For any business to survive, it is a necessity to be making money. Without money going into a business, the business will eventually fail. In order to make money the business needs to be selling their product or service, and it is important to strategically plan on how this is going to be accomplished. Having a well-executed sales plan will make a difference when starting or growing a business.
There is a lot that goes into the planning of generating sales. Michael Carter in his article “Strategic Sales Plan, The Five Key Components” lists the top components to use when creating a sales plan.
- Define your ideal customer – It is extremely important to break down your ideal customer as specifically as possible. When the spectrum is to wide when identifying new customers you often struggle locating the best customers who will actually purchase what you have to offer. Analyze existing customers, knowing their traits and industries they’re in.
- Know your Unique Sales Proposition – Know what makes your product or service unique to what is already on the market.
- Analyze your territory – Once the ideal customer is defined, know the territory in which you plan on targeting this ideal customer.
- Know the competition – It is very important to understand all competitors and how they function. Understanding the competition can provide advantages when pitching your product or service.
- Sales Expectations – It is important to forecast and analyze sales and costs on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Make sure that when forecasting sales that the goals aren’t set to unachievable standards, but are also high standards to reach for, putting the business in the best place possible.
As important as it is to have a well-executed sales plan, this plan won’t do the business any good unless the right sales people are in place. According to the article “A Guide to Hiring the Right Type of Salesperson for What You’re Selling” by George Deeb, he states that it is very important to know what you’re selling. There can be very good sales people, but how something is sold can vary from product or service. Sales can be broken down by enterprise vs. small business selling. Enterprise selling can involve working with multiple sectors of a business in order to close the deal. Small business sales usually don’t involve as many people and is quicker to get a decisive decision. There is also simple vs. consultative sales, where consultative sales involves removing the fear of the unknown with a product or service that may be more complex and create concerns in the purchasing process.
These are very important aspects to consider when hiring sales personnel. It is also important to realize the type selling that is going to be needed when it comes to training a new hire. It is important to make sure that the sales person understands every in and out of what they’re selling, so that to the best of their ability they’re able to close the deal. The experience level of who is hired also needs to be considered. A more experienced sales professional may require a higher salary, but may be able to accomplish more without the continuous need to assist a lesser experienced sales professional. Once the team is in place, compensation becomes the next major concern for any company.
Carter, Michael. Strategic Sales Plan, The Five Key Components. Salesmanagementworkshop.com. Web. 28 February 2012. http://www.salesmanagementworkshop.com/strategic-sales-plan-the-five- key-components/
Deeb, George. A Guide to Hiring the Right Type of Salesperson for What You’re Selling. Entrepreneur.com. Web. 14 August 2014. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236163