A Business Sales Plan
Do I have a sales Plan? Well, by virtue of the fact that you are encouraging people to spend money on the service or products you provide means you have a sales plan of sorts, even if it’s not a ring bound document that you can lovingly caress every night before sleep!
Interacting with the outside world via adverts in papers, leaflets, big signs on hoardings in fields next to major M roads, social media, AdWords, planes flying overhead with trailing banners, brochures, flyers, leaflets, business cards & websites, yep! They’re all part of a sales plan; I believe it’s called marketing.
So, by making a checklist of the sales & marketing activities you currently undertake with some costings in the margin, is really the start of your plan.
Next, ask yourself – Am I doing the right sales activity? Also, is what I’m doing working best for my business? Sure sales people selling advertising will tell you it’s the best thing to be doing, but can you measure the outcome of each spend?
I have found that many businesses depend heavily on current customers and the busyness of the companies they serve. In some organisations I have encountered they have as much as 80-90% of their trade with just a few clients!
Sales plans should be considered “work in progress” with a review process, maybe at the quarter year marks, supported by analysis to help you gauge results and make adjustments. Think about activity and spend verses new clients, as well as improved revenue from existing customers as a result of awareness actions.
Some top advice I’ve been given in the past “Look to do more of what works and you can prove it, and abandon things that don’t, even if they are a real passion”. After all it’s all about the return on investment (ROI)! For every pound you spend you want two pounds back!
Important – make sure your activities can be measured, the easier the better. This helps with getting the best “bang for your buck” as well as helping with future marketing investment decisions.
It’s worth remembering that a good sales plan needs to be stretching in order to propel the business forward. Whilst I’m in a nautical metaphor style, beware! many once good businesses perish on the rocks of the “do nothing strategy”. Understand the external environment and how you engage with it, spending your cash developing customer awareness is critical. Above all, make sure you’re able to measure any return on your marketing spend.
Finally, don’t forget to take action!