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Why Do I Need a Sales Plan?
By Rick Johnson
Thursday, 9th January 2014
 

Sales planning is critical to sales success; return on Time Invested (ROTI) should be key criteria that every salesperson should use when evaluating their account base.

The biggest asset a salesperson has is their time. It is imperative that they manage this asset carefully.
 
A 120 Day Sales Plan must be implemented. This plan is the company’s first attempt to build an integrated business plan. You are being asked to evaluate your territory with respect to economic conditions, competitive pressures, opportunities, threats and key customer and vendor objectives.

What is really needed is to step back from the trees so you can see the forest. Some quality thinking will give you your baseline and then you can set your own goals, as well as plan out the major actions to achieve them.
 
You will repeat this process later in the year. You should strive to be realistic and also stretch in setting your objectives. This means that your “gut feel” says there is an 80% chance that you will achieve 100% of your goal.

The company is going to be making investments in resources and support so that a significant second half growth rate can be achieved. There will be some ramp up benefit during this planning window, so be open minded rather than optimistic or cynical.
 
First you need to list your key objectives for the next 120 days.
 
Next list the key action items that are required to achieve your plan. Each section item must have a brief task description, a tangible output (i.e. meeting held, quote submitted, credit approved, management visit made, return authorized etc.), a person named who is responsible for the output and a due date.
 
Then interview your top 10 customers and work out your best estimate of their predicted sales and gross profit volumes.
 
A formal sales plan for 2014/2015 is probably the most important activity that you should engage in during the economic challenges we are facing now and throughout the year. I am not talking about the typical DREF, (Delusional Rectal Exaggerated Forecast) that many of us have become accustomed to. I am talking about a realistic, documented plan that lists the specific activities required to accomplish the objectives set for targeted accounts with identified growth potential...

A sales plan is a schedule of events and responsibilities that details the actions to be taken in order to accomplish the goals and objectives necessary to be successful. The plan ensures everyone knows what needs to get done, coordinates their efforts and keeps close track of progress.

Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution’s “Leadership Strategist”, founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail rick@ceostrategist.com. Don’t forget to check out the Lead Wolf Series that can help you put more profit into your business.

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