Sales plans: Do you really need to work on one?

Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t need sales plans in my business. I’ve been doing just fine without one.” But trust me.  A sales plan can be a game-changer.  I’ve watched entrepreneurs who are concerned that sales is slimy or feels “hawky” transform their revenue through this tool.  Check out a few ways to get started below.  

What you are missing out by not using a sales plan?What are you missing out by not using a sales plan?

A sales plan will help you focus your efforts.   

You are probably working in your business.  Working hard.  But are you REALLY focusing on the things that are going to GROW your sales. 

Listen, it’s easy to get distracted.  

  • Social media 
  • Netflix marathons
  • Events
  • Family

And that’s not counting the stack of things to do IN your business. 

  • Bookkeeping/Paying bills
  • Fixing something on your website
  • Posting on social media

Hence, you need a sales plan.  You need the focus point on what is MOST important to reach your sales.

  • Not the nice to have
  • Not the “I wish I could”
  • But the basics of how do I get more money in my company?

If you are getting too stuck in research analysis mode in your business, here is an earlier post to give you some guidance.

What is a sales plan?

What is a sales plan?

In a nutshell, a sales plan is a tool where you outline

  • How much do I want to earn?
  • What do I have to do in order to earn this money?

Those questions might seem implied.  But how often have you turned around and watch an entire day escape through your fingers…and you didn’t do ANYthing related to the lifeblood of the company?  Basically you didn’t spend any time finding new customers.

Yes, you might have worked on some pressing tasks.  It could be a priority like tax season.

But time has a funny way of passing when you are an entrepreneur.  You could turn your attention to taxes for several weeks and then look up…and your cash flow has run dry.

So consider this a key tool in your business.  Sales plans are important for any business, large or small. They provide a road map for your success.  If you are lucky to have a team, it keeps your people working on the same goals.  Without it, you might not be able to measure progress and track results.

Do I really need to write out goals for a sales plan?

Yes!  Otherwise, you’re just winging it. And while you might get lucky and make a few sales, you probably don’t want to depend on “winging it” forever. 

You might get lucky because you found a location that has alot of traffic.  But what happens the day that the foot traffic is not present?  Do you have a way of getting in contact with former clients to get them to buy again?

Or you might be working from home or doing service based work where you don’t have a retail location?  How do you keep customers knocking on your “door”?  How do you find them?  How do you move them from initial interest to purchasing?  And how do you follow up to keep them coming back again?

Sales is about much more than just talking to people and hoping they buy.

Sales is more than just hoping people buyIt’s about understanding your customer, your product, your market, and your competition. It’s about setting goals and target markets, and creating strategies for achieving them. It’s about knowing what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.

What do I include in it?  I’ve never done a sales plan before:

Generally, there are a few key elements that should be included in any sales plan:

  • Goals: what are you hoping to achieve?
  • Strategies: how will you go about achieving your goals?
  • Tactics: what specific steps will you take to implement your strategies?
  • KPIs: what metrics will you use to track progress and success?

Don’t stress over understanding how to do everything on this list!  Get familiar with the terms and start where you are.  Something simple like – I want to do X and here is how I will do it is a great start.

Finally, sales plans can be adapted and updated as your company grows and/or needs shift.  But having one in place is essential for any small business.

How do I get started?

If you’re not sure where to start your sales plans, there are plenty of resources available to help you create one. 

I definitely want you to check out my free guide, 6 Month Sales Planner below

Here are also a few other good resources to get started:

How to Create a Sales Plan: Template + Examples by Hubspot

How to Write a Sales Plan by Business New Daily

How to Create a Sales Plan by Snovio

How to Create a Sales Plan in 10 Steps by Fit Small Business

What Happens When I Fall Off Working on My Sales Plan?

Let’s face it: life happens. I have a great podcast episode about when I got sick in my business that illustrates this idea perfectly.

This is precisely why you need a sales plan. Life will throw challenges your way, and running a small business isn’t about showing up once and then reaping hundreds of sales. It’s about consistently doing the work to let your target customers know you are in business and how they can work with you (aka spend money).

So, don’t stress if you miss a few days or even a few weeks. The key is to show up consistently over time. Start today by outlining your goals and strategies, then work steadily—day by day—on executing the plan. When you need help or get stuck, seek support. Whether it’s a mentor, coach, or a group program like my coaching group, Crush Your Sales, there are options to help you keep moving forward.

Share your comments

Drop your comments from this post below!  What ideas occurred after reading this post?  What questions do you have about writing your own sales plan?

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