At the heart of every good strategic plan is a well conceived and diligently executed sales plan. After answering the question, “why does this company exist?” a strategic plan answers the question “how big do we want to grow?” But identifying the revenue goal is only the first step of the planning process.
Once you’ve identified your overall revenue goal, the key to a successful sales plan is a break-down of the sales process. This requires an analysis of past sales data to determine your success rate at each step of the process including:
1) Number of initial contacts needed to create desired number of opportunities.
2) Percentage of opportunities that will develop into proposals.
3) Percentage of proposals that will successfully close.
Understanding the success rate of each step enables you to set goals around the weekly and monthly activities that advance each step of the sales process. If your revenue goal dictates you need ten sales a month at $80,000 each, and you average a 50% success rate on proposals, your plan needs to call for a minimum of 20 proposals per month. This analysis continues with each preceding step to identify the activity level needed to create the desired outcome.
Ultimately the key to a successful strategic plan is the inclusion of a detailed sales plan which breaks the sales process into manageable and measurable incremental steps.