Learn why creating a sales and marketing plan is key to reaching your revenue goals
If you’re like most business owners, you’re so focused on the day-to-day operations of your business that you don’t take the time to think about the big picture and where your business is headed.
Without a sales plan in place, you have no goal in mind. You’re always working in reactionary mode instead of being proactive. This can lead to frustration as you feel like you’re stuck in a rat race, working hard but not making any headway.
A sales strategy plan is essential for any business. It helps you to set goals and measure your progress. Without it, you’ll be flying blind and won’t know what steps to take to reach your revenue goals.
This article will help you to see why planning is critical for your business’ success and how to stay on track toward your goals, even when you’re busy.
Here’s an example of what commonly happens in a service-based business like yours:
Lisa is a home inspector and is just starting out. She has a few clients through a local real estate agency, and she’s been busy inspecting homes and creating the final reports.
As each of the homes sells, she starts to panic because she hasn’t had the time to talk with more agents to get new assignments in her pipeline.
When she completes all the inspections, she has to go into survival mode while she looks for more clients. She starts taking on any job that comes her way, even if the payment is lower than she’d like.
This feast-famine cycle is typical for service-based business owners until they decide to get off the hamster wheel and set sales goals. You meet those goals with a sales and marketing plan.
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for creating a sales plan, but there are some basic steps you can follow to get started:
- Figure out your revenue goal. What is the minimum amount of revenue you need to achieve your goals?
Start with six months of goals and decide how much you want to make each month, then calculate how much you need to sell to get there.
This will take some time, so set aside three days to complete this task and schedule two-hour blocks of time so you stay motivated.
- Decide on the marketing steps you want to take. Focus on a few key ones and stay with them until you get consistent at doing them.
Even when you’re busy, you can always carve out time for marketing if it’s important to you. Maybe that means waking up a bit earlier each day to work on your plan or penciling in specific times on the weekends.
It’s worth the effort because without marketing, your business won’t grow. Some marketing ideas include:
- Following up with past clients
- Writing a newsletter and sending it to your list
- Sending birthday or holiday cards to clients
- Writing a blog post to share on social media
- Decide how you will measure progress. When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. That’s why it’s important to have a plan that includes measurable goals and objectives. This will help you track your progress and make necessary adjustments along the way.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t see sales come in immediately. Recognize and count the more subtle things like:
- An increase in email list subscribers
- More engagement on social media
- More sales calls completed
- Warm leads asking to jump on a call
These are small wins you can celebrate because you know you’re headed in the right direction. Use them to stay motivated and consistent, then the sales will follow.
Be sure that you integrate all of these into your sales plan so that you keep moving toward your revenue goals.
A sales plan is essential for business growth because it helps you:
- Stay focused on your goals. When you have a written plan, it’s easy to refer back to and stay on track.
- Stay accountable. A sales action plan forces you to think through your marketing steps and how you will measure progress. This helps you stay on track and avoid wasting time on “busy work.”
- Be more efficient. By having a written plan, you can better prioritize your activities and focus on the tasks that will have the most impact.
- Grow your business. A sales action plan provides a roadmap for growth and allows you to track your progress over time.
- Stay motivated. Having a sales action plan gives you something to strive for and helps keep you motivated during difficult times.
- Build consistent habits that can make getting sales seem effortless after you’ve closed several customers.
- Track your progress to make necessary adjustments along the way.
When you have a plan in place, it gives you a sales roadmap to follow and keeps you accountable.
This type of plan is especially important if your business is service-based, as it can be difficult to measure results.
Once you have a sales action plan in place, you won’t get lost in the day-to-day tasks anymore. You’ll begin to make real progress.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. This post is designed to give you a high-level overview and get you started on creating an effective sales plan.
If you find it difficult to make sales, you’re not alone. Many business owners struggle with generating leads and closing deals. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to improve your sales performance. Start tracking our progress so that you can make sure that you are on track to meet your targets.
And if you really want to see a difference in your business this time next year, download my free 6 month sales planner