How to Become an Effective Sales Manager
Building Your Sales Plan - Top 10 Assumptions
If your business has a strong and achievable sales plan, your sales staff (whether that's you as a small business owner or your employees) will be able to focus on selling to the plan. As a manager of sales people, it's your responsibility to build the sales plan.
Building the sales plan means more than just in-putting numbers into a spreadsheet; and that's why many small business owners and sales managers get stumped and why sales plans are often far from reality. Most sales plans are created with only the sales numbers in mind. But to build an effective sales plan, you need to consider more than the ...view middle of the document...
The top 10 assumptions I've used in sales planning are:
* US/Canada dollar exchange rate - and the impact on sales on either side of the border (globally use your strongest trading partner country).
* Inflation rate projections - for each year of the plan period - and its impact on costs, wages and prices.
* Market growth in relation to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
* Market growth in relation to a planned event (elections, etc.).
* Impact of new competitors on market share.
* Impact of mergers and acquisitions within the industry on market share.
* Impact of rapid sales growth.
* Impact of market shrinkage (product entering the mature or declining stage of its life-cycle).
* If an existing product, what are historical sales (last 5 years) in terms of trend-lines - assume that trend line for the next 5 years unless you are planning something that will impact the trend.
* If a new product, are your sales assumptions supported by your market research.
Use some or all, and if necessary use additional, assumptions in your sales plan. Make sure that you identify all assumptions clearly in the plan and that you use those same assumptions in your other business plans (e.g. human resources plan, capital expenditures plan, operations plan, etc.).
A Simple-Business-Plan is better Than No Plan!
A Simple-Business-Plan Outline:
1. Identify (or if it’s already written, review):
a. Your vision statement – describe the long term view of where you want to go, what you want to be, and how you want to get there;
b. Your mission statement – what business are you in and why;
c. Your team – even if it’s just a team of 1.
2. Conduct a SWOT Analysis:
d. Identify your company’s strengths (s) and weaknesses (w) and the opportunities (o) or threats (t) of the environment it operates in. Include an environmental scan and a competitive analysis.
3. Conduct a strategic analysis to identify and prioritize major issues and goals. Select the goals you must reach to accomplish your mission.
4. Design major strategies (for example a marketing plan) to address the issues and goals and incorporate specific approaches that must be implemented to reach each goal.
5. Develop action plans for each strategy and/or approach: who will do what, when, where, how, with what intent and how will results be tracked?
Strategic Plan: Action Item Example
This action item example continues on where the strategic plan checklist leaves off.
Once you have a plan, you need to execute it (with an action plan). As early as when you are developing a business plan, you need to consider how to build action items for your strategic goals.
Here's an example of an action item:
1. Action Item (what): Increase small business sales and grow market share by 10% a year over the next 3 years. (The strategic goal was to become a leader in the industry - growing market share is one action this company might...