Create a sales plan

What is a sales plan?

A sales plan outlines all activities that lead to selling your products or services. It sets sales targets and tactics for your business, and identifies the steps you will take to meet sales goals for the year.

How can you create a plan to start selling?

While a great product or service is the core of any business, many still fail because of poor sales. It is vital for your growth and success that you create a strong marketing and sales plan. Your marketing plan will define your target customer and what kinds of content you’ll use. For example, you’ll define one customer type as millennials in the Chicago suburbs who are interested in fashion and you’'ll want to target them using Instagram and Google display ads around 5pm every Thursday.

Your sales plan will dictate that the best month for your campaign is mid June to late July because that’s when millenials travel heavily. It will also dictate how much you expect to sell as a result of the campaign.

Here are some key steps you should be thinking about to create a great sales plan.

  1. Include your business Vision and Mission

  2. Define your sales territory: Create a simple and concise description of the geographic region that you are going to operate within, and note any exceptions.

  3. Define sales objectives: Define the longer-term strategies and day-to-day tactics that you’ll use to acquire new business opportunities as well as grow business with existing customers. These are the tasks you will use to execute your sales plan and acquire or grow target customers. All strategies and tactics outlined in this section should support your organization’s sales objectives and should be described the SMART format.

  4. Set metrics: Determine how to measure your progress against each business objective. Establishing a sales process, define the critical steps in each stage, and then describe success in terms of conversion rates and resource time or process flow.

  5. Select your team: List the roles and responsibilities of your sales team as well as any separate marketing and/or agency support. Summarize the responsibilities of each role or their expected contribution to the sales process.

  6. Create your sales plan budget: Itemize expected costs to measure the anticipated return on your investment. Not all expenses are recurring, which is why it is also a good idea to break your budget out into one-time expenditures as well as ongoing costs. Some costs you should consider are commissions, travel, digital marketing, traditional marketing,

    • Get paid: Setup how you will get paid, checkout our article called Get Paid to learn how

  7. Create your action plan: Figure out how you'll get there. This section summarizes your game plan for hitting your revenue targets.

  8. Create your marketing plan in alignment with your sales plan: Define your target customer and select your marketing mix.

Bringing it all together. If your objective is to increase Product A sales 30% this quarter:

  • Sales plan:

    • Hold sales contest for referral sales, winner gets 2% of total sales.

    • Marketing: Run Instagram ad campaign mid Jan - mid Fed, run coupon ad

  • Territory: Downtown Chicago

  • Metrics: # of product A sold directly from Instagram ad campaign

  • Team: Me and my partner

  • Budget: Instagram ad campaign $250/week

Why are sales plan important?

A sales plan will help you define a set of sales targets for your business, budget and clarify steps you'll take to achieve your targets, and review your goals periodically to improve your approaches to sales.

Pro tip

Your marketing plan and sales plan should go hand in hand. In the end, you’ll want to create a “content calendar” to track when you’ll launch marketing campaigns. Each item in your content calendar should be created for a specific content type, details like the goal, budget, medium, customer type.