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Making a Risk Management Plan for Your Business

It’s impossible to eliminate all business risk. Therefore, it’s essential for having a plan for its management. You’ll be developing one covering compliance, environmental, financial, operational and reputation risk management. These guidelines are for making a risk management plan for your business.

Developing Your Executive Summary

When you start the risk management plan with an executive summary, you’re breaking apart what it will be compromised of into easy to understand chunks. Even though this summary is the project’s high-level overview, the goal is describing the risk management plan’s approach and scope. In doing so, you’re informing all stakeholders regarding what to expect when they’re reviewing these plans so that they can set their expectations appropriately.

Who Are the Stakeholders and What Potential Problems Need Identifying?

During this phase of making the risk management plan, you’re going to need to have a team meeting. Every member of the team must be vocal regarding what they believe could be potential problems or risks. Stakeholders should also be involved in this meeting as well to help you collect ideas regarding what could become a potential risk. All who are participating should look at past projects, what went wrong, what is going wrong in current projects and what everyone hopes to achieve from what they learned from these experiences. During this session, you’ll be creating a sample risk management plan that begins to outline risk management standards and risk management strategies.

Evaluate the Potential Risks Identified

A myriad of internal and external sources can pose as risks including commercial, management and technical, for example. When you’re identifying what these potential risks are and have your list complete, the next step is organizing it according to importance and likelihood. Categorize each risk according to how it could impact your project. For example, does the risk threaten to throw off timelines or budgets? Using a risk breakdown structure is an effective way to help ensure all potential risks are effectively categorized and considered. Use of this risk management plan template keeps everything organized and paints a clear picture of everything you’re identifying.

Assign Ownership and Create Responses

It’s essential to ensure a team member is overseeing each potential risk. That way, they can jump into action should an issue occur. Those who are assigned a risk, as well as the project manager, should work as a team to develop responses before problems arise. That way, if there are issues, the person overseeing the risk can refer to the response that was predetermined.

Have a System for Monitoring

Having effective risk management companies plans includes having a system for monitoring. It’s not wise to develop a security risk management or compliance risk management plan, for example, without having a system for monitoring. What this means is there’s a system for monitoring in place to ensure risk doesn’t occur until the project is finished. In doing so, you’re ensuring no new risks will potentially surface. If one does, like during the IT risk management process, for example, your team will know how to react.

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How to Create a Sales Plan: Template + Examples

Meredith Hart

Published: December 05, 2022

Do you have a sales plan? Entrepreneurs, sales executives, and sales managers all benefit from writing sales plans — whether for their business, department, or team. You must know where you're going before you can hit your key targets, and from there, you must break down the strategies and tactics you'll use to do it.

Sales team creating a sales plan for the upcoming quarter

All of this information can be included in a sales plan (and more). Read on to learn how to draft a sales plan that's right for your organization.

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In this post, we'll cover:

How to Write a Sales Plan

Tips for creating an effective sales plan, sales plan examples.

What is a sales plan?

A sales plan lays out your objectives, high-level tactics, target audience, and potential obstacles. It's like a traditional business plan but focuses specifically on your sales strategy. A business plan lays out your goals — a sales plan describes exactly how you'll make those happen.

Sales plans often include information about the business' target customers, revenue goals, team structure, and the strategies and resources necessary for achieving its targets.

Free Sales Plan Template

Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access:, what are the goals of an effective sales plan.

The purpose of your company's sales plan is to:

Communicate your company's goals and objectives.

Provide strategic direction., outline roles and responsibilities., monitor your sales team's progress..

You can't expect your sales team to work well if they don't know your company's goals and objectives. It is necessary to make sure the goals are clear and realistic. As they change over time, ensure you regularly communicate your strategy to the entire team.

A sales strategy is vital to selling your products or services. To execute your plan, your company needs to provide direction. Should your employees focus on email conversions versus social media conversions this quarter? Are you boosting your efforts on LinkedIn instead of Facebook? Your business needs to provide your team with guidance to be effective.

Your company's sales plan should outline the roles and responsibilities for your sales team and leadership. The benefits of this include efficient task delegation, improved collaboration, overlap reduction, and increased accountability.

Your sales team is the driving force behind your strategy. If they do well, so does the company. Unfortunately, the alternative is also correct. Monitoring your team's progress on organizational goals allows you to manage your objectives. It ensures you have the people and tools in place to be successful.

Sales Planning Process

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that sales planning doesn't just encompass the creation of a sales plan document. For that document to be more than something that gathers dust on the bookshelf, a high-level strategy is required.

You should:

Step 1: Gather sales data and search for trends.

To plan for the present and future, your company needs to look to the past. What did sales look like during the previous year? What about the last five years? Using this information can help you identify trends in your industry. While it's not foolproof, it helps establish a foundation for your sales planning process.

Step 2: Define your objectives.

How do you know your business is doing well if you have no goals? As you can tell from its placement on this list, defining your goals and objectives is one of the first steps you should take in your sales planning process. Once you have them defined, you can move forward with executing them.

Step 3: Determine metrics for success.

Every business is different. One thing we can all agree on is that you need metrics for success. These metrics are key performance indicators (KPIs). What are you going to use to determine if your business is successful? KPIs differ based on your medium, but standard metrics are gross profit margins, return on investment (ROI), daily web traffic users, conversion rate, and more.

Step 4: Assess the current situation.

How is your business fairing right now? This information is relevant to determining how your current situation holds up to the goals and objectives you set during step two. What are your roadblocks? What are your strengths? Create a list of the obstacles hindering your success. Identify the assets you can use as an advantage. These factors will guide you as you build your sales plan.

Step 5: Start sales forecasting.

Sales forecasting is an in-depth report that predicts what a salesperson, team, or company will sell weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. While it is finicky, it can help your company make better decisions when hiring, budgeting, prospecting, and setting goals.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, economics has become less predictable. Claire Fenton , the owner of StrActGro — a professional training and coaching company — states, "Many economic forecasters won't predict beyond three months at a time." This makes sales forecasting difficult. However, there are tools at your disposal to create accurate sales forecasts .

Step 6: Identify gaps.

When identifying gaps in your business, consider what your company needs now and what you might need in the future. First, identify the skills you feel your employees need to reach your goal. Second, evaluate the skills of your current employees. Once you have this information, you can train employees or hire new ones to fill the gaps.

Step 7: Ideate new initiatives.

Many industry trends are cyclical. They phase in and out of "style." As you build your sales plan, ideate new initiatives based on opportunities you may have passed on in previous years. If your business exclusively focused on word-of-mouth and social media marketing in the past, consider adding webinars or special promotions to your plan.

Step 8: Involve stakeholders.

Stakeholders are individuals, groups, or organizations with a vested interest in your company. They are typically investors, employees, or customers and often have deciding power in your business. Towards the end of your sales planning process, involve stakeholders from departments that affect your outcomes, such as marketing and product. It leads to an efficient and actionable sales planning process.

Step 9: Outline action items.

Once you have implemented this strategy to create your sales planning process, the final step is outlining your action items. Using your company's capacity and quota numbers, build a list of steps that take you through the sales process. Examples of action items are writing a sales call script, identifying industry competitors, or strategizing new incentives or perks.

One thing to keep in mind is that sales planning shouldn't end with creating the document.

You'll want to reiterate this process every year to maintain your organization's sales excellence.

Now that you're committed to the sales planning process, let's dive into the written execution component of sales planning.

Featured Resource: Sales Plan Template

HubSpot's Sales Plan Template: 10 Section Prompts for Outlining Your Sales Plan

Ready to write your own plan? Download HubSpot's Free Sales Plan Template to get started.

What Goes in a Sales Plan Template?

A typical sales plan includes the following sections:

Target Customers

Revenue targets, strategies and tactics, pricing and promotions, deadlines and dris, team structure, market conditions.

Your target customers are who your company aims to serve with its products and services. They're the individuals most likely to buy your products. Target customers are created by dividing your target market into smaller, more focused groups through divisions based on geography, behavior, demography, and more.

Target revenue is how much money your company aims to bring in during a given time. You can measure revenue targets by determining a growth percentage to add to the previous year, estimating revenue based on employee capacity, or summing up the sales quota from your team.

Strategies and tactics are specific actions your team will take to reach revenue targets. You might consider using social media to generate leads. Your company could also turn to associates to ask for referrals. Instead of focusing all your efforts on new clients, a sales strategy could be keeping up with past clients or customers. These are avenues to explore when building a sales plan.

Pricing and promotions typically hold the most interest for customers. It documents your offering's price and any upcoming promotions for converting customers. A free trial is a popular promotional tactic that companies like Amazon and Hulu use to entice customers to buy in once the free session is over. Be mindful and intentional with your pricing and promotions. Your company must find the middle ground between making a profit and looking appealing to your target customers.

Deadlines and Directly Responsible Individuals (DRIs) outline any critical dates for deliverables and list who is accountable for their completion. There are many moving parts to a business. Creating a timeline and assigning responsibility to each task is necessary to keep your company running successfully.

Your team structure often depends on the size of your company. Smaller businesses tend to have a small team, and it can potentially exacerbate issues with overlap and confusion. As your company grows, you will need to hire new employees. The more employees you have, the harder it can be to manage these different members. Your sales plan needs to outline the members of your team and what their specific role is to provide clarity.

The people on your team are the most influential tool for implementing your sales plan, but to do so, they need resources. These are the tools your team will use to reach revenue targets. Your company could use project management resources like Monday or Asana to keep track of deadlines. Programs like Adobe Photoshop and Canva are resources for designing graphics to send to prospects. While your team is essential, their function becomes obsolete without the tools to do their job.

Market conditions are pertinent information about your industry and its competitive landscape. What's trending? Where are customers losing interest? Have there been any competitors gaining traction in the industry, and why? The way your market is fairing should guide how you approach your sales plan.

Now let's walk through how to write a sales plan. Don't forget to follow along with HubSpot's free Sales Plan Template to make the most of this blog post.

Create a mission statement. Define your team's roles and responsibilities. Identify your target market. Outline your tools, software, and resources. Analyze your position in your industry. Plan your marketing strategy. Develop your prospecting strategy. Create an action plan. List your goals. Set your budget.

1. Create a mission statement.

Begin your sales plan by stating your company mission and vision statements, and write up a brief history of the business. This will provide background information as the plan drills down into specific details.

2. Define your team's roles and responsibilities.

Next, describe who is on your team and what their roles are. Perhaps you manage five salespeople and work closely with a sales enablement professional and a sales ops specialist.

If you're planning on adding headcount, include the number of employees, their job titles, and when you're planning to bring them on the team.

3. Identify your target market.

Whether you're writing your first sales plan or your 15th, knowing your target demographic is crucial. What do your best customers look like? Do they all belong to a specific industry? Exceed a certain size? Struggle with the same challenge?

Keep in mind you might have different buyer personas for different products. For example, HubSpot's salespeople might primarily sell marketing software to CMOs and sales software to sales directors.

This section of your sales plan can also change dramatically over time as your solution and strategy evolve and you adjust product-market fit. In the very beginning, when your product was in its infancy, and your prices were low, you may have found success selling to startups. Now that the product is far more robust and you've raised the price, mid-market companies are likely a better fit. That's why it's important to review and update your personas consistently.

4. Outline your tools, software, and resources.

You should also include a description of your resources. Which CRM software do you plan on using? Do you have a budget for sales contests and incentives?

This is where you'll lay out which tools your salespeople should use to succeed in their jobs (e.g., training, documentation , sales enablement tools, etc.).

5. Analyze your position in your industry.

Now, name your competitors. Explain how your products compare, where theirs are stronger than yours, and vice versa. In addition, discuss their pricing versus yours.

You should also discuss market trends. If you're a SaaS company, you should note what vertical-specific software is becoming more popular. If you sell ads, mention the rise in programmatic mobile advertising. Try to predict how these changes will influence your business.

6. Plan your marketing strategy.

In this section, describe your pricing and any promotions you're planning on running. What key actions will you take to increase brand awareness and generate leads? Note the impact on sales.

Here's a mock version:

7. Develop your prospecting strategy.

How will your sales team qualify the leads generated by your marketing strategy? Don't forget to include the criteria prospects should meet before sales reps reach out.

And identify which inbound and outbound sales methods your team will use to close more deals.

8. Create an action plan.

Once you've outlined where you want to go, you must figure out how you'll get there. This section summarizes your game plan for hitting your revenue targets.

Here are a few examples:

A. Objective: Increase referral rates by 30% this quarter

B. Objective: Acquire 20 Enterprise logos

9. List your goals.

Most sales goals are revenue-based. For example, you might set a total target of $10 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

Alternatively, you can set a volume goal. That could be 100 new customers or 450 sales. Make sure your objective is realistic; otherwise, your entire sales plan will be largely useless.

Factor in your product's price, total addressable market (TAM), market penetration, and resources (including your sales headcount and marketing support).

Your goal should also be closely tied to your high-level business goals. For example, suppose the company is trying to move upmarket . In that case, your goal might be "Acquire 20 Enterprise logos" rather than "Sell X in new business" (because the latter will encourage you to solely chase deals rather than focus on the right type of customers).

Of course, you'll probably have more than one goal. Identify the most important, then rank the rest by priority.

If you have territories, assign a sub-goal to each. That will make it easier to identify over- and under-performers.

Lay out your timeline too. Having regular benchmarks lets you know if you're on track, ahead, or behind in meeting your targets.

Suppose your sales goal for the first quarter of the year is selling $30,000. Based on last year's performance, you know January and February sales are slower than March.

With that in mind, your timeline is:

You should also write in the DRIs if applicable. For example, maybe Rep Carol's January quota is $5,000. Rep Shane, who's still ramping, has a $3,000 monthly quota. On a smaller team, this exercise helps people avoid replicating each other's work and shifting blame around if targets aren't met.

10. Set your budget.

Describe the costs associated with hitting your sales goals. That usually includes:

Compare the sales plan budget to your sales forecast for accurate budgeting.

If you want to take your plan to the next level, read on to learn some tips for creating a highly effective sales plan.

We've gone over what you should include in a sales plan, including some examples and mockups.

Learn some tips and tricks for creating a sales plan that helps you hit target numbers and exceed your higher-ups' expectations.

You can create a few different types of sales plans for your organization. Here are some examples.

30-60-90-Day Sales Plan

sales-training-template

Download Now: Free Sales Training Template

This general sales plan is defined not by theme but by time frame. You'll create three goals: one for the 30-day mark, another for the 60-day mark, and the last for the 90-day mark. You can choose to focus on quotas or reduce customer churn by a certain percentage.

Consider this plan if you're new to the role since you can use it to track your progress during your first ninety days . A 30-60-90 day plan can also be useful for a new business that's still figuring out its sales goals.

Peggy Ratcliff McKee, an executive career coach at Career Confidential, describes the 90-day plan as "a great starting point… [where] you may end up speeding up your goals or extending them depending on the specific needs of your new company."

Marketing-Alignment Sales Plan

sla-template-marketing-sales-alignment

In many ways, a traditional sales plan is already aligned with marketing. Still, you can create a marketing-alignment sales plan if your organization has not yet aligned both of these departments.

The plan's focus will be on establishing ideal customer profiles and buyer personas and aligning marketing's messaging with sales' product pitch. A strong marketing-sales alignment ensures everyone within your organization is on the same page and reduces miscommunication down the line.

Business Development Strategic Sales Plan

growth-strategy

Download Now: Free Strategic Business Planning Template

A strategic sales plan for business development will focus on attracting new business to your company by networking with other companies, sponsoring events, and doing outreach. In your sales plan, you'll want to choose the right KPIs that best reflect performance for these specific outreach channels.

Business development is imperative for long-term success because it will help your organization better understand your industry's competitive landscape and strategize on how to stand out. Plus, it ensures that everyone at your company is working toward a common goal.

Market Expansion Plan

marketing-strategy-template-free

Download Now: Free Marketing Plan Template

A market expansion plan outlines a task list and target metrics when expanding into a new market or territory. This type of sales plan is specifically concerned with addressing a target market in a new geographical area.

You'll typically take into account distribution costs and, if applicable, time zone differences between your sales representatives and target buyers, as well as other logistical factors.

New Product Sales Plan

product-marketing-kit

If you're launching a new product, create a sales plan specifically to generate revenue from the new launch. It'll be crucial to carry out competitive analysis, determine a sales strategy, strengthen your brand positioning, and secure channel partners if you're shifting to a channel sales model.

Strategic Sales Plan Examples

If you're in need of some more inspiration, take a look at these sales plan examples.

1. Sales Plan Template by HubSpot

hubspot sales plan template

We've created a sales plan template that outlines the key elements of a sales plan. This template will walk you through each of the steps to write a sales plan of your own.

Our plan allows you to easily communicate to your organization what your goals are, how you'll accomplish them, and what support you need.

2. Sample Sales Plan by BestTemplates

Sample Sales Plan Template example: BestTemplates

A sales plan doesn't need to be hundreds of pages long. Try consolidating your sales plan to a page or two. This template is an excellent example of making it short and sweet while still communicating the most important elements of the plan.

In landscape mode, this strategic sales plan includes a channel, expected costs and sales, distribution strategy, and key performance indicators in an easy-to-read grid layout.

5. Online Sales Plan Maker Map by Venngage

sales action plan example: Venngage with colored bars for each category

We love 30-60-90 day plans because it allows you to set a realistic pace for accomplishing your goals, whether they are short- or long-term.

This sales plan does some of the work for you by outlining tasks related to your sales goals. You can check off boxes as you complete each item to ensure you're creating a sound sales strategy.

10. Microsoft Word Sales Plan Template from TemplateLab

sales plan example: TemplateLab with colored sections for goal, action step, party responsible, and date

Look ahead at your sales strategies for the next 90 days using this sample sales plan. In this document, you'll be able to break your sales plan down into phases, tasks, and key questions for your sales goals. The final section is a mind map for your sales process and pipeline strategies, which is especially great for brainstorming.

Create a Sales Plan that Grows with Your Business

There's no one-size-fits-all sales plan. The only wrong way to use a sales plan is to write it at the start of the year or quarter and never touch it again. You should periodically review and update it as time goes on to ensure you're focused and on track. By continuously improving on your plan, you can ensure your company generates revenue more effectively than it ever did in the past.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in December 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Sales Plan: 7 Steps to Creating one that Grows Your Pipeline

Sales plan

A sales plan is the first step towards defining your sales strategy , what your sales goals are and how you’re going to reach them.

You need to formalize who your target audience is, how your team will be structured, what types of reps you will hire, what communications and measurement tools you’ll use, your revenue goals and how you will measure performance.

A refined sales plan is a go-to resource for your reps. It helps them better understand their role, responsibilities, targets, tactics and methods. Done right, it empowers your reps to perform at their highest level. Because it’s loaded with detailed strategies and best-practices, your reps can consistently refer back for ongoing support.

In this article, we’ll outline what a sales plan is, why it’s important to create one and exactly what you should include in your own plan.

What is a sales plan and why create one?

Your sales plan is a roadmap that outlines how you’ll hit your revenue targets, who your target market is, the activities needed to achieve your goals and any roadblocks you may need to overcome along the way.

Many business leaders see the sales plan as an extension of the traditional business plan. The business plan contains strategic and revenue goals across the organization, while the sales plan lays out how to help achieve them within the sales organization.

An effective sales plan must communicate the following information:

Before we explore these areas in more depth, you must understand the benefits a sales plan brings. By understanding its purpose, you can more effectively communicate and secure boardroom buy-in.

Sales plan steps

The benefits of a sales plan

Most salespeople are driven by action. Because they focus on getting the job done by any means necessary, planning often gets neglected in favor of short-term results.

While this may help them hit quota, the downside is it’s unpredictable. Sales processes should be treated as a system with steps that can be optimized. If reps are doing wildly different things, it’s hard to uncover what’s working and what’s not. A good sales plan can keep them on track using repeatable systems.

This also means that everyone will work toward the same outcome. For example, if £250,000 worth of new business is your “true north” goal for next quarter, you can collaborate and ensure you achieve it together.

As you uncover the activities and methodologies that work best, you can refine your plan and flesh these out into playbooks. Adopt several different sales methodologies across the sales pipeline , focusing on activities that move the needle. Why? Because some methodologies work better than others in certain situations and reps may encounter various scenarios through the buying journey.

Each methodology should guide your reps on what to do throughout the sales process and how to push the deal along. The right methodology will meet your buyer’s needs and ease them through the pipeline.

For example, a SPIN Selling methodology is great for uncovering prospects’ pain points and getting to the heart of the problem, so it works best in the early discovery and qualification stages of the sales process. On the other hand, a Consultative Selling approach helps you reframe how your product or solution will uniquely solve problems, making it ideal for the later intent and evaluation stages.

Your sales plan should also shine a light on the tools and talent you need to adopt and nurture. Uncover answers to the following questions:

In order to answer these questions accurately, you must collect the right information and data. Your plan is likely to fail if you make assumptions about customer needs and market conditions.

Tailored sales plans for different functions

What period of time should your sales plan cover? Which functions and departments should it apply to? Each organization and function is different. When creating your sales plan, you have two options:

The direction you choose will depend on your headcount and how complex each function is. For example, if you have a sales development team with a large headcount (including managers), then having a dedicated sales plan is justified.

While the content will vary for each function, the framework will remain the same. With this in mind, let’s explore the seven components of an effective sales plan.

1. Company mission and positioning

No matter their function or seniority, everyone in your organization must work toward the same goals.

This means understanding what your organization is trying to achieve, and where in the market you position yourself.

To understand this, sales leaders must be involved in all areas of the business strategy. Collaborating and working toward the same goals is impossible if they’re determined by only a select group of stakeholders.

Let’s assume you’re a sales director who has joined an organization to lead their sales efforts. To fully familiarize yourself with the company’s positioning, take the following steps:

This insight can provide context around how your company is currently positioned in the market. You’ll get to see what influences this information, providing you with your customer’s perspective.

Finally, speak with the team that was in charge of defining the company positioning. Come armed with a list of questions, and use this time to find out why they made certain decisions. Here are some examples:

How to communicate mission and positioning

Within this section of the sales plan, include the following information:

sales plans goals and targets

2. Goals and targets

Now you know what your company stands for and why it exists in the market, you must define your revenue goals and other targets that sales are responsible for.

As mentioned earlier, sales goals are usually aligned with business goals. Revenue goals are established in the boardroom and it’s your job to achieve them.

This is why sales leaders and chief revenue officers (CRO) are a critical piece of the boardroom puzzle. They have the performance insights that will drive achievable goal-setting (and what it takes to achieve them).

Revenue goals will shape your sales strategy, use them to reverse engineer quotas, sales activity and the staff you need to execute them.

Use data on sales activity and past performance to calculate sales targets. You should break this down by pipeline stage and activity conducted by reps across all functions.

For example, how many cold emails does it take to generate a deal? What is the average LTV of your customer? Breaking down these numbers allows you to accurately forecast what it will take to achieve your new revenue goal.

It will also reveal the expertise needed for each activity, along with any required changes to your organizational structure (which we’ll explore in the next section).

How to communicate goals and targets

Your sales plan must clearly state the revenue goal everyone is working toward. This will ensure all team members are working together on the same page.

Break this revenue goal down further into sales targets and activity targets for your team. These might include:

Include targets for the time it takes to act on each activity. For example, past performance might indicate a higher appointment rate when lead response time is less than five hours. Using this insight, you can define service-level agreements (SLAs) for each activity.

Next, define targets for other metrics. This includes win rate and conversion rates between pipeline stages.

Activities are the specific actions you and your reps can control, while sales targets are the results provided by those activities. By setting goals for both, you can optimize each activity to further move the needle as you execute on your sales plan.

9 steps to creating the perfect sales strategy (with free template)

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3. Sales organization and team structure

With your goals defined, you can work on identifying the talent and expertise needed in order to achieve them.

Who you hire will depend on your business model and the activities needed to reach your goals. For example, a marketing agency that depends on strong relationships will benefit more from a business development executive than an SDR.

Use the targets established in the previous section to identify who you need to hire as part of your organizational structure. For example, if the average sales development rep can send 20 cold emails a day, and you need to send 200 in order to achieve your goals, you’ll need around ten reps in order to hit your targets.

Micromanaging should be avoided , but now is a good time to ask your existing teams to report on the time spent on certain activities. By keeping a timesheet, you’ll have an accurate forecast on how long certain activities take and the capacity of each rep.

How to communicate your sales organization and team structure

This section of your sales plan must justify who you need on your team and the budget required to hire them. Use the targets and activity-driven metrics mentioned in the previous section to quantify these needs.

Get specific by including the following information:

Include the information for each team member in a table in your sales plan. Example:

Sales development representative role

Visualizing each role helps all stakeholders understand who they’re hiring and the people they’re responsible for. It gives them an opportunity to collaborate on the plan and identify the responsibilities and qualities critical in ideal candidates.

4. Target audience and customer segments

A sales plan is useless without knowing who to sell to. Having clearly defined customer personas and segments is critical for success.

Start with your target account criteria. Include the following information to clearly define which companies you’re looking to attract:

Collect as much insight as you can around their organizational challenges. This may include growth hurdles, hiring bottlenecks and even barriers created by legislation.

Within those target accounts are your buyers. These individuals have a need for your product and service, each with their own challenges and goals. The way you sell to each buyer will vary, even when they’re within the same organization.

How to communicate target audience and customer segments

Well-documented customer personas fueled by customer insights will help you steer your sales plan in the right direction. Strong personas include the following customer insights:

These insights will change as your business grows. Enterprise companies may wish to revisit their personas as they move upmarket. For startups, your target audience will evolve frequently as you find product-market fit.

It’s important to constantly revisit this part of your sales plan. Even if your goals and methodologies are the same, always have your finger on the pulse of your customer’s priorities.

Sales plan strategies

5. Sales strategies and methodologies

With the groundwork laid out, you can begin defining your sales approach. This includes the strategies, techniques and methodologies you’ll use to get your offering out to market.

This part of your sales plan may end up being the largest. It will outline every practical area of your sales strategy, including:

Start by mapping out each stage of your sales process. What are the steps needed to guide a prospect through your deal flow?

Traditionally, sales stages are broken down into nine categories:

Not all of these stages will be relevant to your organization. For example, a SaaS company that relies on inbound leads may do much of the heavy lifting during the initial meeting and demo.

Map out your sales process to identify each step. Get together with other stakeholders to figure out what it takes to close new deals. Your sales map should look something like this:

Sales process diagram

How to communicate sales strategies and methodologies

At this stage, many of your playbooks may not exist. The purpose of the plan is to forecast what you’ll need in order to achieve your new goals.

Break each sales stage down into separate activities, along with the stakeholder who is responsible for them.

With your sales activities laid out, you can research the techniques and methodologies needed to execute on them. For example, if you sell a complex product with lengthy sales cycles, you could adopt a SPIN selling methodology to identify pain-points and craft the best solution for leads.

To summarize, each stage must be broken up into the following sections:

Finally, use these activities and stages to form your sales playbooks. This will help you structure your training plan, providing a reference that reps can rely on for guidance.

6. Sales execution plan

You have the “who” and the “what.” Now you must figure out “when” your sales plan will be put in place.

A structured sales execution clearly communicates when key milestones will be reached. It must outline when certain projects and activities will be complete, as well as recruitment timelines across each quarter.

The order in which you implement your plan will also depend on your priorities. Many sales organizations prefer to front-load the activity that will make a bigger impact on the bottom line.

For example, upon analyzing your current sales process and strategy, you may find your existing customers are a rich source of qualified leads. Therefore, it would make sense to prioritize account management activities that nurture more of these relationships using a structured referral program.

You must also consider how recruitment will affect workload across the rest of your team. Hire too quickly, and you may end up spending more time getting new reps up to speed and neglecting your existing team. This can make a big impact on culture and deal flow.

How to communicate your sales execution plan

By prioritizing each activity and goal, you can create a plan that balances short-term results with long-term investment.

Segment each stage of your plan by month and quarter. Start with a rough schedule detailing ballpark deadlines. This should include key hires, process implementation and any one-off projects that need completing.

Collaborate on this schedule with the boardroom before setting it in stone. Get all stakeholders involved in deciding when tasks should be completed. When applying this to your sales plan, use GANTT charts and tables to visualize projects and key milestones.

7. Measuring performance and results

Finally, your plan must include details on how performance is measured. Outline your most important sales metrics and activities, along with the technology needed to track them.

Performance metrics can indicate the effectiveness of your entire sales process. Your chosen metrics typically fall into two categories:

The metrics you select must closely align with your goals and sales activities. For example, at the appointment setting stage, you might measure the number of demos conducted.

Each team needs its own sales dashboard to ensure they’re hitting their targets. Sales development reps will have different priorities to account executives, so it’s critical they have the tools to focus on what’s important to them.

How to communicate sales performance metrics

Structure this part of your plan by breaking down each sales stage. Within these sections, list out the metrics needed to ensure you’re running a healthy sales pipeline.

Assign each metric to a member of your team, ensuring they’re measured against them as KPIs. For example, a sales rep could be measured against:

Doing this will help you run a smooth operation as soon as you implement your new sales plan. Finally, research and evaluate the technology needed to accurately measure these metrics. A good CRM is the best system to use for bringing your data together.

Final thoughts

An effective sales plan is an invaluable asset for your sales team.

Writing it helps you to define your sales strategy, targets, metrics and processes, while distributing it helps your reps understand what is expected of them and how to reach their goals.

That’s because providing supportive, comprehensive resources is the best way to motivate your team and inspire hard work. When you do the work to build a solid foundation, you equip your reps with everything they need to succeed.

sales business plans templates

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How to Write a Sales Plan

This guide explains the purpose of a sales plan, what it contains and how to write one that works for your business. it also includes a free template for your own sales plan..

Every business needs a business plan as well as more detailed road maps that offer guidance to each department working toward that common goal. As the revenue-generating engine of your company, the sales department should be a top priority for this type of document, aptly named the “sales plan.” This guide introduces the concept of a sales plan and gives you all the guidance you need to create a sales plan that works for your business.

What is a sales plan?

A sales plan details the overall sales strategy of a business, including the revenue objectives of the company and how the sales department will meet those goals. This may also include revenue goals, the target audience and tools the team will use in their day-to-day. In addition, the sales plan should include examples of the hurdles and pain points the team might encounter, as well as contingency plans to overcome them.

“[A sales plan] is essential to support the growth of an organization,” said Bill Santos, vice president of the ITsavvy Advanced Solutions Group. “A sales plan helps individual reps understand the priorities of the business as well as the measurements by which they will be evaluated.”

Business plans vs. sales plans

Business plans and sales plans are closely linked. A sales plan, though, should outline the actions that the sales department will take to achieve the company’s broader goals. A sales plan differs from a business plan, though both work toward the same end.

“A business plan is a ‘what’ [and] a sales plan is a ‘how,'” said James R. Bailey , professor of management and Hochberg Professional Fellow of Leadership Development at the George Washington University School of Business. “Business plans are where a firm wants to go. A sales plan is a part of how they can achieve that. A business plan is direction; a sales plan is execution.”

For example, a software company that developed a new mobile application might state in its business plan that the app will be installed by 1 million users within a year of launch, while the sales plan describes how that will actually be achieved.

How to write a sales plan

Every sales plan should suit the individual needs of a different company, so they come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one-size-fits-all sales plan; the one you create will be unique to your business. With careful planning, you’ll have a much clearer vision of what you need to accomplish and a road map for how to get there. 

Chris Gibbs, vice president of global sales at Centripetal Networks, named some additional items that every sales plan should include.

“Sales plans are extremely important to ensure there is cohesiveness between product teams, sales and marketing,” Gibbs said. “In addition, they’re important for ensuring that timing of new products and/or new version releases coincide with sales objectives and forecasts.”

What are the steps to create a sales plan?

A sales plan is necessary for businesses of every size, from an individual entrepreneur to a Fortune 500 company. When you’re ready to actually write your sales plan, follow these steps:

1. Define the objectives. 

Clearly outlining your goals and stating your objectives should always be the first step in creating a sales plan or any other business venture. You should include the expected sales volume and any markets or territories you expect to reach. 

For example, let’s say you own a retail store selling household goods and electronics. If your purpose is to establish yourself as a trusted local retailer, ask yourself the following questions:

When you can precisely state your key objectives, you are setting yourself up to plan later steps around achieving your goals.

2. Assess the current situation.

The next step is to create an honest overview of your business situation in relation to the goal you set in the first step. 

Review your strengths and assets. Take a look at your resources and how you can apply them to your goal. This can include personal relationships and competitive advantages like new products or services.

For example, if your goal is to enhance your relationship with your customers, you’d need to ask yourself some questions to examine your current situation:

When examining your strengths and opportunities, conduct a SWOT analysis to get a clearer picture of where your business stands.

3. Determine and outline the sales strategies. 

Sales strategies are the actual tactics your team will use to reach customers. They can include marketing channels as well as procedures for lead generation and client outreach employed by your salespeople.

Here are two examples of potential sales strategies: 

4. Define roles for the sales team. 

Each member of the sales team should be assigned clear roles, whether they vary from person to person or everyone performs the same functions.

Defining the sales direction of the team is crucial, as it shows the focus of the company and helps the team target and execute sales most effectively.

The plan of attack for the sales team should be communicated clearly by leadership, whether it is from team leaders or the CEO.  

5. Inform other departments of sales objectives.

A sales plan shouldn’t just update a company president or C-suite; it should inform the whole organization of the sales team’s objectives. 

Clearly outline your plan for the rest of the company to help them understand the goals and procedures of the sales team. Other departments become more efficient when interacting with the sales team and clients. This also conveys a certain level of quality and professionalism to the clients about the company.

6. Provide tools for the sales team.

Provide the tools each member of the sales team needs to achieve the stated goals, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software. The best CRM software is customizable to meet a company’s needs, making it much easier for your team to use the software and work efficiently.

7. Detail how the department will track progress. 

Offer strategic direction and insight on how progress will be monitored. Having a quarterly review to assess whether the company is on target is just as important as the plan itself.

Markets change, and so should your sales plan. Keeping it up to date will help you capitalize on the market and achieve your goals. Tracking progress is made easier by the tools you use to collect data. That data will then have to be analyzed and presented in a way which all departments can understand and use for future growth. 

Key elements of a sales plan

Every sales plan should also include the following elements.

Realistic goals

You need to set achievable goals . Challenge your sales team, but don’t push too hard. Bailey said that these “deliverables” are among the key points to include in a sales business plan. 

“Deliverables need to be as specific as possible and moderately difficult to achieve – specific inasmuch as being measurable in a manner that is uncontested [and] moderately difficult inasmuch as making sales goals too difficult can lead to failure and discouragement.”

Midpoint goals also help build morale and keep the team working toward a larger goal. Instead of having one giant goal, creating smaller goals to achieve along the way will keep your team focused.

Set milestones that give you the opportunity to regularly determine whether you are on track to achieve your sales goals or need to make adjustments.

Sales tools

Tracking sales throughout the term is helpful, and you can employ tools to keep track of each team member as well as the department overall. It also helps establish a culture of accountability among salespeople.

“Tools can help, especially project management and CRM software,” Santos said. “Having a weekly cadence of update and review is also important, as it sends a message that ownership and updates are important.”

Clear expectations and a defined commission structure

Assign goals and responsibilities to each team member to make expectations clear. This is true whether or not each team member has the same goals.

“We meet with each individual to come up with a plan that works for them so that they can reach their goals,” said Leah Adams, director of client success at Point3 Security. “We measure results based on numbers. Each team member has his own plan and how they’re going to get there.”

It’s also necessary to spell out the commission structure in full detail.

“The only real difference is how sales count,” Bailey said. “In petroleum-based products … a few big clients are necessary. Compensation needs to be structured not just in contract value, but in graduated terms: Above $1 million, commissions move from 5% to 9%, and so forth. In smaller-volume enterprises, commissions might be front-loaded with higher percentages early, then graduated down. You have to reward what you want.”

Training programs

Along the way, some training might be necessary to maintain the momentum.

“What’s important to us is that we’re teaching these individuals to be the best salesperson they can be,” Adams said. “We help them do that by constantly training them and giving them knowledge of what’s going on in our industry. Everything stays on track because each member of the team knows their individual goal; though each person has a number, they also know the ultimate goal is for the entire team to hit.”

Adams said that an effective CRM keeps things organized and helps delegate tasks and responsibilities on a schedule that uses the company’s lead information.

Key steps to follow when devising a sales plan

Here are some best practices for creating a sales plan:

The benefits of a sales plan

A sales plan keeps the sales department on track, considering the details of how they must operate to hit their targets and achieve company objectives. Because the sales team is the primary driver of revenue, it is an incredibly important document. [Related article: Adopting a CRM? How to Get Buy-in From Your Sales Department ]

“It’s extremely important to have a sales plan in place, almost a must,” Adams said. “Without this plan, it’s almost impossible to get through the year and hit the company’s sales goals.”

It’s not uncommon to encounter obstacles along the way, however. A good sales plan accounts for that.

“Almost always, you’ll run into the speed bumps along the way, but with a plan in place, it makes it a whole lot easier to navigate through it all,” Adams said. “The sales plan allows you to adjust when necessary so the goal can still be hit. I strongly believe a plan allows you to stay in control and reduce the risk while being able to measure the team’s results along the way to that finish line.”

A solid sales plan helps you deal with unexpected events and acts as a benchmark for where your company is and where you want it to go.

Sales plan templates

Sales templates are helpful in that many of them are based on tried-and-true formats that have been used by businesses across several industries. They can also provide structure so that it is clear to each employee what their role and responsibilities are. 

Create your own sales plan by downloading our free template .

“A template helps plan each individual’s daily activities in a structured way,” Adams said. “If you know what each person is doing daily, it’s easier to help correct what’s going wrong. It helps with things like conversion rates, etc. Yes, these templates can be customized in any way a team’s manager sees fit, based on how he believes the team will perform better.”

Sales plans should be unique to the company; however, there are key components they should always include. Because there is somewhat of a formula, you can use a template.

Templates are extremely helpful, Gibbs said. “It creates uniformity for the team, as well as a yearly or quarterly sales plan to present to senior management.”

Gibbs added that templates can easily be customized to meet the needs of a particular business or sales team.

Keeping your team on track with a sales plan

Planning is vital for any business, especially when dealing with sales targets. Before selling your product or service, you must outline your goals and ways to execute them. Essentially, a sales plan enables you to mitigate problems and risks. When there is a clear plan of action, you will know how to proceed in order to attain your goals. 

Enid Burns contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

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9 Stunning Sales Business Plan Templates to Close Your Next Deal

9 Stunning Sales Business Plan Templates to Close Your Next Deal

Written by: Orana Velarde

9 Stunning Sales Business Plan Templates to Close Your Next Deal

When sales and marketing teams work together, amazing things can happen for a business. Take, for example, the creation of an integral sales business plan that covers not only the goals the team aspires to but also all the data to support the actions, timelines, roadmaps and org charts.

Your business plan for sales and marketing activities is the guideline by which both teams undertake their tasks, aiming for a common goal. Creating a sales business plan collaboratively can help the teams see the big picture faster and be ready for any eventuality along the way.

In this guide, we will share nine business plan templates to help you build the perfect plan for your teams to work with. Share it digitally with your sales and marketing teams; they will be more productive and close more deals.

Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

What is a sales business plan, what is the sales business planning process, what goes in a sales business plan template, 9 business sales plan templates.

A sales business plan—sales plan for short—is a document or presentation that defines the strategies your team will undertake to close deals, retain clients and bring in new leads. With a business plan , sales are contrastingly better overall.

Each section defines the steps toward hitting milestones and achieving goals. It lays a forecast for all activities that have to do with selling and hitting sales targets. The team members that benefit the most from a sales business plan are the sales reps and marketing strategists. It gives them all a vision of the big picture, a mission to aim for and a roadmap to achieving the goal.

To create a business plan for sales activities, follow an industry-standard format and add your team's unique content plus the company’s branded elements. Build a sales action plan based on your strategies and goals, backed up by your chosen sales business plan template.

Here’s the path to take:

1. Figure out the scope

First, you need to know the scope of possibilities for the sales business plan you’re working on.

To figure this out, you need to answer these questions:

This is the perfect opportunity to use mind maps . Visualizing your scope with mind maps makes it easy for you to organize the information and communicate it with everyone. And if you want to gather ideas from your sales team, brainstorming is the way to go.

Read this article to learn how to maximize your brainstorming meetings using online whiteboards.

Brainstorm the sales plan with your team using Visme’s infinite whiteboard . The infinite whiteboard supports real-time collaboration and has more than enough space for you to lay out all the information.

Once you’ve mapped out your scope, create an outline for the overall plan. The outline will be the foundation for the pages and sections in your sales business plan. The next section about, “What goes in a business plan” includes a list of essential sections that will help create a business plan for sales.

sales business plans templates

2. Organize the team and roles within the team

Part of the planning includes organizing a group of people that will work together to meet the goals laid out in the plan. Create a branded org chart visualizing team roles and responsibilities. Include this chart on a page in your sales plan; make it part of the process.

Using hotspots and hyperlinks, connect each team member's photo to their task list on monday.com or your favorite productivity platform.

Do you need more people to achieve the goals you’re pitching? Use this template to assign roles and tasks to team members

Yearly Team Assignments Gantt Chart

3. Collect all information, analysis and data in one digital location.

No plan gets anywhere without data. Research, analysis, and investigation are your best friends at this point. Collect all the data you need and organize it in an accessible way. This will help immensely when building the sales plan .

Gather raw data about your current sales activities and performance, competitors, user persona, target market, industry analysis and more. Keep all visual documentation and relevant research samples inside a folder in your Visme workspace and name it accordingly.

Give access to those folders only to people involved in the project. The permission settings are in the brand controls for your workspace.

When you take advantage of the workspace organization features in your Visme account, you can plan your team's activity productively.

4. Set up a branded template

Are you regularly creating the same document more than once to share with different people? Branded templates are your secret weapon for any visual asset creation task. It saves time and serves as the guideline for all future versions of that document.

Applying your brand to industry templates is simple. First, pick one of our professionally designed templates, and then use our intuitive editor to change the color scheme, fonts and other design elements. You can also create a master layout to control fonts and logo placements.

Better yet, try Visme's Brand Wizard feature . Input your website URL and follow the steps. In the end, you’ll have a full set of templates with your brand colors and fonts.

sales business plans templates

5. Create each page in the document/slide in the deck

Transfer content from the outline to the document section by section. Analyze and customize the visualization of each slide or page so it's optimized for the story you will tell. Yes, even sales plans can use storytelling techniques to be functional and effective. It’s the single most important communication tool in your arsenal.

Customize the sections, pages and slides with all the design elements available inside your Visme editor. Tap into all the interactive features to create an interactive sales business plan experience or make your digital PDF more engaging.

Take note of all the pages and slides as you create them to help you build the "table of contents" page. Use hyperlinking to let readers navigate the sales business plan however they wish.

6. Collaborate with the team

Involve the teams from the start. Task them with providing information or creating sections of the plan that pertain to their sector. Create the pages together, tag team members and leave comments to share information.

Ask managers for feedback through the Visme workspace; send them a live link to the project where they can leave notes and comments for edits.

Use a template to create an org chart that explains and details everyone’s role in the plan moving forward. When you make the process, plan and action collaborative, the team culture is strengthened. It’s a win-win in all directions.

7. Finalize and Share Your Plan

Take care of the last edits and proofread all the content. Double-check all image permissions and finalize all the layouts. Now that all the slides or pages are ready, it’s time to share and present the finished project. Use Presenter Studio to add a personalized message to the sales plan presentation, which is ideal for remote teams.

How do you wish to share the sales business plan with your team? Please don’t say you’ll print it.

Digital is the way to go. Also, any degree of interactivity, even as small as an animated icon, warrants the use of the digital option. In the settings tab, publish your Visme project to the web and generate a live link to share with anyone you wish.

Download or share your sales business presentation as a video, a flip book, an interactive PDF or an interactive digital experience. All of these and more are possible with Visme.

There are templates, and then there are branded templates. A regular template has a color palette chosen by our designers for anyone to use. A branded template has all your company colors and fonts ready to fill up with content and finalize.

Moving on to the actual slides or pages in a sales business plan template, here’s a comprehensive list. These apply to a document or presentation format of a top-down sales business plan.

Start with the stunning cover page, then follow up with an interactive table of contents and other pages such as:

In the rest of the pages, provide more details about these key sections:

Here’s the collection of templates you’ve been looking for. They are available in different selling styles covering an array of industries. Simply add your brand content with elements of storytelling to make it unforgettable.

These business sales plans are a great starting point for sales managers looking for more templates to use with their team.

1. New Product Sales Plan

Plan the sales strategy for a new product with a new product sales plan template. Put together a strategy to place the new product in front of existing clients and new prospects. Look at the data from previous campaigns and use it as the foundation for future product launches and sales plans.

The document-style sales business plan template below has all the pages you need to share information about the products, the goals, the KPIs to follow and the team in charge of getting it all done. Finally, there are data pages for the budget and market analysis.

sales business plans templates

2. SaaS Sales Plan

SaaS companies need effective sales plans to grow their client base and increase quarterly revenue. A comprehensive sales plan for a SaaS company needs specific sections for each item and clear strategies for reaching team goals. Link to the materials the sales team will use, like sales playbooks and surveys .

This sales business plan template designed especially for SaaS companies concentrates on the strengths, opportunities and unique selling points. The color blocks and data widgets offer a quick overview of the foundation, goals and team in charge of taking care of it.

sales business plans templates

3. 30-60-90-day Sales Plan

This 30-60-90 plan is based on the idea of time. The strategies in the plan are laid out in three sections of one month each. Roadmaps have a timeframe, and there are three sets of goals. The purpose is to integrate new technology better or train a new sales rep into the team.

Get the most from your 30-60-90 sales business plan with the template below. Each page concentrates on the dedicated time period explaining everything expected from the employee or the team.

sales business plans templates

4. Territory Sales Plan

Territory sales business plans are based on a specific geolocation or localization where the sales will occur. You need this type of sales plan if your company has client bases in different areas of the country or world. Culturally, each location can have different approaches and sales tactics. Use the dynamic fields feature to reuse territory sales presentations and easily change the location information.

Across nine pages in a purple color scheme, this territory sales plan is ready for your team’s detailed strategic planning. Create a document per location, or use interactivity to create hotspots that change the data or information according to the reader’s choice.

sales business plans templates

5. Business Development Sales Plan

Strategic business development can mean increasing client reach, improving business partnerships and many other business activities that increase revenue. Using this business development sales plan, your team can strategize different approaches to achieve positive goals.

In the business development sales plan template below, you’ll find all the graphic organizers that'll help your team see the big picture across different factors. Create timelines, Gantt charts and roadmaps to organize tasks and measure goals.

sales business plans templates

6. Market Expansion Sales Plan

Expanding the market is a large part of many sales strategies. And it also needs a solid sales business plan for the team and higher-ups to know what they can expect. To expand your target market efficiently, you’ll need to do a lot of research. All the data you collect goes on the pages of the market expansion sales plan in attractive data visualizations and infographic layouts.

Get inspired to set bold market expansion goals with this colorful and clean-cut template design. Each page has a specific function and purpose, and charts and data visualizations grace the pages without visual obstacles. This template is great for fast and easy information sharing.

sales business plans templates

7. Revenue-based Sales Plan

The name of this sales plan says it all. The entirety of this plan stems from revenue-how much there is, how much the company wants, and how to get it. These are ideal for sales teams that separate the big picture into actionable parts.

Your team can create an actionable sales plan that moves the needle forward with the template below. The angled leading lines on each page take the reader on a visual journey across goals and timelines to succeed. Part of the plan is to inspire the team members and stakeholders to believe in the process and work together.

sales business plans templates

8. Real Estate Sales Plan

In real estate, you’ll have to plan strategies for your agents and teams to follow together. Real estate agents must work with the marketing team to be on the same page about messaging, strategies and goals. With a sales plan, you can put it all together into one.

In this template, all the marketing, prospecting and target market calculations work together to improve your sales strategies. Improve revenue for the agency, the agents and the homeowners by planning strategically.

sales business plans templates

9. Sales Training Plan

New sales reps perform better when their onboarding and training are inspiring and motivating. Plan your training and onboarding strategies and create better company culture using this template. Instruct new hires in the systems and explain timelines of expected performance during the probation and orientation phase.

The choice of color palette and design elements is important for telling the story of your sales training plan. Cover both high and low levels of the sales process by training efficiently. Plan how to train and get results.

sales business plans templates

Create Your Sales Business Plan With Visme

Jumping right into a project isn’t always the best idea; you won’t be prepared for the obstacles and hurdles. Every layer of your sales stack should be potentially planned and brainstormed for optimal results.

This is where sales business plans come into play. With well-designed and personalized plans, you create meaningful connections with prospects, turning them into loyal clients.

Create an interactive sales business plan to engage your team in a shared journey toward a common goal. Designate roles and link them together in the sales plan and your productivity platform so everyone is always on track.

Visme has plenty of features to help you and your team close deal after deal. Not only can you create a sales business plan collaboratively, but you can also brainstorm, create other content, share it online, track performance and keep all assets organized within your workspace. Make your team more efficient at creating visual content at every level of your organization using our third-party integrations .

Easily put together winning sales business plans in Visme

sales business plans templates

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sales business plans templates

About the Author

Orana is a multi-faceted creative. She is a content writer, artist, and designer. She travels the world with her family and is currently in Istanbul. Find out more about her work at oranavelarde.com

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Create a Sales Plan That Actually Works (Tips + Template)

sales plan

True success always starts with a plan. And for sales success, nothing beats a strategic sales plan.

Designed specifically to help your sales team drive more sales, a sales plan can show you where you’re at, where you want to be, and even more important, how to get there.

The question, of course, is how to create a sales plan that actually impacts sales. Keep reading for tips and a template to quickly and confidently create a strategic sales plan for your business.

Table of Contents

What is a sales plan, what is included in a sales plan, sales plan examples: there’s no one right way, the benefits of a sales plan, how to write a sales plan, 7 tips to help you create a sales plan, sales strategy template, selling your sales plan, final remarks.

A sales plan is a strategy document that lays out a company’s plan for improving sales results in a specified time period. A sales plan makes it possible for everyone on the sales team to see the big picture, share the same overall objectives, and work the same plan to achieve them.

It usually includes:

A sales plan covers a lot of important aspects of business growth: revenue goals, selling methods and metrics, target customers, current sales force capabilities, and more.

Specifically, it covers 9 pieces of strategic information.

1. Executive Summary and Scope of The Sales Plan

This section gives a short summary of the document, focusing on goals and the strategies to achieve them. It also states the specific period and other parameters covered by the plan.

2. Business Goals and Revenue Targets

This section clearly establishes revenue targets and may include associated business goals (e.g., optimize lifecycle value through customer success programs, etc). Classifying revenue figures based on different categories (such as line and territory) helps clarify the document.

3. Review of Prior Period Performance

This section presents a recap of the prior period’s performance, identifying mistakes as well as decisive actions that led to a positive outcome. The overarching goal is to optimize the sales plan by adopting inputs and techniques that work.

4. Market and Industry Conditions

This section provides a summary of the market trends that have a high likelihood of influencing sales performance.

5. Strategies, Methodologies, and Tactics

This section recommends the best selling techniques, communication sequences, and playbooks for the specific company.

6. Customer Segments

This section cites all the potential revenue-generating, omnichannel opportunities available for the brand, such as the following:

The document should describe new segments of the addressable market when they arise.

7. Team Capabilities, Resources, and Upgrades

This section provides a summary and describes the current state of all production inputs (human resources, tech software, specialized sales team, etc.,) required to process and close sales details.

8. Action Plan For Teams and Individuals

This section assigns tasks, activities, and responsibilities to different teams and individuals. Tasks include prospecting activities, meeting appointments, and product demos/presentations.

9. Performance Benchmarks & Monitoring

This section lays out performance metrics to track the systems and processes that help monitor these metrics.

What usually comes to mind when you think about sales plans?

If you’re like most people, it’s the annual sales plan or weekly sales plan — broad strategic and tactical documents mapping out the plan for everything sales-related.

But there are as many different types of sales plans as there are needs for a sales plan.

We’ll go over a few sales plan examples to get you started in the right direction.

30-60-90-day Sales Plan

There’s the 30-60-90-day sales plan. This is designed to help a new salesperson or sales manager get up to speed quickly in their first quarter on the job. The plan includes milestones they’d need to achieve at the 30th, 60th, and 90th day of their ramp-up.

Generally, the  30-60-90-day sales plan  can be broken down into 3 sections:

Day 1 to 30: 

Learn and understand everything you can about a company from their processes, customers, products, the competition to procedures.

Day 31 to 60:

Evaluate and put your plan into action. Analyze their current processes and assess changes.

Day 61 to 90:

Optimize and make the plan better. It is time to take action. Initiate an action plan. Implement any new strategies and procedures you’ve come up with.

Sales Plan For Specific Sales

A sales process involves using different tactics to approach and convert a prospect into a paying customer.

Another type of sales plan you’ll see a lot is an individual sales plan for specific sales tactics, such as prescribed call sequences,  email follow-up  frequency, and meeting appointments. This type of plan is similar to an annual/weekly sales plan, but it focuses on measuring and improving results for just one goal or task.

Territory Sales Plan

Meanwhile, sales managers who oversee a geo-location or region often use territory sales plans to give sales directors and VPs more visibility into their sales efforts.

This is a workable plan used to target the right customers and implement goals to increase the income generated and sales over time.

A good territory sales plan will:

Note: It is essential to work on your territory sales plan and avoid making constant changes. Unnecessary changes can tamper with your productivity and your ‘territory’ in general.

Sales Training Plan

And there are sales plans for every area of sales. Sales Enablement might have a sales training plan, for example, and  Revenue Ops  might have a sales compensation plan.

A sales training plan can be used as a roadmap for different sales training programs. It can be grouped according to positions held in an organization, assets, sales record etc.

A sales compensation plan is an umbrella for base salary, incentives and commission that make up a sales representative earnings.

Therefore, you can schedule a sales training plan to talk to your sales team about the importance of a sales compensation plan and how they can use it to increase revenue and drive performance.

Sales Budget Plan

Lastly, a sales budget plan gives you a  sales forecast  for a given period based on factors that could impact revenue — like industry trends and entry to a new market segment. Similar to a traditional sales plan, they cover the staff, tools, marketing campaigns, and other resources needed to generate the target revenue.

A good sales budget plan  should include the following:

Sales forecasting: 

The process of estimating future sales by predicting the number of units a salesperson or team can sell over a certain period, i.e. week, month, year, etc.

Anticipated expenses: 

Include the number of costs your team is likely going to incur. Remember to have even the smallest expenses to estimate the average sales.

Expect the unexpected: 

Always leave room for unforeseen circumstances in your sales budget. For example, new packaging expenses, new competitive market strategies etc.

A sales plan does deliver side benefits (such as promoting discipline and diligence), but it’s really about making sure your sales don’t dry up over time. Which means it’s not optional.

The reality is this: Most of us aren’t planners. We talk a good game, but nothing happens until we’re accountable.

Without a written plan, it’s just talk.

So the first benefit of a sales plan is that it helps you execute on all your best ideas. But that’s not all. A good sales plan will also help you:

A sales plan is a pretty straightforward document. It doesn’t need to be written in a formal language or pass your compliance review. It just needs to outline your plans for the coming period, whether that’s a year, a quarter, or a month.

While there are 9 sections in the sales plan template, much of the document simply validates your ideas. The most important pieces of information are:

1. Your goals

Setting smart goals for you and your team  is an essential part of creating a sales plan. I believe the biggest mistake you can make when setting goals is solely focusing on numbers.

Smart sales goals should be actively focused on. If it helps, use goal-setting and planning frameworks such as SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). Create goals that stretch your capabilities, but that seems doable based on your new strategy.

2. Your SWOT analysis

SWOT — short for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats — is one of the best frameworks for analyzing your sales team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths. It helps you to build a bulletproof wall around your plan.

You’ll be able to address what you’re lacking, the areas that need improvement, identify your USP (Unique Selling Point),  come up with Value-Based Selling , and your most vital points and how you can exploit them to your advantage.

3. Your strategy

Your sales strategy should be documented to help position your products and services to differentiate your solution from competitors.

A good strategy will help you address your customers’ needs in every stage of your sales plan. For better sales, you can balance  inbound and outbound sales strategies  for even higher sales.

4. Your tactics

Be aware, though, it’s not just a wish list or a collection of ideas. Your sales plan should be based on actual field data and only use benchmarks and quantities that are measurable. Be clear. Be specific. Be actionable.

Which brings me to another point: A good sales plan is realistic.

It’s fine to have a 5-year goal of hitting $10B. But what about now? Figure out exactly what your current numbers are, and set your targets based on those numbers.

I already mentioned that your sales plan doesn’t have to be a formal document. But it does need to be clearly written, so all team members and stakeholders understand the plan.

Tip #1: Base it on in-depth and up-to-date research

You need relevant  statistics  and trends in your niche, industry, and ideal customers. Remember, markets and customers are in a constant state of flux. There’s nothing worse than stubbornly chasing prospects who aren’t a good fit anymore while ignoring entire market segments that show a rising demand for your solutions.

Tip #2: Use data and statistics

Use the data from your in-depth research to identify problem areas, find points of opportunity in your sales process, and validate your assumptions and ideas.

You can also use the data to come up with accurate metrics and figures to help predict your sales plan’s outcome.

Tip #3: Verify your facts

Accuracy matters!

Don’t rush! Facts and figures are essential, especially to stakeholders. One simple mistake and your entire plan come tumbling down.

Ensure you take time to review your facts, figures, and forecasts before finalizing the document.

Tip #4: Get tactical

Break the overall sales action plan into tactical plans for individual areas of sales:

This may require collaboration with  cross-functional teams  such as marketing, customer support, and product teams.

Tip #5: Use Historical Performance Data

In sales, you can use the past to dictate the future. Historical data will help you set targets for the current period. For example, what were your previous revenue targets? Did you hit them? Why or why not? This information can help you set achievable goals for your current sales plan and know the mistakes to avoid.

Tip #6: List The Tracking Methods You’ll Use

Highlight the tracking methods you’ll use to keep your plan moving forward. That includes performance metrics, monitoring techniques, software, tools, and  selling strategies  for your business model.

Tip #7: Build a Strong Case For Your Proposed Budget

Stakeholders and superiors are impressed with cold-hard facts. Therefore, having a strong detailed case for your budget will help your sales plan smoothly sail through.

Not only will you outline your plans for the coming period for your budget, but you’ll also need to detail the costs. Be sure to include an ROI analysis for any new tools or talent you think you’ll need.

Are you ready to write your own sales strategy? Here is a sales plan template to help you get started. Here’s how to use the sales plan template to make it useful to you:

Start by using the Sales Plan Template we’ll give you in the next section. Just follow the prompts in the template, so you know what information is needed in each section. Don’t try to be fancy. Use simple language. Focus on being specific and clear.

Then share information in whatever format works best. That may be text paragraphs, tables, lists, charts, graphics, or screenshots. You can also adapt it as needed to suit your business, your sales team, and your needs.

A sales plan should contain the following sections:

1. Executive Summary

This is your opening ‘statement’. It is a formal summary that sum ups the contents of your strategy.

When writing your executive summary , keep it short, and precise. It should be one page or two. Ensure it gives an overview of what is included in your plan. It should talk about:

2. Business Goals With Revenue Targets

This section talks about the revenue target and associated business goals. You can  classify revenue figures  according to different categories to clarify the sales strategy.

For example, for each goal, you can enter the current outcome and targeted outcome as illustrated in the table below:

sales strategy template

3. Review of Past Performance

Take a trip down prior period performance . Note the mistakes that negatively affected the outcome and their strengths which positively impacted the general outcome.

Your goal is to identify the strategies and tactics that work.

4. Specific Strategies, Methods, and Playbooks

List the  specific sales strategies,  methods, and playbooks you’ll use to achieve the goals listed above.

5. Customer Segments/ Buyers Persona

This section talks about potential  revenue-generating streams  and different opportunities available for the company and new markets. Remember to include upsells, referrals, and renewals.

6. Team Capabilities and Resources

Here, provide a summary and describe the current  production inputs required in the sales process , i.e., human resources, specialized software, sales team, etc.

7. Action Plan

The action plan requires you to set  specific strategies and supporting tactics  that will be used to achieve a particular goal, i.e. new acquisition. Assign different activities and responsibilities to teams who will run that particular action.

Below is an example of an action plan table:

sales plan template

8. Sales Tools

Go ahead and list the  tools you’ll use to ensure the sales plan runs smoothly  and all sales processes will be managed using these tools.

sales business plans templates

9. Performance Benchmarks

This is the last section of your sales plan. It  lays out the performance metrics  to track the process systems to help and monitor these metrics.

Also, list and provide links to used sources. Explain how the report will be generated and stored. Finally, talk about how the report will be used to review the progress made.

sales plan example

Okay, your sales plan is written. Great! But you’re not done yet.

Your next step is to present it to the sales team, management, and stakeholders. That’s because you need buy-in to make it happen.

When your sales team is on board, they’ll be pumped about doing their assigned tasks. When management is on board, they’ll be excited about giving you the budget you need to turn your plan into a reality. With buy-in as your top priority, it’s important to be prepared to give a solid presentation. In other words, sell it.

One final note: There are lots of reasons you may not get everything you ask for. There may be plans in the works you don’t know anything about yet. Or the budget may need to favor another initiative.

If you don’t get the budget you asked for, be sure to update your sales plan accordingly. The goal is to stretch your team’s capabilities, not do the impossible.

Sales don’t happen without a good sales plan. Fortunately, they’re not as hard as they might seem.

Take your time identifying your biggest challenges and problem-solving to overcoming them. Once that’s done, your sales plan is simply the document that organizes your ideas.

What’s your biggest hang-up when it comes to creating a sales plan? Have you found any tricks that help? Let me know in the comments below.

Also published on Medium .

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Hi I hope to get import experience from you

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Max Altschuler is the founder and former CEO of Sales Hacker. He's authored two books - 1) Hacking Sales and 2) Sales Engagement, both published by Wiley. His work has been published in Forbes, Time, Inc, HBR, and the MIT Sloane Review. Now founder and GP at GTMfund.

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Sales | How To

How to Create a Sales Plan in 10 Steps (+ Free Template)

Jess Pingrey

REVIEWED BY: Jess Pingrey

Jess served on the founding team of a successful B2B startup and has used a wide range of sales and marketing tools over the course of her 15-year career. She uses her industry knowledge to deliver the best answers to your questions about sales tools and sales management.

WRITTEN BY: Bianca Caballero

Published October 7, 2022

Bianca is a staff writer at Fit Small Business who specializes in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.

This article is part of a larger series on Sales Management .

A sales plan lays out the necessary strategies, objectives, tools, processes, and metrics needed to hit your business’ sales goals. It doesn’t have to be particularly long, but it requires thought and research about your business, customers, and sales process. To create an action plan for sales, you need to understand the purpose of your business, who your ideal customers are, and what the sales process looks like from start to finish, among other steps.

Download and customize our free sales planning template and follow our steps to learn how to create a sales plan to reach your company’s revenue goals.

FILE TO DOWNLOAD OR INTEGRATE

Free Sales Plan Template

Sales Plan template cover

Thank you for downloading!

💡 Quick Tip:

Once you’ve created a sales plan, give your sales team the tools to execute it effectively with robust customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Use a CRM like HubSpot CRM to help your sales team collaborate on deals, develop sales reports, track deals, and create custom sales dashboards

1. Establish Your Mission Statement

A mission statement summarizing why you’re in business should be part of your action plan for sales. It should include a broad overview of your business’ products or services and your brand’s unique selling proposition. For example, you wouldn’t merely say, “We provide customers with insurance policies.” Instead, you might frame it as “We provide customers with cost-effective financial risk management solutions.”

It’s essential to fully understand your unique selling proposition before creating a mission statement. This allows you to learn why you’re different from competitors in your industry. It also helps you determine how your unique proposition is suited better to a niche market.

For instance, using the same insurance example above, you may realize certain markets are easier to sell based on that selling proposition. Therefore, you may narrow in on your mission statement by saying, “We provide startup businesses with cost-effective, financial risk management solutions.”

2. Set Sales Goals & Objectives

Once you have summarized why you’re in business in a mission statement, begin setting sales goals . Typically, business goals will include one-year, but may also include three- or five-year projections.

Here are a few options for how to set sales revenue goals for your business:

Pro tip: Projecting sales can be challenging when you don’t have the right sales forecasting model. Our free sales forecast templates enable you to create simple, long-term, budget-based, multiproduct, subscription-based, and month-to-month sales forecasts for your business. Some customer relationship managers (CRMs) like Freshsales have sales goal-tracking functionalities. You can also take advantage of this for easier setting and assignment of sales goals for your team.

Five-year sales forecast template example.

Five-year sales forecast template example (Source: Fit Small Business )

Freshsales sales goal tracking filter options.

Sales goal tracking in Freshsales (Source: Freshsales )

Sales goals must reflect both new business revenue and sales from existing or recurring customers. Then, you also need to add specific sales objectives that identify and prioritize the sales activities your team needs to complete to meet sales goals. This creates an objective way to measure success in hitting goals at all levels: organizational, sales department, team, and individual sales rep, which is an essential part of sales management .

For example, imagine you have a total revenue goal of $200,000 in year two and $300,000 in year three. You can then add an objective, such as stating you want your business’ revenue from existing customers to grow 15% in year three. This can be measured easily by evaluating your percentage of revenue from existing customers in year three compared to year two.

3. Determine Your Ideal Customer

Determining the ideal customer or target market is the next step of your business plan for sales reps. It may have been accomplished when you developed your mission statement, but also when you set your sales goals and discovered how broad your market needs to be to reach them. Describing your ideal customer helps dictate who you’re selling to and your selling approach.

One way to establish your ideal customer is by creating a series of unique customer profiles . Each profile specifies key demographics, behaviors, interests, job positions, and geographic information about one of your ideal buyer types. Based on your customer profiles, you can then develop more effective targeted marketing and advertising strategies for lead generation and nurturing to move leads through the sales process more efficiently and close more deals.

Pro tip: Making a customer persona can be challenging, especially if it is based on the wrong data or if you just focus on the demographics. HubSpot CRM’s free Make My Persona Tool makes it easier for you to build professionally designed buyer persona templates for your business campaigns.

4. Develop Sales Strategies & Tactics

A sales strategy explains how you plan to outsell your competitors and accomplish your sales goals. It defines specific, detailed tactics you and your team will use to pursue your sales goals. These may involve the use of Google Ads, cold calling, and drip email marketing campaigns as part of a lead generation strategy. Available strategies differ depending on your company’s resources, skill sets, sales operation, and product or service offerings.

Strategies and tactics should be personalized for your ideal customers based on their unique interests, behaviors, and the best ways to connect with them. For example, some customer profiles show your ideal buyer generally only makes purchases based on trusted referrals. In this case, you could implement a referral strategy that offers incentives to generate more referrals from customers.

Plus, different sales strategies will be needed to acquire new business vs keeping existing customers. When selling to existing customers, for example, your strategy could include cross-selling tactics where additional products are recommended based on prior purchases. The short-term cross-selling tactics could require customer service reps to send 30 emails per week recommending a complementary product to existing customers.

For a new business strategy, sales reps might rely on emotional selling methods when using cold calling as a tactic. Instead of product features, cold-calling scripts would be geared to evoke feelings that lead to buying decisions. Tactics could reflect the objective of having reps making 15 cold calls each week. They could use a script that opens with a story about how a purchase made a customer feel or how someone felt because they didn’t purchase the product.

Pro tip: Ensuring your strategies are properly executed requires excellent sales leadership and a healthy environment for sales reps to operate in. Our how-to guide for building a positive sales culture shows you how to create an environment that promotes high job satisfaction, low employee turnover, and profitability.

5. Implement Sales Tools

Your sales strategy template should reference the software, hardware, and materials you use to manage the sales operation and make each team member more efficient. One of the most notable tools to include is the customer relationship management (CRM) system your team uses to organize contact information, streamline sales tasks, and facilitate communication with customers and leads.

HubSpot CRM , for instance, makes it easy to organize information about leads, contacts, and deal opportunities. Additionally, from a HubSpot CRM lead profile, you can initiate a conversation with that contact by calling, emailing, or scheduling an appointment.

HubSpot CRM sample lead profile.

HubSpot CRM contact profile (Source: HubSpot )

CRMs are also used to monitor and report sales progress. For example, many have dashboards and functionality, such as alerts, which make it easy to identify where your team may be underperforming. These could also tell you which leads are most likely to convert and should be focused on. Sales information such as deals closed, revenue generated, and leads created can be presented in a detailed report .

These types of insights can also be shown on the CRM’s system dashboard . Pipedrive is an example of a CRM that has a customizable dashboard that displays both activity information and performance-based data. Activity data includes emails sent, received, and outstanding tasks to be completed. Performance-based data, on the other hand, includes deals lost or the average value of won deals.

Pipedrive’s customizable dashboard (Source: Pipedrive )

There are other sales enablement tools that can make your sales team more effective. These include voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone systems , lead generation platforms, email campaign tools, content creation platforms, and task automation software. Some of these tools can be found within CRM software or through CRM integrations and standalone applications.

In addition to technology tools, sales and marketing templates should be used to streamline outreach initiatives. Scenario-based, premade sales email templates , for instance, allow salespeople to have an email already crafted for their specific situation.

Creating and storing business proposal templates in your CRM also streamlines the contact procurement and business proposal generation process . This way, whenever a prospect says they’d like to receive a quote or you’re responding to a request for proposal, you already have a customizable template ready to go.

Pro tip: Effective cold-calling scripts sales reps can use as a guide when placing calls to new leads is a tremendous sales tool to include in your action plan for sales. Get started using our guide for writing a cold-calling script , which includes examples and free cold-calling script templates.

6. Develop Your Sales Funnel

Setting up a sales funnel within your sales strategy template lets you visualize the stages of the customer journey, from becoming aware of your business to purchasing from it. By creating and understanding the different statuses of your leads, you can track progress and determine how effective you’re at converting leads to the next stages in the funnel.

Using a sales funnel with conversion rates also makes it easier for you to adjust your sales strategies and tactics based on how effectively you’re getting leads through the funnel. For instance, let’s say you have 100 leads in the awareness stage of the funnel. You decide to cold call 50 of them and write a sales email to the other 50 to qualify leads by setting up a product demonstration.

After each campaign, you find you were able to qualify seven of the leads that were cold called and only two of the leads you had emailed. Based on these funnel conversion rates of 14% (7/50) from cold calling and 4% (2/50) from emailing, you would likely adjust your tactics to focus more on calling instead of emailing.

Do you need help creating a sales funnel for your business?

Our guide to creating a sales funnel shows the step-by-step sales funnel creation process and provides free templates and specific examples.

7. Create Your Sales Pipeline

Once your sales process’ sales funnel stages are identified, develop sales pipeline stages . These stages include your team’s sales activities to move leads through the funnel. For example, you need to get a lead from the sales funnel stage of brand awareness to showing interest in learning more about one of your services. To do this, you could add a sales pipeline activity like setting up a demo or presentation appointment through a cold call.

Adding your sales pipeline to your sales strategy is essential because it describes all the activities your sales reps need to do to close a sales deal. CRM systems like Freshsales allow you to create and track the stages of the pipeline for each lead or deal within the lead record.

Funnel view of Freshsales’ deal pipeline (Source: Freshsales )

Listing each pipeline stage also helps you identify tools and resources needed to perform the activities for each stage. For example, if you use phone calls to initiate contact with or introduce a product to a lead, you could develop outbound sales call scripts for your team to use.

After the initial contact by phone, you may use email to follow up after a call and then nurture leads throughout the sales process. As part of your follow-up, create and automate a sales follow-up email template to get them to the next pipeline stage.

The sales funnel indicates where a lead is in the sales process. The sales pipeline, on the other hand, lists activities needed to move leads to the next stage in the sales funnel. Both of them should be used in your sales strategy when defining the repeatable steps required to generate leads and close deals. Check out our article to learn how to create a winning sales process with insights on both creating a sales process and measuring its success.

8. Assign Roles & Responsibilities

Regardless of the size of your business or sales operation, your business plan for sales reps should include the role and responsibility of each person in the sales team. Each role should have a name, such as someone being a sales development representative (SDR). There should also be a summary of their responsibilities, such as “The SDR is responsible for setting up sales appointments using the activities listed in the sales pipeline.”

Measuring the performance of any sales position is simple through key performance indicators (KPIs). Specific KPIs should be used to measure performance for each role and should be included in your plan. Below are some examples of KPIs that can be used by sales role and their respective responsibility:

While assigning roles in your plan, a sales rep’s territory could be based on geography, industry, potential deal size, or product/service line, creating more specialization for better results. Our six-step process on proper sales territory management is an excellent resource for segmenting, creating, and assigning sales territories.

This section of the business plan is also a prime spot for setting sales quotas for each rep or team needed to hit your organizational sales goals. Sales quotas should be a specific KPI for that sales role and be set based on the experience, skill level, and resources of that individual or team. These quotas should also be based on your organizational, department, and team goals and objectives.

9. Set Your Sales Budget

The last section of the sales strategic plan will be the budget for your sales operation. It should account for salaries, commissions indicated in sales contracts , travel expenses, and the cost of any software tools or service providers used to help with sales and marketing. While these are meant to be estimates, research and due diligence should be done to avoid financial errors.

One way to set your sales budget, particularly for software tools and services you may be interested in, is to create and issue a request for proposal (RFP). Issuing an RFP allows you to post a summary of your needs to solicit proposals on potential solutions. In addition to providing accurate budget estimates from various qualified vendors and contractors, it may also help you discover cost-effective or high-performing options you were previously unaware of.

10. Monitor Progress & Adjust Accordingly

Once the strategic business plan is in motion, monitor its progress to make any required adjustments. For instance, while your sales operation is running, you may find certain sales tactics are working far better than expected, and vice versa. Your sales goal template should account for using that tactic more, as well as any new sales tools, budgetary changes, new roles, and possibly even a new sales goal.

As in the earlier example, if you found that cold calling was significantly more effective than emailing, reduce or abandon the email method in favor of cold calling. You could also invest in sales tools especially useful for cold calling, such as power dialing using a VoIP phone system, or hire additional staff to place calls. All of these will be part of your updated business plan.

Pro tip: Being able to focus on the big picture by creating, executing, and adjusting a strategic business plan is one of the most critical traits of being an effective sales leader. For more insights on what it means to be a sales leader and how to become one, check out our ultimate guide to sales leadership .

Sales Planning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. what is sales planning.

Sales planning is creating a document that outlines your sales strategy, objectives, target audience, potential obstacles, and tools to achieve goals within a specified time period. This may include your daily, monthly, quarterly, yearly, and long-term revenue objectives.

2. What is included in a sales plan?

A sales business plan typically includes the following key elements:

3. What are the different types of strategic sales planning?

The type of strategic planning for sales that you choose for your team ultimately depends on different factors. These include your revenue goals, available resources, the ability and bandwidth of your sales team, and your personal commitment to your plans. Once you have determined the details of these factors, you can choose from these types of strategic sales planning:

Bottom Line

While any business can set bold sales goals, creating a sales plan outlines how your team will achieve them. By following the best practices and 10-step process laid out above, your sales goal template defines what your sales process will look like, establishes baselines for accountability, and identifies optimal strategies and tactics as well as the tools needed to make your team as efficient as possible.

About the Author

Bianca Caballero

Find Bianca On LinkedIn

Bianca Caballero

Bianca Caballero is a subject matter expert at Fit Small Business who covers Sales and Customer service topics. Prior to working at FSB, she was in field sales and territory management. When she launched her career as a writer, she worked with companies from the US, Australia, and China. She gained expertise in writing and editing news, health, technology, and business articles. At present, she uses her decade-long writing experience to provide FSB readers with the best answers to their questions.

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The 11 Best Sales Plan Templates To Use Now

Jul 27, 2022

Sales plan templates

As a business leader, salesperson, or executive in a sales company, it’s important to recognize the importance of planning for success. A sales plan is arguably the most crucial tool that will enable you to prepare for the future of your business and how you can hit your business targets and goals. 

In this article, you’ll learn what a sales plan is, how to write one, and tips for creating an effective sales plan. This post also highlights the best sale plan templates for your company or business.

Creating your sales plan from scratch can be an intensive and time-consuming process, which is why you should consider using sales plan templates. The following are the best sales plan templates to get you started!

This free sales plan template by Hubspot is a detailed plan with multiple sections that allow you to outline your sales strategy in a simple, coherent manner. The template includes sections for your team structure, target market, company history, goals, budget, action plan, and many more. This simple template simplifies your sales plan for your team and execs. 

Best Templates provides a 9-page sales plan that you can download and edit to customize to your specific needs. The template is designed to do all the work for you since all sections are already highlighted, and your job is to fill them in. 

Asana’s sales plan promises to help you build a solid sales foundation and empower your team to achieve company goals. With Asana, you can create various sales plans, including a territory plan, a 30, 60, or 90-day sales plan, or a simple sales action plan. Moreover, you can use Asana and Salesforce together to improve your sales process. 

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Another sales plan by Best Templates can help you work out effective strategies to boost sales. It’s also customizable, so all you need to do is open and edit it using your preferred software app or program, provided it is compatible with MS Word or Pages file formats. 

The Sales Plan Maker by Venngage enables you to create and organize your sales plan. To get started, you need to create a Venngage account and pick the sales plan template that suits you best. Venngage allows you to add images, edit text, or develop pictographs and custom charts. 

This compact and easy-to-use sales plan template contains all the information you’ll need to set clear sales goals and objectives and the tactics and strategies to employ. Simply download the template, and customize it for your business. 

Creately offers multiple customizable professional templates designed to ensure synchronicity across your entire team. You can create a dashboard to monitor the progress of your strategies. The Creately viewer also allows you to embed multiple diagrams in your blogs or business website. 

This affordable action plan template by Best Templates has a minimalistic and professional layout for unmatched structure and organization. It’s a fully customizable template that supports MS word and iPages, so editing shouldn’t be a hassle. Download the template from their official website, and get started with your action plan. 

This is a comprehensive sales plan that can help you boost your company sales within 90 days. It’s an effective sales plan template outlining all the strategies and tactics you should employ during the 90 days. The template is fully customizable and can be downloaded using your preferred software. 

Microsoft Word provides multiple free sales plan template options from TemplateLab . The templates are designed to help organizations plan their sales activities in a structured manner. The plans have sections including an executive summary, goals and objectives, analysis details, organization mission, key performance indicators, marketing strategy, and many more. 

This easily editable template is designed to help you plot the activities that should be done over a 90-day period to enable you to meet your organization’s set goals and objectives. The 90-Day Sales Action Plan template is perfect for companies trying to achieve specific goals within a specified timeframe. 

A sales plan is a document that features your company’s sales activities, including tactics and strategies to achieve set objectives within a given time frame. One major challenge stunting the growth of companies is a lack of a formal action plan. The executives come up with goals and objectives and leave it at that. Now you know what you’re aiming for, but HOW do you get there? 

A sales plan outlines the strategies and tactics that will get you there. It highlights specific step-by-step actions your team will take to achieve business targets. Since it is a dynamic document, it is continually updated to reflect market changes, so you’re always one step ahead of the competition. 

A good sales plan is exhaustive in that it establishes the goals, priorities, necessary resources, and timetables. The sales plan should set measurable, precise, and motivating goals. There needs to be a logical order to the steps highlighted in the plan. Additionally, an effective sales plan is a formal document. If you don’t write down your plan, then it is a dream you simply hope to achieve someday. A formally documented sales plan is a firm commitment to reaching your goals and targets. 

Sales plans typically differ from company to company. However, specific segments must be included in a sales plan. These are key to your strategic business development, and they include the following: 

Executive summary

A good sales plan starts with an executive summary, laying the foundation for the information. This is where you state your company’s vision and mission. The executive summary tells the story of how your company got there and what the company hopes to achieve in the coming years. 

Business goals

This is arguably the most crucial segment in a sales plan. The set goals should be measurable and time-specific. Include revenue targets, which can either be revenue-based or volume-based and the sales effectiveness metrics that will be used to measure them. It’s also vital to ensure the revenue target is achievable by the set time to motivate the sales staff. 

Description of strategies and tactics

If you aim to increase your customer base, what specific steps should be taken to achieve it? This segment of the sales plan will include touching base with your marketing team because they’re familiar with the marketing strategy that works best. Working with your sales team to develop the strategies and tactics also helps boost employee productivity and engagement. 

Customer segments

Your sales team should have a clear picture of who they’re selling to. Build an ideal customer profile that will be used for your sales pipeline . A good sales plan includes the target audience and the target industries serviced by your company.  

Your budget for the year is another key element of the sales plan. How much will be spent on achieving the goals? Clarifying salaries, commissions, bonuses, resource spending, and even miscellaneous costs is important. 

The sales plan is not a solitary document. For your sales plan to be effective, it must be an integral part of your sales planning process. You’re not just typing up a document and sending it to your team. You want it to be a guide for your sales staff, which is why you need a strategy. 

So what steps should you follow when writing your sales plan? 

Start by gathering sales data

Your sales planning needs a foundation, and sales data for the previous couple of years can help you get started. What tactic or strategy has worked for you in the past? What wasn’t so effective? Do you need to improve your cold outreach ? You’ve probably heard the phrase, “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Collect as much data as possible and use the information to identify some of the trends in your industry.  

Determine your objectives

The reason you have a sales plan is to help you achieve your business goals. As such, it is one of the top priorities in the sales planning process. Clearly defining your objectives will enable you to develop strategies to reach them. You have to know the what before the how . 

Outline your metrics for success

How will you know whether your strategies are working? Success metrics differ based on the industry and the business, but common key performance indicators (KPIs) include ROI, conversion rate, gross profit margins, and more. 

Begin sales forecasting

Sales forecasting , loosely speaking, is predicting the future. It is the preparation of an in-depth report that uses historical data, sales activity data, and predictive analysis technology to predict what your sales team will sell over a given period.

Sales forecasting is crucial for the growth of your business. The information from sales forecasting helps answer essential questions that will guide your business approaches.

Develop sales tactics and strategies

Your sales plan also needs to highlight the tactics and strategies you plan to employ to accomplish the set objectives. This section of the plan should be highly detailed, outlining the specific campaigns, such as cold calls and email marketing campaigns, to generate leads for your sales funnel. 

The tactics and strategies outlined should be customizable to different customers based on their consumer behavior, interests, and specific needs. You could also implement cross-selling as a way to generate more revenue. 

Outline actionable steps

The final step in creating your sales plan is to outline action items. Consider your company’s quota numbers and its capacity when building the specific steps to be followed in the sales process. This can include organizing a daily sales schedule for your sales team to maximize efficiency.                            

A good sales plan is not too long or too short. It contains detailed information without being unnecessarily lengthy and complicated.

As mentioned earlier, sales plans differ from company to company, but they should generally include the following segments:

Creating a sales plan is one thing. Getting your sales team to implement it is another. The following tips will help you create an effective sales plan that will engage all the stakeholders and team members. 

Utilize data and statistics

Using relevant data from in-depth research, you can identify key problem areas and opportunities in your sales process that you should tap into. Statistics validate the key assumptions you make in the process. This way, your plan is meticulously thought out and not a spray and pray effort. 

Verify all your facts

There are several facts and figures in a sales plan, and you should take the time to verify them all. They need to make sense to the stakeholders and all the team members. Misquoting or using an unverified fact could render your entire plan unusable. 

Specify tools and resources

Your plan should also highlight the technology you plan to use at different stages of the sales process. This includes CRM or dashboard software that you can use to track success. It is helpful for both your internal team and the stakeholders. 

Align your teams

The success of your sales plan will depend on the alignment of your sales and marketing teams. Getting input from marketing dramatically improves the accuracy of your strategies and tactics. Steps in the sales process, including lead generation, prospecting, and nurturing, should work together harmoniously. 

Get your team’s input

It is essential to work with your team in the process. Talk with all your reps to understand any challenges they might be facing. At the top, it’s easy to focus on the numbers and forecasting without considering the rep’s day-to-day activities and whether or not the plans you have are feasible. Working with your team enables you to determine problems that need fixing before the sales plan can be affected. 

Failing to plan is planning to fail is a common saying. It’s undeniable that implementing a sales plan will significantly benefit your business, based on the goals you set out to achieve.

The sales plan is not a static document. To improve its effectiveness, it is vital to keep upgrading based on industry shifts and trends or changes within your organization. This will fast-track the growth of your business and set you ahead of your competition.

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Diego Pineda

Diego Pineda is the Community and Content Marketing Manager at Dooly. He is the author of two novels, 9 non-fiction books, and hundreds of articles and blogs as a science writer, a business writer, and a sales and marketing writer. He's passionate about thought leadership and his latest book is "The Solo Thought Leader: From Solopreneur to Go-To Expert in 7 Steps."

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Free Business Plan Template With Examples for Small Businesses (2023)

Sample business plan template for entrepreneurs

A business plan is the secret to starting a business successfully. 

The easiest way to simplify the work of writing a business plan is to start with a business plan template.

You’re already investing time and energy in refining your business model and planning your launch—there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to formatting your plan. Instead, to help build a complete and effective plan, lean on time-tested structures created by entrepreneurs and startups who have come before you. 

Free: Business Plan Template

Business planning is often used to secure funding, but plenty of business owners find writing a plan valuable, even if they never work with an investor. That’s why we put together a free business plan template to help you get started.

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What our business plan template includes

This template is designed to ensure you’re thinking through all of the important facets of starting a new business. It’s intended to help new business owners and entrepreneurs consider the full scope of running a business and identify functional areas they may not have considered or where they may need to level up their skills as they grow.

That said, it may not include the specific details or structure preferred by a potential investor or lender. If your goal with a business plan is to secure funding , check with your target organizations—typically banks or investors—to see if they have business plan templates you can follow to maximize your chances of success.

Our free business plan template includes seven key elements typically found in the traditional business plan format:

In our business plan template, each section includes an overview of the most important information to cover and guidelines on how to approach writing and researching each one.

Professional business plan example

We’ve filled out a sample business plan as a companion to our template, featuring a fictional ecommerce business . We’ve noted where—and how—an entrepreneur could add more details to expand on their business plans, depending on their goals.

Our fictional business creates custom greeting cards with your pet’s paw prints on them, and the founder of the business is writing a plan to help understand the target market, as well as the logistics and costs involved, to give themselves the best chance of success before they launch.

professional business plan example

The sample is set up to help you get a sense of each section and understand how they apply to the planning and evaluation stages of a business plan. If you’re looking for funding, this example won’t be a complete or formal look at a business plan, but it will give you a great place to start and notes about where to expand.

Before you write your own, read through the following business plan example . You can download a copy in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and use it to inspire your own planning.

Download the business plan example (.doc)

Lean business plan example

A lean business plan format is a shortened version of your more detailed business plan. It’s helpful when modifying your plan for a specific audience, like investors or new hires. 

Also known as a one-page business plan, it includes only the most important, need-to-know information, such as:

Want to create a lean business plan? Read Trimming It Down: How to Create a Lean Business Plan .

A good business plan helps you operate successfully

It’s tempting to dive right into execution when you’re excited about a new business or side project, but taking the time to write a solid business plan and get your thoughts on paper allows you to do a number of beneficial things:

Should you use a template for a business plan? 

A business plan can be as informal or formal as your situation calls for, but even if you’re a fan of the back-of-the-napkin approach to planning, there are some key benefits to starting your plan from an existing outline or template.

Tips for creating a successful business plan

There are some high-level strategic guidelines beyond the advice included in this free business plan template that can help you write an effective, complete plan while minimizing busywork.

Once you’ve done the strategic work, it’s time to put it into action and write your plan. Download the business plan template and review our guide on writing a business plan for additional information.

Maximizing your business planning efforts

Planning is key to the financial success of any type of business , whether you’re a startup, non-profit, or corporation.

To make sure your efforts are focused on the highest-value parts of your own business planning, like clarifying your goals, setting a strategy, and understanding the target market and competitive landscape, lean on a business plan outline to handle the structure and format for you. Even if you eventually omit sections, you’ll save yourself time and energy by starting with a framework already in place.

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How to write a sales plan: Types, template, and tips

A sales plan helps you outline sales strategies and goals, identify resources, and set a budget so you can pack your pipeline with high-quality leads..

By Cristina Maza, Contributing Writer

Last updated January 17, 2023

Sales plan

Before the start of a new fiscal year, organizations should create a sales plan. This must-have asset will be a boon in the upcoming year, helping sales staff better understand your products and meet their quotas. It can also provide crucial data insights on product- and territory-specific sales initiatives.

To write an effective sales plan, you’ll need to rely on cold, hard numbers and facts to develop data-driven strategies and pull off a seamless implementation. Read on to learn how you can guide your team to success.

What is a sales plan?

What to include in a sales plan.

A sales plan lays out all sales-related activities and details sales objectives, strategies, budgets, timelines, and processes. It includes information on your target audience, market conditions, resources needed, and high-level tactics for achieving goals. It also outlines your team structure and the roles and responsibilities of team members.

Your plan will guide you and your team through the sales cycle and illustrate the big picture, empowering all of you to work together to reach your revenue and performance goals.

Purpose of creating a sales plan

The primary purpose of a sales plan is to outline a set of strategies and tactics that will help you meet your sales objectives. This resource can also help you:

Sales plan vs. business plan

A business plan outlines broad company goals, market research findings, company resources, and value propositions. Meanwhile, a sales plan zooms in on sales and revenue, offering an execution plan. Both play an important role, especially if you have investors to impress.

Sales plan process overview

When executed well, your sales plan template will empower your team to reach their quotas, streamline daily operations, and help you scale your business.

The process of sales planning entails:

You can tweak your sales plan to suit your company’s unique needs. However, some tenets of a strong sales plan that you shouldn’t skip include a(n):

Mission statement

Executive summary.

Analysis of past performance

Industry and market overview.

Plan for tracking metrics

According to Brad Kemp, EVP of business development at Verblio , a winning sales plan must include an objective, a crystal-clear view of what makes your company’s offering different, and an understanding of the tangible impact your product or service will have on your customers.

Start your sales plan by sharing your mission statement. The key is explaining your company’s values and what sets you apart from your competitors. You can also provide a brief history of your business here to give readers a comprehensive overview of where you started and where you’re going.

Next, write an executive summary to share essential details about sales initiatives and company goals with your team and any investors. This foundational component can include:

Business goals and objectives

Every sales plan must have a section that clearly outlines your business objectives and revenue targets.

No matter the specific sales goals , they should all be realistic yet ambitious enough to motivate your sales agents . You must also ensure the objectives are clearly stated in the sales plan and communicated to your team so they know where to focus their efforts.

Here are a few types of sales-related business goals you may want to consider for your organization:

To hit goals and benchmarks, monitor every team member’s progress in the same way and track team performance as a whole. Keep a written or visual record of:

That way, you’ll always know how your team is performing, and agents can see how they’re doing.

Set up regular meetings with each sales agent to determine whether they’re on the right track and feel motivated. Be sure to measure both their short- and long-term goals and the milestones that fit into each stage of the sales funnel .

To create a successful sales plan, you must understand what your consumers want and what your competitors offer. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get a leg up:

The market overview will likely evolve as you add products, make updates, establish yourself, combat inflation and economic challenges, and contend with new competitors. However, the above questions will help you keep a finger on the pulse of the industry.

Tip: Unearth valuable information by reviewing analytics in Google Data Studio. You can also survey consumers directly and read competitor sales materials if you have the time and resources to conduct more thorough research.

A sales plan should also include concrete actions that your team will take to reach the goals laid out in the document. Some popular strategies you may want to outline and implement include:

Your sales action plan can also describe potential buyer pain points and how to address them in a way that will convert leads into customers. Or, it can explain the various ways to connect with your target customer and conduct outreach about a new product.

Say you want to land more deals by targeting only the most qualified leads with a sales pitch . Your plan should include steps for implementing a lead scoring model so your agents can identify high-quality leads. You’ll also want to state how often your team should contact those prospects and provide sales techniques to help them move leads further down the pipeline.

After gaining a comprehensive understanding of your customers and competitors, you can create buyer personas and segment buyers based on shared traits and characteristics. You can group customers by:

The final—but crucial—component of a sales plan is the budget for sales operations . Factor in the following to ensure you have the necessary funding to execute the strategies in your plan:

Finally, you should identify what key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll track to monitor the performance of your agents and sales strategies. This data will be critical when it comes time to adjust your overall sales plan.

Some great KPIs to keep tabs on include:

Once you determine which metrics are most important to you, talk to your team about how often you plan to review sales data .

sales business plans templates

Customizable sales plan template

Use our free sales plan template to outline your sales goals for the upcoming year and define the strategies your team will use to achieve them.

How to create a sales plan in 12 steps

Follow these tips and tricks to craft a sales plan that’s actionable, data-driven, and impactful.

Preparation

1. Identify company objectives and set goals

Create a SMART goal to drive better results and accurately reflect on progress. SMART stands for:

S: Specific M: Measurable A: Achievable R: Relevant T: Time-bound

When determining your SMART goals, it’s critical to base them on accurate data and facts so you choose appropriate targets. You’ll also want to ensure your benchmarks align with the growth your company wants to experience.

Think about how much revenue your company strives to generate. Review previous performance data and sales forecasts , too—this will allow you to set realistic revenue goals. Also, ask yourself what methods you’ll use to gauge your team’s success. Those could include performance metrics, software, and monitoring techniques.

Regardless of what you decide, communicate your SMART goals and tracking methods to your team so the process is transparent and everyone is working toward the same objective.

2. Review sales and consumer data

Make sure your plan builds on sales data from previous quarters. Historical data will enable you to spot trends, determine where you can improve compared to last year, and establish realistic expectations. (Of course, you’ll want to consider the current state of the market and demand forecasts, too.)

The data can also help you identify potential challenges, find new opportunities in your sales process, see what mistakes to avoid, and come up with more accurate metrics for measuring success.

Tip: Assess sales funnel and pipeline data from your CRM to map out the customer journey and visualize buyer personas.

3. Determine performance benchmarks

Strategic sales plans need to incorporate milestones and processes that’ll help you monitor the progress and performance of the team and individual sales agents.

This is where KPIs come in. They can vary based on your company’s needs, but some typical ones include:

Additionally, you’ll want to specify the technology you’ll use to measure success, such as a sales CRM or analytics software.

4. Audit the existing plan

To truly prepare, your company needs to assess how existing and former sales plans performed (if you have any). That way, you can identify trends and perform a SWOT analysis that allows you to up your sales game.

The SWOT analysis will reveal your:

5. Take stock of resources

Once you collect the bulk of the data and get a general idea of what to accomplish with your sales plan, take inventory of your resources. Some tools you’ll want to have throughout the process include:

6. Start sales forecasting

Sales forecasting is the process of predicting future sales. It’s not a perfect science, but it can provide baseline data to help your company plan for:

7. Staff for success

Your sales plan will only be successful if it helps your team work like a well-oiled machine. That means defining clear roles and responsibilities so everyone is on the same page.

In this section of the plan, assign tasks and activities to specific individuals or groups. For example, perhaps you give cold-calling responsibilities to one set of agents while another set oversees lead nurturing . This helps balance the workload and ensures the whole team is actively engaged in improving the sales process.

8. Outline team responsibilities

You won’t reach your sales goals without taking concrete steps to make them happen—and the more specific and well-planned your actions are, the faster you’ll realize your goals. So, you want to choose tactics that’ll help you achieve those objectives.

Ensure your team knows the steps to reach qualified leads, their duties, and how you plan to measure performance. Here are some typical responsibilities that sales managers need to assign to an individual or group of representatives.

To execute the sales plan properly, everyone on your team should know precisely what they need to do and when.

When assigning tasks to your team, ensure the workload is manageable—be realistic about each individual’s capacity. If you find that you may need to hire new salespeople , include that in the sales plan and specify what role they would fill, the value they would add, and when you would want to bring them on.

It’s beneficial to include an organizational chart showing every person on your sales team, their personal goals, and their primary responsibilities. It would also be helpful to outline any important deadlines they might have to meet. Avoid ambiguity as much as possible.

9. Align marketing with sales objectives

Create action items for the marketing and support teams to create cross-functional go-to-market strategies, and equip the sales department with sales enablement materials that help:

Creation

10. Outline your sales plan

We already covered the must-have components of a sales plan, which include:

Beyond that, you can customize your sales plan as much as you want. We recommend including the following elements:

Implementation

11. Monitor your progress

Select a person or a group of people to track progress as you begin implementation and to make sure you achieve complete compliance. They can keep track of:

Using sales software features like sales tracking, analytics, and reporting makes it easy to assess how your team and sales strategies perform over time.

12. Revise the sales plan regularly

Keep in mind that sales planning doesn’t end with the first iteration. Once you reach the pre-defined date, you must review the results and adjust accordingly to ensure sales don’t stagnate.

Set up monthly meetings with your sales team to address any questions and concerns that arise, and keep close tabs on what does and doesn’t work.

Types of sales plans and examples

There are four sales plans your business can try when outlining processes, setting goals, and determining your execution strategy.

30-60-90 day sales plan

Territory sales plan, market expansion plan, new product sales plan.

This plan has a three-part timeline for accomplishing larger goals. Companies often use it to help new salespeople acclimate to your business and understand your product’s value proposition.

Target customers within a specific geographical region and deliver top-level insights to company directors and VPs. Here are some things you can do when writing a winning territory sales plan:

This sales plan outlines strategies, tasks, and metrics to expand into new target markets. Market expansion plans should include:

You’ll need this type of sales plan to generate revenue early on if you plan to launch a new item in the near future. Some things to consider when creating a product sales plan are:

Execute your sales plan

Use a CRM to keep tabs on sales performance . A tool like Zendesk Sell can help you manage sales data, monitor your team’s pipeline and performance, and forecast sales . You can even create reports to evaluate your sales strategy and determine whether your team is on track, ahead, or behind in meeting milestones and key objectives.

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