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What is a sales plan?

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Once a company establishes a business plan, each department could use a department-specific business plan to set benchmarks and goals. The sales department is first and foremost in its need for a department plan. Sales plans detail elements such as the objectives of the company and how the sales department will meet those goals. That may be volume of sales or infiltrating a particular market or demographic. The sales plan should list what’s needed to meet those goals as well as hurdles or pain points that the team expects to encounter.

Your sales business plan should speak to the company’s overall plan. There is no one-size-fits-all sales plan; however, there are templates – which we’ll discuss later – that can get you on your way to a realistic and successful sales plan.

A sales plan governs how a sales department operates, from identifying objectives, target audiences, and ways to achieve goals to the challenges the sales team might encounter. It shapes and guides every facet of a business’s overall sales strategy. An effective sales plan keeps the sales department working toward a goal, and it communicates to the company the team’s progress and how it relates to the company’s plan.

A sales plan is “essential to support the growth of an organization,” said Bill Santos, president and COO of Cerberus Sentinel.

“A sales plan helps individual reps understand the priorities of the business as well as the measurements by which they will be evaluated,” Santos said. “It also provides a consistent measure of performance, allowing for independent evaluation of individual performance in a quantitative manner.”

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