Whether you are a CEO, sales executive or sales manager, now is the time to get moving on creating your 2020 sales plan. A sales plan is a road map that is used to establish your sales objectives and develop the strategies necessary to achieve them. Your plan should establish a strategy for revenue growth and other critical KPI's. Sales plans consist of goals, identifying key customer attributes, and listing necessary strategies, tools and metrics. You should NOT create a sales plan without collaborating with your marketing team first. By working together, you will quickly become much closer to achieving your 2020 sales goals and objectives.
Defining your target demographic is critical. You first need to establish your ideal buyer profile which summarizes the attributes of the prospects that you will target. Next, create your buyer personas, which are semi-fictionalized representations of the various roles that you are in contact with throughout the sales process. What do your best customers look like? Do they all belong to a specific industry? Exceed a certain size? Struggle with the same challenge?
Be prepared to update your ideal buyer profile and personas from time to time as your solution and strategy evolves and you find product-market fit.
Mission and Objectives
Your mission should be a formal statement of what your business stands for and what it is that you want your business to achieve. Begin your sales plan by stating your company mission and vision statements, which are the formalized guiding principle behind your business.
The sales objectives are goals that support your company’s growth in the upcoming year and into the future, in terms of revenue, market share, or profit margin. By establishing these goals, you are explaining what success will look like in the clearest terms and provides a clear, defined path for your sales team to follow.
First, describe the roles that are critical to achieving your goals. Keep in mind that these roles will be both within your department and outside of it, including members of your marketing team.
If you have plans of adding headcount, include the number of employees, their roles, and the time from on when you plan to have them joining the team.
A sales team meeting to establish critical roles for achieving their goals.
Tools and Systems
Summarize the systems and tools needed to support the successful implementation of your sales plan. This will help to ensure your sales activities and associated processes are performed using your defined best practices and methods. If you're using a CRM, now is a good time to ensure you have your system optimized to perform at a high level. Track, measure and adjust!
This is a good place to lay out which tools your salespeople should use to succeed in their jobs (e.g., training, documentation, sales enablement tools, etc.).
Define Your Buyers Journey
With your ideal buyer profile and personas in place, now you need to define the journey a prospect takes to find you and become a client. Before you start this process, first check with your marketing team to see if this is something they have already done. In my experience, marketing will take on the responsibility or at least assist with the development of your ideal buyer profile, personas and the journey.
The best place to begin mapping out the buyers journey is with your best clients. These promoters will be willing to provide a tremendous amount of insight into the how and why to becoming your client. When was the last time you bought something similar to our service or product? Was that a good or bad experience? Why? How did you make your decision back then? What was the decision-making process like? How did you evaluate different offers? What were the deciding factors that made you chose that particular solution?
Also, it you are a sales executive or sales manager, collaborate with your best sales team members to get their input.
To be continued in Part Two......