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In our previous article, we explored how your business planning and marketing planning go hand in hand. But have you also considered the importance of a sales plan?

What is a sales plan?
A sales plan is where you set sales targets for your business, and define the practical steps you’ll take to deliver your sales goals. It’s your opportunity to define which sales channels are most effective for your business and plan how you’re going to generate new sales (and leads) via those channels.

I’m a small business. Do I still need a sales plan?
Absolutely you do! Say you’re a building contractor, for example. You might make all of your sales pitches in person (as opposed to relying on a sales team) – visiting prospective customers’ homes yourself, giving estimates and generally convincing folks of your ability to get the job done. Direct, in-person selling is your main channel, then, which seems simple enough. But you still need to plan for the activities and time involved in personally selling your service to customers.

You’ll also be relying on referrals and testimonials from happy customers to bring new customers your way. This, too, forms part of your sales planning for example, you might ask customers to write Google reviews of your business).

Bottom line, there are many ways to reach your customers, turn leads into sales and generate new leads. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why you need to craft a sales plan that’s tailored to your business.

Sales and business planning
As you look ahead to next year, you’ll undoubtedly consider your business goals, priorities, and how you want to spend your time as a business owner. Your sales plan must feed into this strategic thinking and vice versa.

If your sales pipeline relies on you personally (like our building contractor example), the time you spend on sales impacts how much bandwidth you have for other business-critical tasks. It’s really important to prepare for this.

And even if you have your own sales force, you still need to be crystal-clear on what you expect of them and how you want them to drive the business forward – which, again, links back to your overall business goals.

No doubt about it, sales planning is business planning. But where to start? OCTOPUS has the tools and expertise to create your in-depth sales plan – and provide hands-on sales support, if you need it. Let’s chat about your sales goals and how your marketing plan will support them.

(Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash)

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