You reached Flavio's blog
on Business Exploration.
I am always happy to talk
with interesting people.
why Salespeople fail in new business development?
On his book " New sales simplified" Author Mike Weinberg lists 15 reasons he witnessed in his 20 years career as Sales Leader and Consultant, about why Salespeople fail in new business development, i.e. get new customers.
Beside a bunch of reasons that can be realated to the personal behaviors of the single professional, what i noticed is that there are a good number of reasons that are a direct consequence of a lack or bad sales plan.
A sales plan can help:
A sales plan, would help overcome all of these pitfalls.
Sales people, but also Distributors, Commercial agents, Export Managers are the first to benefit from a sales plan.
If your sales model involves third party organizations, like local commercial agents or distributors, a sales plan will help a lot in transferring key information to them and assuring they can rump-up their sales activities quickly and effectivelly. On the contrary, without a sales plan, they will rely on their judgment, follow their priorities, giving precedence to those company that offer them a clearer and more effective sales strategy.
Start where you are. Start understanding the key elements of your business, or reviewing them, if you know-it-all. As a minimum you may want to check out:
It is not a case that these four areas of investigation are the same of our Business Exploration Workshop.
There are 3 questions you want to be able to answer:
To answer them you have to define Entitlement, Capability and Profitability of your sales actions.
Your sales plan may also check that the way you do business is consistent and scalable:
Finally you may rise your head and look at your opportunities in their scenario's context:
At the light of your Strenghts and Weakness you can now compare all the opportunities and evaluate them on the basis of:
and look for opportunities and threats.
We should rank the targets in order of priority:
Once the target are defined, we will have to make some adjustment to our organization and our way to operate.
First we will need to identify the tactics with whom we will contact and engage the prospects. At large there are 3 types of sales tactics: Inbound, Outbound and Partnerships, depending if you contact the customer, the customer contacts you, or you sell through a third party.
It's highly improbably that your existing organization would perfectly fit the task, so you may want to make some adjustment. Some immediatelly. Some with a dedicated program that enables your organization to deliver the tactics chosen.
All the above should have given all the elements to create your Sales Plan. Despite each business has unique needs, a Sales Plan would contain at least the following chapeters, that will instruct your team to bring home the business:
Most companies struggle to prepare a Sales Plan. Some drown into analysis, other create fluffy documents that bring no value to the Salespeople.
My recommendation is to proceed through iterative converging approximations. The first version of the Sales Plan, should be the results of a handfull of small group sessions, where just the CEO and the commercial direction could summarize the information by memory, following the structure proposed here above. This first draft will highlight the points where a deeper level of analysis should be done in a second iteration.
After just a couple of versions, the plan would contain 90% of the information needed. It will never be perfect. So…
It's time to start selling!