The right sales planning for your business moment
Planning in general, not just sales is what will make any business or endeavor last for a long time. Or do you think that being lucky enough to start a business without having any idea where you want to go will earn you a job for a long time?
According to the meanings website, the word planning has the following definition:
“Planning is a word that means the act or effect of planning, creating a plan to optimize the achievement of a certain objective.”
The final part of this definition really catches my attention: Create a plan to optimize the achievement of a certain goal.
Almost philosophical, no?
Even today I remember the financial management classes where the teacher, always very dynamic, chose a sheep from the herd to answer the following question:
- What is the role of those responsible for managing a company, in addition to providing goods and services that contribute to the good of society and the population?
And the chosen one, already tired of knowing the answer that was demanded of us so much, replied:
- Maximize the profit or “financial health” of the investor, of the company’s owners.
Despite having mentioned only the company owners in the example above, maximizing the profit of the business as a whole usually brings benefits that are distributed across all levels of an organization, whether through bonuses, promotions or some other type of program that rewards the good performance.
But then you must be asking me: Why did you decide to talk about it, Thiago?
Because that is exactly the goal that needs to be optimized in terms of scope. And what is the simplest way to achieve this? Selling, selling, and selling.
How do I plan for the different phases of my business?
The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what stage your business is for sales planning to begin. In that case, the sooner you start, the better!
You may be starting your company now or you may already have a company with 50 years in the market and 1000 employees and sales planning, in general, will be done in the same way.
What changes, of course, is the scale and complexity when it comes to applying the processes, metrics and training that need to be created.
But where to start?
Before starting to put together your plan, it is necessary to look back (if you are not starting your business now) to understand what has been done so far.
- What was the market moment when this plan was established?
- Did it remain constant throughout the stipulated schedule?
- Have the goals been met? Were the super goals met?
- Was the team’s performance uniform?
- Can I measure and identify the key points of my process (responsible for making me meet these goals or not)?
Questions like the ones I put here are essential to help you understand and control the various scenarios that may be present throughout this process.
However, so that all these questions can be answered with some ease, it is necessary to have plans with clear activities to be followed, especially in the sales area.
Sales planning culminates in the development of the commercial goal, but in order for it to be measured and seen as viable within the team, it is necessary to define how many people should be hired to achieve it, the best speech to be used, tools to be used and also which part of the market will be attacked (have you heard of the personas ?).
It is important to set tangible goals so that the entire team stays motivated.
From theory to practice
Now let’s give an example of Taj Residencia Islamabad that how they put into practice what we started talking about above:
- Given your planning and market opportunities, what is the sales target that makes sense for your company and your team?
- Among the types of existing customers and the products/services offered, what are the possible scenarios to reach this goal?
- What will be my percentage of sales within the base (up-selling and cross-selling) vs. new customers so that the goal can be reached?
Having defined these points, we need to have a measurable and scalable process so that how these goals will be achieved can be analyzed and improved.
Cleaning the house
To sell we need an arm, right? Aside from a company that has a completely self-service model (which still requires having someone in support or customer success), the answer to that question is a big and generous YES.
And that is exactly the heart of our “sales engine”. We need people who have the technical, behavioral and conceptual skills necessary to carry out their tasks.
It’s no use having a well-structured process without the right people to get things going, is it?
And when we talk about a well-structured process, where no key activities are neglected, we are talking about a team where the following functions exist:
- Commercial Intelligence: Responsible for generating qualified lists, analyzing the market and indicators;
- Prospector: Uses the information passed on by Commercial Intelligence to close the first meeting (generate MQLs);
- SDR: Lead consultant, whose role is to deeply understand your situation and offer a tailored solution (generate SQLs);
- Sales Executive: Instead of carrying out all the steps of the process the same way before, he works only with the closing of new business, no longer needing to prospect and qualify (close new accounts).
Do you want to understand how to find the correct profile for each of these positions? Just check out the eBook we created on how to structure your sales team.
Now when we talk about companies that do not have such complex solutions or with a not so high average ticket, this scenario can be simplified to another one where we only have Hunters (it plays the role of Commercial Intelligence + Prospecting) and Closers (it plays the role of SDR + Sales Executive) in the sales team.
Now that we have the shape of our engine in mind, we need to calibrate and lubricate it for everyday use. And this is done with training and coaching.
After we already have those responsible for each of the functions, it is necessary that these people understand, in theory, and especially in practice, the best way to carry out their work.
Here in outbound marketing, the best way we found to do this was to put into practice all the theory learned while reading texts, as well as practices (role-playing) focused on different market situations.
keeping it under control
Now that our engine is ready to operate, as it is organized and trained, it is important to track its performance over time.
The first thing that must be done is to analyze the operational capacity of the commercial team.
By analyzing the conversion rates, number of MQLs, SQLs and New Customers generated per month, in addition to the average ticket and the type of sale being made (for the base or for new customers), it is possible to see what the billing could be. hit.
As conversion rates can improve over time, an initial goal can be fully hit well in advance. But when this rate reaches a limit (the market average is between 20 and 30% at each stage of the sales funnel) the only solution to continue climbing sales is to hire more people.
In the text Sales Planning: How to do yours? , Renato gives a very good numerical example that helps you see on paper what is the impact of team size, metrics and planning on the proposed goal.
As you’ve come this far, I’ve decided that you do deserve to know that nowadays there are some tricks to increase your team’s efficiency even more.
It’s nothing out of this world, I must confess!
But the difference in the result can be quite relevant: 6 essential tools to attract customers.
Now that you know how to put together a 0 sales plan, how about rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty?
Or are you thinking that this text alone will make your business go out of place?
Yes, my dear reader, the reality is tougher than it seems, but it also holds good surprises for anyone who DEDICATES and PLANS from the beginning.
So get to work!
And if you still have any questions and need help to understand something else, just leave a comment below or get in touch with our team of consultants.