In today’s cutthroat business environment, a great sales strategy plan is essential to generate the revenue needed to sustain your company. Without it, you can be certain that achieving your key targets will, no doubt, be a challenge. This usually happens because the lack of a sales project management plan leaves you and your staff directionless. In addition, you risk overspending your resources on the sales process and not satisfying your clients’ needs.
If you’re a sales manager, sales executive, or entrepreneur, you don’t want this for your company; otherwise, you risk going out of business. This is why you need to elevate sales project management planning. Read on to learn about the steps you should follow to boost the sales project management of your organization.
What Is Sales Project Management?
The process of developing and applying sales strategies to grow your company’s revenue and customer base is referred to as sales project management. Carrying out sales project management is vital because it has several benefits, and these include:
- Develops, implements, and updates sales strategies, as necessary
- Ensures the sales team is held responsible for their positive and negative actions
- Ensures the sales team remains focused and productive to propel the organization towards realizing its goals
- Confirms the sales department operates efficiently
Only through sales project management will you be able to develop a solid sales plan or strategy, which is a detailed roadmap that outlines your company’s plan to acquire new clients and retain the existing customers. The sales plan also identifies the specific actions you’re looking to achieve and the duration within which you want to realize this goal.
The details you should include in your sales plan include team structure, revenue goals, target customers, and available resources to achieve your sales targets. The sales strategy is, in most cases, top-down, meaning they’re formulated by shareholders, investors, or top-level executives who want the company to succeed for their financial interests. This can be done by reducing expenses, increasing revenue, or combining the two.
Steps To Follow When Developing A Sales Plan
If you want to create a winning sales plan, there are certain steps you must follow alongside the help of a power dialer, which is a modern solution offered by companies like Power Dialer. Without doing this, your entire endeavor is doomed to fail right from the start.
Here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow:
1. Establish Your Vision And Mission Statement
You should start by articulating the mission and vision of your company before any other step of your sales plan. After all, you won’t clearly know where you’re heading without first understanding your vision and mission.
Having a vision and mission statement is vital as it ensures that the entire sales team in your organization understands certain crucial elements, and these include:
- The unique products or services your company is providing its target audience
- Your company’s sales goals and objectives
- Your company’s competitive edge against its business rivals
Having a clear understanding of your company’s vision and mission statement will guide you in developing a sales approach that aligns with your brand identity.
2. Assess Where You Are Now And Where You’ve Been
You can’t start planning for the future without first taking the time to understand your past and present. And, to get insights into your company’s past, you should ask yourself questions such as:
- How much in sales did you manage to achieve last year?
- To whom have you sold in the past?
- How much of the sales is repeat business?
- Which customer generates your company the most significant revenue?
- Which customers had the shortest sales cycles?
Here are the questions to ask yourself to better understand your company’s current situation:
- How are you positioning your company to realize the set revenue targets?
- What are the things helping you with desired growth?
- Are there certain things that have changed?
- What additional help does your team require to accomplish the set goals?
Answering these questions will help you better understand the past and present, a great starting place to know the direction you should be headed in the future.
3. Identify Realistic Short- And Long-Term Goals
Like every other business plan, your sales plan needs to outline what you’re looking to achieve both in the short and long term. Your sales goals should be broken down weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. The goals you set should align with your company’s overall objectives. In addition, they need to be realistic, specific, time-bound, and measurable.
Understanding your sales goals will help you know your business’s direction, and this can help you when communicating with your sales team. These goals need to be realistic and should be dependent on certain factors, such as:
- The size of your target market
- Your team’s experience
- Your company’s overall objectives
- The resources available to your company
Besides being realistic, these goals need to be measurable to get an idea of where you’re at the moment and what you can accomplish in the future. Your goals also need to be specific. For instance, you should understand the main reason you want to increase your business revenue, that is, when and by how much. By doing so, you’ll be able to boost the chances of your sales team hitting your goals.
4. Define Your Ideal Target Audience
You also need to have an idea of your target market for your sales project management to be successful. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending your hard-earned money chasing the wrong prospects. You can best avoid this by doing exhaustive research to find out who your target clients are and know how you can better reach out to them using ringless voicemail, among other modern methods.
You should start by creating your ideal customer profile. You can do this by examining several metrics, including location, demographics, age, and income, to name a few. With the ideal customer profile, you can better streamline your marketing efforts to a target audience interested in your company’s products or services.
In addition, coming up with an ideal customer profile will also help sales agents focus their efforts on prospects that can be easily turned into paying clients, helping them spend their time efficiently and ensuring repeat business for your company.
5. Carry Out A SWOT Analysis
Your sales plan also needs to include a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. This will be vital in helping you know how to best leverage your company’s distinct strengths, alleviate your weaknesses, pinpoint and exploit new opportunities, as well as prepare for contingencies. Understanding such aspects will help you when developing your sales strategy to enter into new markets and better deal with your competitors.
When doing a SWOT analysis, it’s best to involve the company’s leadership, as well as internal and external teams. Doing this will give you a comprehensive insight into the company, hence, ensuring you don’t miss out on anything during the SWOT analysis.
6. Outline Your Team Roles And Responsibilities
Everyone in the sales team needs to have a clear idea of their roles and responsibilities. This is why you need to come up with a team structure and pinpoint the roles of everyone involved.
Here are the different facets of your sales team:
- Account executive: They’ll be mandated with delivering a sales pitch, demonstrating products, nurturing qualified leads, sending appraisals, and closing deals. Their performance is measured by the number of deals closed, deal closing rate, and the number of proposals sent.
- Sales development: They’re tasked with qualifying leads, introducing products or services, and planning appointments for the account executive. They’re gauged depending on appointments generated, the number of emails sent, and calls made.
- Lead generation: They’re alsoknown as huntersand are mandated to find new potential leads.
- Customer service: They’re also referred to asfarmers because they’re mandated with handling billings and managing client needs after the closing of deals. Their performance is measured by the number of complaints resolved, customer retention rate, and satisfaction.
With everyone in your sales team understanding their goals, as well as key performance indicators, you’ll be able to monitor their performance better.
7. Develop A Clear Sales Strategy
After outlining what each person in the sales team will be tasked with doing, the next thing is to develop a solid sales strategy. This will basically be the plan that your sales team will follow to help you achieve the company’s sales goals. Ideally, your sales strategy should define precise and in-depth tactics that your sales team will employ, for instance, drip email marketing campaigns, cold calling, or using Google Ads.
The sales strategy you should use will depend on a couple of factors, including:
- The products or services you’re selling
- Sales operations
- The available company resources
- Your sales team skills and experience
- The sales operation
You should employ sales strategies personalized to your clients’ unique behaviors, needs, and interests to boost your visibility and chances of best connecting with them. This will also result in greater lead generation. With that said, remember that you can change your sales strategy later on if deemed necessary to guarantee the success of your sales campaign.
8. Identify Sales Tools And Systems
You’ll need to know what sales tools, software, hardware, and systems are required to execute your sales plan. Most sales staff members prefer using customer relationship management (CRM) software to perform various duties, including:
- Organizing contact information
- Accessing information
- Measuring sales performance
- Streamlining communication between clients and potential leads
- Managing real-time sales activities
- Streamlining sales tasks
You can find numerous software on the market, and most usually integrate marketing, sales, and customer service functionality.
9. Set Up Your Sales Funnel
Developing the sales funnel is also another crucial step as it gives you a better view of the different stages of your client’s journey, from being a prospect to a paying client. Setting up a sales funnel will help you understand the various statuses of your leads. As a result, you can better monitor them and gauge your company’s effectiveness at converting potential leads to later stages in a sales funnel.
You should also use the sales funnel because it offers you valuable insights into whether your sales tactics are effective in converting potential leads. Knowing your sales conversion rate will help you know whether or not you need to make changes to your sales tactics.
10. Come Up With An Action Plan
With your sales strategy laid out, you need to come up with an action plan, which is an essential deliverable that shouldn’t be overlooked. The action plan will guide the different members of the sales team to know what they’re expected to do and help them achieve their objectives. It’s best to keep the action plan simple and straightforward, as this helps make the set goals a lot more manageable.
When formulating your action plan, think of the various techniques to reach your target audience, including inside sales, channel partners, resellers, and field sales. Also, think of how each of them affects the company.
11. Create Your Sales Budget
Lastly, you must have an exhaustive sales budget that explains in detail how much money you’ll most likely spend during your entire sales operation. Some of the expenses you’ll be incurred during the sales process include:
- Staff remuneration (salaries + commission)
- Sales training
- Sales tools and systems
- Travel expenses
- Cost of tools or software
When estimating these expenses, it’s crucial that you ensure they’re as precise as possible to prevent any financial error. The best way to prevent this is by doing your due diligence and conducting extensive research on how much money these expenses might cost. Knowing how much your sales budget is will help determine if your sales plan will generate any money for your company.
The lack of a clear sales plan is, without a doubt, planning for failure. This is why elevating sales project management is crucial because it gives you insights into how the sales process is from start to finish. After all, it’s only with a step-by-step guide to the entire sales process that you’ll be able to generate any revenue for your business.
But, if elevating the sales plan feels like a challenge, this blog post has detailed how you can best achieve it. This way, you get to avoid issues, such as not knowing of incoming risk, unnecessarily long sales cycles, and misunderstanding your clients’ needs.