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Have you ever felt like your sales team is performing reasonably, but you just know that they could do better?

If this is the case, it may be due less to the people you’ve hired and more to the guidance you’ve provided.

For instance, if you’ve previously handed your salespeople a list of potential customers and sent them on their way you might actually be inhibiting your team’s success potential.

Conversely, if you provide them with a strategic sales plan that clearly outlines the company’s goals, and a well planned approach to achieving them, you’re team are more likely to succeed.

What is a strategic plan?

If sales is a journey, your strategic plan is the roadmap to reach the destination. It’s one of the most important activities you will ever do as a sales manager because, without it, your team will have no direction and no instruction manual to follow in order to achieve their targets.

This roadmap allows the company to focus on long-term revenue through both the retention of existing customers and the acquisition of new customers.

Why bother with a strategic plan?

A strategic plan is essential because if none exists, your sales team are left to their own devices, making uneducated decisions based on the information they have in the moment. Without knowledge of the company’s long-term goals, they’re just working with what they have.

By creating (and following) a strategic plan, you:

  • Provide a sense of direction
  • Enable your organisation to be proactive instead of reactive
  • Make your team more efficient and productive
  • Increase profitability
  • Provide the expectations your team needs to meet when/if your team hits unexpected challenges

The Elements of a Strategic Plan

This document is sometimes created quarterly, but more often yearly, and it includes several different elements. By answering these questions, you’ll be able to create a robust strategic sales plan for your business.

Where are we now?

  • What did your business look like last year?
  • How much was sold?
  • Who on your team closed sales?
  • Who were the customers that purchased?
  • Will they be back for repeat business?
  • How long is your sales cycle?
  • Which clients took up the most time vs who had the highest revenue?
  • What does the market look like?
  • Has anything changed from past years?

What is your value proposition?

What makes your product the right solution for prospects’ problems? What makes your company different than all the others who offer similar products or services? Now is a great time to do a SWOT Analysis to determine your:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats
  • Be honest. Sugar-coating this exercise won’t help you grow.

Who are you selling to?

Include your target market as well as your buyer personas. Your answers from the prior year question will come in handy here.

  • How much do you need to make?
  • What are your target revenue goals for the year and for each the quarter?
  • How are you reaching them?

Attracting customers

  •  Marketing tactics to attract new customers
  • Ways to grow existing accounts or bring back old customers
  • Methods for leveraging existing customers for referrals
  • Your sales process should be noted here, as well as the prices you charge and any planned promotions.

The team

  • Who is on your team?
  • Outline the structure of your team and define roles and responsibilities, goals and deadlines.
  • What resources exist?
  • What tools will your team have access to in order to reach their revenue goals. What type of support will they receive from you, other departments, and outside sources?

Remember that even after the company’s strategic plan is created, you will need to work with your individual salespeople to determine how they will meet their individual goals and create a clear plan for them to follow with check-ins and key performance indicators along the way. This will include:

  • Their individual revenue goals
  • How many sales that represents
  • How many calls it typically takes to close those sales
  • How much time they should spend on sales calls
  • How to work with existing clients and past clients to increase their purchases and give referrals

 Strategic Sales Plan Templates

Like most things in business, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch when there are wonderful examples to model your strategic plans after. Once you find one that fits your industry and your company’s structure, you can tweak it to meet all of your needs.

If you want your sales team and your business to thrive, creating an annual strategic sales plan is the best action you can take. With a specific destination and a clear path to get there, your salespeople will have the tools they need to succeed.

If you’d like a template to work from, then get in touch.


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