Brian Geery of Quota Inc. shared with me his suggestions for 2010 sales planning.
They are excellent.
SALES PLAN ELEMENTS
Top Tier Prospect Definition
What are the defining characteristics of prospects that are mostly likely to buy?
What are the decision maker’s profiles (buyer personas)?
How are non-prospects defined (those we should not pursue)?
Buy Cycle and Sales Cycle
What are the key elements of the Buy Cycle (physical actions a prospect must take in order to buy)?
How will we lead prospects through the Buy Cycle?
What are the key elements of the Sales Cycle (physical actions a sales professional must take in order to sell)?
What quantity of each of these actions are required to achieve sales goals (lead to close ratio)?
Go To Market Strategy
How will we reach our target audience of prospects?
How will we engage our target prospect in conversation?
What are the reasons (catalysts) a prospect will have interest/motivation to buy?
Barriers to be Overcome
What are the barriers to success (competition from other companies, decision to do nothing, internal solution, no time, etc.)?
What are common objections?
How will we remove objections in the marketing and sales process?
CRM and Forecasting
What will be tracked in CRM?
How will we forecast bookings?
How can we use CRM to assist the sales effort on a daily basis (sales enablement)?
How are the sales stages defined and what are the related forecast percentages?
What is the marketing message?
What are the key touchpoints at which the sales team will deliver this message (email signatures, inbound and outbound voicemail messages, automated attendant scripts, website visitor experience, key phone talking points, written correspondence, recruitment ads, font selection, and logo design)?
What shared metrics can be established to ensure alignment between sales and marketing?
What initiatives do we pursue in: Public relations? Business Development? Marketing? Advertising?
What is the agenda and frequency of sales team meetings?
What is the agenda and frequency for Sales Manager / Sales Team Member individual meetings?
Sales Position Profile
What sales skills, behavioral characteristics, and qualifications / track record are required to succeed?
How can we make the corporate culture into one that optimizes sales success?
What are the primary responsibilities? All responsibilities?
First 90 day goals?
Position specifics: what is the quota, base salary, total comp at goal, benefits, territory, reporting relationship, and travel requirements?
What is the marketing message to attract top candidates?
What is the candidate sourcing strategy?
What is the candidate interview and selection plan?
What is the new hire training plan? Key learning objectives?
How will we know participants have learned what they have been taught? What are our knowledge checkpoints?
What is the compensation strategy of similar positions?
What is the base salary?
What is the variable compensation strategy?
Incentives? Non-monetary rewards?
Commission payment eligibility?
How do we present our value proposition?
What is unique?
What is compelling? Why should a prospect buy now?
What is the ROI? Reduce expense, increase revenue, or both?
What endorsement can be used?
Do we need to educate before we can sell?
What is the team revenue or booking goal?
What are the individual revenue or booking goals?
What is the new customer acquisition goal?
What is the existing customer sales goal?
What other goals should be established? (Examples: multi-year deals, market share, opportunities unseated from competitors, strategic accounts)
Executive Vice President