deals closed.
3. Develop a Sales Strategy
Once you understand your market and KPIs, it’s time to create a plan of action to achieve these sales goals. You’ll want to utilize several sales tactics that appeal to your target market, such as:
Cold calling by reaching out to potential customers directly by phone to introduce your product or service and schedule a follow-up call or meeting.
Email marketing campaigns that send targeted and personalized emails to potential customers to introduce your product or service and encourage them to schedule a call or meeting. Email marketing has an average ROI result of 4,300%.
Networking other professionals in your industry and leveraging those relationships to connect with potential customers.
Social selling tactics utilize social media platforms to reach potential customers, share valuable content, and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Referral selling leverages your existing customer base to generate new leads and sales through word-of-mouth marketing.
Solution selling pinpoints customers’ pain points and provides a tailored solution to their specific needs.
Inbound marketing creates valuable and informative content that will attract potential customers to your website or social media channels.
A sales team should continuously review and adapt sales tactics to stay ahead of the market trends and changes in customer behavior.
Need help defining and executing your sales strategy? Contact Twiz to help you reach your KPIs.
In addition to a sales budget, you’ll need to determine the resources you will need to implement your sales plan, such as:
Training and development programs: Providing your sales team with ongoing training and development opportunities can help them to improve their skills, stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices, and increase their productivity.
Sales enablement tools: Sales enablement tools such as CRM systems, sales automation software, and marketing automation software can help to streamline the sales process, increase efficiency, and improve performance.
Sales coaching and mentoring: Providing your sales team with coaching and mentoring can help to improve their confidence and effectiveness in their role.
Sales incentives: Offering bonuses, commissions, and rewards can help motivate your sales team to reach their goals.
Competitive intelligence: Providing your sales team with information about your competitors can help them to better understand the market, identify opportunities, and improve their sales strategies.
Sales resources: Providing your sales team access to resources such as industry reports, sales guides, and best practices can help them improve their knowledge and effectiveness in their role.
Sales support: Providing your sales team with support from other departments, such as marketing, customer service, and product development, can help to ensure they have the resources they need to achieve their goals.
Need more sales and marketing resources? Learn more about our sales and marketing agency and what we can do for you.
To track and measure these goals, the sales team should use sales software that can collect and analyze data to provide important statistics such as the number of leads, conversions, and sales. Then use this data to make adjustments and improvements as needed.
The best methods for tracking sales goals include the following:
CRM (Customer Relationship Management): 91% of SMEs use a CRM tool to track sales goals.A CRM system tracks and manages all aspects of your sales process, including leads, opportunities, and deals. It also allows you to track performance against your sales goals and identify areas for improvement.
Sales Dashboards: A sales dashboard is a visual representation of your sales data that allows you to quickly and easily track your progress against your sales goals. It also allows you to identify patterns and trends in your sales data.
Sales Forecasting: Sales forecasting involves using historical data, market trends, and other information to predict future sales. This allows you to identify potential roadblocks and take action to mitigate them before they occur.
Regular Sales Team Meetings: Meeting with the sales team to review progress and performance. This allows you to identify any issues, provide feedback and coaching, and adjust the sales plan as needed.
Sales Metrics: Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), such as lead conversion rate, sales per rep, and customer retention rate, allows you to monitor progress and identify areas for improvement.
By tracking sales goals, you can ensure the team is on track and gain valuable insights to continually improve the sales process. It will also help you to review and adapt your sales plan on a monthly or quarterly basis to stay ahead of the market trends and changes in customer behavior.