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9 Steps To Building A Sales Plan To Drive Growth

Sales Plan

1.Set realistic sales goals

Before we talk about sales, we need to talk about something more important: Goals.

Your sales plan necessarily has an end goal. It could be the number, sales, customers, or whatever metrics you choose – which will tell you whether your work is successful or not. In the past, I’ve written about setting in-depth sales goals. But in the end, all you need to do is determine what you can actually do based on the size of the market, the company goals, the experience, and the resources available in the sales team. your.

2. Define deadlines and milestones

sales plan

 

It takes serious research and time to develop important deadlines and milestones. These should be specific with clear goals and deadlines.

For example, this year, you’ll increase your customer base by 20%, or increase sales by 50% for a particular product. Or, you’ll increase the percentage of users on the paid plan by 15% by mid-year.

Whatever the milestone, make clear expectations and set a deadline for the team to work together.

3. Concentrate and put energy into a single niche

First, we need to know the market we dominate, as well as the market we intend to occupy in order to accurately position our business and the path to growth.

Start by looking at a niche and asking yourself the following questions:

  • How big is the market?
  • Is there a lot of demand for what you’re selling?
  • What your current market position is: Include any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats.
  • Who is your opponent? What are their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?

If you get stuck, start by getting back to your strengths. List your strongest interests and passions. Choose a niche that is most beneficial to you – one in which you already specialize, have a broad base of contacts, and who can introduce you to more clients.

The more successful you are in your niche, the more chances you will have of achieving your planned sales goals and milestones.

4. Understand your target audience

sales plan

To understand your target audience, there are many things you need to define. This depends on the company and your market; But let’s start with the basics like company size (in terms of employees, revenue), information about location, industry, title, etc. Any characteristics that are common to category customers. your spending.

Also, don’t forget to think about whether these customers are suitable for the business or not. If you decide this will be a long-term relationship rather than a โ€œone-night-loveโ€ relationship, make sure you speak the same language and have a similar vision with them.

Once you know what direction you want your company to grow, then you need time to make a mark on your customers’ hearts. Start by finding out where they appear:

  • Are they on social media? What social networks do they use?
  • Are they a member of any Facebook or LinkedIn groups?
  • Can you answer industry questions for them on Quora or Reddit?
  • What podcasts do they listen to or what resources do they read?

4. Understand your target audience

To understand your target audience, there are many things you need to define. This depends on the company and your market; But let’s start with the basics like company size (in terms of employees, revenue), information about location, industry, title, etc. Any characteristics that are common to category customers. your spending.

Also, don’t forget to think about whether these customers are suitable for the business or not. If you decide this will be a long-term relationship rather than a โ€œone-night-loveโ€ relationship, make sure you speak the same language and have a similar vision with them.

Once you know what direction you want your company to grow, then you need time to make a mark on your customers’ hearts. Start by finding out where they appear:

  • Are they on social media? What social networks do they use?
  • Are they a member of any Facebook or LinkedIn groups?
  • Can you answer industry questions for them on Quora or Reddit?
  • What podcasts do they listen to or what resources do they read?

5. Mapping customer journey

So, what do we need to know about who is about to become customers of the brand? Let’s start by asking them the basics:

  • How do you want our products to help you?
  • What features are important to you? Why?
  • What is your budget for this?
  • How are you solving this problem right now?

Above are all great questions. However, it would be a huge mistake to focus on the present.

Excellent salespeople take buyers on a “journey through time” before they even know they need a solution when they become loyal brand customers. To fully understand the customer journey, start by asking about past buying experiences:

  • When was the last time you bought something similar to our service or product?
  • Was it a good experience or a bad experience? Why?
  • How did you make your decision then? Decision-making like?
  • How would you rate different suggestions?
  • What are the deciding factors that make you choose that particular solution?

If they’ve had great experiences before, think about how to develop them and make yourself stand out by offering your Unique Selling Point (USP). If they have a bad experience, find out the cause and show how you will fix the situation.

In your sales plan, make sure you keep track of the entire customer journey from pre to after sales.

6. Identification of USPs

Your competitive advantage is what sets you apart from your competition. Start by asking a few simple questions:

  • Why do customers buy from us?
  • Why do customers choose competitors other than us?
  • Why are some potential customers not buying anything?
  • What do we need to do to be successful in the future?

Remember that customers buy benefits, not features. When describing the USP, it is easy to get caught up in talking about you or what you did. Instead, talk about what your product will do for your customers. A strong competitive advantage:

  • Reflect the competitive strength of your business
  • It is best (but not necessarily) unique
  • Clear and simple
  • That can change over time as competitors try to steal your idea
  • Must be supported by ongoing market research

Your competitive advantage is not only an integral part of your sales plan, it is also the standard for everything in the company, from marketing to product development.

7. Build a list of potential customers

First, use the ideal customer profile (Customer Persona) to start looking for your target audience:

  • Search for LinkedIn
  • Check out relevant local business networks
  • Attend networking and meeting events
  • Do simple searches on Google
  • Check out the membership list of relevant groups and online communities

Target up to 5 people per organization (reason: you can always redirect towards the right buyers no matter who in the organization actually responds to you). Targeting more than one individual will provide you with a higher connection rate, as well as a better chance that someone in your network can make a personal connection with you.

Remember, this is not merely a list of people you can sell your product to. This is a list based on market research that you have done previously. In a sense, a well-built sales plan can partially win over potential customers before you even take a minute to talk to them.

Here are tips: Find Potential Customers From Many Different Channels

8. Make use of existing customer relationships

Use LinkedIn to see if anyone you know could refer you to one of your next leads. Or, reach out to your most loyal customers and ask them if they know who will be interested in your product or service (you can even offer a commission on referrals or a certain discount. ).

On a side note, when leveraging existing client relationships, you need to make sure you do it the right way.

The final group you should include in your sales plan is any strategic partner: individuals, organizations or companies, groups reaching the same customer. Some people call these Complementary Service Providers (CSPs) – they don’t compete and instead offer some supplementary product or service to you.

Plan to build your relationships with these groups through things like:

  • Write publications for them
  • Speaking at the workshop
  • Provide resources for their website

Start a group, a community where you can exchange contact information

Remember, you should be offered all of these services free of charge, as providing value to additional businesses is a win-win and the two of you work towards mutual growth. The more value you add to the community, the more people will want to provide more customers for you.

9. Track, measure, and adjust as needed

You use everything you know about your market, your USP, your target audience, and your partners to determine an ideal sales plan for your team. But try to be as attentive as you can be, because very few of us are actually 100% correct in delving into the problems.

Instead, keep in mind that sales plans can also change. Need to calculate and adapt to new marketing features, campaigns, or even staff changes in the team. You need regular assessment to see if your predictions are likely to come true.

In addition, regular meetings (at least monthly) should be held to review progress, identify and resolve problems, and align activities between teams to optimize implementation. plan in practice. Learn from your successes (and mistakes), and develop a sales plan when needed.

Conclusion

This guide explains the importance of having a sales plan and will help you develop, implement and review your business’s sales plan.

Thank you
Leadee.ai Team
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