Many business owners are allergic to planning. After all, there are too many things to do to stop and plan!
Your plan is the key to focusing on the right things at the right time, and it helps measure progress toward your goals. Creating a sales and marketing plan as a subset of the overall business plan is critical for accelerating your business growth.
The fundamental function of marketing is to generate qualified sales leads. There are any number of tools that can be used to do that–but how do you know which tools to use if you don’t have a plan? And how do you know if you are investing in productive marketing activities if you don’t know have a budget or know what results you are trying to produce?
A marketing plan doesn’t need to be an extensive document. First, start with your business objectives for the next 6 months or year. You should already have these, in terms of target revenues if nothing else. Now, what marketing objectives align with those business objectives? For example, how many leads need to be generated in order to give sales sufficient numbers to close the deals necessary to reach the revenue objective? What strategies are going to meet those objectives? Will you need to get more publicity? Expand into a new market? Reach more people in your current market?
At this point, you know what you are aiming for, and you know how you need to hit the target. Now, determine what specific activities will achieve your strategies and objectives. This is where you choose from the enormous pool of marketing options–and you choose the activities that will work best for the audiences you want to reach and the results you want to produce. You might need to have a tradeshow program where you get face to face with your market, you might need to launch or improve your web site, you might need to implement a campaign for current customers. The list goes on and on.
Whatever the right activities are, put them together into an integrated program and create target metrics (e.g., number of click throughs, number of lead cards collected). There’s your marketing plan. The next step, the sales plan, focuses on the leads generated by marketing, how they will be converted to customers, and how follow on sales will be made to those customers. Articulate sales metrics in terms such as conversion rates, overall revenues, and revenues per customer.
Now you have something to measure against and you can review things periodically to see if you are on track in terms of the results you need to get or if something needs to be adjusted.
This whole process doesn’t need to take a lot of time. And having a sales and marketing plan will give you a lot more insight into how well this part of your company is working, and will let you make changes quickly if things are off course.
Source : OneCoach Team