4 Field-tested Steps for Better Sales Planning

a sales notebook showing Better Sales Planning

High Performance Sales Needs High Performance Sales Planning
If you want better sales performance, you need better sales planning.  The goal for most sales teams is pretty straightforward – grow profitable sales.  To grow profitably however, takes more than wishful thinking.  It takes a clear go to market sales strategy combined with a sales plan to make it happen.

4 Steps for Better Sales Planning
Follow these four field-tested steps for better sales planning:

1. Define How You Will Win
Before you get into the details of how to more effectively sell your solutions, you need to create a clear, believable and implementable sales strategy that everyone commits to fully execute across the organization.  That means getting clarity and agreement on at least these five areas:

  • Target Clients: Your ideal target clients where you should win the majority of the time
  • Unique Value Proposition: What differentiates you from the competition in the eyes of your target clients in a way that drives premium pricing, increases qualified lead generation and improves customer retention
  • Success Metrics: How sales success and failure will be measured at the corporate, team and individual levels
  • Sales Processes: The critical few sales processes that matter most in terms of meeting your sales targets and executing your sales strategy
  • Sales Barriers: The top 10 barriers to sales success over the next 12 to 36 months
  • Action Plan: An action plan to execute your sales strategy and overcome the key barriers

2. Determine How You Will Add Visible Value at Your Target Accounts
Once your go-to-market plan is clear, it is time to research your most attractive target companies in order to understand their business and begin to build solid sales strategies for each account.  The most successful sales account plans create consistently deep customer interactions that add value while building deep and meaningful personal and professional experiences.  You will know you are on the right path when you understand what matters most for each account vis-à-vis your potential opportunities to help them to succeed in a way that makes sense.

3. Identify Opportunity Teams
Once you have created high level account plans, it’s time to identify the key buyers and influencers and a specific approach to reach them.  This stage should involve the whole sales team and take advantage of any contacts who can give you a “warm” introduction.   Evaluate each potential opportunity against your value proposition and ideal target client criteria to prioritize your sales efforts.

Then identify the best team to try to win each specific opportunity based upon their skills, industry knowledge, approach and experience.

4. Build and Execute Sales Call Plans
Once your opportunity plans have been finalized, it is now time to put your solution selling skills to work by creating an effective sales call plan.  Sales reps who prepare consistently outperform those who wing it.  Pre-call sales planning allows you to anticipate, add value, demonstrate competency, gain credibility and show respect.

The Bottom Line
Succeeding at sales requires much more than luck.  Far too many salespeople sit in their customer’s lobby leafing through, for the first time, a crash course of material on their customer’s business.  Don’t leave your success up to chance.  Follow the four steps to better sales planning.

Identify your ideal customer, understand your customer’s need and build a strong and productive relationship by providing value in every interaction.

Want to improve your sales skills?  Download 30 Effective Sales Questions More Important than Budget When Selling Solutions

Share:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn

Comments are closed.

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

Jeff Rangel
Director of HR

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More