Hello! In this article, we will talk about the sales plan.
Today you will learn:
- How to make a sales plan ;
- How to ensure the implementation of the sales plan;
- What are the reasons for non-fulfillment of the sales plan.
Goals and principles of sales planning
The goods are on the shelves, managers advise customers, and the cashier makes purchases. The product is sold, but is it in sufficient quantity? Or maybe more? And how to get managers to sell more?
The first thing that comes to mind is to recalculate income and expenses, to estimate the share of profit in turnover. But this method will not give you an idea of changes in sales volume, will not have a motivating effect on staff , will not identify problem areas in your company's activities.
A tool that performs all of these functions is a sales plan.
Planning is the process of setting goals and objectives, allocating resources in areas of activity.
Let's summarize all of the above and outline the goals of sales planning:
- Coordinates and directs resources in the right directions;
- Allows you to evaluate the performance of sales managers;
- It is a reference point for controlling the company's activities.
The sales plan indicates the volume of goods that must be sold for a certain period. At the same time, a general sales plan (calculated for the entire team) and an individual sales plan (calculated for each seller individually) are distinguished.
When drawing up a plan for the sale of products, it is necessary to adhere to the following principles:
- Reachability . You, as an entrepreneur , want to get the best possible results from your managers. But ask yourself the question of how achievable they are in the present conditions. In setting plans, one cannot focus only on the indicators of the previous period. The following factors can affect the volume of sales: seasonality of goods, changes in market trends, activities of competitors, changes in the economic situation in the country, and many others. Consider them when planning.
- Specificity and measurability . The plan should contain specific indicators expressed in numerical values.
- Time limitation . Always set a deadline for the manager to complete the plan. Otherwise, you will be guilty of not completing the plan by the required date.
- Resource availability . You have made a plan for a month, according to which the manager owes 100 TVs, but one seller is not physically able to sell such a quantity of goods.
- The unity of plans - suggests that planning should be systemic, that is, the enterprise must be considered as a system of interrelated elements. The plan of the sales department should be closely connected with the plans of the rest of the company.
- Continuity . Planning is an ongoing process, as soon as a plan expires, a new plan must be drawn up.
- Flexibility - the plan can be adjusted if necessary.
The main stages of drawing up a sales plan
Let's now talk about the process of drawing up a sales plan. It consists of 8 stages.
- Organizational goal setting . The first thing to do is to define the goal of the sales department and the organization as a whole for a certain period. The goal must comply with the SMART strategy, where S is the specificity of setting the goal, M is the measurability of the goal, A is achievability, R is relevance, T is time constraints. An example of a well-defined goal of the sales department: increase sales of product “A” for the period from July 1 to September 1 by 15%.
- Market Opportunity Analysis . At this stage, you must identify all those factors that affect the sales of your company. These factors are divided into external and internal. External, in turn, are divided into macro-environment factors (political - state regulation of business; economic - inflation rate, income level of the population and others; social - the demographic situation in the country, fashion; technological - development of equipment and technologies used in your business ; legal – laws governing the activities of your organization, environmental) and mesoenvironment(competitors - their number, market shares; consumers - quantity, volumes of purchases; suppliers and partners the number, importance of each particular supplier, transition costs; substitute goods - the probability of consumers switching to substitute goods).
- Analysis of sales figures of previous periods . Analyze sales volumes for 3-6 months. This will allow you to assess the seasonality of demand and identify factors that you did not notice during the analysis of market opportunities.
It is best to analyze sales in Excel. Make tables with indicators. The program allows you to visualize data in the form of graphs and charts, which is very convenient for assessing changes in indicators.
- Sales forecast . Forecasting and planning are two completely different concepts. Forecasting gives us a rough idea of possible scenarios for the development of the situation. It does not provide guidance for achieving the intended results.
There are two approaches to sales forecasting: subjective and objective. In the first case, we build our assumptions based on the opinions of experts. Your employees, market researchers, marketing agencies can act as experts.
An objective forecast can be formed both on the basis of an analysis of historical data (for example, an analysis of sales volume for the previous period), and on the basis of the results of market testing of a product.
Experts recommend making two forecasts: pessimistic and optimistic. An optimistic forecast will allow you to understand what the best result you can get. Based on a pessimistic forecast, a plan is being developed.
- Sales forecast adjustment . Compare your forecast and sales team goals. Make adjustments if they are very different from each other. Adjustment of the sales forecast, as a rule, is carried out by changing the marketing program of the enterprise.
- Sales planning . Step by step we describe how we should achieve our goals, set the tasks according to the degree of priority. We determine the budget, deadlines and responsible for each task.
- Implementation of the sales plan .
- Control and adjustment . Control the plan with actual results and adjust the activities of the sales department, in case of large deviations not in your favor.
I would like to note that any deviation of the actual indicators from the planned ones is a sign of a problem. If the deviation is in your favor, and you received more sales than planned, then you have a managerial problem.
How to complete a sales plan
Now let's look at the planning process from the point of view of performers - sales managers. How to complete a sales plan?
There are several rules that will allow you to do this:
- Check out the toolkit that offers guidance on how to complete the plan . For example, you were offered to increase sales by 40% in a month using the “3 for the price of 2” promotion. Work with this tool for a couple of days and independently calculate the achievability of your goal. See that the plan is not being implemented? Go to the authorities and reasonably show that the proposed tools are not enough and the plan needs to be adjusted.
- Use a sales funnel . For example, in a day you realized that out of a hundred people who entered the store, only ten made a purchase. The number of visitors suits us, but ten customers are not enough for you to complete the monthly plan. Accordingly, we work with a sales funnel and convert visitors into buyers. If the problem was low traffic to the outlet, we would work with the very first level of the funnel and take actions to attract customers .
- Carry out customer segmentation and work with the most profitable ones . Carefully study the buyers, identify several psychological types and group the entire population into groups. Determine the most “profitable” group for you and work with it. If you do this work correctly, then you will have the best sales figures based on the results of the month of work.
- Increase the average check . This can be done by offering customers a complementary or pre-checkout product. The product must be inexpensive compared to the main purchase.
- Be active in dealing with clients . In fact, only 30% of consumers know what they need. Take advantage of this. Tell us about your company, assortment, determine the value of your product for a particular consumer, work with objections.
- Control the percentage of the plan completed . Break the plan into several stages and evaluate the implementation of each of them. It is very easy to calculate the percentage of the plan completed: divide the actual sales figures by the planned ones and multiply the resulting ratio by 100%.
Reasons for not meeting the sales plan
You adhered to the principles of drawing up the plan, went through all the stages, but according to the results of the reporting period, the plan was not implemented.
The reasons may be as follows:
- Planning error . You did not take into account all the factors, set unattainable goals or did not specify the tasks. This is one of the most popular reasons for not meeting a sales plan.
- Low competence of sellers . Your managers do not know how to sell, are not familiar with the product or assortment, or are simply lazy. To identify this problem, conduct testing, observe the staff. Conduct staff development courses .
- The problem with the motivation of sales staff . Who will work for free? That's right, nobody. Give awards to the best sellers, hold contests, keep ratings. Thus, not only you, but also your employees will be interested in achieving the maximum level of sales.
By following our tips, you will be able to achieve your sales plan effortlessly.
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