To create the most effective sales plan, according to both the Small Business Association and Entrepreneur magazine, you need goals, target accounts, and timelines. Sales plans should have a clear and consistent layout.
First, determine your goals. Your goals should be specific and measurable. Goals should also be broken down into manageable parts. For instance if your goal is to sell 1200 widgets in a years time, you could break that number down into 100 widgets per month.
Second, devise sales activities that detail the tactics that will be utilized to reach the sales goals outlined in your sales plan. Think about what actions you would need to take reach your sales goals on time.
Third, you must have a thorough understanding of who you would like to sell to and how you plan to reach them. Entrepreneur magazine states that many organizations have trouble defining their ideal customer. Effectively defining your customer helps you define sales activities such as what sales channels are effective for your target market.
Lastly, the Small Business Association advises that all goals be attached to a realistic timeline. Creating timelines helps you to track your progress then take corrective actions when and where necessary.