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How to Write a Sales Plan to Crush Your Quota

Learn how to write a sturdy sales plan, from your sales strategy down to your plan of action, so you and your team can exceed your sales targets.


Anthony Stevens with his dof

Anthony Stevens

Oct 27, 2022

6 minute read

How to write a sales plan

Sales are at the core of any successful business strategy. Whether you're an executive, a sales manager, or a software entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for long-term success is to create a sales plan that's designed to support your company and help make it grow.

The sales action plan can also be a very effective tool that can help users determine likely roadblocks and obstacles to identify practical solutions that can address them.

What is a sales plan?

In essence, a sales action plan highlights what needs to be done to achieve your sales goals. A sales action plan also focuses primarily on the relationships and transactions that you cultivate with your clients.

That said, a sales plan contains data about the people you want to sell to, your revenue goals, and how you will structure the team for success.


For a sales plan to be effective and powerful, it should:

  • Clearly communicate your sales objectives and goals

  • Outline the roles and responsibilities of the staff and leaders

  • Guide the decision-making strategy to help you achieve organizational goals

  • Deliver strategic direction for the sales team


Aside from being an excellent month-to-month guide, a sales action plan can also help you conduct a thorough and long-term analysis of the sales team. This is crucial so you can compare action plans against the current outcomes to see if you are achieving the targets you have set.

Write a sales action plan to crush your sales targets

Your action plan needs to give employees and staff purpose and direction to achieve tangible and measurable results. The more detailed the action plan is, the less likely it is that the team will struggle to make decisions.

NOTE: We’ll soon cover in detail everything you need to build your sales plan, but in case you’re short on time, this sales action plan template may offer a shortcut that suits your needs. This handy template provides a straightforward way to lay out sales strategies, objectives, and tactics.

Below are other key activities that should be included in your sales plan:


1) Determine your target clients


If you want to create a powerful sales strategy, you need to identify the people you want to target first. Brainstorm with your sales team and answer the following questions:

  • Which clients deliver long-term value?

  • What is the size of the company you are targeting?

  • Where did your ideal customers come from? (i.e., word-of-mouth, canvassing, cold calls, etc.)

  • What is the industry you are targeting?


Your sales action plan should include a complete picture of how you can find clients and nurture your relationship with them.


2) Evaluate your historical performance


Unless you are a newcomer in the industry, you should learn from your past successes and mistakes. Assess your previous losses and wins and ask yourself the following:

  • What strategies generated the most revenue for the company?

  • What type of customers are likely to respond to your sales pitch?

  • Which areas provided the most ROI?

  • Which of the team members were the most successful and why?


Evaluating your historical performance can give you a better idea of where your prospects and current customers come from. It will also help determine how the team prospected with the clients and which tactics used were most successful.

If you need more help identifying the main bottlenecks in your sales process, we put together a handy guide describing the worst mistakes when making a sales plan and how you can avoid them.


3) Chart your goal (and destination)


Creating a target or goal can help you navigate the decision-making process better. However, before you tackle the details, you need to be specific and clear about your short and long-term goals.


When charting your goal and destination, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is the team's ultimate goal?

  • What is the team's annual sales goal?

  • What are the team's quarterly objectives?

  • What can be done to improve monthly sales?

  • What should the team aim for daily?


At all times, have a clear outline of where you want to go, what you would like to achieve, and the steps you need to get there.


4) Put resources in place


Once you have figured out where you are going, you also need to know the tools you need to empower your sales team and accelerate opportunities. Hands down, your most essential resource is your salespeople. That said, you need to have the correct number of people on board to achieve your objectives.


Below are some of the technologies and tools that can help you succeed:

  • Workforce and gamification optimization - How can you encourage friendly competition between employees? Do you have a set budget for the incentives?

  • Prospecting tools - What kind of lead nurturing and sales analytics tools can you provide to employees? Will putting automation in place help?

  • CRM tools - How will members of your team track their interactions with important customers and clients?


Knowing the tools your employees need won't suffice. You also need to make sure all the members are well-equipped and knowledgeable enough to use them. This can mean assigning mentors to team members, implementing training sessions, and holding one-on-one meetings.


5) Assign territories


Assigning territories can help ensure your sales team is in the right area to target the right customers. This also ensures any overlap is limited and costly redundancies are avoided.

It would also be a good idea to have your most profitable and seasoned reps work on your most significant accounts. Keep in mind that you have the option to assign territories from customer types, geography, industry, and sales potential.

Clearly defining the territories can also help your sales teams to work more strategically. This is crucial so they can address the expectations and needs of their clients accordingly.


6) Create scripts


Once the sales team knows where their focus should be, a guide should be created to help them improve their chances of closing more sales. For instance, you can create templates for emails, voicemails, phone calls, follow-ups, and more.

When creating your scripts, the focus should be on addressing the pain points of the clients. As a general rule of thumb, conversations should have a 70:30 ratio in favor of the customer.


7) Set daily sales activities


To help sales teams accomplish measurable and actual results, it is recommended that you set minimum daily sales activities. However, while it is vital to challenge the sales team, it is also crucial to be realistic.

Demanding that team members accomplish more than what they are realistically capable of might lead to disengagement.

For starters, consider it ideal to track and measure the following:


Contacts

How many people should the sales team contact daily? This should cover emails, phone calls, social media connections, and in-person visits. The key is to work with leads across multiple channels to establish a relationship.

prospect your contact list

Leads

How many new leads should the sales team reach out to every day? How should they nurture and qualify the leads?

what you should do to generate leads

Follow-ups

How will the sales team improve their chances of closing among those who have not responded to their emails and calls? You can also look into up-sells and cross-sells when doing follow-ups.

following up leads is a must for success

Referral requests

How should the sales team follow up with clients to ensure they are happy and satisfied? What can you do to significantly improve your chances of getting referrals and positive reviews and testimonials?

don't forget to ask for refferals

8) Track accountability

Once you have defined what each team member should do, your next move should be to ensure they are delivering. You can use software and lead nurturing pipelines to check who among the team members are reaching their targets.

Tracking the sales activities of employees has several benefits. For starters, you can easily see if targets and goals are met and if a change in strategies is required. In addition, it will also give members of the sales team the option to track their own performance.

Takeaways

When it comes to attaining exceptional sales outcomes and numbers, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. The key is to determine the sales strategies that will work best for your sales team by looking into your customers, employees, and processes.

Anthony Stevens
Anthony Stevens
Anthony Stevens

Anthony Stevens is the Content Specialist for Excel Templates, a resource for free Excel templates including calendars and charts. When not writing, he spends time building furniture and running with his dog.

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