Sales Planning for 2021: 5 How-To Tips
Go through a good sales planning, necessarily, the commercial success and growth of any company.
Thinking and documenting the steps of the process, before getting your hands dirty, is essential to achieve the objective that every business wants: to sell more and better.
Your company is certainly no different, right? You want more customers while teams produce more.
What if this happens at the same time that costs are reduced with this operation? There, without a doubt, we are talking about the ideal scenario.
Strategy, tactics and technique. When these 3 elements converge within sales planning you are bound to succeed.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to be successful when planning your sales.
What needs to be done? How does this happen? What resources are needed? And the steps that need to be taken?
These are all questions that we will, from now on, answer.
Shall we check?
Why is sales planning so important?
How do you know how to direct efforts, financial resources and use of technology if you don’t know what needs to be prioritized?
The planning brings clarity regarding the necessary actions within the sales sector in companies.
For teams it is essential. For the sales manager, then, crucial. Only then is it possible to have the much-needed sales control?
A good plan should include:
- goals and objectives to be achieved;
- detailed schedule of actions;
- sales training space ;
- Constant monitoring and analysis.
But we will talk about this later.
For now, understand. Only with sales planning is it possible to focus on the customer, generate value and ensure its success.
It is the starting point for a healthy customer relationship. For a lasting relationship that will bring positive results for the company.
Direct efforts in that direction. How to deliver, at each step of the sales process, the value the prospect needs to have the confidence to make the purchase.
After all, there is no point in generating qualified leads. If when it comes to approaching them and showing how the sold solution works, you fail, everything will be lost.
All previous efforts will have been in vain. And that money and time invested is obviously not coming back.
The Pillars of Sales Planning
At the very beginning of the article we mentioned 3 key elements for an assertive sales planning.
Do you remember what they were?
To understand how to structure a good business plan, it is necessary to be clear about what each of these pillars means.
It doesn’t actually need to be fixed, nor just one. There are many sales strategies that the company can adopt.
But here’s the secret: what are they? Here, we can think long term.
Evaluate what makes the most business sense. Which ones deliver what your business persona needs?
Look at the sales funnel as a whole. Review the steps. Which strategy fits best at which time?
Define this and register it in the company’s sales playbook so that the entire sales team can have this clear.
The strategy changes depending on the product or service, the value negotiated, the plan…
You must also take into account – especially in B2B sales – the hierarchical level of those who do business with you.
For higher positions, surely the strategy won’t be the same for lower ones, right?
And who will execute these strategies? People, of course.
So, choose the ones that make sense within the combination of your employees’ profile and the company’s ideal customer profile.
The tactic is how the strategy will go from paper to practice. Therefore, both are directly linked.
Think more in the short and medium-term, as you need to measure their impact and re-evaluate their use if necessary.
Keep an eye on sales metrics and analyze the conversion rate, step by step, within the pipeline.
Good sales planning manages to combine two elements. He has the perfect tactics and strategy for every moment of the buying journey.
That’s why they need to be specific, clear, and didactic.
It is also essential to specify who will be responsible for each activity.
The technique is in line with the delivery capacity that the sales team has.
Here, we have to think of all kinds of ways to further empower people.
Sales training, coaching, application of different sales methodologies … it doesn’t matter.
People’s motivation is to feel more empowered to carry out their activities.
It’s the obvious way to not only sell more but sell better. Delight customers.
How can delivery be better? How to correct internal factors and, consequently, improve what is delivered to customers?
The feedback needs to be constant by the commercial manager – the only way you can increase the efficiency and effectiveness when selling.
5 Tips for Assertive Sales Planning
It is crucial to have a step-by-step guide to planning. This is just as important as understanding the elements involved.
Even better is to get the time to do it. If you want to plan your year, at most within the last 3 months of the previous year.
The ideal is not to let December enter without having it defined, ok?
Now, let’s look at some tips for planning sales. Check out:
1 – Analyze the numbers you have
The first step is to start analyzing the numbers for the current year. How is the sales performance at the moment?
Take into account:
- Sales Conversion Rate – What are the numbers in every step of the funnel?
- Seasonality – in which periods did you sell the most?
- Discounts – if given, how much did it cost the company?
- Competition – have you grown or fallen in relation to it?
- What churn rate do you have?
- Frozen Opportunities – How many and which customers asked for a little more time to close?
- Customer portfolio – how big is yours today?
- Sales target – has the current year been met?
But if you are doing this planning for the first time, a good solution is to call in a sales consultant to have more precise parameters.
2 – Set your goals
Once you’ve checked the numbers you already have, it’s time to set the goals to hit.
The search should be for a number that gives you a sales forecast. Which will bring more peace of mind to work and do administrative management all the time.
So, thinking about the current conversion rate that the company has, think about:
- How many visitors do you need on your site to reach the number of leads you want?
- How many leads do you need to get the number of leads you want?
- How many calls do you need to make to reach the fetched number of diaries?
- And how many calendars do you need to make to be able to send the ideal number of proposals?
- How many proposals do you need to make to get the ideal sales number?
- And how many sales do you need to make to reach the desired revenue?
One step is linked to another. A gap between two of them and your goals will be compromised. Think about conversion rate. In percentages but also in values.
3 – Define your strategies and tactics
You need to turn the generated leads into actual customers. It is therefore time to define the strategies and their tactics.
Seek to grow while customer success comes first. If you can do this, you will certainly be building an important reference image.
Therefore, for your strategies, consider the following questions:
- Is the market segmentation correct or are there still opportunities to be explored?
- Can you create different plans in your service? And add any complementary products to the original offers?
- How can you offset the seasonality (if any) of your sales?
- What are the market trends and how is your company adapting/preparing for them?
- What are your company’s most important products or services and how can you make them more prominent?
- Think about outbound sales and look for the best prospects for you to approach;
- How is it possible to have an even stronger customer relationship?
Then move on to tactics;
- Have a plan to get the prospects greater potential you have identified;
- Find ways to reduce your company’s CAC ;
- Find common ground in the best opportunities you’ve had. Then focus on customers of that type;
- Go for active prospecting for larger customers;
- Identify relevant events in the segment and be there;
- Structure the pipeline well with opportunities that can lead you to meet your goals;
- Relate to the market, customers and competitors alike.
We can list many other options. But the question is: get your head working. Look at where you are and where you want to go.
“Attack” from all sides.
Increase the average ticket you already sell. Be bolder when prospecting. Create an image of authority through your inbound marketing strategies.
4 – Set up the action plan
Theory needs to become practice. Once you’ve defined the numbers and also understand what needs to be done, it’s time to get your hands dirty.
Sales planning needs a good schedule of actions. There must be deadlines and discipline for the delivery to occur with quality.
That is why:
- Establish a calendar that is didactic about dates, steps, and stakeholders;
- Allow more time. Do this especially at the beginning so that actions can be carried out;
- Define which metrics will be used. This helps so that the planning can be evaluated on the correct parameters;
- Monitor conversion rates week by week at every step of the funnel.
It is important to always be on the lookout for new opportunities. But more than that, don’t let any lead go cold for lack of action.
The pre-sales team needs to be, in addition to being educational and advisory to empower the prospect, proactive.
This is because the lead will undoubtedly be in contact with the competition. So, leaving him waiting too long will make him decide for a company other than yours.
5 – Measure everything you do
Daily monitoring. Weekly feedback meetings – don’t need to be extensive. All of this needs to be done.
It is important that you have well-configured dashboards. Integrate them with your CRM.
Always think and act strategically. And never on impulse because of a week of bad sales, for example.
If necessary, change a strategy. Adapt some tactics. Put it into practice and keep analyzing.
It is continuous and hard work. But that needs to be done. Already.
So, how can we help you?
Enjoy and read two articles that will help you manage to improve the commercial area.
The first one brings some important points for more assertive sales management.
The second 7 sales techniques to apply in every type of business.
Go through a good sales planning, necessarily, the commercial success and growth of any company. Thinking and documenting the steps of the process, before getting your hands dirty, is essential to achieve the objective that every business wants: to sell more and better. Your company is certainly no different, right? You want more customers while teams produce more.…