Did you know top sellers spend approximately 6 hours a week researching potential prospects? This shows what is required to be on top in sales. A plan of action is the way to go, to provide structure to your sales techniques, and this allows you to execute your methods in a timely fashion and reach your pre-determined goals. Here are the three key reasons a sales plan is important to any business which looks to move forward and thrive.
‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ – a sales plan is a great opportunity for a business to identify potential risks shortly. This can be a study into a competitor’s new product, gaps in potential profits, and reasons why those gaps exist, or just a general overview of your industry and what may be affecting it. A good example is the wire harness shortage affecting the automotive industry. European companies have been greatly affected by this immediate issue caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. You can be certain that planning has taken place within the Volkswagen group to tackle this problem, as Skoda automotive has begun manufacturing their harnesses at great cost to protect their future.
A sales plan is a good time for all departments to reflect on your business identity. What do you sell? Whom do you sell to? What are the pros and cons across the business for your customers? These insights are priceless moving forward. allowing you to plan out ways to enforce your brand identity. You may also recognize a new demographic of customers gravitating towards your company, taking your identity in a different direction. This could lead to new business avenues opening in alternate niches, greatly boosting profit potential and brand awareness. Writing your identity down helps you and your employees stay in touch with your brand identity. Exploring your brand together will help you develop further into the future and expand your name far and wide by recognising your strengths and key demographics.
This is where business goals come from. Sales planning allows a company to get together and outline potential goals and timelines in which they wish to achieve said goals. These goals can be profit targets, business expansion targets, and recruitment targets. Having time to place focus on business goals company-wide is a great way to begin your journey toward them, placing everybody on the same page and reinforcing accountability. The importance of setting goals can be seen here. Psychological studies have taken place showing that people who set goals have a greater chance of achieving them. A company is no different, providing the goals are created by all departments.
After brainstorming your risks, brand identity, and future goals, your sales plan meeting can end with outlining how said goals are going to be executed. Creating a plan to reach your goals is certain to set you on your way. All departments within a business must partake in planning, allowing a diverse range of opinions to be shared. Not only does this assist with team morale, but it allows a structured plan to be created that satisfies all parties involved. Planning your next steps is the most effective section of sales and operations planning. This is the area in which you can draw back in your next meeting when reviewing goals that have been achieved and why others may have failed. This level of insight allows your sales meetings to connect creating a linear path to your goals
Sales and operations plans should be held regularly – weekly or monthly tend to be the norm. This form of communication within a business synchronises multiple departments and creates a structured approach to your future. “Plans are nothing, planning is everything”.