Sales Planning For Growth 
If you are reading this post and have not yet read Sales Goals then you might find it makes sense to read this first. In Sales Goals we talked about the process of setting our Sales Goals and now we are going to talk about Sales Planning, which is about planning for success, rather than just waiting or hoping we will hit our sales targets. But first, congratulations for taking time out and completing your Sales Goals, which is one of the main differences between amateurs and professional sales people.
There are two mistakes many sales people make after setting Sales Goals:
1) They expect to achieve a certain % increase in sales by doing the same things they did last year. Well logic, experience and evidence will tell you that if you do the same things as you did last year, you will hit last year’s Sales Targets, not this years. You need to change, you need to do different things to get different results.
2) They set new Sales Goals and then fail to make a Sales Plan. Setting Sales Goals without a Sales Plan is like choosing to Vacation in the Virgin Islands and then not working out when to go, or how to get there.
If you want to be successful you must first do Goal Setting, then do some simple Sales Planning which is the road map to take you to your goals and then work on Goal Attainment.
Sales Planning is a schedule of Sales Activities laid out in a methodical process that we create to achieve our Sales Goals. For the purposes of this Sales Plan we will set our new Sales Goal as 20% increase in revenue for the year. There will be many circumstances when 20% is not a high enough target and just as many reasons that 20% is too ambitious, but we will use 20% here as an example. We will also assume no change in margins. First break the big 20% annual goal down into a 20% per month goal. Simply check the equivalent month in the previous calendar year and add 20% to get your monthly Sales Goal. Now to achieve your Sales Goal you need to do at least one if not all of the following:
Once you have chosen which one or combination of the above four options, you need to decide what sales activity you need to do to execute your strategy. Sales is driven by activity, and if you need a 20% uplift in sales you need to alter your sales & marketing activity accordingly. For example:
Sales Planning and Sales Strategy are even more important given that most sales people I know, do not have 20% of extra time. It may well be possible for some companies to find one single enterprise customer that will equate to a 20% increase on their own. Typically if you have never sold to a customer that large before, you will have to do something very different to sell to them now. Your Sales Planning must include the amount of activities that sales need to complete, in order to meet the sales goals. This could be 20% more sales meetings, telephone calls, networking events, exhibitions, lead generation broken down into a weekly and monthly plan.
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