INTRODUCTION TO SALES PLANNING

INTRODUCTION TO SALES PLANNING

Meaning of Strategic Sales Planning

Sales Planning is a key function in the procedure of sales management process. It is an effective process that involves strategy, sales forecasting, corresponding demand management, setting profit-based sales targets, the written and execution steps of a sales plan.

Sales Planning is the process of organizing activities that are mandatory to achieve business goals. A sales plan contains a strategic document that figures out your business targets and several resources. These can be used for some activities which you perform to reach your desired goal.

A sales strategy is a plan a business or individual on how to go about selling products and services and increasing profits. Sales strategies are typically developed a company’s administration, along with its sales, marketing and advertising managers.

Importance of Sales Planning

  • Unless you are have a good luck, nothing in this world can be done without prior planning. Everything requires you to take out time and think things through, set goals and objectives, create a plan, and then implement that plan to achieve them.
  • Sales planning is important because it helps your foresee potential risks so that you can try and mitigate them beforehand.
  • It not only helps you formulate a battle plan but also puts you in control helping you determine your product‘s current status, where you want to take it, and how you will take there.
  • Sales planning also play an important role when a product is being offered in a variety of markets. It helps you devise strategies according to the culture, needs, and requirements of each consumer market.
  • A sales plan is an informative technique that allows salespeople to share their information with the management and get guidance from them.
  • It is an effective tool for enhancing a product‘s sales and its popularity among the people. In a sales plan, consumers are generally profiled under different segments. This profiling helps companies understand what a customer demands from a particular product. This profiling is sometimes done on the basis of regions to determine the need of customers in some particular areas.
  • Evaluation of sales performance
  • Achievement of targets
  • Forecast expenditure
  • Motivator
  • Compete effectively.

Scope of sales planning

A planning structure that is commonly used in business strategic planning is the VMGS Model. When your organization wants to achieve higher sales targets through their planning, then they use this framework for reaching the desired objective. The VMGS model is based on the observation that, when you want to create an effective plan, you will need to follow several elements, which are:

  1. Vision
  2. Mission

Goals and objectives

Strategies and tactics

While implementing the VMGS model, the management will have to do the necessary steps of engaging all their clients and stakeholders in order to frame the sales plan as well as the corporate plan. The objective is to end up with a plan that improves their organization, various departments and every employee‘s performance.

Vision Statement

A vision statement is a tagline that summarizes the future that the management wants for their organization. The objective of having a company vision is to both inspire and guide the employees towards taking the right steps. This helps to balance goal-seeking with sensible insights into the potential future.

In the long run, all corporates run a long-term business strategy, which they then communicate to their employees internally first. Then this strategy is communicated externally through intranet, website, various newsletters, regular press releases, and company annual reports, etc.

The Mission Statement

The major purpose of a mission statement is to identify and delegate various business activities. It acts like a map that connects all the various operations running in a company, along with their objectives. It is an efficient tool to motivate employees, departments, teams and corporates.

Goals and Objectives

Goals are the best short-term directions that help to proceed in the mission. These goals are in reality some unique needs, which have to be accomplished. There are three types of goals that need to be discussed:

  • The goals that are finalized and decided upon through corporate mandate are called corporate goals. This will mainly involve the Dollar Volume.
  • The goals that are finalized within individual departments with the main focus on acquiring new customers is called departmental goals. It is often chalked out after a company introduces new products in the market for some unique stakeholders.
  • The third type of goal is personal business goal. This goal is not strictly for business as it involves personal learning. Through this goal, an individual can learn some new skills and programs that help him improve in his business- conducting skills.

Strategies and Tactics

All the organizations want to achieve their goals and objectives at any cost. To do that, they follow some unique strategies and tactics. Each company wants to protect their strategies and tactics from being leaked to their competitors. Very often, the difference of success and failure in today‘s competitive market could be a month‘s delay in implementing a plan.

There are different types of strategies to make a sales plan successful. Most of them are longterm strategies like determining the MRP, etc. However, some are medium-term (offers valid for a month) and short-term strategies (one-day offers) also. The toughest strategy to plan is the long-term strategy. It is a difficult process because these steps are followed the organization for longer durations to reap the results.

The organisations have identified some key priority areas that help them in managing corresponding accounts. These priorities have been arranged as shown below:

Customers

It is the company‘s responsibility to check how it represents its brand in front of its customers. If the product‘s representation convinces the customers, they will recommend it to others to try at least once. If a company has a large group of such satisfied and convinced customers, its product‘s market value will increase.

Customers here includes the industries and markets that are helpful in increasing the popularity of products among people. Employee this level enlists the employees that work for the success of an organization. If a company has good employees, then it becomes successful very soon. However, if the employees don‘t understand their responsibilities, then the organization will lead to failure. Therefore, an employee is a critical aspect for the success of an organization.

Product and Services

This involves all the various products and services offered at different levels of the product‘s launching, which are – engineering, manufacturing, finance, accounts, suppliers, etc. If your product is advertised properly, then the customers will buy it with trust. After that, it is the responsibility of the marketing staff to provide the best services to their customers, so that they give a good review for the product.

Competition

All the products are introduced as brands today in the market. This creates a unique identification pattern and helps build competition among various other brands of competitors. However, after a point of time, customers get confused with all the choices and are undecided as to which is the best one among all the brands.

Characteristics of effective sales planning

Systematic-Before setting a plan, all the priorities are identified and arranged. After this, the respective allocation of necessary resources is done. The managers ensure that the allotted time and resources are used until the desired goals are achieved.

Team work-involves developing strong working teams and strengthen their internal and external partnerships. This will help the company to easily share necessary information as well as its resources and then advertise new and improved business products.

Budgeting-Plan the budgeting process in advance and check if the process is predictable or not. Corresponding adjustments in budgets to include various expenses, revenues are also calculated in this step.

Creating an experienced team that has already worked on a similar project and is familiar with all the processes involved Continuous process.

A good sales plan establishes goals, priorities, timetables, and necessary resources.

Sets measurable, specific, vivid, and motivating goals. Where do you intend to be in one year? What measures will you use to gauge your achievements: Number of buyers contacted? Percentage of sales to certain types of customers? Sales volume? Profit? Ranking among your peers?

Identifies the enabling objectives necessary to achieve ultimate goals. What objectives must you reach on the way to the intended outcome? What new work habits must you develop? What values will you need to embrace?

Outlines a logical order among the intermediate steps. What is the logical sequence for achieving your ultimate goal? What must happen first, second, third, and so on?

Establishes a reasonable yet challenging time line. When will you achieve your ultimate goal? When will you jump the intermediate hurdles?

Pinpoints the barriers between you and your objectives. Why haven’t you been achieving your objectives? What are the constraining forces, either in you or in the environment? What has stood in the way?

Specifies strategies, procedures, and tactics. What actions will overcome the barriers that have kept you from achieving your objectives?

Summarizes the resources needed. What money, materials, supplies, equipment, facilities, information, education, training, support, counsel, or staffing do you require?

Establishes accountability. What will you do to hold your feet to the fire?

Is in writing. Plans not written are dreams. Plans written become vows. Don’t just dream about success, vow to succeed.

Is shared and negotiated with those responsible for implementing it. The more people who see your plan, the more pressure you’ll feel to make it happen.

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