We're all guilty of subscribing to a myriad of newsletters and blogs by sales gurus who will guarantee that their practices will bring you success – whether it's personalizing your newsletter format, cold emails, or changing the 'Buy Now' button.
News flash – these aren't actual sales business plans or even sales strategies.
Building and developing a solid sales business plan is the foundation of your business. A sales plan outlines your future goals–be it revenue targets, sales targets, or even a marketing strategy–a sales business plan will propel you to always be two steps ahead of the game.
Whether you're focused on eCommerce, B2C, inbound, outbound, or even enterprise companies–a business plan is essential to survive.
So, what's a sales business plan? How do you build it (and stick to it)?
By the end of this guide, you'll be armed with the right plan to win the fight for your business and stay ahead of the curve at all times.
Let's dive in.
What is a Sales Business Plan?
A sales business plan is a strategic document that outlines the goals, objectives, and strategies of a company's sales team to achieve its revenue targets. The plan serves as a roadmap to guide the sales team in achieving their targets by outlining the steps they need to take in order to achieve success.
Here are a few sales business plan statistics -
- Only 22% of companies feel that their salespeople have the necessary resources to be successful. (CSO Insights)
- Companies with a documented sales process generate 18% more revenue than those without one. (HubSpot)
- Salespeople who use social selling techniques are 50% more likely to meet or exceed their sales quotas. (LinkedIn)
- 73% of sales teams say that the ability to collaborate is critical to their success. (Salesforce)
- Companies with a formal sales methodology in place have a win rate that is 28% higher than those without one. (HubSpot)
A sales business plan typically includes a SWOT analysis, which helps to identify the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the market. It also includes a target market analysis, which helps to identify the customers the company wants to target and how to reach them.
In addition, a sales plan outlines the sales team's objectives, which include the revenue targets they need to achieve, the products or services they need to sell, and the metrics they need to track to measure their success.
The plan also details the strategies and tactics that the sales team will use to reach their goals, including lead generation, prospecting, nurturing, and closing sales.
Overall, a sales business plan is a critical tool for any sales team, as it helps to focus their efforts, track their progress, and identify areas for improvement.
What is the Structure of a Sales Plan Template?
Sales plans vary from business to business, depending on their niche, the industry they are in, and more, but typically, they include the following sections -
1. Executive Summary
The executive summary is a critical part of a sales business plan that provides a high-level overview of the plan's key elements to stakeholders.
The executive summary should be brief, clear, and compelling, with a maximum of two pages. To create an effective summary, highlight the key points of the plan, including sales goals, target market, sales strategy, and revenue projections. Use simple language and include a call-to-action to encourage stakeholders to take the next steps, such as investing or partnering.
The executive summary is like an elevator pitch, and it needs to grab the reader's attention, communicate the plan's essence, and encourage action.
2. Company Overview
The company overview is a section in the sales business plan that provides an introduction to the company, its history, and the products or services it offers. This section aims to give the reader an understanding of the company's background, goals, and vision for the future.
Here are some pointers to help create an effective company overview -
- Briefly describe the company's history, including how and when it was founded and any significant milestones achieved to date.
- Explain the company's mission and values, highlighting what sets it apart from competitors.
- Provide a brief overview of the products or services the company offers, outlining their unique features and benefits.
- Highlight any key partnerships or collaborations that the company has established to help achieve its goals.
- If the company has any notable achievements or recognition, mention these briefly to help build credibility.
3. Market Trends and Analysis
The market analysis is a crucial section of the sales business plan that provides a comprehensive understanding of the industry and the company's place within it.
This section should cover the following -
- Define the target market by describing the ideal customer, including their demographics, psychographics, and behavior patterns.
- Analyze the industry by identifying its size, growth potential, and key trends. This analysis should also include an overview of the competitive landscape, including the company's main competitors and their strengths and weaknesses.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis should help the company understand its position in the market and determine potential strategies for growth.
- Determine the market share and sales potential by analyzing the company's current and potential customers, the competition, and the overall market size.
- Identify any regulatory or environmental factors that could impact the industry, including government policies or changes in consumer behavior.
4. Sales Strategy
By developing a clear and effective sales strategy, the company can ensure that its sales efforts are aligned with its overall goals and objectives. A well-crafted sales strategy can help the company achieve its sales targets, expand its customer base, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.
This section should cover the following -
- Define the sales goals by setting specific, measurable targets for revenue, market share, and other key performance indicators.
- Identify the target customers and their needs, including their pain points and motivations for purchasing the company's products or services.
- Determine the sales channels the company will use to reach its target customers, including direct sales, online sales, and third-party sales channels.
- Outline the sales tactics that the company will use to reach its target customers, including advertising, promotions, and pricing strategies.
- Detail the sales team structure, including roles and responsibilities, hiring plans, and training programs.
- Provide a sales forecast that outlines expected revenue and sales growth based on the sales strategy.
5. Sales Forecasting
The sales forecast predicts future sales performance and is a critical component of the sales business plan. This section should provide a detailed analysis of the company's sales projections, including historical sales data, market demand, sales channels, sales team, pricing strategy, and external factors.
By creating a detailed sales forecast, the company can set realistic sales targets, monitor performance, allocate resources effectively, and adjust its sales strategy as needed.
The budget section of the sales business plan outlines the financial resources needed to achieve the sales goals.
This section should cover the following:
- Estimate the costs associated with the sales strategy, including marketing expenses, sales team salaries, and travel costs.
- Identify any capital investments required to support the sales strategy, such as new equipment, technology, or facilities.
- Outline the expected revenue and profits based on the sales forecast and sales strategy.
- Develop a cash flow projection that details the timing and amount of cash inflows and outflows associated with the sales strategy.
By creating a detailed budget, the company can ensure that it has the financial resources needed to execute its sales strategy effectively. The budget can also help the company prioritize its spending, identify potential areas of cost savings, and monitor its financial performance against its sales goals.
7. Implementation Plan
The implementation plan outlines how the company will execute its sales strategy and achieve its sales goals. This section should cover the following:
- Identify the specific actions required to implement the sales strategy, such as developing new sales materials, hiring additional sales staff, or launching a new product.
- Assign responsibility for each action item and establish timelines for completion.
- Establish a system for monitoring progress and evaluating the effectiveness of the sales strategy.
- Develop contingency plans to address any potential obstacles or challenges that may arise.
The implementation plan can also help the company track progress, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to the sales strategy as needed.
8. Metrics and KPIs
Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are used to measure the success of the sales strategy and provide insight into the performance of the sales team. This section should cover the following:
- Identify the metrics and KPIs that will be used to evaluate the success of the sales strategy, such as sales revenue, sales growth, customer acquisition cost, or customer lifetime value.
- Establish a system for tracking and analyzing these metrics and KPIs regularly.
- Develop a process for using this data to make informed decisions about the sales strategy and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Assign responsibility for monitoring and analyzing these metrics and KPIs to specific individuals or teams within the company.
With the right metrics and KPIs, the company can track the success of the sales strategy and make data-driven decisions to improve performance.
9. Risks and Challenges
The risks and challenges section of the sales business plan identifies potential obstacles that could impact the success of the sales strategy.
It assesses the likelihood and potential impact of each risk or challenge, develops contingency plans to address them, and assigns responsibility for monitoring and addressing these risks or challenges to specific individuals or teams within the company.
By doing so, the company can develop contingency plans to minimize its impact, adapt to changes in the market, remain competitive, and achieve its sales goals despite potential obstacles.
The conclusion section of the sales business plan summarizes the key points and highlights the overall value of the sales strategy. This section should cover the following:
- Recap the key points of the sales business plan, including the company overview, market analysis, sales strategy, sales forecast, budget, implementation plan, metrics and KPIs, and risks and challenges.
- Emphasize the value of the sales strategy, including the potential impact on sales revenue, market share, and customer acquisition.
- Provide a call-to-action that encourages stakeholders to support and implement the sales strategy.
- Thank stakeholders for their time and commitment to the sales business plan.
The conclusion section provides a final opportunity to reinforce the key points of the sales business plan and inspire stakeholders to take action.
How to Write a Winning Sales Business Plan Template: A Step-By-Step Blueprint
Writing a sales business plan template may seem like a lot of work, but once you do, you've already skipped leaps and bounds to take your business to the next level.
Let's break down this process, step-by-step, to help you write a winning sales business plan template -
1. State your Company's Mission
Your company's mission statement should explain what your business does, why it exists, and how it aims to achieve its goals.
Here are some tips for creating a compelling mission statement -
- Keep it short and simple.
- Use strong and clear language.
- Make sure it aligns with your company's overall vision and goals.
- Communicate how your business is unique.
- Focus on the benefits you provide to customers.
Your mission statement should inspire and motivate your team while also communicating your values to potential customers. It sets the foundation for the rest of your sales business plan, so take the time to craft a mission statement that accurately reflects your company's goals and values.
2. Set Objectives and Timeframes
In this section, you should identify specific, measurable goals for your sales team, and establish a timeline for achieving them.
Here are some tips for setting objectives and timeframe -
- Identify both short-term and long-term goals.
- Make sure your goals are specific and measurable, such as "increase sales by 10% in the next quarter."
- Set realistic and achievable goals.
- Assign each goal to a specific team member or department.
- Establish a timeline for achieving each goal.
By setting objectives and a timeframe for achieving them, you can motivate your sales team and provide a clear roadmap for success. Make sure to regularly track your progress toward these goals and adjust your strategy as needed to ensure you're on track to meet them.
3. Identify your Team Structure
The third step in creating a sales business plan is to identify your team structure.
This involves identifying the key players in your sales team, outlining their roles and responsibilities, and providing a brief overview of their experience and qualifications.
Here are some tips for describing your team -
- Identify the key players in your sales team, such as sales representatives, account managers, and sales managers.
- Outline each team member's role and responsibilities in the sales process.
- Provide a brief overview of each team member's experience and qualifications.
- Consider including a chart or diagram that illustrates the structure of your sales team.
By clearly defining your sales team and their roles, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and working together toward your sales goals. Additionally, highlighting your team's experience and qualifications can help build confidence in your ability to deliver results.
4. Define your Target Market
The fourth step in creating a sales business plan is to define your target market.
This involves identifying the specific group or groups of people that your products or services are intended for and understanding their needs, preferences, and behaviors.
Here are some tips for defining your target market -
- Start by analyzing your existing customer base to identify common characteristics such as age, gender, location, income level, etc.
- Conduct market research to gain a deeper understanding of your target market's needs, preferences, and behaviors.
- Develop buyer personas that represent your ideal customers, including their goals, challenges, and pain points.
- Consider the size and growth potential of your target market, as well as any trends or changes that may affect their behavior.
- Identify any gaps or unmet needs in the market that your products or services could address.
By defining your target market, you can create more targeted and effective sales strategies that are tailored to the needs and preferences of your ideal customers. This can help you build stronger relationships with your target audience, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately drive sales growth.
5. Evaluate Resources
This step involves taking stock of the resources you have at your disposal and assessing how you can leverage them to achieve your objectives. Here are some key aspects to consider:
- Human Resources: Consider the size and skill set of your team. Determine if you have enough people with the right skills to achieve your sales goals, and if not, consider hiring or outsourcing.
- Financial Resources: Assess the financial resources you have available, including cash on hand, lines of credit, and investments. Determine if you have enough funds to achieve your sales objectives or if you need to secure additional financing.
- Technology Resources: Evaluate the technology resources available to your team, including hardware, software, and other tools. Determine if you have the right technology to support your sales efforts and if any upgrades or investments are necessary.
- Intellectual Property: Consider any patents, trademarks, or other intellectual property that can support your sales efforts. Determine if you have any competitive advantages that can be leveraged to increase sales.
- Facilities and Equipment: Evaluate your physical resources, including office space, production facilities, and equipment. Determine if you have enough space and equipment to support your sales efforts, or if any upgrades or investments are necessary.
By evaluating your available resources, you can determine what you have at your disposal to support your sales strategy and identify any areas where you may need to invest or make changes to achieve your objectives.
6. Carry Out Competitive Analysis with Competitors
This involves taking stock of the resources you have available to support your sales efforts, as well as identifying any additional resources you may need to acquire.
Here are some key things to consider when evaluating your resources:
- Sales Team: Evaluate the skills and experience of your sales team to ensure that they are capable of executing your sales strategy effectively.
- Marketing Materials: Assess the quality and effectiveness of your existing marketing materials, including brochures, websites, social media channels, and other promotional materials.
- Customer Data: Analyze your customer data to identify trends and patterns that can inform your sales and marketing strategies.
- Sales Tools and Technologies: Determine whether your team has the right tools and technologies to support their sales efforts. This could include customer relationship management (CRM) software, sales automation tools, or other sales technologies.
- Training and Development: Identify any gaps in your team's skills or knowledge, and develop a plan to address them through training and development initiatives.
By evaluating your resources in this way, you can identify any gaps or weaknesses in your sales process and develop strategies to address them. This will help you ensure that you have the resources you need to achieve your sales objectives and drive growth for your business.
7. Set the Budget
The seventh point is to set a budget for your sales business plan.
This step is essential to ensure that you have the necessary resources to implement your sales strategy effectively. Here are some tips on how to set a budget for your sales plan:
- Determine your Revenue Goals: Your revenue goals will guide you in setting a realistic budget. Consider the size of your market, the competition, and your pricing strategy.
- Calculate your Expenses: You need to estimate your expenses to set a budget. Make a list of all your expenses, including salaries, marketing, technology, and travel expenses.
- Prioritize Expenses: Once you have calculated your expenses, prioritize them. Identify the essential expenses that you must incur to implement your sales strategy.
- Allocate Resources: Allocate resources based on your priorities. Make sure that you have enough funds to cover your critical expenses and have some funds set aside for unexpected expenses.
- Review and Adjust: Regularly review your budget and adjust it as needed. Make sure that you are on track to meet your revenue goals, and adjust your expenses accordingly.
Setting a budget is crucial for the success of your sales business plan. It will help you allocate resources effectively, prioritize expenses, and track your progress toward your revenue goals.
8. Define your Organization's Marketing Strategy
Marketing strategy is an essential component of a sales business plan as it outlines the approach a company will take to promote and sell its products or services to its target customers. The following are some key elements to consider when defining the marketing strategy for your sales business plan:
- Value Proposition: Define the unique value proposition of your product or service, and identify the key benefits and features that set it apart from competitors.
- Target Audience: Determine the specific demographics, needs, and behaviors of your target audience, and how your product or service can address their needs.
- Positioning: Define the position of your product or service in the marketplace, based on factors such as pricing, quality, and features.
- Channels: Identify the channels through which you will reach your target audiences, such as social media, email marketing, or direct mail.
- Budget: Determine how much you will allocate to marketing activities, and how you will measure the return on investment.
- Marketing Tactics: Define the specific tactics you will use to promote your product or service, such as advertising, content marketing, or event sponsorships.
- Metrics: Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure the success of your marketing efforts, such as website traffic, lead generation, or sales conversion rates.
By clearly defining your marketing strategy in your sales business plan, you can ensure that your efforts are focused, efficient, and aligned with your overall business objectives.
9. Figure Out the Sales Strategy
This step involves developing a detailed plan for selling your product or service to your target market.
Here are some things to consider when developing your sales strategy -
- Sales Channels: Consider the best channels for selling your product or service, such as online marketplaces, social media, direct sales, or distribution partnerships.
- Sales Process: Outline the sales process, including how you will generate leads, how you will qualify leads, how you will make your sales pitch, and how you will close deals.
- Sales Team: Determine who will be responsible for sales, their job descriptions, and how they will be trained and compensated.
- Sales Goals: Establish specific, measurable sales goals and objectives, such as revenue targets, sales volume, or customer acquisition.
- Sales Forecast: Develop a sales forecast based on your target market, pricing strategy, and sales goals. This should include projections for monthly, quarterly, and annual sales.
- Sales Metrics: Determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to track your sales success, such as conversion rates, customer lifetime value, and customer acquisition cost.
By developing a clear and comprehensive sales strategy, you will be better equipped to execute your sales plan and achieve your business goals.
10. Define an Action Plan
The final step to writing a sales business plan is to define an action plan.
This step involves determining how the objectives will be achieved and what actions need to be taken to implement the sales strategies outlined in the previous steps. Some key elements of this step include:
- Assigning Tasks and Responsibilities: Determine who will be responsible for implementing each aspect of the sales plan and assign tasks accordingly.
- Setting Timelines: Establish specific timelines for each action item to ensure that the sales plan stays on track and progresses toward achieving its objectives.
- Monitoring Progress: Regularly monitor progress towards the objectives and make adjustments to the action plan as necessary.
- Identifying Potential Roadblocks: Anticipate any challenges or roadblocks that may arise during implementation and develop contingency plans to address them.
- Identifying Metrics: Establish metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the sales plan and adjust the action plan accordingly.
By defining a clear action plan, a sales business plan can be effectively implemented, and the sales team can work towards achieving the objectives and targets set out in the plan.
Why Do Organizations Need a Sales Plan?
Organizations need a sales business plan for several reasons -
1. Clarity of Goals and Objectives
A sales business plan provides a clear roadmap for an organization to achieve its sales goals and objectives. Defining the steps that need to be taken helps ensure that everyone in the organization is working towards the same goals.
2. Resource allocation
A sales business plan helps organizations allocate resources effectively. By knowing where the company is headed, it can identify the resources required to achieve those goals and allocate them accordingly.
3. Improved decision-making
With a sales business plan, organizations can make informed decisions about their sales strategy. They can assess the viability of different sales channels, sales techniques, and sales campaigns based on the data they have collected.
4. Better risk management
A sales business plan can help organizations identify and manage risks more effectively. By forecasting sales revenue and expenses, companies can develop contingency plans to address potential risks.
5. Improved Communication
A sales business plan provides a clear and concise way to communicate the organization's sales strategy to stakeholders. This ensures that everyone in the organization is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
4 Examples of Sales Business Plan Templates
Here are a few examples of sales business plan templates that you could take inspiration from -
30-60-90 Day Sales Plan
A 30-60-90 day sales plan is a detailed outline of the tasks and goals a salesperson hopes to accomplish within the first 30, 60, and 90 days of starting a new job or taking on a new sales territory. The plan is designed to help the salesperson quickly ramp up their productivity and start making meaningful contributions to the team.
Here is a template for a 30-60-90 day sales plan -
First 30 Days
- Meet with my manager and team members to gain an understanding of the company's products, services, and sales processes.
- Study the company's existing customer base and their needs.
- Begin establishing relationships with key customers.
- Attend sales training sessions to further develop my skills and learn more about the company's offerings.
- Develop a list of potential prospects in my assigned territory.
- Schedule meetings with the manager and team members.
- Analyze the company's existing customer data.
- Make a list of key customers to reach out to.
- Attend scheduled sales training sessions.
- Create a list of potential prospects.
Second 30 Days
- Start making sales calls to prospects and schedule appointments.
- Follow up with previous prospects and leads.
- Conduct thorough research on potential prospects to understand their needs and pain points.
- Develop a clear understanding of the competitive landscape.
- Refine my sales pitch and value proposition.
- Make at least [X] several sales calls per day.
- Schedule appointments with interested prospects.
- Follow up with previous leads.
- Research potential prospects.
- Analyze the competition and develop strategies to differentiate from them.
- Work with my manager to refine my sales pitch and value proposition.
Third 30 Days
- Close deals with interested prospects and achieve sales targets.
- Continue building relationships with key customers.
- Develop a pipeline of potential future sales.
- Develop strategies to retain existing customers.
- Identify areas for improvement and provide feedback to the team.
- Close deals with interested prospects and achieve sales targets.
- Continue building relationships with key customers.
- Develop a pipeline of potential future sales.
- Create a customer retention plan.
- Identify areas for improvement and provide feedback to the team.
2. Monthly Sales Plan Template
A monthly sales plan is a document that outlines the sales activities, goals, and strategies for a specific month. It is a crucial part of a company's sales strategy and helps the sales team to stay focused and accountable for their performance.
Here is a template for a monthly sales plan -
- Month: [insert month]
- Sales team: [list the sales team members]
II. Monthly Sales Goals
- Revenue goal: [insert revenue goal for the month]
- Sales target: [insert sales target for the month]
- Key performance indicators (KPIs): [list the KPIs that will be tracked for the month]
III. Sales Strategies
- Marketing activities: [list the marketing activities planned for the month]
- Sales activities: [list the sales activities planned for the month]
- Promotions and discounts: [list the promotions and discounts planned for the month]
IV. Sales Forecast
- Projected revenue: [insert projected revenue for the month]
- Sales pipeline: [list the sales opportunities in the pipeline for the month]
- Sales conversion rate: [insert the sales conversion rate for the month]
- Sales tools and technology: [list the sales tools and technology that will be used during the month]
- Sales team training: [list the training sessions planned for the month]
VI. Risks and Challenges
- Potential obstacles: [list the potential obstacles that may hinder sales performance]
- Mitigation strategies: [list the strategies to mitigate the potential risks and challenges]
VII. Action Plan
- Weekly sales goals: [list the weekly sales goals for the month]
- Assigned tasks and responsibilities: [list the tasks and responsibilities assigned to each sales team member]
- Deadlines: [list the deadlines for each task]
- Recap of monthly goals and strategies
- Next steps and follow-up actions.
3. Territory Sales Plan Template
A territory sales plan is a comprehensive strategy designed to outline the sales objectives, goals, and tactics that will be implemented in a specific geographic area or "territory."
This plan should provide a clear roadmap for how a sales team will approach and engage with potential customers in their assigned area, and outline the resources needed to achieve the desired outcomes.
A template for a territory sales plan might include the following sections -
- Executive Summary: This section provides a brief overview of the territory sales plan, including the purpose, objectives, and key strategies.
- Territory Analysis: This section should provide a detailed analysis of the assigned territory, including information about the market, competition, target customers, and other relevant data.
- Sales Goals: This section should outline the sales goals and objectives for the territory, including revenue targets, customer acquisition goals, and other key performance indicators.
- Sales Strategies: This section should provide a detailed overview of the strategies and tactics that will be used to achieve the sales goals outlined in the previous section. This may include details about lead generation, customer engagement, sales presentations, and other sales-related activities.
- Resource Allocation: This section should outline the resources required to implement the sales strategies outlined in the previous section. This may include budgetary requirements, staffing needs, and other resources necessary to support the sales team.
- Implementation Plan: This section should provide a detailed timeline and action plan for implementing the sales strategies and achieving the sales goals outlined in the previous sections.
- Performance Metrics: This section should outline the key performance metrics that will be used to measure the success of the territory sales plan, including sales revenue, customer acquisition rates, and other relevant data.
- Conclusion: This section should summarize the key points of the territory sales plan and highlight the expected outcomes and benefits of implementing the plan.
By using a template such as the one outlined above, sales teams can create a plan that is tailored to their unique needs and objectives, and that can be easily communicated to stakeholders and team members.
Effective planning is crucial for the success of any business, and this is especially true when it comes to achieving sales targets. Before promoting your product or service, it's essential to establish clear goals and determine the strategies that will help you achieve them.
With a well-defined plan in place, you'll have the clarity and direction necessary to make informed decisions and stay on track toward achieving your objectives.
Don't leave the success of your sales plan to chance - schedule a demo with one of Salesken's experts today and discover how our innovative solutions can help you achieve your sales targets.