The quick guide to effective sales planning

17-03-13 Alison Parker 0 comment

A seasoned sales person will tell you that the key to a successful year is a well thought out sales plan. Without one, your Dubai sales team is going to drift through the year unsure of how to propel potential growth for your company.

sales planning

ISM is the leader in sales training for the Gulf region and runs a highly regarded Sales Planning and Territory Management course.

Sure, you may hit lucky occasionally by landing a few new customers, or getting work in through existing customers. However, without a plan how can you be sure you’ve got the right people, in the right places, selling to the right customers? You also need to be aware of the product cycle – is your company making enough product to fulfill orders, or that there is sufficient demand for what you’re producing.

Even in the service industries, thorough sales planning will reap rewards. This is because a good sales plan isn’t just a quickly written document of where you hope to be in twelve months time, it is a complete overview of what your targets are for the year and how you will achieve those targets.

So the best place to start planning isn’t necessarily with a sales team meeting. You need to get key members of the company together to discuss all aspects of what is happening in the coming months.

Understanding how other departments are working is essential to creating a successful sales plan. If you are bringing out a new product in Q3, you need to know what marketing is being done around it, whether there are supply chain issues, what the production schedule is, as well as knowing what benefits the new product is bringing to your customers.

With this knowledge you can create a more targeted sales plan with your sales team. This plan must include the following:

Who is customer?

Do you really know who your customer is? It’s vital to any serious sales plan to identify both the real customer and potentially bad customers. Looking through sales to existing customers will clarify this area. Who are the ones who keep coming back and who are you wasting time on?

Reaching out

Take time out to understand how you’re best able to reach your target market and get them interested in what you’re selling. There may be barriers to using your product over another company’s – find out what they are and how best to show customers what you’re offering is superior.

Clearly defined goals

At the outset make it clear to everyone in the team what your objectives are in the sales plan. When all members of the team know what the goal is, they can pull together to make it happen.

Sales Budget

You need to know what the budget is and how to make the most of it. You may need to reach customers at trade shows, conferences, networking events, and street level sales events. Without a tight control on your budget, the cost of gaining new customers could impact on profits.

Territory planning

Establish who is going to cover which areas as soon as possible. By doing this you will be giving ownership and a certain level of control to members of your team. Within the territorial agreements your team can develop individual sales plans specific to that territory.

Recruitment and training

When setting out the sales plan you have to decide whether your team needs to grow. Identify at what point you’re going to need that additional support and plan how you are going to recruit and train new members to your team.



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