1 year ago
April 18, 2016

How to Develop a Solid Sales Plan

When your sales aren’t performing as you’d like them to, it’s time to develop a solid sales plan that will help you to reach your goals.

Rhys Metler

How are your sales doing right now? If you’re online googling “sales plan,” you’re probably looking for answers. When your sales aren’t performing as you’d like them to, it’s time to develop a solid sales plan that will help you to reach your goals.

To begin, start by answering the following four questions.

1. What can I do to reach my target audience?

2. How will I engage potential customers?

3. How can I stay in touch with current customers?

4. How can I prospect within my current customer base?

The answers to these questions will help you to develop a solid sales plan, which you can use to plan the strategies and schedules of your sales team. Let’s look at what to do with the answers to each question.

1. What can I do to reach my target audience?

A successful sales plan helps you to find and reach the people who are looking for the solutions you have to offer. But how will you find these people? Every business is different, and what works in one industry won’t necessarily work in another industry, but here are some possible tactics to consider:

  • Join professional groups or organizations that will help you to meet potential customers.
  • Personally visit a certain number of prospective clients each month.
  • Plan a free seminar that offers your unique solutions to customer needs. Offer incentives to those who attend.

2. How will I engage potential customers?

Once you’ve found potential customers, how will you engage them in conversations that will allow you to work through your sales process? Developing relationships of trust with new customers is an art. Use your sales plan to help you set goals to regularly engage with potential clients:

  • Post meaningful content on your social media accounts.
  • Create a blog and add helpful posts on a regular basis. Use the comments section of your blog to start conversations and answer questions.
  • Volunteer to speak to local organizations whose members would be interested in your products.

3. How can I stay in touch with current customers?

Making a sale is always great, but don’t write your customers off once you’ve made that initial sale. Not only could they become repeat customers, but they could also be valuable contacts leading you to other repeat customers. Keeping in touch with your existing customer base is an important part of any organization’s sales plan.

  • Create email newsletters filled with valuable information for your existing customers, and send out your newsletter at least once a month.
  • Develop feedback surveys as part of your sales plan. Surveys give you important feedback and help your customers to know you’re concerned about their opinions.
  • Keep your website up to date. When your website or blog is full of cutting edge industry news, your customers will check in regularly to get the scoop.
  • Make it personal. Send your customers birthday cards or congratulations cards for the births of their children. Kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way.

4. How can I prospect within my current customer base?

You already have a base of people who are interested in your products and services. Don’t neglect this group. Prospecting within your current customer base can be a hugely important part of your sales plan.

  • Include promotional flyers about new products with each order shipment.
  • Scan the social media profiles of existing customers to find out what their current needs and concerns are, and offer solutions for those concerns.
  • Schedule brief meetings or lunch dates with existing customers to learn about what you can do to help them further and find out if they have contacts you can work with.

By incorporating some of these to-dos into your sales plan, you can more effectively reach both your current customers and new customers. A solid sales plan will direct your sales team to higher success.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.