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Sales Plan

Overview
Failing to plan is planning to fail. This module is designed to give you a structured approach for creating, carrying out and assessing your sales plan. Frameworks are designed to help you set your objectives and prepare the activities required to achieve them. Advice is also given on how to allow for any problems or difficulties and how to assess your sales plan.


Introduction

In your role as a sales person it is very likely that you will be involved in helping to develop a sales plan as your selling experience deepens. You will quite probably play a leading role in developing them.

The purpose of sales planning is to identify which sales objectives you need to achieve and then to devise strategies that can be implemented which will achieve those sales objectives. Bear in mind however, that the crucial purpose of sales planning is to achieve your organisations sales objectives. In fact, everything you do should be seen in the overall context of achieving your organisations objectives.

It can be more simply visualised as a five-stage activity:
1. Setting the sales plan objectives.
2. Devising the strategy to achieve those objectives.
3. Devising the plan of action that is to occur i.e. what is to be done, by whom and when.
4. Putting the plan into operation and carrying it out.
5. Appraising the operation of the plan and feedback.

These five stages represent a continuous set of unbroken activity, the appraisal stage providing valuable feedback to the first stage i.e. setting the objectives.

Sales planning is a fundamental element in the efficient and effective operation of the sales function that you work in and the organisation that employs you. It enables you and your sales team colleagues to target the appropriate customers in the appropriate places at the appropriate times. It ensures that you and your sales team colleagues are fully prepared for these activities and have all the necessary information and resources to carry out the sales actions that are needed.

Crucially, it allows you and your sales team colleagues to generate the essential sales income that your organisation requires to function, to provide funds for future investment and to enable your organisation to develop and prosper. The key thing you need to bear in mind about your sales planning is that the overall objective is for you to increase your order book and increase revenue for your organisation.

Both you and your organisation must be successful in the highly competitive and dynamic business environment that you find yourselves operating in. To be successful you need to devise a way of being successful i.e. you need to conceive a strategy for success. You then need to acquire and prepare all the essential elements that will enable the strategy to be successful e.g. you need to acquire resources. They need to be prepared and know what to do. Hence you need to devise tactics e.g. which customers to call on, when to call on them, what to sell them, the approach to use, how to sell to them. You also need to judge the degree of success of your strategy, hence the need for feedback and assessment.

Sales planning considered in this way can therefore be seen as containing 3 interrelated activities:
1. Creating the sales plan.
2. Carrying out and assessing the sales plan.
3. Assessing the final outcomes of the sales plan.



Download links

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Overview: Sales plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail. This module is designed to give you a structured approach for creating, carrying out and assessing your sales plan. Frameworks are designed to help you set your objectives and prepare the activities required to achieve them. Advice is also given on how to allow for any problems or difficulties and how to assess your sales plan.
Unit 1: Create the sales plan
This unit is designed to help you create a sales plan. A framework is designed which guides you through the various stages of producing a sales plan. Advice is given on objective setting, the information you need to collect, the action you need to undertake and the colleagues with whom you need to discuss your sales plan. Suggestions are also made on how to deal with the problems that might arise when you carry out your plan.
Unit 2: Carry out and assess the sales plan
As a team player it is essential that the team is aware of your sales activities and which sales calls you are planning to make. A framework is designed which gives you advice on making sure you carry out your sales plan effectively, with access to all the sales aids and resources you will need. A framework is also designed, which gives you advice on how to regularly monitor and assess your sales plan as you carry it out. The aim is to ensure that you are on target for achieving your sales objectives.
Unit 3: Assess the final outcomes of the sales plan
This unit is designed to help you assess the overall impact and final outcomes of your sales plan. The questions that need to be asked are examined, together with the reasons for asking them. Emphasis is on you as an assessor and team player. The aim is to improve your future sales planning and the operation of your future sales plans.