How to Attract a Wider Customer Base by Building a Flexible Sales Plan 🤸♀️
The processes through which firms connect with and win clients are evolving. In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of a new phenomenon in which salespeople can surprisingly generate sales while they’re still building a sales plan. Can sales planning and actual selling take place at the same time? Will this strategy effectively increase the profitability of your company?
Developing sales strategies and tailoring sales activity to customer needs is a basic rule in any business. That is why, before selling, sales managers spend so much time plotting which clients and opportunities to pursue and which messages to highlight.
The majority of them are accustomed to working in an environment that embraces a top-down approach. They may focus on managing activity, developing client connections, and fulfilling annual sales targets, for instance. This method worked well in the past.
Unfortunately, companies are now confronted with a continually changing landscape and resource allocation difficulties that render their previous tactics outmoded. They need a change. But sales managers may find it particularly difficult to revamp their sales plans and strategies.
In this article, we will distinguish between two techniques for building a sales plan: traditional and modern. We explain where this distinction took root. Then, we show how technological advancements, particularly software, are altering sales teams and their activities. We argue that software helps businesses acquire more customers by making their sales plans more adaptable.
At Taylor Wells, we believe that the current market dynamics need the upgrading of sales processes — planning and execution can happen at one time. It only has to be performed correctly and with care. By the end, you will understand how to successfully make the move in building a sales plan that is more specific to your company’s objectives.
The Significant Role of Software in Building A Business Development Sales Action Plan and Strategy
Every business has a distinct plan at the heart of its sales operations. Some sales strategies, for example, can cover short-term or long-term sales scenarios, as well as specific or general sales situations. How valuable is sales planning?
The Importance of Creating a Business Development Action for your Sales Strategy Plan
In simple terms, a sales plan outlines the company’s sales principles and procedures, as well as the steps to follow to execute them. It is typically utilised as a component of, or in parallel with, a marketing strategy to manage the activities of the sales team.
Building a sales plan help businesses in a variety of ways. These include identifying sales tactics that are matched to their target market, inspiring and directing their sales force, financing, and assessing their goals to optimise their approaches to sales.
As one of the most vital business activities, let’s continue with how sales planning is conducted.
Traditional Approach for Building a Business Development Sales Action Plan and Strategy
There are several methods for building a sales plan and communicating with customers. Traditionally, a yearly plan, for example, underpins more extensive quarterly goals, which are subsequently subdivided into even more specific durations.
Sales and support teams take months to develop these annual programs that define customer, product, and activity objectives. These plans guide various actions, such as sales force staffing and distribution, sales target, and the creation of sales incentive systems. Sales support groups, in a sense, manage and facilitate the overall planning phase.
Then, they use these frameworks to approach specific customers in daily sales activities. Nonetheless, technology advances. Digital transformation is altering the performance, operational routine, and professional characteristics of sales teams, especially when it comes to building a sales plan.
The Factors that Influence and Transform your Business Development Sales Plan
The previous method for building a sales plan is being replaced by a more agile customer engagement style of “planning while executing”. Let’s go over this in detail.
This change is possible because of 2 developments:
1. Educated and independent shoppers are gaining more power over how and where they buy, whether digital, virtual, or in-person. As a result, sales plans prepared months ahead are sometimes rendered irrelevant.
2. Progressively growing data and swiftly improving software and analytics can provide salespeople with instant information about customers’ demands, interests, and purchasing inclinations.
Let’s take a prominent biotech company to demonstrate the relationship between these two developments.
For decades, it was all about implementation, which meant sticking to the plan. Plans were ready by the beginning of each quarter. So every salesperson received a quarterly sales plan outlining which consumers to contact, how frequently, and with what tone. They then adhere to it to the greatest extent possible.
But today, we see that they have replaced regular planning with a more continuous procedure. How? Software! As time passed, the biotech firm chose to include software and artificial intelligence in its systems and processes. Let’s go through what exactly happened.
How Software Changed Business Development and Building a Sales Strategy Plan
Building a business development sales plan backed by customer data and AI-driven analytics offers salespeople a wide range of insights. These spans from monthly suggestions on which customers to engage to daily assistance on sales practices and operational arrangements. This way, salespeople can make decisions based on software data as well as their own customer knowledge. Hence, the “planning while executing” sales model is born, making sales strategies more agile.
A consulting firm, in addition to the biotech company, has gone through the same processes. Salespeople were losing by just forcing their products on their prospects. For example, with broad statements like “Purchase more of our products and we’ll assist you to find out how to use it to thrive.”
However, salespeople began to win customers when they decided to use immediate data regarding their service users to engage them in more valuable discussions — interactions that, of course, cannot be scripted months ahead of time.
Now we want to answer the question, how does the “planning while executing” sales model work internally and bring more profits?
Modern Approach for Building a Sales Action Plan and Strategy
According to one customer of the consulting firm, they look for business partners and salespeople who can guide them not only on how to save dollars but also enhance efficiency while keeping up with the ever-changing demands of their users.
Think of a business that developed an AI-powered mechanism. This provides real-time advice to salespeople on how to connect with customers more effectively. The recommendations represent what is valuable to customers, such as which products and means of communication, as well as what is valuable to the organisation, such as customer prospective and sale probability.
Consequently, the suggestions are bound to evolve as additional information becomes available. For instance, if a customer takes part through a digital platform, such as downloading material from a company webpage, the salesperson receives a reminder to follow up.
Building a sales plan is now different. Rather than producing distinct blueprints for salespeople, sales support today develops digital assets and resources such as algorithms, decision criteria, and software tools to assist salespeople in planning while executing.
Sales support personnel abandon the program mentality, in which planning cycles conclude with a completed plan. Alternatively, planning becomes a near-constant practice. In this context, sales support entails developing and constantly enhancing the underlying assets and procedures as technologies improve.
With all of this said, and as data and software provide more clarity into customers’ current and evolving demands, how can businesses adjust to this movement in building a sales plan?
How Businesses Can Adapt to Sales Planning Evolution
The evolution of sales planning entails increasing sales team acceptance and participation in the software technology, improving the database, developing the algorithms, and polishing implementation processes like transition management, orientations, and customer feedback mechanisms.
Considering how digital assets are playing a greater role in the new sales planning models, here’s how businesses may keep up:
1. Employ more professionals, including data analysts, software developers, operational specialists, and pricing experts to supplement sales support teams’ business and process skills.
Our findings show that with the right set-up and pricing team in place, incremental earnings gains can begin to occur in less than 12 weeks. After 6 months, the team can capture at least 1.0-2.25% more margin using better price management processes. After 9-12 months, businesses are very often generating between 3-7% additional margin each year as they identify more complex and previously unrealised opportunities, efficiencies, and risks.
Also, take note that you will require a sales support team lead who comprehends both sales and software technology. This is crucial for aligning the initiatives of individual professionals to overall organisational objectives.
2. Be more flexible when it comes to resource allocation.
Fast market changes, exacerbated by the pandemic, compelled managers at an industrial company to regularly reassign salespeople and work with clients with whom they had no prior experience.
The management had to train salespeople in evaluating data to foresee the demands of unfamiliar clients, in conjunction with determining the best strategy to handle these reassignments. Of course, managers had to adapt to guide their staff in a dynamic environment, which was a tough transition. As a business, you to be careful not to exhaust your resources during the adjustment process.
The new “planning while executing” sales strategy is profoundly changing outputs, organisational habits, and the variety of experts on the sales team.
Do we believe that sales planning has come to an end? Not really, we’d say. The “planning while executing” trend is simply giving birth to a new model. A better one at that, one that’s more fluid and appropriate to current market conditions. Using software, businesses can indeed benefit in simultaneous sales planning and executing.
Modern competencies and fresh mentality are necessary for sales teams to make the change. Sales planning transformation, in the end, translates into more successful salespeople, a quality client experience, and greater profitability.
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