Sales Plan? What is a Sales Plan?

By , Queen of Cold Calling

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Wendy Weiss - Queen of Cold Calling

In the past, if you said the word “plan” to me, I would bolt and run. I’m the “creative type,” a former ballet dancer and choreographer-I’m terrible with details. When I was dancing professionally, all the details were taken care of; all I had to do was show up and dance. Even when I was choreographing, as long as I met my deadline for when the dance needed to be completed, I could go with the moment, go with the impulse and see where the dance led.

A hearty dose of reality hit when I began to run a dance company. All of a sudden, I had people-employees, volunteers and dancers-waiting. I had to know where we were going and how we were going to get there. It was a different world. Every decision had impact down the line. If we were going to have a spring season, I needed to know what we would be performing and where we’d be performing it. How many dancers would I need? What about costumes? Were we going to commission music? What would it cost? How would we pay for it all?

It took a long time for me to grasp the impact of having a plan. Because I was running a small, grass roots organization, there never seemed to be enough time, people, money or resources. I was always putting out fires. Every plan I developed changed the moment I keyed in the last sentence and printed it out. Plan-who has time to plan? Especially when the plan keeps changing.

Over time, I began to see the planning process as a road map. You know your ultimate goal. You figure out the best way to get there. Your plan needs to include contingencies and have enough space that you can deal with fires and still move forward. And sometimes, the plan changes; it might need some adjustment or “tweaking.” As long as the goal remains the same and as long as you keep taking steps forward to achieve that goal, your plan will help you get there.

In sales, your goal is revenue-driven. How much money do you want to make? Or a better question: How much profit do you want to make? Then, how are you going to achieve that?

Your basic plan should start with a dollar amount and work backwards. If, for example, you want to gross $500,000 in sales this year, on average, how many sales would that be? What is the dollar value of your average sale? On average, how many prospects do you have to see or speak with to close one sale? So, how many prospects would you need to see or speak with to close the number of sales you would need to reach your goal of $500,000? What steps do you need to take to see or speak with that many prospects?

Wow! What a mouthful! Here is a mathematical formula:

First:
Value of average sale =______________
How many prospects must you speak with to close one sale: _______________

Then:
(Gross sales) (Average dollar value of sale) = Total number of sales needed

(Number of prospects you must speak with to close one sale) X (Total number of sales needed) = Total number of prospects

This formula, then gives you the total number of prospects you must speak with in order to reach your sales goal. Do your own calculations.

Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling & Selling Success, is a sales trainer, sales coach and author. She helps entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals gain confidence, reach more prospects, close more sales and make more money. She started her business 15 years ago, representing clients on the telephone and setting new business appointments. While Wendy no longer "dials for dollars" (except for her own business), all of her workshops, seminars, products and individual sales coaching are based on practical, real-life, hands-on experience. She has been featured in BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power,Target Marketing and various other business and sales publications. Her e-mail newsletter, Opening Doors & Closing Sales has an international readership and her columns are syndicated to 168 different print and Internet publications.

© Copyright 2010 Wendy Weiss

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