Your business needs a revenue boost in a bid to increase profitability. Whether you work alone or have a supporting staff of thousands of dedicated individuals, your business may benefit from a short-term or three-month sales plan of action. Your action plan should be thoughtfully conceived and carefully executed to ensure success.
A sales action plan outlines a series of consecutive steps that must be taken to ensure that your strategy succeeds. It must detail the specific tasks to be accomplished and by whom, identify a time span, and allocate resources, such as money to support the endeavor.
You want a burst of sales, but what is your goal? That amount must be determined and should be based on an attainable goal. Your sales team should have some numbers in mind, what go beyond the standard projections for the year.
The team may have a target area or market in mind. For instance, if the midwest market is underperforming, you might pour your resources into that area to generate more sales. Demonstrate to your team how the increased sales would benefit the company. You can also show how failing to execute the plan could have adverse consequences, such as closing some stores in the midwest.
With a goal established, you must provide a framework for each salesperson to meet their target. That target should be clearly spelled out such as “each salesperson should endeavor to increase sales by 5 percent by the conclusion of the three-month sales action period.”
Further, you can outline how those sales will be tracked and what benchmarks must be reached along the way. For instance, you might provide weekly reports that track individual as well as store performance. The objective here is to help your team stay on track and to correct problems, such as underperformance, as you move forward.
With a framework in place, your team needs to know how they will carry out the sales action plan and what support they can expect from you. With the latter, this can include a new advertising campaign with radio spots and Internet ads. You might also introduce new products and run a clearance sale concurrently.
Your team may be given special training prior to the start of the sales action plan. That training could include related sales material that outlines a personal strategy such as upselling to increase profit margins.
To motivate your sales team, various inducements or incentives may be offered to help them reach their goals. These may include rewards, bonuses or time off. Along with the weekly reports, you might recognize the top leaders as you progress through the three-month sales action plan and provide rewards.
Your inducements should also be outlined in your reports, by showing who has performed above their goals for all sales people to observe. At the same time, underperforming staff may receive consultation on how to lift their numbers. In an especially difficult market, you might augment your people with a sales director to provide hands-on guidance.
A three-month sales action plan is short, but it can also be quite intense. Your team may start off with a burst of energy, then begin to flag in zeal midway through the initiative.
You may need to provide additional motivation by heightening your efforts across the company. This means including non-sales staff in the mix to raise awareness and provide support. Buttons, stickers, mugs and banners can be used to draw attention to the action plan.
Once the three-month sales action plan has been completed, it is time to review the results.
First, determine if the goal was reached. If so, notify your team and offer your congratulations. If the goal was not reached, you must learn where it fell short. You may discover that your team performed above expectations in some areas and below expectations in other areas. It is those weaker markets that should be scrutinized carefully.
Second, consider the impact of the sales action plan on your staff. Did it produce cohesiveness or did it reveal some problems such as uncertainty, apathy or discouragement? Address those problems immediately and before you undertake a new sales action plan.
See Also — What’s Needed for the Sale