How to Draft a Sales Plan

How to Draft a Sales Plan

by Vanessa Cross

A sales plan is closely related to a business plan and marketing plan, as it is frequently developed as a part of each. Knowing how to draft a sales plane is important because it is a road map designed to give a company’s sales team direction through specific sales goals and objectives. Sales plans can address long-term sales goals such as a five- or 10-year plan, or short-term sales goals and objectives, such as annual or 90-day sales plans.

Specific Sales Goals

For an organization, this is typically a financial goal, such as to increase sales for a particular product 15 percent within a specific reporting period, say, quarterly or annually. By identifying a specific and attainable financial sales goal for a given period, the sales team is able to then break the goal down into quantifiable objectives.

Sales Objectives

Develop and write sales objectives based on the sales goals. These are the specific achievements that, if realized, will assist a company in meeting its sales goal. For example, a sales objective might include to increase sales by a certain number of units through cross-selling widget B with widget A during a given time period. Sales objectives frequently include an increase in marketing expenditures on promotions and advertising outputs.

Target Sales Market

Create a section in the sales plan about the target sales market. Here, you will include your market research, such as industry sales data related to your product or services. An awareness of industry developments will assist you to create realistic sales projections based on industry sales figures. This section should also identify competitors, which are those companies that provide similar products or services. Compare information on the customer-base, market shares and competitive advantages.

Sales Plan Timescale

In addition to developing a target date to meet the ultimate sales goal, this includes calendaring all milestones, tasks and activities required to achieve the sales objectives. Identify specific time management techniques to help with areas such as scheduling, prioritization and delegation.

Budget Plan

Create a budget section based on the financial resources needed to meet your sales objectives. The sales plan budget is part of the larger marketing budget for a company. Develop a budget for a sales plan to monitor and track expenditures specific to sales objectives and ensure that the sales team does not exceed its budget. Line items for a sales plan budget will include allocations for areas such as labor, increased production, advertising, travel, equipment and supplies.

Strategies to Implement

Outline the strategy and tactics needed to implement the sales plan. For example, develop a top-down strategy to communicate goals and objectives to salespersons and other human resource personnel necessary to implement the sales plan. Additional sales force training may also be a required component to implement the sales plan.


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