A good sales plan establishes goals, priorities, timetables, and necessary resources. A sales plan that will achieve your ends has these characteristics:
- Sets measurable, specific, vivid, and motivating goals. Where do you intend to be in one year? What measures will you use to gauge your achievements: Number of buyers contacted? Percentage of sales to certain types of customers? Sales volume? Profit? Ranking among your peers?
- Identifies the enabling objectives necessary to achieve ultimate goals. What objectives must you reach on the way to the intended outcome? What new work habits must you develop? What values will you need to embrace?
- Outlines a logical order among the intermediate steps. What is the logical sequence for achieving your ultimate goal? What must happen first, second, third, and so on?
- Establishes a reasonable yet challenging time line. When will you achieve your ultimate goal? When will you jump the intermediate hurdles?
- Pinpoints the barriers between you and your objectives. Why haven't you been achieving your objectives? What are the constraining forces, either in you or in the environment? What has stood in the way?
- Specifies strategies, procedures, and tactics. What actions will overcome the barriers that have kept you from achieving your objectives?
- Summarizes the resources needed. What money, materials, supplies, equipment, facilities, information, education, training, support, counsel, or staffing do you require?
- Establishes accountability. What will you do to hold your feet to the fire?
- Is in writing. Plans not written are dreams. Plans written become vows. Don't just dream about success, vow to succeed.
- Is shared and negotiated with those responsible for implementing it. The more people who see your plan, the more pressure you'll feel to make it happen.
- Signifies commitment. Start your plan only once you become totally confident in it and fully committed to it.
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