Prepare for the Unknown with a Clear Sales Plan!


Every smart business person understands the importance of keeping a finger on the hottest business trends going on in the market and also knowing when to expect change. However, it is also important to realize that no matter how good you are at predicting the future, there are going to be some bad days, as well as good days, coming your way. A profitable sales plan is necessary for all kinds of days, no matter how good or bad they might be. Following a few simple tips, such as the ones listed ahead, will help you to be prepared for any kind of economic climate. Soon you will know how to make the best of the good days, and mitigate the damage that comes with the worst.

Specify your Target Market

The most critical aspect of any sales plan, no matter what the conditions are, is knowing your target market. You cannot do business with everyone; and even if that is what you are aiming to do, there must be a specific starting point. This is why you need to have a specific target market to focus on, from where you can start building up the desired momentum. It will also help you better prepare for those days when sales are not up to the mark. It is crucial for you to put some time into researching who your target market is.

Develop a well-planned forecast

Begin by jotting down the sales assumptions for the year. Use those assumptions will help you to build a reliable sales forecast. You can do this once you have broken down the forecast into individual elements. These individual elements can be ranking products, geographic regions or the market. You should also estimate the conversion rate in each of these categories. As you develop a forecast, be aware of these common forecasting pitfalls:

  1. Over optimistic/wishful thinking: Try to set realistic targets by keeping your previous years’ forecasts in mind. Before you finalize your sales level, consider how achievable they are in both the best and worst of conditions.
  2. Shifting goal-posts: A common pitfall that comes with forecasts is not setting a definite timescale for achieving them. It is common to be so distracted in creating forecasts that you do not pay enough attention to your targets.

Create a sales plan

Before you begin to work on a sales plan, you and your team must answer these four questions that will essentially guide you in creating your sales plan:

  1. What is the major focus of your business?
  2. What is the change that you are aiming to bring?
  3. What are the practical steps involved?
  4. What are the targets/territories that you will give each team/individual?

A detailed sales plan will aid you through the good days, but it will also to help you manage the bad ones. As the market has become increasingly volatile and competitive, planning ahead for each situation is the only way you can be sure of surviving no matter what may come your way!