“A salesman minus enthusiasm is just a clerk.” – Harry F. Banks
Sales and Marketing plans need to reflect both company-wide objectives as well as the individual salesperson’s goal numbers. Both corporate and personal goals should align with the company’s profit intentions. Last week’s blog spoke to the company objectives. This week we will look at how to craft a sales and marketing plan for the individual salesperson.
Here are some key elements of a personal sales plan:
Marketing Tasks – Marketing tasks are things like networking, sending e-newsletters, blogging, and doing internet research to find prospects who have a high likelihood of buying your product. Without this kind of legwork, salespeople are hard-pressed to find those ideal clients.
Sales Actions – Sales actions include setting appointments, meeting with clients, preparing proposals, presenting the product, closing deals and following up. Each of these actions must happen consistently, and they must be scheduled into the calendar. Sales people who present proposals, but don’t follow up or close the deal are not going to meet their objectives. Break your sales effort into specific actions like these, and determine where those are going to appear in your calendar.
Accountability System – Salespeople need accountability systems if they want to stay on track to meet their goals. Who holds the salesperson accountable in your company? Is there a sales manager? A production manager? Who is responsible for tracking the progress and offering support to the sales staff? Is that chain of command clear to the salesperson?
Existence System – This is something the salesperson needs in order to be disciplined about performing the sales and marketing actions that will result in sales. The most common and best existence system is a calendar. Scheduling sales and marketing actions into an Outlook calendar gives one a picture of future results. A weekly sales meeting is another kind of existence system, as is a visual chart or graph that plots the salesperson’s progress toward his goals. Existence systems require some discipline, and it’s best if they have visual components that are easy reminders of where you stand.
Proposals – What kind of proposals do you need to have to present to clients? Maybe yours is a simple pricing sheet that you discuss over the phone, or maybe it is a highly detailed and customized PowerPoint presentation that you will deliver to the board of directors. Either way, it’s essential to have your materials prepared and be able to articulate how your product or service will be able to answer the prospect’s concerns.
Ongoing Training and Support – A salesperson should never feel like an island, separate from the company and colleagues and left to sell without direction. Salespeople should continually receive training on product capabilities and new ways to reach out to the marketplace.Salespeople also need to understand where to go for support when customers have complaints, questions or special requests.
The salesperson is often the embodiment of the company’s brand and reputation in the marketplace. Salespeople need clear individual objectives and well established channels for support. Businesses need to manage for personal and corporate objectives so that salespeople can distinguish themselves in the marketplace and deliver on the company sales intentions. A winning plan will yield winning results and will keep your business on the leading edge of the game of sales.
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