Are you ready for 2020? What sales numbers do you need for 2020 and how to you plan to get them?
Read along to learn a bit more about creating your 2020 Sales Plan and find out how to break through blocks that might be keeping you from reaching your goals.
Why Do You Need a Sales Plan?
A sales plan is like a map. It helps you get to where you want to go in your business because it’s hard to reach goals if you don’t have goals. It’s also hard to know how much you need to make and set a course to make it unless you analyze needs, create a path, and set milestones along the path to track your progress.
A quality sales plan can help you increase sales.
5 Questions to Answer in Your Sales Plan
Asking and answering questions is a great way to start creating a plan. In the December 2019 Spotlight Magazine for Brevard County FL, I wrote an article that covered 5 of these important questions.
1 – How Much Money (in sales) do you Need/Want to make for the year?
Break this down into quarters, months, and days you work. For example, if you take weekends off, figure the amount you need to make each day Monday-Friday.
2 – What was Your Sales History Last Year?
What were your total sales in 2019 and what was your daily average?
If you set sales goals for 2019, did you make them or exceed them?
3 – What is your average sale?
Figuring the amount of your average sale along with your lowest and highest sales can help as you plan for the steps necessary to make the amount you need. If your average sale is $10.00 you may need to sell more than someone whose average sale is $100 or $1000. Note, number of sales needed also depends on Cost of the Goods sold, so the sale amount is only one thing to consider.
4 – If you sell by appointment, how many appointments do you need to set, on average, to make a sale?
If you sell via inbound calls, online, or through in-person networking, how many people, on average, need to see your information or contact you before making a sale?
5 – What is the average lifetime value of a customer?
Here you look at how much you make from each customer, on average. A massage therapist may have an average lifetime value of thousands of dollars even if she charges $60.00 a massage because of repeat business. A software sale may only occur once, so while the initial cost might be higher the lifetime potential may be lower.
When you understand the average lifetime value of a customer, it helps you plan on how many customers you need to serve. It also helps you look for new products and services to increase the value of current customers. It’s often easier to sell to current customers than to acquire new ones.
5 More Questions for Your Plan
Space is limited in physical magazines, so I frequently provide bonus material in online articles like this one. Below you’ll find 5 more questions to answer to help you with your sales plan.
6 – How many sales did you make based on referrals from other customers?
Are your customers sending more business your way? If not, why not? It’s time to look at how your current customer base can bring you more business.
Think about it. When you have a business that you love, don’t you share it with others? I send people to my favorite restaurants, massage therapists, and other businesses as often as possible. Your customers may be doing this too, have you asked?
When building your referral business, first ask your customers for referrals. Don’t worry, you’re not becoming a “pushy salesperson.” Just ask the simple question of, “if you know of anyone else who could use my service, please give them my name.”
Second, ask new customers how they heard about you. You may be receiving referral business without even realizing it. Many people won’t tell you who sent them as a habit, but if you ask they usually will.
Note the above step will also help you get a better idea of what marketing and advertising efforts are helping you find business.
7 – Which products and/or services are your best sellers?
This part of the sales analysis starts moving into more broader business planning. What do you offer that sells the most. Look at three things in this regard:
- What sells the most in overall profit (sales amount minus cost of goods)
- What sells with least amount of effort for the actual sale. Some products/services have longer sales cycles than others.
- What sells best in terms of least amount of follow-up support, if applicable. Look at your products/services to determine if any sell easily up front but have heavy time costs after the sale.
8 – Are Your Sales Exceeding Your Expenses?
Like #7, this question starts moving you into the more extended Business Plan. Are you making enough to cover your expenses. Note – this also includes being able to pay yourself.
If you aren’t making enough to cover expenses, you’ll want to look at both: how many sales are needed to cover expenses and are all expenses necessary?
9 – What are Your Sales Habits?
Have you set aside time and a process for sales? As with almost anything in business and life, creating good habits can lead to great success.
- What are your sales habits?
- Do you have set times that you keep for sales?
- Do you make the calls that you need to make or do you hesitate?
- Do you grab opportunities or find excuses to do it later?
If you haven’t created sales habits, it’s time to do so.
If you find yourself hesitating on moving forward, perhaps you may be experiencing what my friend Dr. Theo Tsaousides calls Brainblocks. These are those blocks that keep us from moving forward and achieving our goals in life like procrastination, self-doubt and perfectionism.
Breaking through Blocks
While many of us are held back from reaching goals because of these blocks, it seems to me that this is particularly true when I work with people on sales. Even many outgoing people find selling difficult.
7 Blocks to Break
In his book, “Brainblocks Overcoming the 7 Hidden Barriers to Success,” Theo Tsaousides Ph.D. defines 7 blocks and shows his readers how to break through them to experience more success in life. Dr. Tsaousides holds a Ph.D. in neuropsychology and integrates the best of brain science into a program to help us move forward.
Join me for a Break Through Blocks Book Club January 2020
Are you ready to Break through Your Blocks? If so, grab a copy of “Brainblocks Overcoming the 7 HIdden Barriers to Success,” and join me in 2019 for a book club experience as we take 7 weeks to work through the 7 Blocks.
Sales Plans are Part of Your Overall Business Plan
While your Sales Plan is a critical part, it’s only one part of your Complete Business Plan. Your complete plan includes expense analysis, your marketing plan, and evaluating the return on your investments.
Business planning is important for businesses of all sizes, but can sometimes seem daunting to small businesses and solopreneurs because most sample plans are built for larger, more complex operations. In reality, answering simple questions can help your small business create a plan that works.