NOW is the Time to Create Your Sales Plan for Next Year - Part Two

Posted by Chris Sharp on Sep 18, 2019 8:00:00 AM
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Continued from Part one here.

Begin here by listing out your competitors. Explain how your products compare, where theirs are stronger than yours, and vice versa. Be honest with yourself regarding your vulnerabilities. In addition, compare their pricing versus yours. If you haven't already done so, be sure to create your SWOT analysis.

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You should also include market trends. If you're a SaaS company, you should note vertical-specific software is becoming more popular. If you sell ads, mention the rise in programmatic mobile advertising. Try to predict how these changes will influence your business.

Prospecting and Partnership Strategy
How will your sales team qualify the leads that are generated by your overall marketing strategy? Don't forget to include the criteria prospects should meet before sales reps reach out. And identify which inbound and outbound sales methods your team will use to close more deals. When developing your prospecting strategy, be sure to include goals for activity that is key to the success of your team. Activity goals can include first meetings, demos, MQL to SQL conversions, number of prospects contacted. I suggest creating a short timeframe for tracking activity goals, such as daily or weekly. If you string it out any longer than that, you can quickly struggle to stay out ahead of your business.

Woman Reviews Sales Plan 1200x600

A sales team meeting to discuss weekly goals.

If you and your team will be developing leads from partnerships, be sure to list out the existing partnerships and how many additional partnerships you would like to foster in the upcoming year. Also, now is a good time to evaluate current partnerships and those that are not bearing any fruit, kick those to the curb!

Lastly, include a strategy to leverage your current client base. All too often, companies forget about or ignore their current clients, but this can be incredibly important avenue for extracting additional revenue, referrals or just increasing your retention rate.

Most sales goals are revenue-based. Maybe your total target is $5MM in annual recurring revenue. In addition to your revenue goal or alternatively, you can set a volume goal. For example, that could be 50 new customers or 200 sales. Your objective needs to be realistic, otherwise your entire sales plan will be largely useless.

We say that any goal needs to be SMART, we mean that it has to be:

Specific – This is the specific goal you want to achieve
Measurable – Include a numerical value in your goal
Achievable – The number you select should be realistic
Relevant – The specific goal should be related to the responsibilities of the person or people the goal is assigned to
Timed – The goal should have a specific due date or end date

Next, factor in your product's price, total addressable market, market penetration, and resources and be sure to include and marketing support and sales headcount. Your goal should also be closely tied to your organizations business goals. Now, you'll probably have more than one goal, so identify the most important, then rank the rest by priority. Be sure to lay out your timeline. By having regular benchmarks, you can ensure that you are on track, or ahead / behind in meeting your targets.

Describe any costs associated with hitting your sales goals. Typical costs include:

• Compensation (salary, commission and bonuses)
• Training
• Tools and resources
• Incentives and prizes
• Team activities
• Travel costs
• Food
• Events

Bottom Line
A sales plan is an essential tool for all businesses regardless of size or industry. While this typically gets merged into the overall business plan, it makes much more sense to break out your sales plan as a separate document. Sales revenue is the lifeblood of any business and, as a result, requires its own focus.

Sales Plan Template

Topics: Sales