As a business owner, the only thing that you should focus on is generating as much revenue as possible. Whether you’re a B2C or B2B company, sales can help you generate revenue and grow your business.
Only a steady approach with a defined sales plan will help your sales team achieve its targets. However, creating an effective plan for your sales process is not an easy task. We’ve come up with this comprehensive guide to provide you with all the necessary tools and techniques to create an effective sales plan that converts.
Read this article carefully and use our sales plan templates to create an effective sales plan for your business.
Table of Contents
What Is a Sales Plan & Why Do You Need One?
The Benefits of a Sales Plan
What Should a Sales Plan Include?
How To Create a Sales Plan
9 Sales Plan Templates
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What Is a Sales Plan & Why Do You Need One?
A sales plan is a document that lays out your business’s sales strategy to improve sales results in a specified period. It brings everyone in the sales team on the same page to see the bigger picture, share the same objectives and work together to reach the sales target.
In other words, while a business plan is about business goals, a sales plan is all about making those goals happen.
An effective sales plan should:
- Communicate your sales goals and objectives to your sales team.
- Help your sales team strategize their efforts.
- Outline roles and responsibilities for your sales team and leadership.
- Track the progress of your sales reps in organizational roles.
The Benefits of a Sales Plan
The primary objective of creating a sales plan is to execute all your best sales ideas. However, that’s not all.
Before jumping into how to create a sales plan, let’s look at some of its benefits.
Identify Potential Problems
Sales problems are no joke. They can minimize qualified opportunities and bring your potential revenue way down. Dealing with sales problems is a painful task for your sales team.
Creating a sales plan helps you identify problems in your sales process, allowing you to adjust your strategy and goals accordingly.
Set Realistic Goals
With a mindfully created sales plan, every sales team member will know what they need to accomplish to meet your sales goals. However, always try to set achievable goals. Challenge your sales team but don’t push too hard.
Your deliverables should be as specific as possible and moderately challenging to achieve. A sales plan will help you understand and set realistic goals so your sales reps can succeed without being stressed out.
Have a look at these goal-setting templates to help you establish realistic goals. This detailed SMART goals worksheet is particularly useful for documenting your sales goals.
Understand Your Company’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Understanding your company’s strengths and weaknesses helps you assess where your business stands in the marketplace. Also, it gives you insights into how it compares with your competitors and how to leverage your unique selling proposition (USP) to get more market share.
A sales plan will gear your sales team to bring out your company’s strengths. Including sales battle cards and a SWOT analysis in your sales plan is one of the best ways to do the same.
Measure Your Progress Effectively
Looking at bottom-line results in the budget, sales, profits or other areas will not help you understand the reasons behind your achievement or how to improve your performance. Once you set realistic goals, measuring the progress will help you do that, leading to exponential growth in profits.
Use a sales plan to rethink your sales approach and make changes accordingly to reach your goals.
Discipline and Diligence
Sales reps sometimes find it lonely and discouraging while selling. Using a sales plan and explaining it to your sales team brings a sense of urgency to selling and motivation. It helps an employee become more task-oriented and disciplined.
For example, your sales representatives know that they must close at least five deals per month. They will try their best to achieve the goal and always stay disciplined in their job.
What Should a Sales Plan Include?
An effective sales plan should include many critical aspects of business growth, such as revenue goals, selling strategies, target audience, current salesforce and more.
Before creating a sales plan, it is crucial to learn what goes into a sales plan. Here is some strategic information that you can include in your sales plan.
The executive summary is like planting the seed of your organization in the sales plan. It should include your company’s vision and mission statement and the background of its founding story.
This section introduces your sales plan to the audience it is made for, focusing on the goals, strategies and execution plans.
Focus on setting sales goals such as increasing revenue, increasing customer base, improving customer satisfaction and more. It will give your sales team a roadmap of what they need to accomplish to help you achieve specific targets.
A HubSpot survey reported that nearly 40% of businesses stated that they failed to achieve their sales goals in 2020. Therefore, always try to keep an achievable sales target; only then your sales reps will be able to achieve them.
Brief Review of Prior Period Performance
Help your sales team understand where they stand and how far they need to reach to achieve your sales objectives by giving them a glimpse of prior period performance. It’s like a recap of past performance to identify mistakes and decisions that led to positive and negative outcomes.
Look at the performance metrics section of this sales plan template for inspiration.
Identifying the target market is crucial for every business, regardless of its size. If you are an SMB owner, you will most likely face cut-throat competition from the leading business. This fierce competition for resources can leave your store struggling almost every day to generate leads and close more deals.
Therefore, you and your sales team need to dig deeper into your target market, break it down and understand it to the core. And a sales plan is probably the most important document that should include your target market.
To align the salespeople on your team on shared goals and empower them to do their best, you need to include a strong sales strategy in your sales plan. Your sales strategy will also keep your sales reps successful and happy, the ultimate foundation for a cohesive and successful business.
The best sales teams use competitive intelligence to gain an advantage over their competitors. As a responsible business owner, you might have studied your competitors to improve your products.
Let your salespeople know about your and your competitors’ different offerings and what makes you better than them.
This section should include your action plan that details how you reach prospective customers and turn them into potential customers.
For example, let’s say you are a digital marketing agency and want to generate $300k revenue by the end of 2022. Here are some example action plans that your sales plan should include:
- Set refined goals
- Refine pricing strategies
- Offer bundled services
- Offer subscriptions
Your budget for the year is an essential element of the sales plan. How much are you willing to spend to achieve those sales goals?
Your sales plan budget should include salaries, bonuses, commissions, training and development expenses, team building activity costs and others. Include all of them in the sales plan to help the team understand your spending priorities.
KPIs to Measure
Modern sales teams are driven by a collaborative spirit and an awareness of metrics and KPIs. This section lays out the performance metrics you should track progress to monitor the progress and help make changes in the plan.
Your Sales Team Structure
An effective sales team results from many strategic decisions – who you hire, what you pay, train and much more. Your sales team is responsible for reaching the sales goals and accelerating your business growth. Furthermore, they help you enrich your company culture and build better products and services.
Make sure the roles and responsibilities of your team members are clearly defined with a beautiful Meet the Team template like the one below.
How to Create a Sales Plan
A sales plan sits within or alongside a marketing plan to streamline your sales process. Visme offers a wide range of beautifully designed marketing plan templates that helps you create one.
But for now let’s discuss how to create a sales plan.
Step 1: Establish Your Mission, Values and Vision Statement
Sales teams, especially those in small businesses, are often very goal-oriented. The inclusion of a vision statement helps the team clearly see their goals, whereas a mission statement details the team’s present purpose.
Before setting the goals and actions, provide your sales team with a clear understanding of the big picture. Why does your company exist? What problems do your products solve? What are your company’s values?
Put these things together to form the mission statement. Without a clearly defined vision and mission statement, there is no destination to head to.
Step 2: Set Goals and Objectives
Now that you and your team know your company’s mission, it’s time to set the goals and objectives. Your sales plan should include both short-term and long-term goals. These goals should be data-driven using the sales data you have collected in the past.
Though most sales goals are revenue-based, they can include other things like profit margin, conversion rate, total volume and others. However, your goals should be achievable and synchronized with each step of the sales pipeline.
Step 3: Define Your Target Market
Your team knows your company’s nuts and bolts and the goals and objectives. Now they should know your target market to whom they will be selling. Include detailed information about your target market in your sales plan to proceed further.
To understand your target market, you need to clearly define your ideal customer persona – their challenges, goals, demographics and how your product or service serves their needs and pain points.
Check out these 20 customer persona templates to get inspiration and create your own.
Step 4: Do a Competitive Analysis
Use competitive intelligence to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your potential competitors. It will help you understand how your competition works and identify potential opportunities where you can outperform them.
Furthermore, it helps you capture most of the market by consistently improving your products and services. Ultimately, it will help your sales reps understand and explain the distinguishing features to the target market and close more deals.
Step 5: Define Your Marketing Strategy
The more your sales pipeline is filled with leads, the more you close deals. Define your company’s marketing strategy to help you create a unique brand identity, increase brand awareness and generate leads.
According to a report from Hubspot, 61% of marketers find generating traffic and leads as their biggest challenge. Thus, making the marketing strategy a crucial yet challenging part of your sales plan. Include your pricing and promotion strategy in this section to create your marketing plan.
Watch the video below and learn to create an effective marketing plan.
Step 6: Set the Budget
Now, lay out all the costs you think you will incur to achieve your sales goals. This includes salaries, tools and equipment, training and development expenses, hiring, commissions and many others that are part of your sales plan.a
Step 7: Create an Action Pan
Once you know your destination, you need to find a way to get there. This section is where you must outline the sales activities, deadlines, timeline and milestones that will take place throughout the sales process.
Create action plans according to your sales goals and objectives. For example, sales goals, such as increasing annual revenue by 30%. Action plan:
- Develop a customer referral program
- Implement a referral program in CRM
- Promote it via email and social media
Step 8: Assign Roles & Responsibilities
This section is where you should introduce your current sales team and assign their specific roles and responsibilities. Ideally, your sales team should consist of sales representatives, sales specialists, inbound sales reps, outbound sales reps and account executives, led by a sales manager.
Depending on your company size, your sales team can range in scope from a handful of roles to hundreds and thousands of team members.
9 Sales Plan Templates
Creating a sales plan from scratch takes a lot of time and effort. Also, making the sales plan aesthetically appealing requires some design experience.
Below are the nine sales plan templates for various types of businesses.
Choose the one that suits your industry and customize it accordingly in the Visme editor. Replace the colors, fonts, text, icons and more with a few clicks.
1. Health Insurance Sales Plan
Health insurance sales are now higher than ever, but that doesn’t mean it has become easy. To ensure your health insurance company does not get behind, you need to create an effective sales plan.
Use this health insurance sales plan template to create a strong sales plan so that your sales reps can understand your sales strategy and close more deals.
2. Consumer Product Sales Plan
The consumer products industry is a broad one that deals with several sectors. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how people shop and how retailers sell. As a consumer product company owner, you must build new capabilities and change how you operate to skyrocket your sales.
Use this consumer product sales plan template to help your sales reps learn about your products, strategies, goals and so on.
3. Internet Services Sales Plan
The internet service provider market is overly saturated and standing out from the competition is crucial to successfully running your business. Create a sales plan that helps you win more deals and stay ahead of your competition.
This sales plan template helps you explain your pricing strategy, target customers, sales strategy, sales goals and more to your team. Customize it to create an effective sales plan in minutes.
4. Sales Training Company Sales Plan
As a training provider, you might be juggling a million balls already. So, we thought we’d take care of this one thing. We have crafted this sales plan template just for you to create the best sales plan possible.
And if you are a sales training provider company, your sales plan should be the best. Customize this sales plan template and strengthen your sales plan quickly.
5. Marketing Agency Sales Plan
As a marketing agency, your strategies should be creative enough to help the clients grow. Everything you do should reflect your creativity.
Therefore, we have designed this sales plan template by focusing on making it aesthetically pleasing. From the color combination to the font pairing, everything is perfect.
Replace the company name with yours and customize all the other fields like company background, target market, market analysis, marketing strategies and more to make it your own.
6. Real Estate Sales Plan
If disorganized, the real estate sales process can be time-consuming, frustrating and full of back-and-forth discussions. However, if you can optimize your sales process, it will save you a lot of time and close more deals.
Furthermore, a streamlined sales process will help you delight your customers and prospects. To ensure you don’t have a fragmented sales process, brainstorm your sales strategy and use this template to create the best sales plan for your real estate business.
7. Digital Marketing Agency Sales Plan
According to a recent survey, 77% of B2B purchasers don’t speak to a salesperson before completing their own research. So, as a digital marketing agency, your sales plan should be one of the most effective and your sales reps should be trained enough to convert the leads into potential customers.
Use this sales plan template to explain your budgets, marketing strategies, sales goals, action plan, KPIs and more to your sales representatives.
8. SaaS Product Sales Plan
SaaS has become extremely popular due to its scalability and ability to address almost any business or individual need. But having the wrong sales strategy can mean losing users and leaving huge amounts of money on the table.
Create your sales plan using this template, secure paying customers for the platform and make sure existing customers don’t leave.
9. Sales Cloud Software Sales Plan
Similar to the Saas sales plan template, this sales plan is the best fit for a sales cloud software company that wants to streamline its sales process by creating a great sales plan. Replace the fields to do a competitive analysis, define the target market, set SMART goals and many more.
Learn more about the 15 sales enablement content that can help you maximize sales and conversions.
Create Your Sales Plan With Visme
By following the steps mentioned above and using the sales plan templates, you should be able to create a sales plan in minutes. Choose the sales plan template that best suits your needs and start customizing it using Visme.
Additionally, Visme helps you create compelling and stunning sales materials like sales proposals, sales presentations, pitch decks and product sell sheets.
Put simply, there are so many ways Visme can help you close more sales.
Create a free account in Visme and start designing your sales materials with little or no design skills.