Business and Sales Plan Review & Development
Most leaders recognize the need for a business plan, even if only for financing, but do you truly understand what goes into a quality business plan? A business plan articulates your vision, how can you know you are going in the right direction without knowing where you want to get to? And most importantly, at least as it relates to sales, the business plan is inextricably linked to your sales plan. Without shoring up the business plan, you are starting your sales plan from a weak position. That’s why the business plan is the starting point for Choose Growth engagements, something most other sales consultants don’t even consider.
The sales plan is your strategy going from the business plan to the forecast, therefore we need to know your expectations for the business if we are to be effective. You probably had someone in finance (internal or external) and operations give your plan a reality check – did you ever consider the importance of sales in the process? Some specific focus areas:
- Target growth rate vs. market growth – is it realistic?
- Budget – did you leave enough to accomplish your sales goals?
- Organizational structure – do you have the human capital you need?
With this information we will be able to develop a comprehensive, strategic sales plan that will get you where you want to go.
If your sales plan is an Excel spreadsheet, we have some good news and bad news for you. The good news is that most businesses also use spreadsheets for their sales plan, so you are in good company. The bad news is that you are making the same mistake they are – a spreadsheet is a forecast, not a plan. Forecasts are extremely important management tools; however, they are not the strategy that links the business plan to execution – that is the sales plan.
A business plan is high-level (and to a certain extent, pie-in-the-sky) by nature. It will describe goals, but is not going to define the actions required to achieve those goals – that’s where the sales plan comes in. Let’s say you are a multiple product line business, typically there’s going to be margin, volume and sales cycle differences between the lines. Your business plan may define profitability targets, while your sales plan will define optimum product mixes to achieve those targets. Without this, you have no idea what behaviors to incentivize in your sales team to bring your business plan to reality.
Choose Growth will work with you to either review and refine your existing sales plan or develop one from scratch. We have found that a strategic, comprehensive sales plan is the single largest factor in successful sales execution.
When Choose Growth starts a full engagement such as outsourced sales management, the business and sales plans are the cornerstones everything else is built upon. However, if you are confident in your ability to move things forward, we can be engaged on a project basis just to review, refine or develop your plans.