The key to effective
sales planning is thinking and preparation. One of the keys to successful selling
is having a written game plan. I won't say this is easy because it's not.
Because it's not easy to do it's easy to avoid doing - and that's a huge
If you're ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work, let's begin.
Who are your existing customers? Prioritize these customers two ways. First
prioritize your customer list based on sales revenue. Then prioritize your customer
list based on sales potential.
Who are your prospects? Prioritize your list of prospects based on sales potential.
Develop a sales call plan based on anticipated sales call frequency. Determine
how many times a year you want to visit your best customers. Determine how many
times a year you want to visit your second-tier, or medium-size customers. Then
determine how many times a year you want to visit your small-size customers.
Do the same thing for your sales prospects. Determine how many times a year
you want to visit your large sales prospects, medium-size and smaller sales
Once you've completed this exercise you can begin to map out a sales call plan
based on geography and sales potential.
Prepare a basic sales strategy that includes a script for making appointments
by telephone. Go here to learn
everything you don’t know about selling on the telephone. You should
also prepare a list of questions to qualify the sales prospects and customers
Don't overlook this because it's the essence of effective sales planning.
And for Pete's sake take good notes. Taking notes shows that you are taking
an active interest in the person you're talking to. Taking notes is also an
indication of who's doing most of the talking. The more notes you have the more
listening you've done. Your ears will earn you
more money than your mouth.
Set achievable sales goals. Make your sales goals challenging and attainable.
For each goal prepare a list of specific action steps with timelines.
When you achieve your sales goals be sure to celebrate your selling success.
Then establish new sales goals you can begin working on. There's no time
Develop a basic marketing plan for your sales territory. Do your best to contact
all customers and sales prospects monthly. Now, don't fall off your chair. I'm
not suggesting you visit all sales prospects and customers every month - just
You can call, fax, e-mail, send an article, send a newsletter, and even send
a postcard. When you do this systematically and professionally it's called marketing.
Learn how to differentiate
yourself from your competitors. Being different is the first step to becoming
memorable. Find out what works in other industries that can be adapted to the
business you're in.
Have fun while you're working and let your sales prospects and customers see
you as an authentic person - the real McCoy.
Don't ever be too busy to get smart. Read sales articles, periodicals, and
business books to expand your mind and improve your thinking about the art of
selling. Load up
on sales tips you can use to grow your business and outfox your competition.
One of the biggest mistakes a majority of salespeople make is to get all tangled
up in their work and not set aside enough time for self improvement and self
The biggest key to effective sales planning is to make sure what's important
is in writing. If it's not in writing it's not a plan and that's a fact.
You should recognize that most outgoing and extroverted salespeople prefer
the people side of the business and not the planning side. You don’t have
to like it to do it!
Success isn't an accident. Success comes quickest to those
who are good at sales planning and focused on execution. When you combine planning
with hard work and extra effort you'll soon find yourself in the top 1% of all
It's been said that "the only time you'll find success before work is
in the dictionary." Sometimes it takes 17 years to become an overnight
The best advice I ever got was to "Plan your work and then work your plan."