1. Sales Planning- Introduction

Sales planning is a key function in the procedure of sales management process. It is an effective process that involves strategy, sales forecasting, corresponding demand management, setting profit-based targets, the written and execution steps of a sales plan. A sales plan contain a strategic document that figures out your business targets and several resources. These can be used for some activities which you perform to reach your desired goal. In this tutorial, we will discuss how to carry out a successful sales planning.
Sales planning is the process of organizing activities that are mandatory to achieve business goals. A sales plan contains a strategic document that figures out your business targets and several resources. These can be used for some activities which you perform to reach your desired goal.
Sales planning involves two steps, i.e. Formation and Maintenance of a particular plan, in which a salesperson is expected to use his conceptual skills to meet his objective. As such, planning is an elementary quality of intelligent behavior

  • Audience

    This tutorial is designed for those salespersons, who want to know the process of organizing the activities, so that they can achieve their business goals. It covers all the important areas that are needed to get a general idea on sales planning. Those of you who are newly-appointed sales manager will hopefully get a much needed insight into the world of sales and its planning.

  •  Prerequisites

    Before proceeding with this tutorial, you are expected to have a prior knowledge of how sales and marketing teams work in a corporate environment. It would help if you have an elementary knowledge and how they are executed.

2. Organizing Internal Resources

If you are manger of an organization, then it would be your responsibilities to recognize your staff’s characters and understand their individual strengths and abilities. This makes it easy for you to allot several responsibilities to those team members, who have the relevant experience to handle all the work.
The most important step is to analyze all the activities of your team members and identity whether there is a scope of improvement in your current plan. This can be discussed with senior officials, for more informative ideas. These ideas might pave way for the modification of the said plan. This will certainly result in an increase of the product’s sales volume to some extent.
It is also necessary to train your team members by regularly organizing various conferences, informative lectures and seminars delivered by some highly skilled persons. This will help the team to gain knowledge and will make it easier for them to adapt their working style according to the new planning strategies. This aids in the overall enhancement of the sales team which will definitely result in the further growth in the competitive markets.
It’s the duty of a team manager to give his team members the right direction in which they have to work to get the desired goals. The manger should allot appropriate work to the team members, and regularly motivate them. This will help in creating an ideal plan for the growth of the company in any competitive market.

3. Characteristics of a Sales Plan

A planning structure that is commonly used in business strategic planning is the VMGS Model. When your organization wants to achieve higher sales targets through their planning, then they use this framework for reaching the desired objective.
The VMGS Model is based on the observation that, when you want to create an effective plan, you will need to follow several elements, which are-

  • Vision

  • Mission

  • Goals and Objective

  • Strategies and Tactics

While implementing the VMGS Model, the management will have to do the necessary steps of engaging all their clients and stakeholders in order to frame the sales plan as well as the corporate plan. The objective is to end up with a plan that improves their organization, various departments and every employee’s performance.

  • Vision Statement

A vision statement is a tagline that encapsulates the future that the management wants for their organizations. The objective of having a company vision is to both inspire and guide the employees towards taking the right steps. This helps to balance goal-seeking with sensible insights into the potential future. In the long run, all corporates run a long-term business strategy, which they communicate to their employees internally first.

  • The Mission Statement

The chief purpose of a mission statement is to identify and delegate various business activities. It acts like a map that connect all the various operations running in a company, along with their objective. It is an efficient tool to motivate employees, departments teams and corporates.

  • Goals and Objectives

Goals are the best short-term directions that help you to proceed in your mission. These goals are in reality some unique needs, which have to be accomplished. There are three types of goals that need to be discussed-

  1. The goals that are finalized and decide upon through corporate mandate are called corporate goals. This will mainly involve the dollar volume.

  2. The goal that are finalized within individuals departments with the main focus on acquiring new customers is called departmental goals.

  • Strategies and Tactics

All the organizations want to achieve their goals and objective at nay cost. To do that, they follow some unique strategies and tactics. Each company wants to protect their strategies and tactics from being leaked to their competitors. Very often, the differences of success and failure in today’s competitive market could be a
month’s delay in implementing a plan.

4. Priorities of a Sales Plan

A sales plan is an informative technique that allows salesperson to share their information with the management and get guidance from them. It is an effective tool for enhancing a product’s sales and its popularity among the people. In a sales plan, customers are generally profiled under different segments. This profiling helps companies understand what a customer demand from a particular period. This profiling is sometimes done on the basis of regions to determine the need of customers in some particular areas. The organizations have identified some key priority area that help them in managing corresponding accounts. These priorities have been arranged as shown below-

  • Customers

It is the company’s responsibilities to check how it represent its brand in front of its customers. If the product’s representation convinces the customers, they will recommend it to others to try at least once. If a company has a large group of such satisfied and convinced customers, its product market value will increase. Customers here include the industries and markets that are helpful in increasing the popularity of products among people.

  • Employees

Employee that work for the success of an organization. If a company has good employees, then it becomes successful very soon. However, if the employees don’t understand their responsibilities, then the organizations will lead to failure. So, an employees is a critical aspect for the success of an organization.

  • Product and Services

This involves all the various products and services offered at different levels of the product’s launching, which are- engineering, manufacturing, finance accounts, suppliers, etc. if your product is advertise properly, then the customers will buy it with trust. After that, it’s the responsibilities of the marketing staff to provide the best services of their customers, so that they give a good review for the product.

  • Competition

All the products are introduced as brands today in market. This creates a unique identification pattern and helps build competition among various other brands of competitors. However, after a point of time, customers get confused with all the choices and are undecided as to which is the best one among all the brands.
If a company wants to attract more customers towards its products in a such competitive market, then it has to promote its product on several platforms. This is where the companies will furnish information on what unique features the product contains, which are not provided by any other companies.
This is called advertisement of products and is considered a very effective tool in boosting the sales of product in the market. It is the duty of team manager to decide which level of priority is handed down to which department and salesperson. This is how the company manages to grab more customer attention towards
your product.

5. Creating a Sales Plan

The process of chalking a plan starts with identify productive hours and those that are wasted on unproductive activities. The second step is to implement policies that minimize the unproductive time and maximizes productivity. A sales-plan should always have provisions and progress.
An ideal sales plan should cover all the reasonable that have been suggested by the clients, while covering all the aspects that you need is a sales cycle. Its is main aim to determine how to sell the product internally too along with various other implementation techniques of your product.

  • A successful sales plan involves the following actions

  1. Before setting a plan, all the priorities are identified are arranged. After this, the respective allocation of necessary resources is done. The managers ensure that the allotted time and resources are used until the desired goals are achieved.

  2. The next step is to develop strong working teams and strength their internal and external partnerships. This will help the company to easily share necessary information as well as it resources and then advertise new and improved business products.

  3. Plan the budgeting process in advanced and check if the process is predictable or not. Corresponding adjustments in budgets to include various expenses, revenues are also calculated in this step.

  4. Finally, create an experienced team that has already worked on a similar project and is familiar with all the process involved.

This way, it is possible to create a successful plan that assist companies to run their business more efficiently. However, plan do not bring success; their successful implementation does. The team manager need to make sure that all the team maters are putting in their best and sincere efforts in this plan.

6. Sales Planning-Pricing Decisions

Webinar When a new product gets launched, a corresponding pricing decisions is also initiated and handled by one or more departments in the organization. The strategy of pricing varies from one organization to another depending on their cost of labor, geographical considerations and from one industry to another.
The right pricing of a product is one of the most important factors of getting a good sales volume. There are various customers from different economic backgrounds and families. The proper pricing of a product gives a positive message to the customers. Products that are very effective in addressing customers need, but are well out of their purchasing power are doomed to fail.
Before getting a final decisions about pricing, teams also think from the end-users view about the price of the product. Pricing strategy relates mostly with the sales team, so from their perspective- it is the chief factor to achieve goals.
Seniors propose what they think to be a correct price of the product and then take opinions of the team members as well. After this, a clear picture of the pricing strategy is made. Some internal and external factors that play important roles in pricing decisions are as follows-

  • External Factors

  1. Competitors offering similar products and services.

  2. Government and other regulation related to a new product.

  3. Demands of customers for these type of products and services.

  4. Regulations for premium products type of a business or industry.

  5. The economy of the country in which the company is launching a product.

  • Internal Factors

  1. Cost of good sold, fixed costs, variable costs, etc.

  2. Various shareholder sentiments.

  3. Strategies needed to increase the value of your product.

  4. Company brand recognition and reputation.

  5. Channels of distribution from the manufactures, distributor to the consumer.

  6. Sales machineries, e.g. field sales, inside sales, telemarketing or online sales.

  7. Nature of sales, transactional, long-term, recorder or replenish.

  8. Government bidding, proposal request, foreign exchange, letters of credit.

All these factors affect your pricing policy, so it’s important to carefully consider their role in the market. You should always also be aware of the skills that are necessary to deal with these kind of issues. All the internal players and their corresponding processes need to extrapolated for their effects on a future day and time.

  • Example

A country going through a drastic political change won’t be the right place to invest a lot of money in, as the company cannot predict the customer sentiment in that particular country. For financial services companies, all pricing decisions are taken primarily by the marketing like data recovery, data storage, etc., pricing is decided by the sales department. This is sometimes done with the assistance form marketing, finance and other departments as well.

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