Sales plans are often considered the foundation of any successful business plan.
A sales plan outlines an organization’s goals for its future operations and steers the sales team in the right direction.
Every successful business relies on a sales plan to reach its sales goals and pivot its strategy when necessary.
Learn what you need to succeed in writing an impactful sales plan that boosts your conversions and increases customer loyalty.
Don’t know where to start? Create a sales business plan with Venngage’s templates and improve your growth strategy.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a sales strategy plan?
- What is included in a sales plan?
- What are the objectives of sales and operations planning?
- How do you write an excellent sales plan?
What is a sales strategy plan?
A sales strategy plan is a document that lists what a company is going to sell, how much the company intends to earn, and how the company plans to go about it.
The sales strategy helps the company determine how to maximize profit margins and stay competitive in the industry.
Here’s an example of a sales strategy plan that includes every action that the sales team is expected to perform.
This ensures that sales managers know what they are responsible for and how the desired output or deliverables for the sales process tie into the business plan.
What is included in a sales plan?
A good sales strategy includes a sales plan for your product or service, as well as a plan to market it. Goals to reach your target customers make a sales campaign easy to create and follow.
Here are the most important points to include in a sales strategy plan:
- Product research
- Target audience
- Customer service and customer retention
- Product and service pricing
- Marketing and advertising plan
- Estimated budget for the entire campaign
This sales plan highlights measurable milestones for sales reps to aim for.
What are the objectives of sales and operations planning?
We’ve already touched on reasons why companies should use a sales plan, like this example, for their upcoming campaigns.
Below are the four main objectives of creating a sales plan and how they help with sales forecasting.
Align company departments and sales department goals
Different departments can have different perspectives on priorities and progress.
By aligning the company’s other departments with your sales team’s goals, you can ensure that all teams have a shared understanding of the sales plan’s objectives and their holistic contribution towards the business goal.
Create strategic direction for sales teams
A strategic direction plan establishes the company’s goals and objectives for the sales team.
You can formulate strategic direction plans by identifying the following:
- Target audience demographics
- Brand and product niche
- Actions that you want your customers to take
- The best channels to reach customers, such as social media and search engines
Once you’ve identified these, you can create an in-depth plan that can generate conversions in no time. Effective plans, like the one below, keep every customer detail in check.
Better customer-relationship management
A sales plan identifies the individuals and teams responsible for producing results that qualify as milestones for an upcoming business campaign.
With clear assignments, sales managers will easily know which individual or sales team member to approach for additional data.
Mark sales team milestones
Measuring plan milestones are important because they help assess a plan’s performance in a given period or by the end of its execution.
In doing so, team leaders can determine whether the project efficiently used every team member’s efforts and company resources to achieve the plan’s objectives.
The following are excellent examples of milestones for a sales plan:
- Completion of the research phase
- Development of the plan
- Approval of the plan
- Implementation of the plan
How do you write a sales plan?
Take a look at this sales plan. It’s fully detailed, sets deadlines, and keeps everyone updated with the most relevant and newest information so the team is aware of their responsibilities.
Here’s an overview of making an excellent and greatly convincing sales plan:
- Compile data from the previous sales year
- Create sales targets that meet your sales plan objectives
- Create a SWOT analysis
- Identify demand trends using sales data
- Look for existing market gaps
- Appoint key roles for each of your objectives
So, let’s get to it!
Compile data from the previous sales year
Evaluating data from previous marketing campaigns could reveal helpful trends that can improve your upcoming sales plans.
Previous sales data can indicate accurate demographic data, such as lifestyle, age, income, and high sales activities in a given area.
With this data, your team can develop a detailed sales plan that includes your products while keeping in mind your demographic’s language, lifestyle, sensibilities, and more.
Here’s a great way to present this to your superiors and team members.
Related: 10 Demographic Infographic Templates to Share Population Data and More
Simple food sales action plan template
Take your reports from dull to comprehensively lively with this Venngage template. This is a great sales plan template when you have a significant amount of data to show.
You want to get to the point with your sales plan presentations. This fully customizable template makes it easy to share your sales plan data quickly and easily.
With Venngage, you can share your sales plan online with anyone. And when you upgrade to a business account, you can download your plan in a variety of formats, including PNG, PNG HD, PDF, Interactive PDF, and PowerPoint.
Create sales targets that meet your sales plan objectives
All sales targets must be clear, measurable goals that are specific and realistic with a defined deadline.
For example, ‘increase customer retention by 20 percent by the fourth quarter of this year’ is a specific, measurable, attainable, and timely goal.
Aligning your sales targets with the company’s general objectives is the best way to create sales plan objectives that incentivize customers to take action and make a purchase.
These sales KPIs or key performance indicators will keep the sales team aligned and on track with sales goals.
Light strategic sales action plan template
Organize your KPIs for measuring with this simple template. It’s easy to add to a project management interface. Alternately, it can be shared via email.
This helps to have everyone synchronized with the sales plan objectives.
All the colors in this template are neutral, and you can switch them out with your branding assets using Venngage’s convenient drag-and-drop editor.
Create a SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis is a tool utilized in the business world to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that a company’s business model may face.
Conducting a SWOT analysis is important for business owners to ensure that their company is as prepared as possible for the future. It can help businesses identify what strategies should be utilized for sales plans.
There are numerous reasons why businesses should use a SWOT analysis:
- A SWOT analysis makes forecasting easier when it is difficult to accurately predict the direction of an industry
- The SWOT analysis is a simplified view of the company’s situation and helps in reaching revenue targets
- It helps companies compare themselves to competitors and create a sales plan that is impactful
It’s undeniable that the data a SWOT analysis produces is essential for any brand.
Blue competitor SWOT analysis template
Easily organize your thoughts with this simple but effective SWOT analysis template.
The grid format helps your team organize their thoughts and build an efficient sales pipeline.
Change the color scheme to suit your brand, or add a background or header image to make the text stand out.
Related: 15+ Business Plan Examples to Win Your Next Round of Funding
Identify demand trends using sales data
Demand trends are changes in the type and quantity of goods that consumers want to buy.
This is crucial data for sales plans because demand helps sales managers gauge if people identify the brand’s products as essentials or luxuries.
One way to identify demand trends is to use a scatter plot. This is what a scatter plot graph looks like:
This graph is an excellent way to find trends and correlations in your data. Here’s how:
- Plot two sets of data on the same graph
- Pick a line that divides the graph into two equal halves
- Compare the height of each data point on the left side of the line to the height of data points on the right side of the line
- Consider how many data points are on one side of the line than the other
If there are more data points on one side, there is likely a correlation between the two sides and possible causation.
Once you’ve identified these trends, you can include graphs and charts on a sales plan template during your presentation.
Visuals and well-made infographic designs are excellent ways to present your data without cluttering your documents or slides.
Revenue scatter plot chart
A great way to present prospective trends is by customizing this simple scatter plot graph.
This template fits perfectly into a presentation slide deck. There aren’t heavy visuals in this template. The layout is clean and simple, leaving nothing to the reader’s imagination.
You can make the chart more relevant by adding brand-related or relevant images. Or use an image from the 3 million+ stock photos available in the Venngage library.
Upload your own images, change the colors and fonts, and more with this template.
Related: How to Choose the Best Types of Charts For Your Data
Look for existing market gaps
A market gap is a space between supply and demand. It’s important because if there is a large market gap, it can indicate an economic opportunity for a company to capitalize on.
Market gaps can be as simple as solving a problem identified by an emerging group of customers.
For example, not every business has food delivery services because it’s expensive to make a fleet, and this gap helped create food delivery services.
A market team can find gaps based on three inputs:
- Forecasting models that help analyze data from the company’s previous-year data
- Qualitative research on lacking areas and industry expert reports identifying the target audience’s pain points
- Finding micro to small emerging trends that are already existing in the market
Market research mind map template
Display your research data with an easy-to-understand template, like the example below. You can present every single detail of your research without making it look like a cluttered report.
Using visuals and an easy-to-understand table, your readers can easily follow the strategic sales plan process from start to finish.
Appoint key roles for each of your sales objectives
With a strategic sales plan, you’ll need to appoint team members or departments to specific tasks. This is crucial for achieving the sales plan’s goals.
A good sales manager will assign roles according to each member’s specialty. For example, front-facing sales reps are better positioned to handle the CRM components of sales plans.
Appointing key roles can be as simple as using a table to align a team member’s position with their responsibilities.
However, you will need much more complex diagrams if you’re assigning tasks to projects with dozens of members.
Food Customer Sales Action Plan Template
Highlight every important detail with this free sales plan template that you can send to team members and other departments.
This sales plan template includes a dedicated section for your target market, customer profile, action plan, and task assignments. It’s a great briefing document for both internal and external use.
Fully customize this sales plan template for your brand with Venngage’s My Brand Kit feature.
Related: 9 Sales Infographics to Guide Strategy and Increase Sales
Now you can execute your sales plan with confidence and grow your customer base
Sales plans should be visually attractive as well as impactful. It isn’t always easy to create a sales plan without design experience.
Use the free sales plan template examples in this post to write a sales plan that is powerful and effective.
With these examples as inspiration, you can help team members and your business convince your target market about the dependability and quality of your products.
The Venngage sales plan templates will help you reach your sales goals faster and grow your business in the process.