What's the point of a personal sales plan? 

Is it something that you refer back to regularly and share progress with your sales manager?  

Or is it a do it once, forget document and a top-down exercise of number jockeying?

As a sales leader, in my experience, having a plan, that is well thought through, ambitious, and includes personal goals is something that all successful salespeople have created on an annual basis. 

If your organisation lacks a formal sales plan structure, or if you think that it's missing some components, here are the top five elements I'd recommend.

  • Break the annual goal into quarters. It's improbable that your year splits into equal revenue quarters. Think about seasonality, your clients' holidays, their year ends, their busy periods.
  • How much can you sell to your top clients?  Using historical data, market trends, budget meetings, and your intuition forecast what you think you will receive from them. Don't take it for granted, what are you doing to defend from the competition?
  • Who are the big fish you want to land? Think about the big prospects in your sector or territory.
    • Who are they?  We've seen success when they are named and shared their names internally, making a company-wide objective. 
    • What steps can you take over the next 12 months to win them or make it painful for the competition? 
    • What support can you enlist internally to make this happen? 
    • What are you doing to be noticed by the buying committee?
  • Build a plan for the top of the funnel. Don't rely solely on marketing to provide you with the leads. Filling the funnel is your responsibility, and is a 24 by seven activity. 
    • Who are your prospective accounts?
    • How many do you need?
    • How many can you handle?
    • What's your strategy for getting in front of them, using social, email, networking events, shows, calls?
  • Include your personal development. Above and beyond attaining your quota, what else do you want to achieve in the year? For example.
    • Do you want to become a thought leader in your chosen field?
    • Do you want to increase your social media presence?
    • How can you develop your personal network?
    • Where do you want to go in your career, and what steps can you take in the next 12 months to achieve your goals? 

Having a plan is key to modern sales excellence.  Make sure that yours is relevant, actionable and frequently used as your pathway to a successful year.  

If you'd like guidance on sales planning and development then connect via the usual social channels.