When it comes to sales, there are a few key things that come into play and need to be considered.
The whole discussion around a sales plan vs a sales strategy can start sounding a lot like the old ‘chicken and egg’ analogy, with people often asking what comes first.
Successful sales are the building blocks of a flourishing business, but the foundation of it comes down to having a good sale plan and strategy in place.
These two terms are often seen to be synonymous, being used interchangeably. However, there is a key difference between the two that we will unpack in this article.
The Breakdown: An Overview
Sales are a crucial component of any business, being the driving force behind what determines its trajectory of success or failure.
If a business fails to plan, then it plans to fail – and this is where the mighty sales plan and strategy come in.
As a general overview of the two and how they come into play with each other, a sales plan works hand in hand with a sales strategy.
A sales plan can be considered the outline of what a business aims at achieving and how it plans to do this. This is namely, the methods, objectives and goals of the company.
A sales strategy is the road map of how the business plans on achieving this through defining the angle of approach. This would include an outline of the products or services, the target market, as well as a critical analysis of any strengths and weaknesses.
A business ensures that its performance and processes are optimised by having a solid, well-constructed understanding of its sales. A sales strategy, in essence, is a plan to achieve the business’s goals, and a sales plan is what is envisioned and how to implement it.
What Is A Sales Plan?
A sales plan aims to outline what the business plans to achieve by selling its product or service. This would entail everything from its objectives, proposed methods, general strategies, and overall goals.
To outline this successfully, a sales plan must include all the required details from the get-go. This spans everything from the target audience, current customers, revenue goals, and market conditions to the financial targets, the structuring of the team, pricing, and tactics used.
What To Include
In the process of forming a solid sales plan, questions to help define the sales objectives would be:
The angle of approach to be taken.
A description of the target audience.
An outline of the goods and services to be sold.
Accurate pricing of each individual item or service.
An estimate of the number of items available at any given time.
What Is A Sales Strategy?
A sales strategy is the focus of the sales plan, outlining the approach a business plans on implementing.
A sales strategy should be aligned with the business’ overall business strategy. It allows the business to understand what it’s selling, who the focus is on, and how to reach its target audience.
Businesses formulate a sales strategy by following extensive research into the market and the business’s current state, tactics and processes.
This is then updated as time progresses, with new methods being learnt and applied. This allows the company to continue selling its goods and services successfully, resulting from a successful sales strategy being implemented.
What To Include
A sales strategy ensures that the business outlines where it is currently and where it wants to be. With this, the business plans for every possible risk to ensure no grey areas are missed within the team. Having a solid sales strategy in place will allow a business to avoid the risk of missing its targets.
In forming a reliable sales strategy, in-depth research should be conducted both internally and externally. Questions to help define the sales strategy would be:
What product are we selling?
Who is our target customer?
What sets us apart from our competitors?
How will we reach our target audience?
How will we measure progress?
What is holding us back?
What changes need to be made to overcome these barriers?
A Business Must-Have
With the understanding that a sales plan and strategy enable a business to achieve its goals better, it is a no-brainer that every business should have both in place. This directs all sales processes in a positive trajectory of success, allowing the company to achieve its goals and continue growing. This can be considered the two-part masterplan for unlocking successful sales processes in a business.
The sales process is a range of sales activities to achieve the defined sales goals and objectives. This is where both the sales plan and strategy are practically implemented, coming together to ensure a positive outcome through thorough planning, analysis and research.
In summary: A sales strategy is the route through which a sales objective will be achieved, acting as a course of action. It is a fundamental part of the sales plan, being a crucial element that can alter the final results of a business’s sales.
BaseCloud CRM For Sales
Implementing your sales plan and strategy can seem like a daunting task at times. Luckily, CRM systems make things easier.
BaseCloud CRM has allowed businesses to grow and expand their sales like never before. Streamlining the process for you, automation enables you to focus on the daily workings of your business by staying on top of it and not in it.
Easily track leads, gain access to analytics and have an interconnected system between departments to transform your business processes. Let BaseCloud CRM work for your business and unlock its sales potential. If this is something you are after to increase your sales and grow your business, get in contact with us today.