Sales and Marketing Plans –
What They Are and How They Work
When personal selling is a large part of how you get business, your sales and marketing plans will break the selling process into manageable parts. It will then define specific marketing strategies, tools and efforts that will boost the performance of your selling.
Personal selling refers to face-to-face, telephone and electronic selling (web conferences, etc) and selling to groups.
The problem is…
Too many businesspeople don’t coordinate all their marketing elements to support the selling process, and therefore limit their potential revenue generation.
But effective sales and marketing plans solve this by coordinating your selling processes, salespeople, distributors, marketing media and materials to support each other.
In order to productively manage the Sales and Marketing Process, let’s start by dividing it into manageable parts, such as:
- The Selling Process (how you get people to buy),
- The Sales Management Process (improving the effectiveness of people who sell for you), and
- The Marketing Process (how you generate leads and customers).
Effectively managing these three processes is essential if you want to accelerate the growth and profits of your business.
The Selling Process Gets Coordinated Through Your Sales and Marketing Plans
So how do we manage the first part, defined as the Selling Process (getting people to buy)?
To effectively manage how selling is done in your business, sales and marketing plans need to break the Selling Process into its component parts or steps, such as:
- Identifying ideal prospects,
- Proposal development (when appropriate),
- Facilitating the decision,
- Closing the sale,
- Transacting the order,
- Upselling during the closing process, and
- Reselling (establishing an ongoing relationship).
Let’s examine these ten steps in more detail.
STEP ONE — Identifying your Ideal Prospects
(differentiating them from other groups)
I am amazed at how many sales and marketing plans do not divide their prospective customers into narrowly defined segments, but instead, work off the premise that everyone equally could be a potential customer.
YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER – Versus – YOUR ANTI-CUSTOMER
To manage this process, you’ll want to develop sales and marketing plans that define your ANTI-CUSTOMER. For example:
Who will never buy from you no matter what? How well can you define this person or company?
This may sound simple enough but nailing down a specific description and details of this anti-customer eludes many marketers. Yet defining who you will NOT sell to is critical to understanding the flip side, who your ideal prospect is.
Try it. Can you identify in detail who will never buy from you?
Alternately, sales and marketing plans need to define your IDEAL-CUSTOMER. For example:
Who would absolutely buy from you if they only knew you existed?
How well could you define these people?
- Their defining characteristics;
- What job they have;
- Whether they like their boss;
- Whether they are married or in a relationship;
- What they hate more than anything else;
- What brands they love?
Sales and marketing plans that define the anti-customer and the ideal-customer explicitly tend to spend less money and effort and tend to become significantly more successful than those who do not.
STEP TWO — Prospecting
(contacting the ideal-customers)
Next, your sales and marketing plans need to outline exactly how you will reach these ideal prospects?
Where are they? Where do they hang out? What media do they use? Who else has access to them? (i.e., Where do they shop? What do they read? Where do they eat?)
Do you know where they are at 8 am on Tuesdays? How do they spend their weekends?
This all leads to the big questions: How will you reach them, and who has their contact information?
See Page 2: How to Qualify and Present Effectively – Key Parts of Your Sales and Marketing Plans