Six Steps to Execute Your Sales Plan

By Tony Watson| Certified Sales Leader, Sales Leader Exchange Facilitator

Step 1: Understand and Identify the Target

Before your sales team can begin creating an effective business plan, they need to have a full understanding of their target sales numbers and what it will take to get there.

As a leader, examine the performance of each sales rep by reviewing the data from the past six to twelve months and identify key numbers, including gross sales, profits, win/loss ratio, deal size, and other KPIs that are important for your organization.

It’s expected that daily, weekly, and monthly activity numbers such as calls, meetings, and emails will be reviewed to help gauge initial effort.

Use this data along with your sales projections and your strategy to determine the sales target for each of your reps. Then, meet with each salesperson individually to review their previous performance data, and present them with their new sales targets and quotas.

This will help your sales reps see the big picture as well as their specific targets by isolating the areas that need attention.

Step 2: The Numbers Game

As the sales leader, coach reps to break their targets into specific amounts, not general, and allocate, organize, and attack with precision. It’s important for your team to envision how each sales victory will move them closer to their goal.

For example, a $1,000,000 sales target broken down might look like this:

$100,000 Renewals

$250,000 Upsells and Service

$400,000 Referrals

$250,000 New Accounts from Marketing Leads

Looking at the target this way makes it more manageable and enables the sales reps to develop a detailed plan for reaching their target number.

Step 3: Identify Obstacles

Like any situation in life, when faced with an obstacle, it’s easier to overcome when we understand the task at hand, and we properly prepare. Identify and review any obstacles and work to minimize or eliminate them through practice and learning activities.

Obstacles can be internal or external. They can be caused by a situation completely out of the control of your team and other times they can be created or already exist internally.

An example might be an employee failing to complete the proper training required to execute a task correctly. Another example may be poor lead quality from marketing campaigns. It’s crucial to identify and address obstacles early to give your team a greater chance for success!

Step 4: Create a Plan and Strategy

Once your team understands what KPI’s and targets need to be met as well as what the opportunities and obstacles are, they are ready to create a sound action plan.

As when identifying a sales target, their strategy and plan needs to be broken into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual action steps.

One example of breaking the plan down into manageable pieces is:

  1. Set a GOAL to increase specific product sales with current customers by nurturing relationships.
  2. One STRATEGY to achieve that goal would be to join professional networking groups that your prospective clients are members of, including attending or speaking at upcoming
  3. List the ACTIVITIES that your team will need to complete in order to execute the strategy. For instance, requesting approval to join the professional networking group, paying necessary fees associated with membership, and sending notes to prospective clients who are members, telling them you look forward to seeing them at the next meeting,

This approach will keep your sales team organized, allowing them to manage their time better on a day-to-day basis. It will also give them a clear path to reaching their sales targets.

Step 5: Marketing and Sales Collaboration

Cohesion of your Sales and Marketing plans can really give your organization a competitive advantage.

Make sure your sales team understands how and why certain products are marketed the way they are, so they can better understand the company vision and how marketing supports their sales efforts.

At the same time, this only works if your marketing department understands your sales strategy. They will then use this information to create a strategic marketing plan that supports the sales team and drives quality lead generation.

Step 6: Execute the Sales Plan

Educating your team and creating a strategic plan is extremely important, yet the only way to achieve your goals is through strong execution. Delivering on your strategy is the final and most important step of your sales plan.

Encourage your team to have action plans visible where they see it every day and encourage them to schedule the sales activities to support them in their calendars.

By prioritizing and carving out the necessary time as outlined above, your sales team will have a clear execution plan, and they will be well on their way to achieving their goals.

Summary

The exercise of creating a sales plan will assist your sales team in effectively planning and managing their daily activities in a way that moves them towards achieving their long-term goals. The original article can be found here.

TONY WATSON is a Certified Sales Leader and licensed Sales Xceleration Advisor with more than 25 years of experience driving business growth through aggressive sales initiatives. He is the president of WNY Sales Solutions LLC, an organization focused on building sales organizations that maximize revenue and profits. He expertise in developing and building sales channels and new customer networks while aggressively penetrating new markets. He is also thoroughly adept in all aspects of the sales cycle and is highly skilled in developing and presenting customized, winning proposals. Tony’s expertise also includes building and managing inside/outside sales and sales support.