VIA Idea #21: Marketing and Sales: Here’s Why Your Business Needs a Plan for Both

6 Apr

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This saying has been around for so long that it’s not known who first spoke it. But it still rings true, especially for a small business that wants to grow. Trust me; making marketing and sales plans a high priority this year will pay off.

Yes, you need TWO plans as marketing and sales are two distinct areas: a marketing plan is what a business does to make itself known to the public, while a sales plan focuses on getting one-on-one time with a customer or prospective customer. Marketing may be considered “pulling” while sales is the “push.”

1) Marketing Plan
I highly recommend you take a few hours and outline plans for marketing and for sales. For marketing, here’s a simplified set of instructions: start with a blank piece of paper (or excel spreadsheet) and make 12 rows. Label the columns, starting with January or the current month. Then start listing tasks in the appropriate months (see example). Make a third column, include the cost for each line item, and you’ve got a plan for the year.

Month Item/task Cost
Jan New mobile website Finish annual report, post to website Write & post blog entry Paid online search $3500 $1500 $0 $200
Feb First direct mail to prospects Write & post blog entry Run ad in professional directory Paid online search $1200 $0 $300 $200
Mar Sponsor little league team Write & post blog entry Paid online search $400 $0 $200
Apr Submit story to local paper Complete brochure, send to printer in time for expo Order give-away items for expo Write & post blog entry Paid online search $0 $700
$225 $0 $200
May Booth at chamber expo Write & post blog entry Paid online search $250 $0 $200
June Write & post blog entry Paid online search $0 $200

2) Sales Plan
Next, think about how you and your sales people will turn all that marketing exposure into ROI. Tools and tactics you’ll use to develop your sales efforts include:

  • • A defined, qualified prospect list
  • • A database application to track contacts (preferably cloud-based so you and your team can access it easily)
  • • One or more people at your company who are willing to make calls to prospects
  • • A research methodology for developing “touches” that will personalize and add interest to those prospect calls
  • • A method to document progress
  • • Regular, scheduled meetings to discuss progress

Having these plans and sharing them with the appropriate staff will help keep you and your team focused. But, like a road trip, your marketing and sales plans should be flexible. Pay attention when opportunities arise to pull or push to grow business!

If you’d like more ideas or help with the plan, contact us.

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