Sales Planning: Complete 5-Step Guide to Put It Into Practice Now
Writer George Orwell used to say: “History is written by the winners”. No wonder this phrase has a contagious effect on those who want success in their business. However, to achieve greater profitability, companies and their managers must improve their sales planning.
In fact, a Brazilian survey carried out in 2018 proved that 20% of companies a year close their doors for lack of planning. Getting to this point is not a pleasant situation, but is there a lack of planning and organization?
With that in mind, we’ve listed in this post a complete guide on sales planning to make your business grow exponentially. Come on?
After all, what is sales planning and how important is it?
Sales planning is a strategic tool with the objective of conquering customers, retaining them and organizing the best ways to achieve satisfactory results for a company.
Not having a business plan is like hanging off a cliff with little chance of rescue. Therefore, two questions can make you reflect on the future of a company: knowing that the plan is the beginning of victory, and the second, where you want to go.
To more deeply understand the importance of sales planning, think about these three points initially: strategy, method, and practice. In short, strategy is linked to actions; method, driving; and practice, the attitude. All of this leads to a greater number of sales, as without them there is no way to increase revenue above expectations.
Now that you understand the importance of sales planning, let’s go ahead?
How to do a 5-step sales plan?
When creating an action plan for sales, initially think of unwanted situations if nothing happens as expected, after all, the professional market is full of ups and downs. Perhaps your goal is a fine line, but unforeseen events can change your field of vision. Therefore, count on a plan B as an alternative so that the day-to-day uncertainties do not gain more space.
So, the first thing to do is analyze the metrics from previous years to build a complete diagnosis. In this document, it is worth asking about:
- What happened in previous projections?
- What sales indicators are missing?
- How many people were on the team and which generated the best results?
- What brought negative results to my sales plan from last year?
Note that these four points already clear the mind about the company’s future. Together with your partners, put this line of reasoning down on paper.
Aligning the main points in the structure of an action plan, an interesting tool to help the company recognize its strengths and weaknesses is the SWOT Matrix. Let’s go to it:
The SWOT matrix is a fundamental part of the organizational process in sales planning. It corresponds to a tool that contemplates the accurate vision of a company’s external and internal environment. The phases of the SWOT Matrix are classified in Strengths, Opportunity, Weaknesses, and Threats, because of this, it is also affectionately known as SWOT.
SWOT is divided as follows:
- External environment – Threats (new competitor) and Opportunities (favorable changes);
- Internal environment – Strengths (best resources, advantages, etc.) and Weaknesses (absence of engagement, failures, etc.).
2. Set objectives and goals
Here, you are introduced to greater proximity to the path that your company must take to achieve success. With the action plan in hand, from now on you can see the details that will soon be implemented in the strategy, such as using the SMART methodology to create goals. The acronym SMART means:
- S – Specific (specific)
- M – Measurable (measurable)
- A – Attainable (attainable)
- R – Relevant (relevant)
- T – Time-based (temporal)
In a realistic way, the company is able to see a diagnosis to segment its goals and divide the action plan into macro and micro.
A: Increase the number of sales by 40% (R$10,000 to R$14,000 monthly) within 1 year.
S: Increase the number of sales
M: in 40%
A: BRL 10,000 to BRL 14,000 monthly
T: Within 1 year
It is noteworthy that for sales planning to generate expected results, you should not skip stages, so keep following our line of reasoning.
3. Align strategy with an action plan
As we saw earlier, strategy is related to actions that must be taken in the short term so that the action plan can take shape over a longer period. This phase includes work divisions and how each one should proceed, for example, pre-sales, physical sales, online sales, SAC, after-sales.
Then design an action plan to increase sales by integrating the spheres covered and see how separate teams can add using, for example, the SWOT matrix.
4. Prepare the sales team
A survey conducted by the University of Warwick, UK, found that happy employees are 12% more productive than others. Effectively, the relationship between happiness and productivity denotes qualifications such as the physical and mental well-being of employees.
Therefore, knowing the characteristics of each professional helps the company to leverage its own performance. With the action plan in hand, the team is able to visualize the customer’s expectation in light of what was agreed.
In modern times we cannot complain about the technology implemented in the 21st century. In addition to calls or emails, virtual contact can be through chat, social networks, chatbots, without the need for visits and a quick response to solve any problem.
5. Measure the results
A sales plan is only likely to be successful if the company measures the main results. The KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) analyze the numbers and correctly assess the evolutionary path of the company. Thus, the sales KPI explores average ticket, sales volume, churn (or cancellation rate), conversion rate and average response time.
Watch in this video how to assemble using the SMART methodology:
Bonus: Commercial Development Program: essential in your company’s sales process
Now that you understand the fundamental steps to put your company’s sales planning in full swing, how about specializing you and your team in this direction in search of new results?
Even if the sales-focused team has extensive knowledge, it is always possible to add relevant information such as form and qualification.
In this sense, IEV invests in making new experiences available through the Commercial Development Program, a personalized strategy with preparatory courses for Management of Commercial Teams and Specialization in Sales where, over a year, the IEV will help you overcome the greatest challenges of your commercial area.
No wonder that, since 2014, the company has been seeking to train the best professionals in the market. After all, there are more than 450 companies benefited and 5,000 expert students in dozens of courses.