Developing a sales plan for many salespeople can seem daunting. After all, if you’ve sought out a career in sales it’s probably because you like being in front of people more than behind a computer screen. But the payoff is worth it, assuming you’ve considered all the factors that will help you win.
I recently shared an inside look at our annual sales planning process. Check out this video and read more below.
Every year at The Squad, the leadership team consisting of owners and leaders of the business gets away and makes plans for the upcoming year. Revenue goals are obviously a part of our planning, along with budgeting, other business goals, and a reflection on our vision and core values.
(We’ve operated the business on the EOS system since 2018. It provides a nice framework to keep us organized, healthy, and smart. There’s even a local user group we helped launch a few years back. Our good friend Marshall Fall runs it now.)
Out of this planning comes a tangible revenue goal, among many other things. As an agency that does a lot of ongoing partnership work in the form of retainers, we can predict a sizable portion of our revenue, assuming certain retention factors, of course.
The rest of our revenue number comes from new business. Whether that be new partnerships or new projects. Our agency usually does around 30-40% of our business on the project side of things, and the other 60-70% is in the form of marketing partnerships.
So at the end of the day, we try and create sales goals in different areas of the business, for example, the # of websites we’d like to sell and the total revenue associated with those websites. The same goes for video work, graphic design work, and other line items. We also forecast when we believe we’ll bring on new partners throughout the year.
All this creates line item goals for sales totals, broken down by category. This allows us to track our plan vs. actual sales throughout the year. We’ve always put that in front of our entire team in our monthly staff meetings or, at worst, quarterly. As I often tell prospective clients and team members, we’re wired to win. It’s hard to know if you’re winning if you don’t keep score.
We use Hubspot’s CRM to help run our sales system. It has some great dashboards that are automatically updated as we add deals to our pipeline and close them. It measures many of our activities as well. All these things are easily transferred to our weekly EOS scorecards. This data gives us a pulse on how we’re doing week to week, month to month, and quarter to quarter.
So great, Bryce, you’ve got a sales plan. That’s probably the easy part. Anyone can build a plan and say they’re gonna do something. What are the strategy and tactics to hit the goals? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The strategy and tactical plan is where we break down more goals for activity and lay out what our activities will be for prospecting and marketing support. Some metrics are the number of networking coffee appointments we’ll hold this year or the number of referrals we’ll attempt to get. We’ll track how many events or functions we’re attending. This is also where the integration between sales and marketing becomes real. We’ll take a look at what extra email campaigns or target digital ads we’ll run on top of our baseline marketing activities. We’ll lay out what services we will promote at what time of year. Of course, all this is subject to change with the ebbs and flows of the economy, and the world for that matter. (Let’s face it, I didn’t have shooting down spy balloons or toxic train derailments on my bingo card for 2023, but here we are.😳)
Our Sales Plan here at The Squad isn’t super sophisticated. Still, it does keep us moving in the right direction, and it’s supported by what we believe we can deliver operationally. You don’t need much to put this together beside a spreadsheet. I’d make the case you could write it on a piece of paper in a notebook or on a whiteboard. The key is documenting it and then taking time weekly and monthly to keep score.
It’s still early in 2023. I’d bet if you got the right people in the room over the next 10 days, you could flesh out your 2023 sales plan if you haven’t yet.
If you need help supporting your sales team with marketing content, campaigns, collateral, strategy, or more leads, then a marketing partnership with The Squad may be a great fit for your business. Or you're looking for help setting up your CRM and marketing automation. We’d love to help with either. Let’s connect!