One thing that almost every small business needs is more sales. From all the types of planning we do for our clients, creating a sales and marketing plan ranks first in importance. The sales process is usually tactical and direct with individual prospects while marketing is generally strategic and aimed toward a group of prospects.
#1: Define your ideal customer
The more clarity a business owner has about his customer, the more effective the plan will be. Advertising dollars will be saved and a more effective message to prospects will be crafted. You can define the customer using his/hers demographics and psychographics.
#2: Develop your marketing message
Once you have defined your ideal customer, you will need to craft a powerful message to attract prospects. Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and a Tagline that is tailored to the ideal customer. A well written USP will include a four to five sentence summary addressing the characteristics of your clients, while your tagline is a one sentence summary of your USP.
#3: Determine the Sales Team
Certain individuals on your team should be directly in contact with prospects. These team members need to be incentivized, trained and equipped to grow your sales. Include these members in the sales and marketing planning process.
#4: Work out your pricing
Decide how you will price your products or services. Most business owners price too low and are reluctant to raise their prices over time. Encourage your clients to raise their prices a small amount every year and over time the increases will add up to big money.
Every employee can have some influence on the sales of an organization.
#5: Create the Sales Forecast
A sales forecast is simply a goal that you set for your team in the upcoming year. Set realistic goals for your business. If you are too conservative you may not motivate your sales team to work hard enough. If you are too optimistic you will set your team up for failure, which won’t lead you and your team to the goal you’ve set before.
Meet with your team members to agree on individual sales performance. Develop a detailed list of activities and the dollar value for each. Your total of all individual sales activities is your organizational goal. Don’t forget to add your price increase to the forecast. For example if your client’s sales are $1million and you implement a 10% price increase, your forecast is $1.1million.
Founder of Mark Griffin Center, Business Coach, Blogger
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