5 Steps to Create a Successful Sales Plan for Your Startup
| 4 minutes read
Most company’s disasters are caused by a failure to connect with the customer. Just producing a product is not enough because if you don’t build your own audiences or customers, it is a waste of time and money, including labor charges, raw material, electricity, and many other things that involve cost.
A company can only be successful if customers accept and use the products you offer. But, on the other side, there are some factors that kill a startup: running out of capital, premature scaling, and lack of market interest.
“Business is like war in one respect. If its grand strategy is correct, any number of tactical errors can be made, and yet the enterprise proves successful.” Robert E. Wood – Executive and Brigadier General
To develop real and long-lasting growth for your company, you need to create your own strategy. And that starts with a solid and foolproof sales plan. Overall make a road map before you develop a plan.
As billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway owner Warren Buffett said:
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
In terms of sales, you can connect the above quote, like if you develop an effective sales plan today, you will get the results in the coming years.
So without any further adieu, here are five ways entrepreneurs can nail their sales process and scale into sustainable sales revenue.
Polish salesmanship approach.
Define timelines and clear milestones in the sales plan.
Winning marketing strategy: Your target customer should be defined.
Optimize and create engagement from your social media profiles.
You’re not done yet! Track, measure, and adjust as needed.
1. Polish salesmanship approach.
Many innovators have a toxic reaction to selling and immediately look to delegate anything that has to do with the sales process. But, unfortunately, they fail to hold that selling is a reality everyone engages in every day regardless of role.
Selling is merely an exchange. It may be anything you sell, for instance, a product or service, but it can also be an action, interview, or a presence—every interaction you made for the reason of exchanging something with someone. But the question is why customers should buy your product and services.
The simple thing that you can do is be genuine and authentic; you can read the ‘Law of Influence’ book where you can learn—mastering the art of sales and leadership. The book author Brad Harker helps entrepreneurs to develop strategies that help in generating sales revenue.
2. Define timelines and clear milestones in the sales plan.
To find out if the theories formulated in the sales plan are close to the meaning, it is important to divide this high number into lower expectations with limited deadlines. These steps are incredibly convenient to track whether your sales plan is on track or not.
Clear timing and crucial steps require some research and development time.
Also, set up individual steps and plans for your sales team. These individual goals and plans should take into account the differences between your sellers.
3. Winning marketing strategy: Your target customer should be defined.
To explain it in detail, you must also understand and view its demography, age range, income/turnover, activity with those who work mainly, social networks it is present in, events it participates in, etc.
As you can see, having an appropriate target customer will allow you to start working on the construction of everything that can constitute value for him. But, of course, you can not cover the entire customer; you have to identify your target customers for your product and services.
Unique value and superiority adding in your services will favor your decisions and boost your sales growth.
4. Optimize and create engagement from your social media profiles.
Your business information needs to be on social media because that’s where your customers can search and read about the products and services you’re offering. And creating a buzz on social media can take your business sky-high. First, however, you need to organize your social media profiles and connect to your customers who follow your competitors. Try to have interactive sessions with them, and without taking any name try to differentiate your products why it is different and unique from the rest. Gone are those days when companies just named and contacted people.
When people visit your social media profiles, they should get an immediate sense of who you are and what you offer.
Every social media platform is different, so your profiles should be different. It would be best if you framed the strategies differently for each platform. For instance- A LinkedIn profile should be different from a Facebook for Business profile, which should be different from an Instagram profile. And if you’re new to the sales business, then you should focus on one platform.
5. You’re not done yet! Track, measure, and adjust as needed.
Just because you have made a solid sales plan doesn’t mean you get to sit back and relax.
Remember, a plan is simply a guess you wrote down.
Try to set regular meetings (at least once a week) to review progress on your sales plan, and align your activities, identify and solve issues across teams to optimize your plan around real-world events and feedback.
Learn from your previous mistakes and success, and evolve your sales plan as needed. There is always a scope of improvement, and whatever the plans you make, always keep your audiences in the middle of your plan because they are the ones who will build your business.
If you just stepped into the sales business and are confused about where to begin, kindly read the above five points and then take a five-minute break.
Below are the six questions you need to ask yourself.
- What product or service do you provide, and how would you describe it to a five-year-old?
- Who is your ideal customer (get specific — who would you prefer to sell to)?
- Where can you find your customer (social media, publications, events, etc.)
- What are five of your customer’s key pain points?
- What are five solutions your product/service offers?
- Who are your competitors, and what strategies seem to be working well that you can model to reach your target audience?
By answering these questions, you’ll already be ahead of most innovators who have a great idea and, unfortunately, have no plan to sell it.