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Sales planning is the process of gathering actionable insights from your historic initiatives and operations, forecasting trends, setting definitive goals, and mobilizing your sales reps to work towards the goal and close more deals.
In short, sales planning helps your sales team align their effort towards applying their effort efficiently and convert sales calls into business opportunities. With a constantly evolving consumer landscape, how can a sales plan help your sales team? The goal of a sales plan isn’t to define the outcome of what your sales reps have to achieve, but rather define the process of how they can achieve it.
In 2020, gyms were shut as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of coronavirus. Overnight, the public began prioritizing their health and turned to online apps to set training goals and get fit. Nike’s mobile apps saw a record number of downloads. It soon witnessed a larger footfall to its mobile app and fitness community. Not just that, by offering workout and training videos for free, Nike was able to recommend gears to its users and successfully boosted direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales.
The sportswear giant successfully combined the mix of content and commerce together. Users now had exclusive access to product launches, price drops, and more through the in-app store. And they could easily contact a Nike stylist to turn for help and expert advice. With their digital sales plan paying off, Nike reported a 9% boost in its total revenue.
For a business to succeed, it needs to have a goal. This goal can be broken down into responsibilities for different teams. Having a clear responsibility helps your team define the initiatives it needs to contribute to the overall goal.
A popular saying goes like this, 'When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.'
Having a sales plan in motion helps your sales team stay focused, identify opportunities and go the extra mile to win. A sales plan is extremely vital for any business and it is key to bringing customers and more customers mean more revenue.
When you create a sales plan, it helps you:
Creating a sales plan is a culmination of data, strategy, and the process to execute your initiatives. It involves various steps that when combined helps your sales team connect with the right buyers, build valuable relationships and sell better. Here’s a step-by-step approach that you can adapt to create an effective sales plan that helps you bring in revenue and accelerate growth.
Before you define what your sales team has got to do, it is important to identify your strengths, weaknesses, what you are selling and how it impacts the lives of your customers. To start, this first step to your sales plan helps you determine how you have to position your offerings. Next, you need to ensure that the way you sell ties well with how it has been marketed. Some additional questions that are worth pondering during this stage of your sales planning include:
These questions are the groundwork you need for your sales plan. Most of the information this step answers can be found through your analytics software and your existing sales call recording software.
Once you have the answers to understanding your business better, you are now ready to define the goals for your team. Now your goals for your sales team should be a mix of ambitious and achievable. Set an impossible goal for your team and they will be pressurized and this will take a huge toll on their sales performance. Set a too-easy-to-achieve goal, and your team will underperform once they’ve neared the goal.
The goal for your sales team should be specific, attainable and it should be set for a certain period (We recommend you to set up quarterly goals that can be revised based on team performance and sales forecast). To come up with an optimal goal, you need to factor in your team’s performance based on historic inputs like the previous quarter’s call volume, the average calls a rep can handle, and the previous call success rate of a rep. Using real-time sales call software can help you acquire these metrics and empower you to set a challenging sales goal for your team.
This step helps you break down your goals into team objectives and specify the initiatives that your team will execute to achieve the goal. This is where you will consider the tools your team will need and the training that reps require.
When you figure out the initiatives, your team can focus on fine-tuning the sales pitches, managers can work on creating sales-call playbooks for teams to adapt and leaders can create resourceful content decks and pricing information that the sales reps can use while engaging with a prospect.
Formulating an effective initiative also means identifying potential gaps, anticipating risks, and creating a strong plan on how to overcome these situations. With adequate training, you can help your sales reps upskill and improve their selling strategy.
Once you have a solid plan in place, you need the right resources at the right place when you have a prospect on call. This is where history and training come into play. As a sales leader, it is imperative to train your sales reps and identify their capabilities.
By knowing their strong suit, you can assign different segments of your sales operations to the right team member. This not only instils ownership in your team but also helps you utilize your sales reps efficiently and drive better results from their efforts.
When you execute your sales plan, you will also identify how your planning translated into overall performance.
At the end of an active quarter, ensure that you and your sales team meet to:
The retrospectives you conduct and the insights you tap into providing first-hand information on whether your sales planning paid off or not. This is vital when it comes to committing future sales plans.
As your sales team grows, you need a plan that scales with the evolving customer landscape. A study by Forrester states that only 48.3% of decisions made are based on quantitative data. Today, data pours in from a myriad of sources, and adding another tool to your existing sales stack will only increase the strain on your sales team.
Hence it becomes important to use a centralized hub that processes the sales conversation your reps are having, gives you complete visibility into calls and the sales conversation, and helps you surface vital information needed to formulate an effective sales plan for your team.
Convin, driven by AI, automatically processes all conversations your sales reps are having. It automatically transcribes your calls in minutes and maps the call recording with the transcription so that you can skip right to the core of the sales conversation.
Identify recurring trends from your sales calls and incorporate the findings to create a formidable sales plan for your team. Convin’s AI-powered call analysis segments your calls into core themes and calculates the time spent by your sales reps on these themes. Improve your pitches, find out prospect demand and sell better with real-time insights.
No more assumptions or guesswork. Convin lets you compare the performance of your sales reps and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Collect call-based data to provide performance-enhancing coaching opportunities and set them up to create a delightful on-call experience and close more deals effortlessly.
Spend less time evaluating calls word-by-word. Get all the insights you need to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of your sales reps. Create the best of training for them to absorb and apply when they engage with prospects on calls. Create a collection of your winning sales approaches through sales-call playbooks and share it with your team in one go. Ensure that your sales team collaborates to improve their skills, mentor each other and turn opportunities into wins.
By giving your sales team the right tool they need to succeed, you set a platform where they are better focused, stay on top of their game and win your business long-standing customers. By focusing on sales planning, you eliminate uncertainties, prepare your sales team to adapt and define their objectives clearly.
Having a sales planning software like Convin helps you put your sales team first. It further complements your sales objectives by leveraging data to identify customer needs and tailoring an immersive experience for them. Your sales planning software is crucial in helping you glean accurate insights, equipping your sales team who are on the frontline with the expertise they require to lead in a sales call, identify the demand and position your business as a game-changer.
Analyze your sales calls to surface trends with Convin. Create winning sales plans and grow your sales figures exponentially