What is a strong sales planning process
Sales planning is a rigorous and often the first action item for organizations in order to meet their revenue goals. But small business owners and solopreneurs get involved in wasted efforts and duplication of tasks because they are not approaching sales planning as a process-driven exercise.
WHAT IS SALES PLANNING?
In simple words, sales planning is a process of organizing activities that are mandatory to achieve your business goals.
Goal setting is easy. Planning is hard. And following the plan is harder.
And that’s why many entrepreneurs find themselves making Big. Hairy. Audacious. Goals. but fail to follow through with them and achieve them. The prime reason for such a lag is that we are not natural planners.
We talk a good game, but nothing happens until we’re accountable. Without a written plan, it’s just talking.
You’re 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down on a regular basis
So a sales plan becomes the strategic document that helps you stay committed to your goals, follow the growth strategy, and monitor progress. Sales planning becomes the process of developing your sales plan. The thing that helps here is a systematic tool, a Personal Sales Planner, that enables you to take disciplined and diligent actions on a continuous basis in order to achieve your goals.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF A STRONG SALES PLAN
Taking a holistic approach towards sales planning can quadruple your efficiency and double your income. This approach has four pillars to it
MINDSET AND MOTIVATION:
the foundational piece of whatever you do in your business and how you approach selling.
STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION:
without an agile execution, the most robust growth and sales strategies will fail to deliver results
TRACKING AND MONITORING:
persistence and perseverance prevails when it comes to business success
REVIEW AND REFLECTION:
what gets measured gets improved
13 STEPS FOR EFFECTIVE SALES PLANNING
Success doesn’t happen. You plan for it.
By carefully working through each step of the sales planning process, you will be well positioned to achieve your business goals while spending less time on ‘salesy tasks’ each day. If you use a sales planning tool like a personal sales planner, keeping track of your efforts made and results derived becomes easier.
Doing a 30–60–90 day format of sales planning is ideal for solopreneurs because business scenarios are very dynamic. And while one needs to have a bigger picture and vision for long term, planning should be done for short term in order to have the right amount of flexibility and discipline.
1.Address your fears, limiting beliefs and apprehensions around selling. If you find doing sales really challenging — go inwards with inquires like
- How does my body react to the idea of selling?
- How does my brain respond to the idea of selling?
- Is this a response that works in my favor or does it need to change?
- What precisely needs to change?
Look for the internal conflicts, barriers, and limiting beliefs that come up around selling for you. Acknowledge them and reframe them into something positive. For example, if your belief is that ‘I send out so many proposals but I do not hear back on them form anywhere’. You can reframe it as I am planting the seeds. I will see it grow on the most fertile land’…..meaning you serve those and work with those people and clients whom you are meant to serve.
2. Solidify your new belief with Sales Affirmations. Affirmations have a magical power and they energize you with positivity and conviction.
3. Set your high-level revenue goals and monthly milestones. These act as the lighthouse guiding your path
4. Define your sales process which includes the marketing plan, all the communication collaterals, proposal, content plan, hiring requirements, etc. Essentially everything that you will be doing or the assets you need to have that ‘enable’ you to sell.
5. Map out your customer journey. This is also called the sales funnel where you clearly articulate how you are going to attract, engage, nurture, invite and enroll your customer.
6. Layout the strategies for personal branding as in the current days and time, it is imperative for every business owner to have a niche and voice that they are known for. Carefully plan the media visibility, publications, blogs, or podcasts that you intend to show up for.
7. Your network is your net worth. Hence pay focused attention to how you will grow your business network each month, whom will you connect with, are there any business networking platforms or communities/forums you should be a part of.
8. As a business owner, you cannot do away with developing your skills and expertise. You are responsible for your own learning and development. Make sure to include that in your sales planning itself.
9. Build your sales pipeline with your leads, prospects, and existing clients with who you should be interacting on a regular basis. Your sales pipeline is where the money lies so pay dedicated attention to working on this.
10. Basis your marketing plan and sales pipeline activities, fill up your weekly targets and daily tasks. Doing this will help you make consistent and continuous progress. It will also give you clear direction for the income-generating tasks that you need to focus on.
11. Mark your calendar for a day and time when you will do a quantitative analysis assessment or review of your sales efforts and accomplishments. Do this toward the end of each month.
12. Mark your calendar for a day and time when you will do a qualitative analysis assessment or review of your sales efforts and accomplishments. Do this toward the end of each month.
13. Mark your calendar for a day and time when you will do the 90-day evaluation of your sales activities and achievements. Remember to celebrate your efforts because that will keep you intrinsically motivated to keep going. Do this toward the end of each quarter.
GET STARTED WITH SALES PLANNING!
By following these thirteen steps that are built on the four foundational pillars of sales planning, you can gain the confidence and diligence to have a strong and successful business year every single time.
Personal Sales Planner is an effective tool that will help you work through these steps. You can get one for yourself here.