Sales Plan 101: Definition, Types, Template

Any business is all about sales. Whether a company practices B2B or B2C, the main goal is to receive revenue. Only a steady approach with a defined sales plan can guarantee a successful outcome. 

A strategic sales plan is the map for business processes related to trading, dealing with customers, and organizing sales operations. In this article, you will learn the definition of a sales plan, its structure, and types. Moreover, you will get acquainted with a sales plan template and the basics of creating it.

What Is a Sales Plan?

Sales plan is the hub around which the entire operations of the company revolve around. 

A sales plan is a business plan that features the development of the company’s sales activity with set objectives within a particular time frame. 

In other words, it’s a strategic plan where one specifies sales goals, tactics, challenges, target market and steps you will take to execute the plan. 

Setting goals and time frame to achieve them isn’t the only aim. Give the same importance to working out tactics and a precise sales strategy. This part includes analyzing all the resources, deciding on the amount to use, and describing the specific activities.

The Structure of a Sales Plan

Sales plan examples differ, depending on the exact type. But we will pay closer attention to this a bit later in the article. Generally, it includes nine areas of strategic business development. They are:

1) Executive summary

Executive summary is like laying the foundation bricks of your organization. State your company’s vision and mission. What is the ultimate sales goal? To reach X million revenue by Q4 2021, or increase share price to X amount. In your executive summary, include background on your company’s founding story and how you got to where you are and where you want the company to be in X years. 

2) Set business goals, including revenue targets

You can either set a revenue-based goal or a volume-based goal like having a target of $100 mn Annual Recurring Revenue or expanding product portfolio, or increasing customer base. Keep an achievable revenue or volume target; only then your sales plan can be achieved. 

3) A brief analysis of the performance during the prior period

Give some context to your sales team on the previous year’s performance to know where they are and what needs to be done differently to get to where you want to. 

4) Industry and market overview

Competitor analysis, swot analysis, industry trend reports and market research go a long way in understanding your market position. Having a keen eye for this in your sales planning helps craft your sales plan better. 

5) Description of strategies, tactics

For instance, if your goal is to achieve 100 mn revenue, what is the sales strategy to achieve this number? Then your sales plan should include the following tactics- 

Introduce aggressive selling strategies  Tap new markets Give deep discounts  Retarget customers  Cross-sell products to existing customers  6) Customer segments

Your entire sales team should have clarity on who they are selling to, always. Your sales plan should include target audience, target industries, and ideal customer profiles that your company caters to with its products and services.

7) Resources and team capabilities

If your sales team is tiny, how do you expand your

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