If you don´t feel like properly doing the business plan, imagine what happens with the Sales plan… Sales are left for the end and sometimes it is too late.
Let´s imagine sales as the transfer of ownership of a product or service to another person or entity after payment of an agreed price. We need several components to have a sale: someone who sells a product or service, that product or service, with a price and a customer willing to pay for it.
A good sales plan is an instrument that specifies what the sales objectives you have and how they will be achieved it,plus it quantifies the expected results with a certain periodicity.
Before moving on to the sales plan I have two questions for you:
1) Who is your customer?
I can become like a pain with this subject of knowing your client but it is fundamental. The process of “discovery” and “knowledge” of the client can be fast or slow but without a doubt it saves you a lot of time and money.
If for example you decide to leave your current job position to become an entrepreneur in the same sector and business area in which you have previous experience, the great advantage is that you know the environment, market, key players, competition, sales channels, distribution costs, the business and financial indicators and of course, you have contacts. In this case, the customer, the needs, the product / service and the price may be clear. The question would be how are you going to get the necessary sales volume and frequency? If this is your case, the part of MINDSET works hard, so that you are able to sell with a speed, volume and frequency of sale that satisfies you. It is not the same to attract clients with the backing of the name of a multinational, to the Branding be your name and a brand that you just registered and start working at the level of SEO / SEM / SOCIAL MEDIA, etc.
If you enter a new sector or an area where you have zero or less experience you will need to reinforce the BUSINESS PLAN, especially if it is your first company. You will obviously need good contacts in the new sector or strategic alliances that help you enter.
Work the INTERVIEWS with your client. It does not matter whether it is B2C (focus on the end customer) or B2B (focus on companies). Watch and listen The interview does not matter if you do it face to face, by phone, skype, typeform, instagram, google survey, or by analyzing the databases you have purchased. Actually it is the same. Your objective is to find out where to add value or check if your client values your product / service.
2) Does your client understand what you are selling?
Do you remember the last time that you had to make an effort to understand what they were trying to sell you? Or when you feel that you need an intensive course because they talk with acronyms or different languages. At the level of understanding, your client will understand faster the purchase of a tangible product to a service. But if it is also a new market, product or service “new” you will have to work on what I call “evangelism” which means to make an effort to make your client understand what he is paying for. Or you can translate what you want to sell with the words your cliente would use to describe their need, desire or what they are looking for. Use your client’s language, not yours. The language has to approach. Speak and write your clients words. Call the problems and solutions as per your clients words. It does not matter what you know about programming or marketing or what you want. You will also use your clients words for certain keywords in Google or adds in Facebook, Instagram, linkedin or wherever you want.
On the other hand, if it is a known product or service where there is a lot of competition, then it is necessary to define very well why you are going to choose yourself over the rest. At this point I insist on the rule of either you are the first, or the greatest, or you specialize.
Specialize at the level of client or service / product or process type that you are going to improve. You know what you sell, to whom you sell and why, now is the time to know how much you have to sell so that your activity can move from an expensive hobby to a profitable company.
Now, we move on to the SALES PLAN that gives you the direction to focus on generating income.
If you are starting, at the beginning your goal is that you get a lot of different types of sales opportunities. The more diverse the better and you quantify results per type of sales action. If you have already spent time in the activity, your sales objective is a percentage of growth over your previous year result. Take into account both internal factors related to business and financial objectives, costs, partners, shareholders, and external related to the environment, sector, customer and competition.
You can use: Product/Servie, Number of clients, Sales ( currency), Sales per client (currency)
|Product||Clients||Sales||Sales per client|
Remember to add a time frame or monitoring frequency.
You have your forecast of annual objectives, distributed by months taking into account the seasonality of your business and you follow them weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and annually. If you’re starting and you do not have this simple little box done, “HOUSTON we have a problem”.
Let’s think you have it. Now, to avoid the phrase “PPT ( powerpoint) can hold everyting” we start working on how to get the number of clients that will take us to the billing we want?
It is important to make a list of actions that will lead you to achieve this objective, you can group them in Online / Offline and by B2C, B2B or B2B2C strategies.
• Send commercial proposal to X companies
• Access to X key people in LinKedIn
• Participation in X events
• Campaign for media
• SEM actions
• Campaign on LinkedIn
• Instagram campaign
Something that will help you a lot at the beginning is that the key is in WHAT YOU DO, not in what you THINK. When you say if something works or not at the sale level, you have to have tested it.
Pause a moment to think how many times you discard a commercial action because you think it will not work without having tried. This is how the days go by, the weeks without modifying or diversifying your commercial results.
The sales results are relative to the number of contacts with potential customers and the exchange of value between both. Your client is not in your head so go for it or take actions to help you find you. Accelerate the “Go to market” to be more efficient.
Whether you are going to have many business meetings with small, medium or large private or public organizations, as if you are looking for investment rounds, funds, or looking for partners, you have to work with your MINDSET so your people can trust you. Be prepared to accept that certain negotiations / collaborations take time and the key is in the proper follow-up. Certain strategic alliances or commercial operations are gestated in a period of 6 to 18 months so you need to be prepared and have your portfolio of commercial actions well diversified.
As you work on these actions and get results you will reach the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of your business, which are the metrics that will give you visibility on the progress you make in relation to your goal. It is enough to have 3 or 4 KPIs related to the sales process but to ask the right questions to the decisive actions to generate sales volume. You conversion rate it is the key.
You can analyse both online / offline actions , but all have to be focused on increasing the conversion rate. In terms of sales, “leads” or “contacts with customer potential” are the basis of your sales process. A lead is an individual or organization that shows interest in your product or service and your goal is to convert it into a client as long as it meets a series of requirements, that is, after a validation.
The set of actions you perform at different times to attract, convert and maintain a lead in a satisfied customer is called the sales process. In addition, you have different sales techniques that will help you structure and argue each step.
Let me mention some for you to choose which one to work with: SPIN, SNAP, CONSULTATIVE, SANDLER …
The summary is that you need a SALES PLAN with a BILLING OBJECTIVE, a FOLLOW-UP with the number of COMMERCIAL ACTIONS grouped by strategy whose RESULTS you will follow up REGULARLY.
Enjoy the process.
If you need support in the implementation I see you at FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAM, the exclusive training program for female entrepreneurs.