• Marketing and Sales Strategy
  • 11 July, 2022

10 Steps to Create a Complete Sales and Marketing Business Plan [Templates included]

Jump to the end of the post to get access to our free sales and marketing business plan templates.

Turning an idea into a functional business requires laser-sharp focus. You must take care of development, marketing, sales, customer success, and whatnot. 

While most entrepreneurs start with some form of a plan, they often forget about it soon after. 

Blame it on changing dynamics, trial and error to find a product-market fit, or blatant ignorance. But overlooking the planning process is a sure shot reason for failure — as the common saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.

An essential part of this document is the sales and marketing segment. The sales and marketing plan outlines everything you need to do to promote your products and generate revenue for your business. 

Why do you need a sales and marketing plan? 

Having a revolutionary product that solves a genuine problem is great. But it won’t mean anything if people don’t know about you. 

A sales and marketing plan helps you get discovered, structure your activities, and move forward with your growth goals. 

It’s more or less like a roadmap about what you should do to make things work in your favor. 

Your sales and marketing plan will help you: 

  • Identify the bridge between where you are today and where you want to reach your business goals. 
  • Get much-needed clarity and avoid conflicts and confusion in case of any disruptions.
  • Gain and document insights about your target audience, industry, trends, costs, etc. 
  • Justify your business model in front of investors and lenders in case you need to raise funds.
  • Stay focused on a north star metric, improvise growth tactics and achieve harmony between various growth activities. 
  • Promote sales and marketing alignment.

Your sales and marketing plan would also help you avoid distractions and save time and money lost. 

And you know how easy it is to lose direction and get distracted when starting or running a startup. Documenting everything as a plan will help avoid confusion and add clarity to your everyday affairs and long-term mission. 

However, different companies need different plans based on the stage of operations and their unique growth goals. 

A clear marketing and sales plan promotes alignment between marketing and sales departments at every stage . This reduces resource waste and creates fewer “blame-game ” occasions in your meetups. 

What to include in the marketing & sales plan? 

Planning is a subjective activity. 

You’d receive several different answers if you read, talk to, and consult multiple experts on what to include in your marketing and sales plan. 

So, how should you decide which elements to include in your marketing/sales plan? 

Let’s take a step back and understand the “why” of planning. 

You need a plan so you don’t get confused and can keep walking towards your goal.

Your plan should: 

  • Serve as a roadmap for everything related to sales and marketing for the first few months if you’re just starting. 
  • Outline and articulate the core strategies you’ll experiment with, the desired outcome, and the KPIs to measure performance. 
  • Set realistic KPIs, outcomes, and objectives based on market understanding, competition, funding requirements, and your target audience’s pain points. 

Marketing plan for your startup: The what and why

In an ideal world, every penny you spend in marketing should enhance your visibility, take you closer to your audience,  and increase your conversion rates. 

But in reality, it takes a lot of effort, time, and investment to make it happen. 

A marketing plan helps you navigate through the tricky maze called marketing without getting lost in the process. 

Basically, you build a marketing plan to gain enlightenment about how you’ll promote and stay relevant to your audience. 

You do it beforehand so that when things get tricky, you have a directional beacon to guide you.  

Creating any plan should start with an understanding of the purpose. The same applies to marketing, too. Try to find the reason behind marketing your product – why are you working towards your goal. 

Knowing your why would help you gain clarity – an essential element for the success of any activity on the planet. Before you begin, you should try to find answers to the following questions: 

  • Why are you making the marketing plan?
  • What do you want to accomplish with the marketing?
  • What will be the value proposition? 
  • What are the goals that we want to achieve?

These answers will allow you to think better and prepare for strategizing your plan with a better perspective. 

Also, while at it, remember that your marketing plan is not a rigid document etched in stone. Instead, it’s a result of an iterative process that depends on five fundamental aspects: 

1. Product: What are you marketing? 

The product section should explain what you are selling exactly. 

  • What do you sell? 
  • How is your offering different from your competitors?
  • What are the benefits your potential customers would derive from your offerings? 
  • What is your core USP? 

Answering these questions would help you craft a great positioning statement and marketing message for your marketing campaigns. 

2. Place: Where are you available? 

This section should outline where you will sell or market your products. How will you get customers to reach out to buy your product or service? 

Though this will depend on the nature of business — online or offline, manufacturing or services, answers to the following questions would help you gain clarity: 

  • Where will you be available for your customers? 
  • Which distribution channels would you use to be more accessible to customers? 
  • What percentage of sales/conversions do you expect from different distribution/marketing channels? 

3. Price: How much will you charge? 

This is an essential part of your planning process. Your pricing decisions would decide how you will generate revenue for your startup . 

Your pricing decision should be based on market analysis, competition, value offering, buying behavior, etc. 

  • What will be the pricing model you’ll adopt to generate revenue? 
  • What is the most favorable price point that your customers are ready to pay for your offering? 
  • Will you make any profit/loss at this price point? 
  • How soon can you break even based on your pricing strategy? 

4. Promotion: How will you promote your offering? 

You can have the best product, but no one would care if you’re not promoting it. 

Moreover, one of the primary reasons to create a marketing plan is to help you promote your offering. 

  • Who is your target audience? 
  • How will your reach your target audience? 
  • What strategies will you adopt to convert your audience into customers? 
  • Which channels of promotions will you use to promote your offerings? 
  • How much will you spend on promotions and marketing? 
  • What will be your team structure for the next quarter, year, and long term?
  • How will you track the marketing effectiveness? 

5. People: Who will do the marketing?  

While most marketing plans you see out there would cover the traditional 4Ps of marketing, often the fifth P, people, is ignored. 

And you know there’s no growth or promotion without your team – your people. 

This aspect should help you understand your current capabilities and the resources needed in your team. Think about how you will find them, their responsibilities, and where they stand in the big picture. 

  • Who will do the marketing for you? 
  • What do you look for in a human resource?
  • At what point do you start expanding the team? 
  • Who are you going to hire first?
  • How do you plan to hire for marketing? 
  • What will be the core responsibilities and KPIs for your team? 
  • How will you set KPIs/OKRs and analyze your team’s performance? 

Sales plan for your startup: The what and the why

Your sales plan would help you generate revenues from your marketing efforts by completing the journey from generating leads to turning them into customers. 

A sales plan defines your sales goals, the strategies you’d bet on, your desired results, your challenges, the solutions you have for them, and the structure (people, budget, process, and tools) you need.

Your sales plan would cover everything you need to register sales and generate revenue for your business. 

A sales plan is created to: 

  • Provide a strategic direction to your sales team
  • Define the core objectives and goals in terms of sales 
  • Outline roles and responsibilities
  • Analyze and measure your wins in terms of sales. 

These reasons help you succeed more than experimental businesses that beat around the bush while trying to make things work in a world where everyone’s selling something. To ensure your sales plan is effective, it should include: 

1. Sales goals — What do you want to achieve? 

Like any other activity in the world, your sales planning process should also revolve around the end goals for sales

Saying that you want more customers is a generic goal that doesn’t have any tangible metrics attached. Moreover, saying that you wish for more sales is too broad a goal that would involve outlining several action steps. 

So, it’s always better to have a SMART goal and break it down into tangible, measurable, and KPI-driven objectives. You can say that you want to: 

  • Nurture 10% more MQLs into SQLs, and ultimately, customers.
  • Reduce your churn rates by 5% before the end of Q1.
  • Expand your sales team with 3 people to nurture and convert leads faster — reduce time to conversion by 5 days.
  • Increase the customer lifetime value through upsells or cross-sells by $200.
  • Expand your sales activities into new territories or regions.
  • Optimize your pricing strategy to improve your conversion rates by 8% for new accounts.

2. Tactics — The process and activities

This segment will include the specific tactics, processes, and activities you’ll use to generate revenue for your business . 

A solid understanding of your target audience, goals, and capabilities would help you discover exciting and profitable tactics for your industry. 

Try to pick and choose the tactics in line with your ideal customer profile. You can conduct a survey and get insights from your marketing team to align your sales efforts accordingly. 

An aligned sales and marketing team will help you accelerate sales enablement and strike gold with more leads, higher conversions, and better results. 

Interested in exploring new sales tactics? Read this blog on popular sales strategies and techniques for your business. 

3. Timelines — The time you’ll need to make things happen

A plan without a timeline is just a wish. You must link your goals, tactics, and sales strategies with realistic deadlines. This will ensure that everyone’s motivated to work towards your goals. 

Keep all the stakeholders in the loop by developing a realistic growth goal and attaching a practical timeline to it. 

While you’re at it, don’t forget to assign one person who’ll be responsible for ensuring compliance. 

This tactic is known differently in business circles. 

Some call it a key Point of Contact (POC) for an activity; others call this person a Directly Responsible Individual (DRI). 

Another popular approach includes assigning OKR (Objective and Key Results) to an individual in a team who owns up the responsibility of making this happen. 

Whatever you may do, make sure you are realistic, practical, and sensible in creating achievable deadlines for your sales teams. 

Failure to do so would lead to dissatisfaction among sales team members, ultimately harming your bottom line. 

4. KPIs — the metrics you’ll track to determine success 

KPIs will help you understand if your sales tactics align with your revenue generation goals. These metrics help enhance sales teams’ performance, optimize the sales funnels, and improve conversion rate. 

If you want a solid sales plan, you need to tie everyone (and everything) to a tangible sales metric. 

You also need to ensure proper sales and marketing alignment so that all your marketing spends get attributed to some kind of improvement in KPIs. 

Here are some questions and corresponding KPIs you can think of adding to your sales plan: 

If you track these KPIs well, you’ll understand the challenges better, predict future problems, and get better at generating revenues from your sales activities. 

Moreover, the answers you gather and the KPIs would help you keep an eye on the overall efficiency of the sales process and build a strong sales team. 

Apart from these standard inclusions to your sales plan, you can also add the following information: 

  • Team structure: How big your sales team should be, and what will be the responsibility (job role and KPIs) of each member of the team? 
  • Resources/tools required : What tools and resources do you need to execute the sales tactics and strategies you’ve planned? 
  • Current market trends: How is the present market regarding customer interest in your product, competition landscape, and overall sentiment in your industry? 

Rethinking the traditional plan for digital businesses, service companies, and SaaS startups 

The traditional ways of creating a sales and marketing plan are geared more toward the product economy. 

Today, most businesses don’t even have a physical “product”.

Distribution and conversion cycles are not so simple, too.

The sales and marketing ecosystem has transitioned from a single-sales mindset to a culture of lead nurturing , upsells/cross-sells, and experiences to enhance the customer’s lifetime value. 

Even users don’t look at companies, products, and solutions like they used to anymore. 

Don’t you think the old ways should be reimagined? 

In his book, Subscribed, Tien Tzuo mentions how the world economy is transitioning to a digital era powered by subscription-based startups and digital businesses.

Naturally, with changing consumer mindset, the traditional business planning models (including sales and marketing plans) should change, too. 

There has been a hot debate about reimagining marketing and sales operations for the future — digital businesses, SaaS products, and the subscription economy. 

PADRE is a promising framework with all the elements of a traditional business plan, reimagined for the modern digital economy. 

The PADRE framework keeps the customer at the heart of everything and divides all activities (including sales and marketing) into eight subsets: 

  • Position: How will you create awareness, turn it into demand for your product and build a pipeline of leads? 
  • Acquire: What is your ICPs buyer’s journey? How will you address their pain points and turn them into customers? 
  • Deploy : How will you onboard , service, and delight your customers as efficiently as possible so they can use your product, service, or SaaS quickly?   
  • Run:  How will you ensure that your customers get what they expect (and deserve) from your product or service? 
  • Expand: How will you grow your company through retention, growth, and customer advocacy? 
  • Product: How will you evolve your product, service, or offering and manage everything? 
  • People:   How will you recruit, onboard, train, and retain the best talent to serve your customers? 
  • Money: Where and how will you fund and fulfill your need for running and growing your business most efficiently? 

If you look at the PADRE model carefully, it has almost all the elements discussed above for sales and marketing plans, just in a different way. This differentiation makes more sense for a dynamic digital business than the traditional sales and marketing business plan. 

You can take ideas from the PADRE model to create your version of a dynamic business plan based on your unique business idea. 

10 steps to create a solid sales and marketing plan

Regardless of your approach to creating a business plan, you will have to gather data, make some important decisions, and collate everything together. 

Remember, your sales and marketing plan is a living document that should be revisited repeatedly for optimization. 

Here are the steps you can take to create an actionable plan based on the insights shared above: 

Step 1: Gather data based on company insights and external trends

“Always measure the depth of the pool you’re diving in!” 

Before you start planning your sales and marketing observing and documenting macro-level industry trends is a must. It will give you an understanding and insight into what to expect in the future. 

You can use industry insight to strengthen your assumptions, understand the market, add clarity to your sales and marketing mix, and refine your plan. 

Always look for industry insights around sales and marketing trends — what worked in the past, how things are changing, and what future trends will drive growth. While industry trends are not a full-proof solution, it gives you a direction to provide a concrete shape to your plans. 

Use industry trends to add “meat” to your hypothesis, and see if you can get data about: 

  • Consumer behavior and psychology that drives sales. Use the Facebook Ads manager audience tool to find your audience’s topics of interest and behavior trends.
  • Psychographic analysis of your target audience.
  • Marketing effectiveness of different channels. You can use platforms like Similarweb to peak into the traffic sources of your competitors and get an estimated idea of the volume.
  • Sales trends of lateral and complimenting businesses. 
  • Competitor analysis, including their past financial performance and effectiveness in generating revenue. 

Step 2: Create your ideal customer profile (ICP) 

As a business owner, you must know everything about your target audience. 

Without a deep understanding of your ICP, you could end up like a door-to-door salesman trying to sell but end up annoying everyone. 

This information helps you take the necessary steps to add context and relevance to your marketing and sales plan. 

You should break up your ideal customer persona (ICP) into several sections covering all aspects of your persona’s — the demographic profile, what they think, believe, and trust in, their needs, motivations, drives, and psychographic profile. 

Sample questions for building an Ideal Customer Profile

Knowing your audience allows you to talk the way they want to be talked to. Also, you get to understand what makes them buy, their problems and pain points, and where they spend most of their time. All this is crucial for creating an effective marketing strategy. 

You can even use this knowledge to segment your audience personas and personalize your marketing campaigns — a powerful tactic to market your brand in 2022. 

Step 3: Assess your current situation 

Once you’ve gathered data and foresight, start the self-introspection process. 

Ask yourself where you stand in your startup journey. 

✓ How is your business performing right now? 

✓ Are you performing according to your revenue estimates and KPIs? 

✓ Do your business and revenue generation efforts align with market and industry trends? Do they need to align?

✓ Are you marketing and selling where your customers are looking for options? 

✓ What are your strengths and weaknesses? 

✓ What challenges are you facing in getting your business to the next level? 

✓ Is there any better way of doing things than you do now? 

All these questions will give you ideas to start the actual planning process. Moreover, you’d understand if whatever you did was even worth it. 

Step 4: Define metric-driven objectives and goals

Have you ever traveled without a destination? 

Well, maybe you have. But that’s not how you run a business. You need to have an exact destination in mind — where you’re headed to. 

That’s why having an objective and goal is essential for making a sales and marketing plan. Tangible and realistic goal-setting should be the #1 priority of anyone trying to succeed as an entrepreneur. 

Your goals will will allow you to track if you’re making a real impact on your business. Plus, having a metric-driven goal gives you an understanding of what you need to do for success. 

Your goals and objectives should be tied to your business vision and mission.

Often, we see there’s a misalignment between sales and marketing objectives. That leads to confusion and, thus, poor performance. Hence setting a SMART goal is critical for ensuring clarity.

SMART objectives for your sales and marketing plans should be: 

  • Specific: The goal is clearly defined, and everyone within your team understands the goal and its importance. 
  • Measurable: The goal/objective should be tied to key performance indicators (KPIs) and visibly measurable.
  •  Achievable: Being realistic is an important factor in setting an attainable goal. Look at your team’s ability, budget, and current situation to ensure the goal is within your limits. Setting the bar too high will only lead to disappointment and wasted time and effort. 
  • Relevant: Your objectives should be aligned with your business vision and mission. If your marketing and sales aren’t aligned to your bigger picture, it will lead to losses (and potential conflicts). 
  • Time-bound: Any objective you define must have a clear timeline, which means there should be a start and end date. Without that, your goal is just a wish. 

Step 5: Determine metrics for success (KPIs) 

You know you need to measure your goals and objectives in real-time. 

That would ensure everything’s on track and help you red flag any deviations from your desired path. 

But setting a measurable KPI for any business is a tricky business in itself. Especially when there’s a lot to plan in sales and marketing, and every business is different. 

KPI or key performance indicators should be planned based on industry best practices, prevailing marketing trends, and taking stakeholders in confidence. 

You can align standard industry KPIs with your business or marketing/sales goals to create your version of KPIs that will objectify your success figures. 

Standard Goals and KPIs you should track

Always ensure that each KPI you track links to the bigger picture — where and how it contributes to your business’s mission and mission. This will add relevance to your sales and marketing plans giving you more accurate insights for the future periods.

Step 6: Build a forecasting model

Forecasting is an activity that predicts what your sales and marketing efforts will lead to on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. 

Creating a sales or marketing forecast involves taking the opinions of industry leaders, financial consultants, CPAs, marketers, sales managers, and your team members. It also will involve studying and analyzing the insights you gathered in step one.

A forecast will help you make better hiring decisions, budget for your expansion in a better way, and linearly predict your revenues. You can also add dynamic variables to the forecasts to analyze how your KPIs would perform under real-life situations. 

Creating a forecasting and budgeting model for your sales and marketing team is highly essential to keep things in check. However, it would be best if you didn’t fall into the lure of creating forecasts for more extended periods as things are changing quite rapidly, especially after COVID-19. 

Better to create a forecast for a quarter, review it based on actual expenses and performance, and keep iterating. You can also take advantage of popular forecasting tools for more accurate models. 

Step 7: Identify gaps within your assumptions 

By this step, you’d have a clear idea about your capabilities, the goals you want to achieve, the industry trends and the forecasts for the future.

This will give you an opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of your sales and marketing activities in terms of your revenue growth. 

You can use this information to plug in gaps because of your assumptions and biases, analyze what’s required and the challenges you’d face to make things happen. 

Identifying gaps between your existing situation and your goals based on forecasts would help you make informed decisions. 

You can choose to hire more people in sales and marketing, increase your budget, try new marketing tactics, or even start an entirely different lead generation and nurturing channel to achieve your goals. 

Step 8: Create a team structure and involve stakeholders. 

The most important part of the planning process is to understand your capabilities. If you’ve assessed your current scenario correctly, you’ll have a clear picture of who’s responsible for growth, marketing, sales, etc. 

And if you’re just starting, this is a great time to start planning a structure for your marketing and sales team, starting with: 

  • How many people will be needed for each team? 
  • Who will be responsible for specific KPIs?
  • What will be the responsibilities of each member of the team? 
  • How will teams communicate with each other and ensure alignment between efforts? 
  • How will the performance be measured? 
  • What are the challenges marketing and sales teams face in your company (or industry)? 
  • How will expansion needs be identified?  

Remember, if you’re just starting to build a team and have existing team members, take them in confidence and involve every stakeholder before creating a structure.

The more aligned and closely knit your sales and marketing, the faster you achieve your growth goals. 

  • Build a Strong B2B Marketing Organization Structure for Modern Teams
  • Sales Operations Responsibilities: Roles, duties, and obstacles
  • Revenue Operations Roles: Who do you need to build a RevOp team?

Step 9: Outline action items 

By this step, you’re almost done with the planning. You just need to answer two more questions:

  • What do you need to do to achieve your goals? 
  • How will you do what you need to do? 

This means outlining action steps, developing marketing and sales tactics, and finalizing the cogs required to run your marketing/sales engine. 

You can start by putting together a rough draft of all the insights you’ve gathered, the available resources, the budget, best industry practices, trends, and growth projections. This will give you foresight into what can work in your favour. 

Build a list of action steps that you need to take to move in the direction of your goals. 

Step 10: Identify and implement tools and systems

Okay! This is the last step of the planning process. After this, you will be left with the exact steps you need to take daily to achieve your KPIs. 

But don’t take this step lightly. Think of this as the building blocks of a bridge that would take you from “here” to “there”. 

You’ll need to make a list of tools, systems, and solutions you’d need to make things happen. 

For example, if you’ve concluded that you need to set up a lead nurture campaign , you need a tool or platform that makes that happen. 

You’ll need to evaluate the available options and pick a tool that aligns with your goals and budget. 

While picking up any tool, make sure that it should: 

  • Save time, money, or effort for your marketing and sales team members.
  • Have prominent success stories and case studies that closely relate to your goals, tactics, and life stage.
  • Is reliable and doesn’t use any under-the-hood tactics to make things happen. 
  • Has an active developer and customer success team.
  • Is supported by a thriving public community of happy users. 

Make sure that whatever tech stack you’re finalizing has a solid mechanism to track success and your KPIs. 

This will help you ascertain success quicker. Also, communicate with all the stakeholders about the tools and success metrics. 

Ready-to-use sales and marketing plan templates

To make things easy for you, we have prepared comprehensive templates for both your sales and marketing plans. To download the template click on the links below and duplicate the document. Then, fill in the blanks.

Download the Marketing Plan Template

Download the Sales Plan Template

Your sales and marketing plan is a living document. Keep revisiting! 

If you’ve come this far with your planning, you should have a functional plan for supercharging your marketing and sales operations in the coming weeks and months.. 

But remember, sales and marketing planning isn’t a one-time activity. Keep optimizing your plans with fresh insights to stay on track with changing dynamics. And don’t forget to track the right metrics and KPIs.

A marketing automation platform like Encharge can help you to execute your marketing and sales plans. Don’t believe us. Check the success stories to see how others businesses are amping up their marketing and sales game now.

Meet your new marketing automation platform

“encharge helped us visually redesign our onboarding flow resulting in a 10% increase in our trial activation rate .", saas email onboarding teardown — hey.space.

In the last six months since we launched Encharge, I had the pleasure to dissect dozens of email onboarding flows.

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Marketing & Sales Section in Your Home Business Plan

How To Write the Marketing Section of Your Business Plan

  • Why You Need a Business Plan
  • What To Include in the Marketing & Sales Section
  • The 5 P's of Marketing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Before starting your home business, it's important to outline all the details in a business plan. Creating the plan not only forces you take a good look at all aspects of your business, but it also becomes the roadmap for your success. 

One of the most important sections of a business plan is the Marketing and Sales Strategies section, which outlines your plan for reaching and selling to your target market . While you want to have a wonderful product or provide stellar service, it's all for nothing if you don't have customers or clients.

Your marketing plan is the key to effectively and affordably finding your buyers, and is crucial for potential investors and lenders.

Key Takeaways

  • A marketing plan is an essential part of a business plan.
  • Business plans and marketing plans are important even if you're not seeking funding.
  • A marketing plan can be built around the 5 P's: product, price, place, promotion, and people.
  • You should set up metrics to measure how your marketing plan is working.

Why You Need a Business Plan for a Home Business

There is some debate regarding the need for home business owners to have a formal business plan, especially if you're not asking for startup funding. However, a business plan isn't only about appealing to banks and investors. The truth is, every business, regardless of size, needs a business plan . A business plan helps you:

Make smart decisions : A business plan helps you focus your ideas and forces you to spell out strategies for everything from human resources, to technology, to marketing.

Identify potential weaknesses : As you go through the work of creating a business plan, you may spot pitfalls in your ideas. It's also a good idea to share the plan with experts who can give you advice and tell you what they think won't work.

Convince people to give you money : If you do need startup funding, investors and lenders will definitely want to see a detailed business plan so that they can assess how likely you are to be successful with your business.

Communicate your ideas with other stakeholders : You can share your plan with people you want to recruit to work with you, suppliers you need to ask for credit, and potential clients.

What To Include in the Marketing & Sales Section

The basics of the marketing and sales section have to do with knowing your market and competition, and designing your product messaging, pricing, and other marketing strategies to maximize sales. It involves the 5 P's of marketing , as well as figuring out how you'll measure your marketing mix 's success. 

The 5 P's of Marketing

The 5 P's started out as 4 P's, a construct developed by E. Jerome McCarthy more than 50 years ago. The 4 P's include basic elements of marketing, which are product, price, place, and promotion. In later years, people or personnel was added by some marketers to become the fifth P.

Describe the product or service offered to the customer by your home business, including the physical attributes of your products or services, what they do, how they differ from your competitors', and what benefits they provide to your potential customers.

Outline pricing strategies that will help you reach your target profit margin . How you will price your product or service so that the price remains competitive while still allowing you to make a good profit ?

When calculating price, make sure you take into consideration both fixed expenses (those that don't change) and variable expenses  (costs that aren't set), as well as your time and expertise, to insure you're charging enough to make a profit. Also discuss if your price will be lower or higher than your competition, and how you can justify the difference (i.e. what do buyers get by paying more for your product?).

Place (Distribution)

Indicate where your business will sell its products or services, and how it will get those products or services to consumers. For example, will you sell online ? Will you consign your products into local stores?

When you know what outlets your product and services will be available in, indicate how much you expect to sell in each location. For example, will 65% of your sales be done online and 35% through face-to-face appointments?

Also include any delivery terms and costs, and how those expenses will be covered (e.g., added to the sale of the item). Indicate if there are any shipping or labeling requirements that need to be considered and how you will meet those requirements. Finally, outline the transaction process and your return policies.

What methods of promotion will you use to communicate the features and benefits of your products or services to your target customers? Will you advertise? If so, where? What percentage of advertising will be handled by each advertising option? How much business do you anticipate each form of advertising will result in? How much is this all going to cost?

Also indicate if you plan to offer coupons or other incentives to get customers in the door.

Decide on the people who will the provide sales and service that will be used in marketing your products or services to the customer. Who are the people or sales team that will be selling or providing customer service, and what kind of training will they receive? Do you plan to offer any incentives to your customer service representatives and how do you plan to measure customer satisfaction?

Essentially, the 5 P's of marketing forms the basis of your marketing plan. If you want to make your marketing plan a standalone document, you'll also want to include the information you prepared in the Market Analysis section for your business plan.

Some marketers consider the 4 P's or 5 P's to be too focused on the producer and have instead adopted the 4 C's, which look at marketing from the customer's point of view. So, "place" becomes "convenience," "price" becomes "cost to the user," "promotion" becomes "communication," and "product" becomes "customer needs and wants."

Evaluating Marketing Effectiveness

As you make your marketing decisions, consider how you'll know what strategies are working and those that aren't. There's no sense in wasting time or money on promotional tactics that don't work.

If you use social media to promote your business, you'll want to measure changes in your social media analytics. Consider using A/B testing techniques to make sure you're using marketing messages or materials that customers respond to best.

Whatever form of marketing you use, find a way to quantify results so you can know whether it's worth your time and money to continue to use it.

What is a marketing plan in a business plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic document outlining the steps you intend to take to achieve your marketing objectives. It helps you define your product or service, identify customers and competitors, think about how you'll attract customers, and how you'll react to marketplace changes. It's an important component of a business plan, which also includes strategies for other parts of the business.

How can I promote my home-based business?

You'll want to start with some free or low-cost ways to get the word out about your business. Some to consider: setting up a blog, using social media (either to post information on your personal or business page, or to buy ads), pitching media outlets that are a good fit for your business, and offering deals through sites like Goupon that can help you attract new customers fast.

Small Business Development Center, Duquesne University. " Do You Really Need a Business Plan? "

University of Maryland Extension. " Marketing Mix ."

University of Florida, IFAS Extension. " Eight Steps To Developing a Simple Marketing Plan ."

Business Plan Section 6: Sales and Marketing

Learn about the points to address in the sales and marketing section of your business plan, plus key aspects for a successful sales strategy.

marketing and sales plan in business plan

Remember all that research and hard work you put into the Market Analysis section of your business plan? You learned all about your company, your customers, and your competition. This is where it will all pay off: sales and marketing!

In this section of the plan, you’re actually going to spell out how you’ll market your idea, along with the specifics of how you’ll get business. Sales and marketing are what will grow your business and help you achieve success.

As always, keep your audience in mind. If your business plan is meant for your eyes only, or as an internal document for your staff, you won’t have to be as detailed or specific as you should if it’s intended for a lender or potential investors. In the latter case, you’ll want to demonstrate a very well-planned strategy that will give them confidence in your proposal and make them more likely to want to fund your business.

Sales and marketing strategies will vary by industry, and your strategy will be individually tailored to your company, but there are general guidelines that cover most businesses. Because your marketing plan will lead to sales, let’s start there.

4 Things Your Marketing Plan Must Cover

Many marketing textbooks refer to the “four Ps” of marketing, which is an easy way to remember what’s involved in a solid plan.

Explain in detail the product(s) or service(s) you’re offering, particularly how they are different from or better than what’s already available. What benefits do they provide to your potential customers? What ways is your product or service unique? What makes doing business with you preferable to dealing with someone else? All of these things will help make up your marketing message.

Talk about how you’ll portray the company and what kind of image you’ll present, especially how it will help connect you to your potential customers. Include a picture of your logo and anything that might carry your image, such as vans, trucks, or uniforms. Show screenshots of your website, photos of your store, pictures of your packaging, and anything else that conveys your company’s brand.

Once you’ve gotten the customers in the door (or online), you have to deliver on what you’ve sold them. Marketing isn’t just about promising, it’s also following through and delivering what you said you would.

You may find it helpful to outline exactly how a transaction with your business would take place. Also touch on return policies and customer service. You may not immediately think of these as “marketing” issues, but think back to the last time you had difficulty with a company and told five friends you’d never do business with them again, or you saw someone complain about a company on Facebook or Twitter. Cover your bases before you get caught short in a situation you hadn’t planned for.

It’s important to talk about where you’ll be located and how you’ll get your products and services to your customers. If you’re planning an online business, will you also have a brick and mortar store? What percentage of sales do you project will come from each?

If your business involves manufacturing or distribution of a product, discuss shipping and labeling requirements, and how you’ll meet them. What are your delivery terms and costs? Are you using distributors, and will you charge separately for shipping or build that into the product price?

How you decide to price your product or service is key to how much you’ll sell and how much profit you can make. Again, the Market Analysis work you did will come in very handy in helping you to price your product competitively while still turning a worthwhile profit.

By now, you should have a solid understanding of what your expenses will be, so you know how much you need to make to break even. Of course, if you have startup expenses (and who doesn’t?), you will need to factor those in, as well, understanding that your profit margin will grow when they’re paid off.

Discuss how you’ve arrived at the prices you have, where they fit in with what the competition is doing, and what kind of volume you’ll need to do to be profitable.

You can have the best idea in the world, but if no one knows about it, it won’t sell. So, how are you going to reach your target audience and turn them into customers? Will you advertise? Which media? How often? And how will you split up the budget?

Keep in mind that some forms of traditional and digital advertising cost money, such as buying radio or print ads, or advertising through Google. Some, such as social media or public relations can be handled in-house by a staff member (or outsourced for a fee). And others can be quite variable in cost, such as printing brochures, flyers, catalogs, etc.

How much business do you think you’ll get from each campaign? Will you give coupons, discounts, or offer other incentives to get people to try you out?

Describe how you’ll know whether or not your marketing strategy is effective, such as how many coupons are redeemed or how much of an increase in web or store traffic you expect. You’ll need to project what kind of a return on your advertising investment you anticipate to figure out how much you should be spending.

The Fifth P: People

Some marketing experts think a fifth “P” should be added to the four we’ve already discussed: people. We touched on it under customer service, but a big part of marketing is the level of service you’re able to offer to your customers, and your people are the ones responsible for that.

Your restaurant might serve the best food in town, but your servers can have an even greater impact on the dining experience. You can discuss it here or in the next section, sales, but do make sure to talk about the people who will deal with your customers and handle your customer service, what kind of training they’ll get, and how you’ll measure their effectiveness.

Now that you have your marketing plan together, you need to close the sale and make it pay off. Marketing will help you get customers in the door, to your website, or on the phone, but the best marketing in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t make the sale. That brings us to the next step of the plan, your sales strategy.

What to include in your sales plan:

How much product will you sell or how many contracts will you close over the first month, six months, and year? Be specific, understanding what your cash flow needs to be to keep the lights on and your employees paid. Keep the numbers realistic, however, even though you may want to impress potential funders.

How will you make the sale, and who will do it? Are you selling a product directly to users through a website? Will you bring your merchandise to retailers for them to sell? Are you doing the selling yourself or will you have a sales force? If you have salespeople, will they be paid a straight salary or commission? If you have a service business, where will you get your leads, and how will you follow up? Perhaps you’ll offer an incentive program to current customers for referrals. Describe the sales effort in your plan.

If you offer different product lines or services, you may need a separate strategy for each. Similarly, if you’re selling to different segments of the market, you shouldn’t rely on the same approach to sell everyone. Selling at a craft fair is quite different than setting up a website or offering your product through ebay.com or etsy.com.

Detail whichever approaches you’ve decided on and spell out how you’ll proceed, including any sales quotas you may have established.

Get specific about the numbers you’re looking to achieve over a specific time period. Not only will investors want to see that, it’s an important way for you to know if you’re meeting your targets so you can make any necessary adjustments along the way.

Once you’ve established yourself, how will you continue to expand? This covers both your internal growth as a company, such as how you’ll increase your staff, and how you’ll grow beyond your current boundaries, such as buying another business or setting up franchises, if that’s applicable. Will you grow by offering a wider range of products and services? Perhaps you’ll expand by offering your current goods to a wider audience.

Perhaps more than any other section of your business plan, the Sales and Marketing section will act as your playbook for the actual running of your company , so think it through very carefully and use it!

Next Article: Business Plan Section 7 – Financial Information

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marketing and sales plan in business plan

What is Sales Planning? How to Create a Sales Plan

Jay Fuchs

Published: December 06, 2023

Sales planning is a fundamental component of sound selling. After all, you can‘t structure an effective sales effort if you don’t have, well, structure . Everyone — from the top to the bottom of a sales org — benefits from having solid, actionable, thoughtfully organized sales plans in place.

how to create a sales plan; Sales team creating a sales plan for the upcoming quarter

This kind of planning offers clarity and direction for your sales team — covering everything from the prospects you‘re trying to reach to the goals you’re trying to hit to the insight you're trying to deliver on.

But putting together one of these plans isn‘t always straightforward, so to help you out, I’ve compiled this detailed guide to sales planning — including expert-backed insight and examples — that will ensure your next sales plan is fundamentally sound and effective.

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In this post, we'll cover:

What is a sales plan?

Sales planning process.

  • What goes in a sales plan template?

How to Write a Sales Plan

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

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's target customers, revenue goals, team structure, and the strategies and resources necessary for achieving its targets.

marketing and sales plan in business plan

Free Sales Plan Template

Outline your company's sales strategy in one simple, coherent sales plan.

  • Target Market
  • Prospecting Strategy

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

What are the goals of an effective sales plan?

marketing and sales plan in business plan

And if (or more likely when ) those goals change over time, you need to regularly communicate those shifts and the strategic adjustments that come with them to your team.

Your sales strategy keeps your sales process productive — it offers the actionable steps your reps can take to deliver on your vision and realize the goals you set. So naturally, you need to communicate it effectively. A sales plan offers a solid resource for that.

For instance, your sales org might notice that your SDRs are posting lackluster cold call conversion rates. In turn, you might want to have them focus primarily on email outreach, or you could experiment with new sales messaging on calls.

Regardless of how you want to approach the situation, a thoughtfully structured sales plan will give both you and your reps a high-level perspective that would inform more cohesive, effective efforts across the team.

An effective sales org is a machine — one where each part has a specific function that serves a specific purpose that needs to be executed in a specific fashion. That's why everyone who comprises that org needs to have a clear understanding of how they specifically play into the company's broader sales strategy.

Outlining roles and responsibilities while sales planning lends itself to more efficient task delegation, improved collaboration, overlap reduction, and increased accountability. All of which amount to more streamlined, smooth, successful sales efforts.

Sales planning can set the framework for gauging how well your team is delivering on your sales strategy. It can inform the benchmarks and milestones reps can use to see how their performance stacks up against your goals and expectations.

It also gives sales leadership a holistic view of how well a sales org is functioning as a whole — giving them the necessary perspective to understand whether they have the right people and tools in place to be as successful as possible.

Sales planning isn‘t (and shouldn’t) be limited to the actual sales plan document it produces. If that document is going to have any substance or practical value, it needs to be the byproduct of a thorough, well-informed, high-level strategy.

When sales planning, you have some key steps you need to cover — including:

  • Gather sales data and search for trends.
  • Define your objectives.
  • Determine metrics for success.
  • Assess the current situation.
  • Start sales forecasting.
  • Identify gaps.
  • Ideate new initiatives.
  • Involve stakeholders.
  • Outline action items.

When putting this list together, I consulted  Zach Drollinger — Senior Director of Sales at edtech provider Coursedog — to ensure the examples detailed below are sound and accurate.

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.

For the sake of example, let‘s say that I’m a new sales director for an edtech company that sells curriculum planning software to higher education institutions. My vertical is community colleges, and my territory is the East Coast.

Once I assume this new role, I‘m going to want to gather as much context as possible about my vertical and how my company has approached it historically. I would pull information about how we’ve sold to this vertical.

How much new business have we closed within it in the past five years? How does that compare to how we perform with other kinds of institutions? Are we seeing significant churn from these customers?

I would also want to get context about the general needs, interests, and pain points of the kinds of institutions I‘m selling to. I’d look for insight into figures like degree velocity, staff retention, and enrollment.

Ultimately, I would get a comprehensive perspective on my sales process — a thorough understanding of where I stand and what my prospects are dealing with. That will ensure that I can deliver on the next step as effectively as possible.

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.

To extend the example from the previous step, I would leverage the context I gathered through the research I conducted about both my and my prospect's circumstances. I would start setting both broader goals and more granular operational objectives .

For instance, I might want to set a goal of increasing sales revenue from my vertical. From there, I would start putting together the kind of specific objectives that will facilitate that process — like connecting with administrators from at least 30 community colleges, booking demos with at least 10 schools, and successfully closing at least five institutions.

Obviously, those steps represent a streamlined (and unrealistically straightforward) sales process, but you get the idea — I would set a concrete goal, supplemented by SMART objectives , that will serve as a solid reference point for my org's efforts as the sales process progresses.

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.

I kind of covered this step in the previous example, but it still warrants a bit more elaboration. The “M” in SMART goals (“measurable”) is there for a reason. You can‘t tell if your efforts were successful if you don’t know what “successful” actually means.

The edtech sales example I‘ve been running with revolves mostly around me assuming ownership of an existing vertical and getting more out of it. So it’s fair to assume that sales growth rate — the increase or decrease of sales revenue in a given period, typically expressed as a percentage — would be an effective way to gauge success.

I might want to structure my goals and objectives around a sales growth rate of 20% Y/Y within my vertical. I would make sure my org was familiar with that figure and offer some context about what it would take to reach it — namely, how many institutions we would need to close and retain.

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.

Continuing the edtech example, I would use the historical context I gathered and the objectives I set to frame how I look at my current circumstances. I might start by considering my goal of increasing revenue by 20% Y/Y. In that case, I would look at the company's retention figures — ideally, that would give me a sense of whether that needs to be a major area of focus.

I would also try to pin down trends in the colleges that we've already closed — are there any pain points we consistently sell on? I might take a closer look at how we demo to see if we might be glossing over key elements of our value proposition. Maybe, I would use conversation intelligence to get a better sense of how reps are handling their calls.

Ultimately, I would try to identify why we're performing the way we are, the inefficiencies that might be resulting from our current strategy, and how we can best set ourselves up to sell as effectively as possible.

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 .

In our edtech example, I would approach this step by trying to estimate how my sales org is going to fare with the specific vertical we‘re pursuing in the time window we’ve allotted.

The method I decide to go with will depend on factors like how many concrete opportunities we have lined up — in addition to elements like the kind of historical data we have handy, how the reps working these deals tend to perform, and the degree of insight we have about our potential customers.

Let's say I consider those factors and decide to run something called a multivariable analysis. In that case, I could start by taking stock of the opportunities my reps have lined up. Then, I could look at the reps working those deals, their typical win rates, and the time they have to close — among other factors.

For instance, I might calculate that a rep working with a particularly large institution has a 50% chance of closing within the window we‘ve allotted. Using that insight, we could attribute 50% of the potential deal size to our forecast — we’d repeat that process with all of the opportunities in question and ideally get a solid sense of the revenue we can expect to generate in this window.

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.

Continuing the edtech example, let‘s say my forecast turned up results that weren’t in keeping with what we need to reach our goals. If that were the case, I would take a holistic look at our process, operations, and resources to pin down inefficiencies or areas for improvement.

In my search, I find that our sales content and marketing collateral are dated — with case studies that don‘t cover our product’s newest and most relevant features. I also might see that our reps don‘t seem to have too much trouble booking demos, but the demos themselves aren’t converting due to a lack of training and inconsistent messaging.

And finally, I find that a lack of alignment with marketing has prospects focusing on unrealistic outcomes our sales team can‘t deliver on. Once I’ve identified those gaps, I would start to hone in on ways to remedy those issues and improve those elements.

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.

In the edtech example we've been running with, I would likely ideate initiatives based on the gaps I identified in the previous step. I would start a push to ensure that our sales content and marketing collateral are up-to-date and impressive.

I would also consider new training programs to ensure that our coaching infrastructure is prioritizing how to conduct effective demos. Finally, I would start to work on a plan with marketing to ensure our messaging is aligned with theirs — so we can make sure prospects' expectations are realistic and effective.

One way or another, I would take the gaps I found and find concrete, actionable ways to fill them. I would make sure that these initiatives aren't abstract. Just saying, " We're going to be better at demos," isn‘t a plan — it’s a sentiment, and sentiments don't translate to hard sales.

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.

This step is sort of an extension of the previous two — once I‘ve identified the key issues and roadblocks obstructing my edtech startup’s sales org, I would start identifying the right people to fulfill the necessary initiatives I've put together.

In this example, I would tap some stakeholders in charge of our sales content and marketing collateral to produce newer, more relevant case studies and whitepapers we can pass along to the institutions we're working with.

I would also go to middle management and either offer more direction for coaching on demos or bring in a third-party training service to offer more focused, professional insight on the issue.

Finally, I would connect with marketing leadership to align on the benefits and outcomes we generally stress when pitching the schools we sell to. That way, we can ensure that the institutions we're connecting with have realistic expectations of our product or service that we can speak to more clearly and effectively.

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.

In our edtech example, some key action items might be:

  • Revamp our prospecting strategy via more involved coaching and re-tooled sales messaging.
  • Revamp administrator and college dean buyer personas.
  • Conduct new trainings on demoing our software.
  • See our new prospecting strategy from ideation to execution.
  • Align with our sales enablement stakeholders for new, more relevant case studies and whitepapers.

Obviously, that list isn‘t exhaustive — but those are still the kinds of steps we would need to clarify and take to structure a more effective high-level strategy to produce different (ideally much better) results than we’ve been seeing.

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

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What is a Sales Funnel? (& What You Should Make Instead)

What is a Sales Funnel? (& What You Should Make Instead)

Outline your company's sales strategy in one simple, coherent plan.

Powerful and easy-to-use sales software that drives productivity, enables customer connection, and supports growing sales orgs

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The sales and marketing section of your business plan is especially crucial because it determines how you’ll plan on generating profit and describes how you intend to create exposure to best sell your product. It’s in this area of your business plan that you’ll hone the key elements of your marketing strategy. The actual implementation of your sales and marketing initiatives actually occurs before you launch, when you’ve set your go-to-market date so strategize the components of your sales and marketing plan early on.

Here’s a quick guide on what your key sales and marketing considerations should be:

This section should contain the following elements and should be no more than four pages.

Unique Value Proposition

Pricing strategy.

  • Sales/Distribution Plan

Marketing Plan

Your unique value proposition is the market need you’re planning to solve. Think of it as your secret ingredient – your “special sauce.” This may be a combination of factors including customer service, technology, a twist on a product or service, etc. Create the case for why your product deserves to have a sustainable business built around it.

Determine your pricing scheme. First, check what your competition is charging. This should give you an indication of what customers are willing to spend. Then, determine how you can add value. Until you get your product out there, it’s hard to know for sure how much your added benefit is worth in the customer’s mind. The keyword here is “reasonable.” You can charge any price you want to, but for every product or service, there’s a limit to how much the consumer is willing to pay.

Remember, even if you’re trying to be the lowest-cost provider, give a higher perceived value to your ideal customer to stand apart from the competition. Competitors can slash their prices to meet or beat yours, so be very careful if you decide to compete on cost.

Sales & Distribution Plan

This section describes how you intend to get your product to customers and how you’ll measure the effectiveness of those methods. For example, once you figure out where you’ll be selling your product – online, at a retail outlet, door-to-door – determine the type of sales team you’ll need and how you’ll compensate them.

In terms of distribution, think about how you’ll actually get the product or service into the hands of the customer. Ultimately, you’ll want to sell your product or service in as many ways that make sense for your company: online, at a retail outlet, via house parties or mail order, or through other companies. Initially, however, focus on selling through just one of these channels so you can build your business before comfortably extending to others.

You’re going to need customers to buy your product. How do you plan to get them? There are many free or low-cost strategies such as referrals, word-of-mouth, public relations, and marketing partners to help cross-promote or sell your product, so I would avoid any expensive print, TV, or radio advertising campaigns at these early stages.

Create your strategy for attracting customers. Before you start actually executing your marketing strategy, however, think about “branding.” This is the look and feel of your business, what customers experience when interacting with it, from the fonts, colors, and text of the website and your business cards to the overall image you portray in the product itself. This branding will be reflected in the execution of your marketing strategy.

Describe how you want customers to experience your product or service. Take a look at products or companies that you really like, and think about why you like them. What makes you feel good about them? Do these characteristics permeate all aspects of the product, from website to packaging to letterhead?

After you document the marketing plan activities, calculate the costs that you expect to incur. For example, if referrals are part of the strategy, then calculate how much you’re willing to pay a referral partner for each new customer they bring your way. Will it be $1, $20, $50, or more? Let’s say, for example, you expect a referral partner to refer 100 clients to you, and each of those referred clients spends $10, giving you a total of $1,000. You’ve agreed to pay this partner $1 for each referral, so you’ll spend $100 on referrals for your marketing strategy. In this example, your cost of acquisition – the cost you pay for each new customer – is $1. You’ll need to know this number, especially when you draft your financial plan.

Business Plan Template for a Startup Business To increase your odds of a successful business startup, download this step-by-step business plan template you can use to plan for your new business.

Every Business Deserves Planning Don’t make the common mistake of dismissing the value of planning. Every well-run business needs to manage strategy, metrics and essential business numbers.

Copyright © 2023 SCORE Association, SCORE.org

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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How to Create a Sales Plan for Your Business

Female entrepreneur sitting at her desk with headphones on. Working on recording her sales strategy.

James Cummings

9 min. read

Updated October 27, 2023

Taking the leap into entrepreneurship is a bold move. Many have plunged and crashed because they were ill-prepared. Many professionals place emphasis on having a business plan, and this is a good thing. However, if your business is going to be selling tangible goods, a smart sales plan is equally important.

What are the best strategies for a working sales plan? Why do they matter and what are the steps to organize one for your business?

When you have a sales plan that supports your business plan, your execution should yield positive outcomes. Whether you are a business owner, a sales manager, or a strategist, this article is for you.

  • Understanding the meaning of a good sales plan and why it matters

Every business exists to achieve a specific objective . For those who want to drive sales, a sales plan is the roadmap for guiding you toward achieving those sales goals.

What is a sales plan? It is a month-to-month estimate of the quantity of sales you intend to achieve, and the steps you will take to get there. It includes previous sales, market conditions, specific niches, and your customers—how you are going to identify them, communicate with them, and sell to them.

When executed correctly, a sales plan gives you control and leverage in growing and expanding your startup, instead of simply attending to day-to-day sales tasks.

With this information, you can confidently identify any impending issues, sales droughts, or prospects and act quickly on them. It may seem like a lot of work right now, but once you can answer these questions, you’ll be able to take your sales and business to the next level.

  • How to create a successful sales plan

1.  Set realistic goals

Every sales plan needs an end goal—something to measure your actual values against. For this, a figure is required, whether it is the number of sales to expect by the end of a quarter or the number of customers you convert to buyers. This figure helps you determine how successful or far from the mark your results are.

Setting realistic goals will depend on factors like the market size, company objectives, and the resources or experience available to your sales team. You are probably aware of what SMART goals are, so we won’t be discussing that at length.

However, the following common mistakes should be avoided:

  • Being overly optimistic
  • Neglecting your own assumptions
  • Shifting the goalposts
  • Failing to ask for sound advice
  • Not having a feedback mechanism

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2. have clear deadlines and milestones.

You need to know if the assumptions you are making in your sales plan are close to your target. To do this, split that big plan into smaller goals (deliverables) with strict deadlines. These are milestones. Whether you have achieved a certain number of leads for the half quarter or sales target, these milestones are useful in telling you whether you are on the right path.

Having clear-cut deadlines and manageable milestones requires research and time to develop. They should motivate and challenge your sales team without being too difficult, or it will lower their morale. Start with the figures from last year; track the exponential increase in sales and compare them with your industry’s present realities. This should be able to inform the milestones you’ll need to set.

3. Select a suitable niche and focus on it

The previous steps have helped set a “bullseye” that you want to hit. The next steps are about filling out your sales plan. The first thing to do is understand the market you operate in and the niche you serve so that you can position your business properly for growth.

A business niche is simply your business’s area of specialization. For example, you may own a sweet shop, in which case your business would be known to specialize in confectionery. However, it goes further than the space it occupies with your products. Your niche also comprises your content, company culture, branding, and overall business message. This is how you stand out from your competitors and get recognized by your target audience.

Be specific; choose a target market . Using the above analogy, would your sweet shop be aimed at children, or if it was a shop that sold vintage sweets, would it also be aimed at adults of a certain age?  According to Jason Zook , serial entrepreneur: “When you try to make something for everyone, you end up making something for no one.”

Ask yourself the following questions and spend some time on market research :

  • What is the market size ?
  • Is there an inherent need for the product you are selling?
  • What is your market position? (Conducting a SWOT analysis can be helpful here.)
  • Who are your competitors and what their current strategies?

4. Know your target customers

One of the worst decisions any startup will make is to spend money and effort on the wrong set of customers. You are already hard-pressed on a growth budget, so wasting it kills the business fast.

Conduct research to identify the targeted audience. Scour the internet and glean as much information as possible by looking at the latest trends. You can even compile surveys to gauge relevant feedback. Once you know your niche, do everything to find out what you can about your customers. For example, what is their profile—their language, typical online behavior, and product preferences? What you look to define will depend on your company and the nature of your market.

However, for a startup, it’s best to begin with basics like their geographical location, work information, purchasing power, and so on.

Also, find out:

  • If they are on social media, and their choice of network.
  • Do they belong to any LinkedIn or Facebook groups?
  • Can you answer their pain points on Reddit or Quora?
  • What do they read and what podcasts do they enjoy listening to?

5. Prepare a plan for the customer’s journey

Once you have your typical customer profile figured out, the next step is to determine how to make them your customer. This can be achieved by simply charting out their journey from prospect to loyal customer.

To understand what you need to know about your potential customers, ask these questions:

  • What issues do you want our product to help you solve?
  • What attributes are most important to you, and why?
  • What budget do you have for this?
  • How are you presently solving this problem?

These are important questions. Good salespeople take their buyers on a journey every time—from attention to interest, desire, and action. The AIDA model is a great tool for achieving conversion via a sales funnel. When you guide them faithfully through this process, your customers should eventually convert.

6. Define your unique selling points

You know your customers and the path along their sales journey. The next step is to plug your services smartly into the path, in the best possible manner. You can do this by defining your unique selling proposition (USP) .  Your USP is what differentiates your business from other players in the market.

Know your customer base by asking them the following questions:

  • Exactly why do you patronize us?
  • What would make you choose our competitors instead of us?
  • Why do you think some prospective customers would not buy at all?
  • What steps do you think we need to take to attract more customers in the future?

To find out just what customers are looking for and why they might patronize your business, try surveying them to gauge opinion. Offer such surveys online and make it simple and straightforward for people to proffer the relevant feedback.

It’s important to remember that people buy benefits, not features. Avoid getting lost in the color or model of your product when describing it to the customer. Rather, outline what it would do for them: the problems it will resolve, and the advantages of buying it.

7. Build a list of prospects

Armed with the knowledge of the type of customers you want and the benefits you are going to sell them, the next step is to build a list of prospects. That is generating leads of potential customers to try your theories on.

A prospect list is a directory of real people you can contact—those who will ideally benefit from your services or products. Building this directory is one of the major tasks of a salesperson, but they can be obtained nonetheless.

From your customer profile, target the following:

  • LinkedIn for prospects
  • Relevant local business networks
  • Network seminars and conferences
  • Perform Google searches (to identify buying trends for example)
  • Work with leads generating companies like Salesripe

8. Take advantage of existing client relationships

A common saying in marketing is that it is significantly cheaper and more rewarding to retain existing customers than go after new ones. In other words, focus a good amount of effort on customer retention rather than customer acquisition.

According to Gartner research, 65 percent of a company’s revenue comes from existing customers, and it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than satisfy an existing one. Leverage this relationship by offering occasional loyalty rewards. Examples include accumulated points systems, redeemable gift cards, discounts, and so on.

Another way to gain from existing customers is to ask for referrals. People trust recommendations from their peers more than your sales pitch. Additionally, some companies offer incentives to current customers who introduce a new buyer.

9. Look for strategic partners with the same goal

Don’t solely focus on acquiring paying customers. Seek strategic alliances with companies and other businesses that could benefit you. They could even be your competitor; success is not always about fighting, but collaborating.

You can meet up with these people at conferences or sites like Partner Up. Other professional networks also provide a reliable platform to interact with like-minded individuals and companies. For instance, if you manufacture toilet paper, you could partner up with magazine companies or recycling organizations for their by-products.

10. Track, measure, and tweak

Now that you have the makings of a solid sales plan, it doesn’t end here. You need to have a process for comparing your success—checking results against the original goal. If you don’t know how you performed, you can never adjust for improvement or to replicate future successes.

Many digital platforms help with this stage. For example, Google Analytics provides you with a dashboard which includes an overview of sources of your biggest sales, the best and least performing days, revenue growth, leads to conversion rate ratio, and so on. It will also be important to be able to quickly and easily monitor your financial metrics —a business dashboard can help, but it’s possible to track your progress manually using Excel spreadsheets. The advantage of this process is that each metric can be tweaked as the sales process is ongoing. This means you have full control of the entire activity.

Are you currently struggling with a workable sales plan? Start with these basics and you can grow from there.

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Content Author: James Cummings

James is a business psychologist and serial entrepreneur, with over a decade working in finance, IT, marketing, and recruitment sectors. He has authored numerous books in the management space and is founder and CEO of Dailyposts UK.

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How to present your sales and marketing strategy in your business plan?

the marketing and sales subsection forms part of the overall strategy section of a business plan

The marketing and sales section forms the cornerstone of any business plan. It details your approach to reach and sell to your target audience. Whilst some entrepreneurs believe that this section should predominantly be about advertising, it covers a lot more than that.

Without adequate knowledge of the information required, writing this section can be challenging. This guide covers that aspect and also talks about the overall objective of this section and how long it should be amongst other things.

After reading our guide, you’ll be well on your way to drafting a comprehensive strategy section that can help you secure financing from lenders and investors.

Ready? Let’s get started!

In this guide:

  • What is the objective of the marketing and sales strategy of your business plan?

What information should I include in the marketing and sales strategy section of my business plan?

  • How long should the marketing and sales strategy of your business plan be?
  • Example of a marketing and sales strategy section in a business plan

What tools can you use to write your business plan?

What is the objective of the marketing and sales strategy section in your business plan.

The sales and marketing section follows both the market analysis and the pricing subsections. Its main objective is to communicate to readers that you have a well-defined go-to-market strategy that will help you reach and sell to your target customers. 

A compelling sales and marketing section can help you convey how you plan to capture your target market’s attention and generate sales as well as build competence with investors and lenders. 

When writing this section, you need to show that you plan on using effective distribution and communication channels.  

  • Distribution channels are what you use to sell your goods or services. Online or physical stores, or door-to-door sales, for example.
  • Communication channels are what you use to promote your brand to target customers. This can include ads or flyers for example.

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We have discussed that your business plan's marketing and sales section should be well-structured and presentable. 

When writing this section, all businesses should provide a rationale for their distribution and communication channels by elaborating on the following factors: 

Here, you need to talk about why you think your chosen channels will help you reach your target market. 

For example:

  • Younger audiences might be more receptive to messaging and marketing initiative on social media, while other demographics might prefer traditional media like TV or radio.
  • Selling through national retailers might give you immediate scale - though being at a lower margin than through a network of owned stores

The best channels for your business will depend on the type of products or services you sell and the tarket customer segments you identified in your market analysis.

Cost and margin

In this section, you need to emphasize why the channels you have chosen will be cost-effective and share details pertaining to the budget allocation. 

For example, cold calling small businesses might be a cheaper way of selling your services than using advertising.

Competition 

To address this factor, you need to provide details about how and why your chosen channels will help you gain a competitive advantage.

A competitive advantage refers to a unique attribute, quality, or strategy that allows your business to outperform its competitors and achieve superior performance in its industry or market. It's what sets your company apart and gives it a strong position in the marketplace. 

For example, a hybrid network of owned and franchised stores might enable you to quickly achieve national coverage and greater brand recognition than your competitors.

Implementation 

Here, you need to provide details about who (from your sales and marketing team) will be responsible for actioning these channels and a timeline pertaining to key goals and objectives for each.  

entrepreneur writing about their business's sales target as part of the marketing strategy

Key performance indicators (KPIs) 

Lastly, you also need to provide details about the KPIs you will use to measure the effectiveness of the distribution and communication channels. 

For distribution channels, this could include:

  • Gross profit margin
  • Return on investment

For communication channels, this could include:

  • Brand recognition
  • Number of website or in-store visitors

It’s important to understand that the factors stated above (reach, cost, competition, implementation and KPIs) may be applicable to all industries. However, the details used for each factor must be tailored to the industry and customer profiles targeted by your own business. 

With that understanding, let’s look at what information should be included in this section for different industries. 

Agriculture

Agricultural businesses usually sell either to farmers (equipment, services, etc.), to consumers (food) and retailers (food, raw materials, equipment, etc.), or to food manufacturers.

With that in mind, your marketing plan should ideally provide details about how you plan to communicate in order to reach these customers. For example, you might decide to invest in a couple bilboards with directions to your farm if you sale directly to consumers.

As for the sales strategy, you need to discuss your approach to distribution and inventory management (especially for fresh produce). For example, selling to food manufacturers might give you a greater scale at the cost of a lower margin and a dependency on a small number of customers.

Construction

Construction businesses usually sell either to households or other construction businesses and builders (subcontractors).

Your marketing strategy might include actions such as highlighting past projects to showcase customer satisfaction on your website and brochures, to attend industry events to promote your know-how, or to invest in a branded fleet of vehicles.

When providing details about your sales strategy, you need to explain how you'll bid on projects, provide estimates, and effectively manage client expectations. 

Hospitality

The hospitality industry is one that’s heavily based on customer demand around your location(s) and meeting patrons' expectations to generate positive word of mouth.

Your marketing plan might revolve around using local advertising and food bloggers to increase awareness, and a loyalty program to increase repeat visits.  

Your sales strategy might be centered around: leveraging online booking platforms to fill the restaurant outside of peak hours, marketplaces to drive takeaway sales, and staff training to promote higher margin items on your menu.

Manufacturing

For manufacturers, your marketing and sales section will depend on whether you plan to manufacture your own products or produce them for other brands. It’s important to understand that both these are entirely different target customers with varying requirements. 

If you plan on manufacturing for other brands, you need to showcase your manufacturing capabilities, quality standards, and ability to fulfill orders. You can also provide details about your production process and ability to meet tight deadlines. 

If you plan to manufacture your own products, you must detail how you plan to attract competent distributors or set up your own distribution network. To do this, you can provide details about the uniqueness of your product and how it adds value to the end customer. 

The sales and marketing plans of retailers will most likely revolve around customer acquisition, repeat purchases, and enhancing the shopping experience. You could provide details about visual merchandising, store layout, online presence, and loyalty programs.

You could also mention store locations, pricing strategies, and promotions.

The way services are marketed and sold vary greatly depending on the type of service, the type of customers (businesses vs. consumers), the contract duration and the price point (which will influence the length of the sales cycle).

The sales and marketing plan of a hairdresser might be close to the one put in place by a retailer or other types of high street businesses.

Inversely the sales and marketing plan of a high end business consulting firm might include lead generation efforts through content marketing, networking, cold calling, and targeted advertising.

How long should the sales and marketing plan of your business plan be?

The ideal length for the sales and marketing plan depends upon several factors, such as the reader's familiarity with the industry you operate in and the size of your business.

The sales and marketing section of a grocery shop may not require much information as foot trafic around the location will be the primary lever. 

However, a business-to-business (B2B) company that provides software for human resources might be more complex and require further details.

In general, one or two paragraphs per action planned or lever mobilised is enough, though a complex industry or larger business may require to communicate more information. However, you can use visuals and graphics to help reduce the length and make complex concepts easier to understand.

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Example of a sales and marketing section in a business plan 

Below is an example of how the sales and marketing section of your business plan might look like.

The Business Plan Shop's online business planning software: sales and marketing plan example

This example was taken from one of  our business plan templates .

In this part, we will review three solutions for writing a professional business plan:

  • Using Word and Excel
  • Hiring a consultant to write your business plan
  • Utilizing an online business plan software

Create your business plan using Word and Excel

Creating a business plan using Word and Excel is old fashion, error prone, and (very) time consuming.

First of all, using Excel to create your financial forecast is only feasible if you have a degree in accounting and experience in financial modelling, because lenders are unlikely to trust the accuracy of your financial forecast otherwise.

Secondly, using Word means starting from scratch and formatting the document yourself once written - a process that is quite tedious. There are also no instructions or examples to guide you through each section making the overall process much longer than it needs to be.

Thirdly, for a business plan to be really useful it needs to be tracked against the company's actual financial performance and regularly updated which is a very manual process if you are using Excel.

Hire a consultant to write your business plan

This is a good option if you have the budget for it - from experience you need to budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) for a complete business plan, more if you need to make changes after the initial version (which happens frequently after the initial meetings with lenders).

Consultants are experienced in writing business plans and most of them adept at creating financial forecasts without errors. Furthermore, hiring a consultant can save you time and allow you to focus on the day-to-day operations of your business.

Use an online business plan software for your business plan

Another alternative is to use online business plan software .

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can be inspired by already written business plan templates
  • You can easily make your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You get a professional document, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank
  • The software will enable you to easily track your actual financial performance against your forecast and update your forecast as time goes by

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try our software for free by signing up here .

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • How to do a market analysis for a business plan
  • 7 tips for writing an effective business plan

Do you know anyone struggling to craft the marketing and sales part of their business plan? Share this article and help them out. 

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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How to Write a Sales Plan

Table of contents.

Elizabeth Veras

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.

  • Targeted accounts: Assign each salesperson a few key accounts to focus on, and grow from that base.
  • Targeted verticals: Sales teams might focus on specific market segments or verticals, such as a particular industry.
  • SKUs: Salespeople should emphasize certain SKUs or inventory items rather than get lost in a broad catalog of merchandise to sell.
  • Sales and marketing coordination: Sales and marketing teams should work together to create promotions to help generate sales.
  • Product road maps: Every company has a road map, and each product should have a road map that shows the plan and direction for a product offering over time to chart out when a product will launch and when it might sunset or be replaced by a newer model.
  • Forecasts: Sales forecasting is projecting sales volumes and expectations by comparing them historically to sales of previous years, and then conducting market comparison to determine where sales will fall against the competition.

“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:

  • If so, are they purchasing anything or just browsing?
  • Was it word of mouth?
  • Was it through marketing efforts, such as email marketing, direct mail or social media?
  • How many are new customers?
  • How many are repeat customers?
  • Where do you want your sales to come from? 
  • What are some external and internal factors that could impact your sales? These include industry trends and economic conditions.

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:

  • What is your current relationship with your customers?
  • Where did most of your sales come from?
  • Where would you like to expand your sales?

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: 

  • Use your POS system to retain customer information so you can track current and new customers.
  • Employ email marketing, text message marketing , social media, outbound call center services and direct mail marketing campaigns.

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:

  • Refer to the business plan. The sales plan should directly address the objectives of the business plan and how those objectives can be achieved.
  • Advance clear objectives. The clearer the objectives are, the easier it will be to reach your goals.
  • Reference prior sales data. Chart sales over the previous few terms, and project the trend for the current term. New businesses can create sales projections based on expectations.
  • Outline the commission structure. This will help motivate your team and help you calculate anticipated costs.
  • Be clear about how progress is measured. There should be no dispute about this. If larger clients carry more weight than lower-volume buyers, that should be stated upfront.

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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How to write marketing plan in business plan

How to Write the Marketing Plan in Business Plan?

A marketing plan in business plan is one of the very important sections of a business plan. Marketing is done to spread awareness about your business and its product/service. 

What is a marketing plan?

Marketing plan vs marketing strategy.

An effective marketing strategy helps you achieve early success. 

Use this article to write an effective marketing plan section in a business plan. 

A marketing section of a business plan gives you a roadmap to organize, execute and track the progress of your marketing efforts. 

Your marketing plan helps you align your marketing efforts with your business goals. It gives your marketing effort a direction and you can evaluate your efforts at any point.

Types of marketing plan 

A perfect type of marketing plan in business plan will depend on your business, your goals, and how soon you want to achieve them. 

We have outlined some marketing plans that most businesses need to use. Since this is the age of the internet, we have also included online marketing plans and digital marketing plans.

Want to write a business plan?

Hire our professional business plan writers to prepare your business plan!

Quarterly or Annual Marketing Plans 

These are your business marketing plans with a timeline. Every business has its quarterly, bi-yearly, and yearly goals. You will use these goals to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing efforts over time.

Paid Marketing Plans 

Paid marketing plans include online advertising, buying billboards, or marketing on vehicles. Pay Per Click marketing and social media marketing for your small business.

Social Media Marketing Plan 

Social media marketing plan for business plan can be done in two ways. You can hire a team and raise awareness about your business by sharing regular updates. 

You can also do paid marketing on social media. You will need to invest in buying ads on that social media platform and pay for a team of social media marketers.

You can also leverage these effective digital marketing channels for your business. 

Content Marketing Plan 

A content marketing plan is about attracting potential customers to your website with the help of SEO. You create value for your potential customer first and then by extension, market your business. It can be offline in the form of free workshops etc or online in the form of guides and resources.

Product Launch Marketing Plan 

A product lunch  sales and marketing plan in business plan  will help you decide on the marketing tools, tactics, and tracking you will do when launching a new product or service.

You can also hire WiseBusinessPlans Digital Marketing Services to run successful marketing campaigns for your business. 

The difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy is simple; a marketing plan is what methods, tools, and tactics you will use for marketing, and a market strategy in business plan is how you will implement your plan.

Learn how to develop an effective marketing strategy with this detailed guide. 

Access our free business plan examples now!

How to write a marketing plan for a business plan.

How to write a marketing plan for a business plan

Follow these simple steps to write a marketing plan in business plan.

Business Mission

Write your business mission statement and translate it into the efforts the marketing department will make. 

For example, your business mission is to help people with home gardening. Your marketing department version will be to attract people who want to do home gardening.

These are performance indicators. These metrics will help you evaluate performance and progress. An example of KPIs for marketing is customer visits to your website, social media page, or brick-and-mortar store.

Create Buyer Personas

A buyer persona is a short description of your average customer. When you have no data, a buyer persona will describe the customer you want to attract.

Decide on Marketing Strategies and Content

Go through the marketing strategies you can use and select the one that will produce the best return on investment for your business. 

Similarly, think about the content type that is attractive to your target audience . For example, video format may attract your audience or you may need to share more about your business on social media to grab their attention.

Define Marketing Plan Scope

Define the scope and limits of your marketing plan. Clearly mention what your marketing team will do and will not do. 

This will help you save time, cost, and effort in wasted resources.

Set Marketing Budget 

You can only spend a set amount on marketing. Set your marketing budget and be creative in that budget to produce the best return. 

Your budget is directly related to your marketing goals. Set your marketing budget in a way that does not hamper marketing efforts. 

Know your Competition 

Knowing and profiling your customer helps you market better. See what are strong spots of competitors’ marketing plans, are and how they are attracting audiences to make a plan to compete effectively. 

Appoint your Team & their Responsibilities

Decide on job roles for your team. Set their KPIs, marketing channels they will manage, what content they will create, etc.

Bonus Tip: Here is a step by step guide on how to write a marketing plan executive summary with example and template.

Example of Marketing Plan in Business Plan PDF

See this example of a marketing plan in a business plan to understand how it is done. You can create your marketing plan in the same way.

In the marketing plan section, include details about your target market, competition analysis, marketing strategies, pricing, promotion, and distribution channels. It should outline your approach to reaching and engaging your target audience.

Conduct market research by analyzing your target audience, understanding their needs and preferences, studying your competitors, and identifying market trends. Use surveys, interviews, and industry reports to gather relevant data for your marketing plan.

Consider including a mix of marketing strategies such as digital marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, advertising, public relations, and networking. Choose strategies that align with your target audience and business goals.

Determine pricing by considering factors such as production costs, competitor pricing, market demand, and perceived value. Conduct a pricing analysis to ensure your prices are competitive and profitable for your business.

It is recommended to review and update your marketing plan regularly, at least annually or whenever there are significant changes in your business or market conditions. This allows you to adapt your strategies, stay relevant, and capitalize on new opportunities.

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It is a very useful guide. I was wondering If your site offers marketing plan writers for businesses. If any, kindly reply.

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How to Create an Effective Sales and Marketing Plan

marketing and sales plan in business plan

A comprehensive sales and marketing plan sets up organizations for long-term growth and success. In this guide, we’ll dig into the differences between sales and marketing plans, how to create your plan, and templates to get the ball rolling.

What is a Sales and Marketing Plan?

Sales plan vs. marketing plan, marketing plan template: the essential components, sales plan template: the essential components, steps to create a sales and marketing plan.

A well-crafted sales and marketing plan is indispensable for the success and growth of any company, whether it’s a startup, small business, or enterprise. This plan serves as a roadmap, outlining clear objectives, targeted customer segments, and actionable tactics to drive sales and promote brand awareness.

It enables companies to understand their market position, competitive landscape, and customer needs. On top of that, it provides a structured approach to buyer engagement , ensuring consistent and effective communication across various touchpoints.

By defining specific goals and identifying key performance indicators (KPIs), a sales and marketing plan provides a structured framework for marketing and sales to align their go-to-market efforts. And when teams are aligned, companies can generate up to 208% more revenue from their marketing efforts.

While sales and marketing are integral to an overall business plan, they serve distinct purposes and focus on different aspects of the customer journey. Here are the key differences between a sales plan and a marketing plan:

Focus and Objectives

Sales Plan: Primarily focuses on the activities and strategies to drive direct revenue generation. It outlines the specific actions the sales team will take to achieve targets and goals.

Marketing Plan: Concentrates on creating awareness, generating interest, and positioning new products or services in the market. It aims to build and maintain the brand, nurture leads, and create favorable conditions for sales.

Sales Plan: Typically more tactical and operational, it details the sales team’s day-to-day activities. It addresses how sales representatives engage with prospects, close deals, and meet revenue targets.

Marketing Plan: Has a broader scope, encompassing the overall market strategy, brand positioning, promotional activities, and communication efforts. It sets the stage for sales by creating a favorable market environment.

Sales Plan: Often focuses on short-term goals and immediate revenue generation. It may have a more immediate and tactical orientation focusing on quarterly or annual targets.

Marketing Plan: Can have a longer-term perspective, building brand equity and customer relationships over time. It may include short-term and long-term initiatives aligned with the overall business strategy.

Sales Plan: Includes sales tactics, prospecting strategies, target setting, and customer relationship management (CRM) activities.

Marketing Plan: Encompasses market research, target audience identification, advertising, content creation, social media strategy, and overall brand positioning.

Sales Plan: Metrics focus on sales performance , revenue targets, conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, and individual sales representative performance.

Marketing Plan: Metrics include brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, social media engagement, customer acquisition costs, and marketing ROI.

Collaboration

Sales Plan: Primarily involves collaboration within the sales team, setting individual and team goals, and coordinating efforts to meet targets.

Marketing Plan: Requires collaboration between marketing and other departments to ensure a consistent brand message and a seamless customer experience. This collaboration extends to content creation, advertising, and customer relationship strategies.

Here, you can see that a sales plan is more tactical and concentrates on direct revenue generation. In contrast, the marketing plan is strategic, focusing on creating a favorable market environment and building brand equity.

An effective marketing plan outlines a business’s strategies and tactics to achieve its marketing objectives. Here are the key components that typically go into creating a new marketing plan:

Executive Summary

  • Brief overview of the marketing plan, including goals, strategies, and key components.

Market Analysis

  • Analysis of the target market, including demographics, trends, and opportunities.
  • Competitor analysis, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis).

Target Audience and Buyer Personas

  • Detailed profiles of the target customers, specifying their needs, pain points, preferences, and behaviors.
  • Development of buyer personas to guide marketing strategies, messaging, and sales outreach.

Marketing Goals and Objectives

  • Clearly defined SMART goals for the marketing efforts.
  • Specific objectives, such as brand awareness, lead generation, customer acquisition, or market share.

Positioning and Messaging

  • Clear articulation of the brand positioning and competitive advantages.
  • Development of consistent messaging that resonates with the target audience.

Marketing Strategies

  • Overview of the overarching marketing strategies, including product positioning, pricing, distribution, and promotion.
  • Differentiation strategies and competitive positioning.

Marketing Mix (4Ps)

  • Product: Details about the products or services being marketed.
  • Price: Pricing strategy, discounts, and payment terms.
  • Place: Distribution channels and logistics.
  • Promotion: Advertising, public relations, digital marketing, content marketing, and other promotional activities.

Marketing Budget

  • Allocation of budget for each marketing activity and channel.
  • Cost projections and expected return on investment (ROI).

Marketing Calendar

  • Timeline for planned marketing activities, campaigns, and promotions.
  • Seasonal considerations and industry-specific events.

Marketing Channels

  • Identification and description of the marketing channels to be utilized (online and offline).
  • Social media strategy, content marketing plan, email marketing, advertising channels, etc.

Content Strategy

  • Development of a content plan, including types of content (i.e. case studies, one-pagers), frequency, and distribution channels.
  • Content creation and distribution strategy.
  • Regular content audit to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Measurement and Analytics

  • KPIs to benchmark the success of marketing activities.
  • Tools and methods for data collection and analysis.

A sales plan is a strategic document that outlines the tactics and activities a business will undertake to achieve its sales objectives. Here are the key components that typically go into a sales plan:

  • Brief overview of the entire sales plan, summarizing the goals, strategies, and key components.

Sales Objectives

  • Clearly defined and measurable sales goals, such as revenue targets, market share, or customer acquisition metrics.
  • Specific and realistic objectives for the sales team.

Target Market and Customer Segmentation

  • Identification of the target market and specific customer segments.
  • Create ideal customer profiles and characteristics to guide sales efforts.

Product or Service Offering

  • Detailed information about the products or services being sold.
  • Value propositions and key differentiators.

Sales Strategies

  • Overview of the overarching sales strategies , including prospecting, lead generation, and conversion tactics.
  • Strategies for acquiring new customers, upselling, cross-selling, and customer retention.

Sales Team Structure

  • Organization of the sales team, including roles, responsibilities, and reporting structure.

Sales Tactics and Techniques

  • Detailed description of the tactics and techniques the sales team will use to engage with potential customers and increase the bottom line.
  • Sales methodologies employed by the team.

Sales Forecast

  • Prediction of sales performance over a specific period.
  • Revenue projections, taking into account market conditions and other relevant factors.

Sales Territories and Distribution Channels

  • Definition of sales territories and distribution channels.
  • Strategies for reaching and serving customers in different geographic areas.

Sales Metrics and KPIs

  • Identification of key metrics to measure sales performance.
  • KPIs such as conversion rates, average deal size, and customer acquisition costs.

Sales Training and Development

  • Plans for training and developing the sales team.
  • Continuous improvement strategies.

Now that you have templates in place, let’s put them together to create an overall plan and what it could look like.

Look for trends in the data

Before you start digging into the meat of your plan, you need to gather data, drawing from internal company insights and external market trends. Internally, you can look at historical sales data, customer behaviors, and product performance, providing a foundation for understanding the company’s strengths and areas for improvement.

On the other hand, keeping a keen eye on external market trends, consumer preferences, and industry developments allows for a proactive approach to shifts in the market. This data-driven strategy enables businesses to effectively tailor their sales and marketing initiatives , aligning them with evolving customer needs. By combining internal insights with external trends, organizations can craft a dynamic plan that is not only grounded in historical performance but is also adaptable to the changing landscape of the business environment.

Know your customer

One of the most important steps when creating a sales and marketing plan is to know who you’re selling to. You should develop in-depth buyer personas based on demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes. By understanding your target audience’s characteristics, preferences, and pain points, you can tailor your sales and marketing strategies to resonate more effectively.

This key step not only enhances the efficiency of marketing campaigns but also streamlines the sales process by aligning efforts with the expectations and behaviors of your customers.

Set achievable goals

Now that you have a clear image of who you’re selling to, where you stand, and where the market is, you and various stakeholders can begin to set realistic goals and targets for your team.

Setting goals is crucial for your success. They allow you to track if you’re making a real impact on your business. They create alignment between teams so they know what they must do to achieve those goals. A recent study by HubSpot found that 25% of companies say their sales and marketing teams are either “misaligned” or “rarely aligned” on goals, leading to confusion and poor performance.

To get your teams on the same page, you should consider setting SMART goals. Here is a great example of how to think about goal setting:

Specific: Make sure your goals are clear. What will be accomplished? What actions will you take? Don’t just say you want to increase revenue — explain how you plan to achieve it. For example, you can say: We will increase revenue by 15% by using a guided selling approach.

Measurable: What metrics will you use to determine if you met your goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress.

Achievable: Consider how to accomplish the goal, if you have the tools and skills needed, and what it would take to attain it. Don’t set objectives that are impossible to reach. The goals are meant to inspire motivation, not discouragement.

Relevant: Goals need to fit your current situation and sales strategy. They should align with the overall business goals and department objectives.

Time-Bound: Realistic timing for when you can achieve your goals is crucial. Provide deadlines and target dates to hold teams accountable.

Determine how you will measure success

Now that you’ve set goals, it’s time to start measuring them.

KPIs are crucial metrics that help measure the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts. Here’s a list of KPIs for a sales and marketing plan:

Sales KPIs:

  • Revenue: Total income generated from sales.
  • Sales Growth Rate: Percentage increase in sales over a specific period.
  • Conversion Rate: Percentage of leads that convert into customers.
  • Average Deal Size: Average value of a sales transaction.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Cost incurred to acquire a new customer.
  • Sales Cycle Length: Average time it takes to close a sale.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Predicted revenue generated throughout a customer’s lifecycle.
  • Win Rate: Percentage of opportunities that result in a sale.
  • Churn Rate: Percentage of customers lost over a given period.
  • Upsell and Cross-sell Rate: Percentage of existing customers who purchase additional products or services.

Marketing KPIs:

  • Lead Generation: Number of new leads acquired.
  • Website Traffic: Number of visitors to the website.
  • Conversion Rate (Marketing): Percentage of website visitors who take a desired action.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Percentage of people who click on a specific link.
  • Cost per Lead (CPL): Cost associated with acquiring a new lead.
  • Social Media Engagement: Likes, shares, comments, and other interactions on social media.
  • Email Open and Click-through Rates: Percentage of opened emails and clicked links.
  • Content Engagement: Interaction with blog posts, videos, or other content.
  • Brand Awareness: Measured through surveys, social media mentions, or search volume.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): Ratio of the net profit from marketing campaigns to the cost of those campaigns.

Overall Business KPIs:

  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): Measurement of customer satisfaction.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Indicator of customer loyalty and likelihood to recommend.
  • Market Share: Company’s portion of the total market.
  • Brand Equity: Perceived value and strength of a brand in the market.
  • Customer Retention Rate: Percentage of customers retained over a period.

Regularly monitoring these metrics provides insights into performance, helping businesses make informed decisions and optimize their sales and marketing strategies.

Define your sales and marketing strategies

How are you going to generate demand for your product or service? At this stage in your plan, you can start to define how you will reach your ideal customers and move them through the buyer’s journey. Integrated marketing campaigns that use various channels, such as social media and paid ads, are a great way to get started. Additionally, you should include lead generation strategies such as content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and targeted promotions to nurture prospects and guide them through the sales funnel.

It’s important here that you work with your sales enablement team to create relevant content for the sales team .

Formulate a sales team structure and training program

A well-defined sales team structure and comprehensive training program are vital to a successful sales and marketing plan. The structure of the sales team should outline roles, responsibilities, and reporting hierarchies to ensure efficient workflow and clear lines of communication.

Along with getting the structure right, you must ensure that your sales reps have the right training and coaching to improve their skills, ramp up product knowledge, and stay aligned with the right messaging and communication techniques.

Teams should work closely with sales enablement to schedule regular training sessions that not only focus on enhancing existing skills but also address emerging market trends and customer expectations. Continuous improvement is key, and fostering a culture of learning within the sales team contributes to adaptability and responsiveness. This dual emphasis on structure and training ensures the sales team is well-organized and equipped to navigate challenges.

Download resource: What Good Onboarding, Training, and Coaching Look Like

Create a sales forecasting model

Creating a sound forecasting model provides a structured framework for predicting future sales performance. This model involves analysis of historical sales data, market trends, and external factors that might impact sales.

The sales forecasting model should incorporate variables such as product demand, pricing strategies, and market conditions to provide a comprehensive and accurate estimation.

A well-crafted model not only aids in resource allocation, inventory management, and budgeting but also serves as a proactive tool for anticipating challenges and capitalizing on emerging opportunities, contributing to the overall success of the sales and marketing plan.

Continuously Optimize

Recognizing that markets, consumer behaviors, and competitive landscapes evolve, an effective plan should be agile and responsive. This involves regularly reviewing KPIs, analyzing data, and soliciting feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Whether refining marketing strategies, adjusting sales tactics, or fine-tuning messaging, the goal is to stay attuned to shifts in customer preferences and market trends. By fostering a culture of continuous optimization, businesses can adapt swiftly, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and mitigate potential challenges.

Execute Your Sales and Marketing Plan with Highspot’s Sales Enablement Platform

Aligning your sales and marketing plans is no easy task. Highspot’s sales enablement platform aligns marketing initiatives with sales goals to maximize collaboration. By tracking key metrics across the buyer’s journey, you’ll know how to drive measurable revenue growth that improves lead acquisition and retention. Book a demo today !

The Highspot Team works to create and promote the Highspot sales enablement platform, which gives businesses a powerful sales advantage to engage in more relevant buyer conversations and achieve their revenue goals. Through AI-powered search, analytics, in-context training, guided selling, and 50+ integrations, the Highspot platform delivers enterprise-ready sales enablement in a modern design that sales reps and marketers love.

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marketing and sales plan in business plan

10 Marketing Plan Examples to Inspire Your Campaigns

What do hiking a trail, driving to a friend’s house, and executing marketing campaigns all have in common? Each requires you to closely follow directions.

Directions are a critical part of our daily life. Used correctly, they can guide decision-making processes, make labor more efficient, and get where you want to go as quickly as possible. 

But failing to keep track of directions could cost you — and not just gas money. When it comes to marketing strategies, not having a clear goal tanks web traffic, dissipates brand interest, and costs companies across the United States a whopping $400 billion a year.

Designing a marketing plan is certainly no easy task, but it can be made easier with best practices, strategic tips, and concrete examples from successful businesses all over the world.

marketing and sales plan in business plan

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marketing and sales plan in business plan

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic document that acts as a guide for marketing campaigns and strategies. These critical road maps detail where you are, where you’re going, and how you plan to get there.

The average marketing plan consists of seven major sections:

  • Writing an executive summary
  • Discussing the mission statement
  • Listing marketing objectives
  • Performing a SWOT analysis
  • Completing market research
  • Designing a market strategy
  • Determining a budget

The more detailed a marketing plan is, the more efficient it will be at accomplishing its goals. 

As you might imagine, marketers who bother to write a concrete marketing plan enjoy several benefits :

  • Organized marketers have a 674% higher chance of reporting success
  • Marketers who set goals are 377% more successful than those who don’t

It’s clear that a successful marketing plan opens pathways to other forms of business success — although the process is underutilized at best. More than three out of four small business owners lack an overarching marketing plan if they don’t have a clear path of growth. Creating a holistic marketing plan is absolutely necessary to scale brands at any level of development.

10 marketing plan examples from every industry

It’s much simpler to design a plan of action when the groundwork already exists. Below are 10 marketing plans sourced from real companies and brands around the world, highlighting unique approaches to researching, crafting and implementing a marketing strategy . 

1. Contently

Popular SaaS Contently developed a visual marketing plan for developing future campaigns. The strategy depicts its plan in a “waterfall” format, with goals blending into methods of application that eventually lead to success metrics. Although far more casual than other examples on this list, the work provides an excellent overview of a marketing plan’s necessary components.

Contently marketing plan

2. Visit Baton Rouge

The Baton Rouge area of Louisiana generates millions of dollars every year from tourism alone. The Visit Baton Rouge marketing plan was born from a need to better position the area and create long-term strategies for generating interest. This 38-page document goes into detail describing different destinations, events, and calendars, including recommended measurements for success.

Top marketing plan examples: Baton Rouge

Created by SaaS company HubSpot , this template includes a business summary, SWOT matrix, market strategy, budget, and other important aspects of a marketing plan. By filling it out, you can make informed decisions about your company’s positioning and your marketing in general.

HubSpot marketing plan

4. Evernote

Evernote provides a comprehensive marketing plan template for businesses of any size. Create a plan that walks through overviews, timelines, research, personas, and all other elements of an airtight campaign. If desired, you can also implement this template into your Evernote account to start developing a marketing plan almost immediately.

great examples of marketing plan: Evernote

5. University of Illinois

Even educational institutes need marketing plans. The University of Illinois created a very straightforward document that encapsulates its market context, research efforts, and current campaigns. Objectives and success metrics are completed in the third section, with about 40 pages overall. 

6. Monday.com

Monday.com is a project management platform providing in-house templates to all active users. This marketing plan offers various categories and subcategories that track project progress with data visualizations. Detailed objectives and KPIs can be identified in-app, including columns for a projected cost range.

Popular health and hygiene brand Lush released a comprehensive marketing plan walking through some products, positioning, and a marketing calendar for upcoming product releases. One of the highlights includes a detailed SWOT analysis with easy to read graphics. This is particularly helpful for brands in the personal care industry, among others.

Lush marketing plan

8. Coca-Cola

Industry titan Coca-Cola released a strategy video that encompasses all seven elements of a holistic marketing plan. The proposal primarily explains the major content initiatives for the coming year, and focuses on how the brand’s initial ideas can be practically implemented into the existing strategy. 

marketing and sales plan in business plan

9. Naperville Park District

Publicly funded recreational parks often have limited access to resources, which is why the Naperville Park District created a strategic marketing plan right at the beginning. This extremely detailed document walks through the company’s mission, situational analysis, strategy, and budget, on a micro-level.

nashville park marketing plan

10. Starbucks

Unlike the longform documents we’ve seen already, Starbucks takes a more concise approach. This six-page release details a strategy to elevate CX and brand ambassadors around the world. The marketing plan touches on individual strategies and tactics, as well as the methods used to ensure success. It’s important to note the detailed customer journey profiles that fit into a five-year strategy.

beverge marketing plan: starbucks

How to approach a marketing plan

Now that you know what a marketing plan looks like, it’s time to explore the initial stages of drafting and publishing your very first plan. Once you establish some basic starting points, a little research is all you need to get started.

Determine your goals

Directions simply don’t matter without an endpoint in mind. Craft some meaningful goals for your marketing campaign that envelop your brand’s values, objectives, and year-end plans. It’s best to use the SMART goal framework:

The more specific your goals are, the more effective your marketing plan will be.

Check your competitors

Staying abreast of your competitors and market share is critical in the early stages of a marketing plan. Using competitive analysis tools or an internal process, take some time to evaluate the approach that others are using — and how you can do better.

You might want to:

  • Perform a competitive analysis
  • Keep a close eye on industry news
  • Browse competitor social media content

Keep in mind that it’s possible to hire freelancers to perform competitive analysis for you, depending on your needs and time constraints.

Identify your audience

Understanding your target market — including their goals, ages, values, and demographics — is the golden rule of marketing. This can be done several ways, either by using data, creating personas, or outlying features in a document.

It’s best to consider everything that may be relevant to your audience in the marketing plan, including how products can be positioned in a way that makes them relevant. For example, a customer with a degree in IT would be more interested in ads that speak to their experience and industry pain points.

If you don’t have a target audience in mind yet, consider using programs like Google Analytics or in-platform insights from Facebook to identify specific segments.

Craft final KPIs

The difference between a good marketing plan and a great marketing plan starts with key performance metrics (KPIs). These will be used to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and provide detailed information about what worked, what didn’t, and what you can change in the future.

Every marketing plan should rely on its own unique set of metrics, all fitted to individual needs. If you’re looking for specific examples, you might want to try:

  • Raising the number of followers on a social media account
  • Generating a certain amount of website leads 
  • Achieving higher email open rates 

Keep in mind that your final metrics should adhere to the SMART method for best results.

Perform your revisions

The marketing plan is a living document and must be updated regularly to remain current. The average plan only has a shelf life of one to five years , on average, and should receive regular revisions in the meantime.

Take a closer look at your past goals, competitors, audience, and KPIs. Are any of these outdated or ill-aligned? What has changed for the company since its initial publication date? Make these adjustments accordingly (and hopefully with members of a team or committee).

Create marketing plans that guide your business well

It’s not enough to just write a marketing plan. In an increasingly competitive world of iron-clad strategies, marketing pros should take their time developing a plan that lasts. The above examples are a great place to start, especially as you craft an approach that is catered to your industry. 

Keep an eye on the growth of your business once your marketing plan hits the shelves. Continue to find new ways to optimize, refine, and otherwise make what you have even better than before. With an airtight marketing plan by your side, the possibilities are virtually limitless.

Want to learn more?

  • How to Create a Killer Social Media Marketing Plan
  • The Complete Guide to Getting Started With Influencer Marketing
  • 7 of the Best Landing Page Examples to Learn From
  • Instagram Marketing Tips to Shoot Up Your Sales

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8+ Marketing and Sales Plan Examples & Templates [Download Now]

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If you think about it, sales and marketing go hand in hand. Businesses thrive when both of these areas are on point. While there are those out there that get lucky and then proceed to ride that wave of accidental success for a time, most do not get that chance. The rest of us have to plan our way towards success. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you’ve come to the right article. Read on to learn more about sales and marketing plans , along with your discovery of the ideal sales and marketing plan template via our extensive list.

Marketing and Sales Plan Examples & Templates

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The Importance of a Marketing and Sales Plan

We all know that a sales and marketing strategy plan, among other kinds of plans, is important to companies. Yet, how many have stopped to consider why? People often look at the end goal, which is revenue. To even reach that goal, one’s target market needs to be aware of what products are available and the methods of said products reaching the customers must be impeccable. As far as the importance is concerned, that’s putting it mildly enough. More specifically, having these plans will help you allocate resources, figure out what tactics to employ, whether you need outside help or not, and so much more.

Tips for Creating Your Own Marketing and Sales Plan

Would you like another example of a marketing plan? Perhaps a hotel sales and marketing plan, or a marketing plan example for students? Should you find the templates above a bit lacking, then you can always learn how to make a sales and marketing plan of your own. The following tips should prove quite useful to you.

Tip 1: Start with a SWOT Analysis

Getting to know your own strengths and weaknesses is the foundation in which you build your future strategies. From there, you can move on to what opportunities lay before you as well as what your competitors are doing. After your SWOT analysis , you can proceed to develop a target market profile.

Tip 2: Always Define Your Goals

Success is a broad term. You must define that through specific goals and objectives . Besides the guidance they provide, doing so will help you in pragmatic ways as well. One example is in criteria creation. With set goals, you have something to compare your actual results to. From there, it becomes easier to regroup and try again when things don’t go according to plan.

Tip 3: Vary Your Marketing Strategies

Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. As successful as one marketing strategy may be, there will come a time when you need to change things up. Learn to adapt by creating contingencies and alternative plans. Consider different marketing vehicles, various promotional tactics, and take into account industry trends so that you can be kept up to date.

Tip 4: Never Neglect Your Financial Plan

Without proper finances, there is little hope for any marketing and sales plan to go off smoothly. Take note that a financial plan can also be part of your overall business plan . Come up with documents like a budget and sales forecast . Keep it as simple as you can. Having a break-even analysis is also recommended.

What are the five P’s of marketing?

First, there is the product. Then you’ve got price, place, and promotion . The last ‘p’ to concern yourself with is the people.

Why are key performance indicators important?

Often shortened to just KPIs, key performance indicators are important because they help keep the company’s goals and objectives prioritized during decision-making. They also keep the staff busy and productive.

What are the 5 C’s of marketing?

The first ‘C’ is the company, followed by the customers , the collaborators, the competitors, and then the climate.

Can you make sales without a proper marketing strategy ? Sometimes, sure. Wouldn’t you want to turn that ‘sometimes’ into ‘all the time,’ though? Well, having read this article, you’re guaranteed to have greater odds of succeeding now. In learning about what a sales and marketing plan is, you give yourself an advantage that so few have when starting out. It doesn’t matter if you decide to make your own plans from scratch or acquire a sales and marketing plan sample from our list. Take your new knowledge and put it to good use today!

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6 Tips for Creating a Great Business Marketing Plan

E very successful company needs a well-thought-out business plan to outline its course of action. A marketing strategy is one key part of that plan: It spells out critical information, including how a business will distinguish itself from competitors and what the team will aim to achieve.

While marketing plans don't always produce immediate results, they are still a crucial aspect of a business plan and should be given a considerate amount of attention. A complete and effective marketing strategy can reveal opportunities through new audience segments, changes in pricing strategy or by differentiating the brand from the competition.

Here's how to create an effective marketing plan for your business. 

How to develop a business marketing plan

A focused marketing plan sets two goals. The first is to maintain engagement and customer loyalty , and the second is to capture market share within a specific audience segment of your target audience.

Your marketing plan outlines the strategies you'll use to achieve both goals and the specific actions your marketing team will employ, such as the specific outreach campaigns, over which channels they will occur, the required marketing budget and data-driven projections of their success.

Marketing is a science-driven commitment that typically requires months of data to refine campaigns, and an interconnected marketing plan keeps your business committed to its long-term goals. 

All marketing guidelines will circle back to the four P's: product, price, place and promotion. The following tips are starting points that will ingrain the habit of continually returning to these four P's.

1. Create an executive summary.

Marketing campaigns should not be considered individual functions. Marketing is the story of your brand as told to customers; like any narrative, its tone and characters should remain consistent. An executive summary details your marketing goals for the next year and helps tie each campaign together. 

When establishing your marketing goals, they should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound – or SMART. These goals should work together to achieve both internal and external harmony, telling a consistent story that informs customers of your exact message while building on its previous chapters. 

For example, you may set a SMART goal to increase your company's social media traffic by 15% in a 90-day time frame, and plan to achieve this by creating four relevant, informative and high-quality posts per week on each platform, using your company's brand kit. 

2. Identify your target market.

Before you write a marketing plan, you need to find and understand your niche. Ask yourself who the specific demographic is that you're targeting. For example, if your business sells 30-minute meals, then those who work traditional 9-to-5 jobs are likely in your market. Study that group of individuals to understand their struggles and learn how your business can solve the problem.

FYI: Targeting your audience can drastically improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and help you avoid wasting resources on fruitless campaigns.

3. Differentiate your brand with inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing utilizes internal tools – such as content marketing, social media activity and search engine optimization (SEO) – to attract a customer's attention primarily through online communication. Content marketing can include informative blog posts, interviews, podcasts with relevant industry figures or supplementary guides on how to best use your product. For example, if you sell cooking supplies, consider posting several fun recipes around the holidays that your tools can help prepare.

Each of these strategies empowers the others in a loop to achieve greater customer attention. A strong content offering can improve your search engine ranking, which brings more people to your website and social pages. You can then share those developed content pieces to that wider audience, who will again improve your search engine rankings. All of this can be done without the expense of a famous endorser or commercial advertising campaign. 

4. Identify competitors that also target your customers.

No matter how original your product or service may be, there is always competition for your target customer's dollar. Small business personnel seldom take the time to study their competitors in-depth or pinpoint companies outside their industry that are just as capable of luring customers away. Knowing who your competitors are, their core competitive advantages, and how they might respond to your offerings – like price cuts or increased communication – helps you devise strategies to combat such losses. 

By seeking out these competitors, you can develop ways to differentiate your business by providing consumers with the things they may be lacking from your competition. Observe how your competitors operate to find ways in which you can stand out and steer your target audience toward your business. 

Did you know? According to SmallBizGenius, 19% of small businesses fail because of their competitors. 

5. State your brand position for your target customers.

Ultimately, your brand – and what it symbolizes for customers – is your strongest advantage. You should be able to write a simple declarative sentence of how you will meet customer needs and beat the competition. The best positioning statements focus on solving a problem for the customer in a way that promotes the best value.

6. Budget the plan. 

When implementing a strategy, consider the marketing budget you will allot. Marketing requires money for various reasons, including paid promotions, marketing software, events and outsourced costs. Consider your budget when creating the plan so that there is money available to spend on marketing tactics to achieve your goals. 

While drafting the plan and evaluating your course of action, note the estimated cost, assets, and time required to achieve the stated goals; this will help when it comes time to set the actual calculated budget. Any goals that you create should be realistically achievable within the budget you have set. 

Key takeaway: When developing your marketing plan, you should know why a customer would use your product, differentiate your brand from competitors, and audit your product offering and message to ensure consistency.

Channels to include in your marketing plan

Once you know the elements of your plan, the next step is to develop the blueprint of how you will reach your target customers. Aside from traditional print and broadcast media, here are three digital marketing channels that many business owners utilize.

Social media

Social media is an essential part of businesses' marketing plans, because every type of customer is on some type of platform – such as Facebook , Twitter or LinkedIn . You may feel overwhelmed at the possibilities, but focus on the sites that can benefit your business the most.

Brett Farmiloe, founder of internet marketing company Markitors, advised companies starting out in social media to get to know their customers and the platforms they use.

"Figure out where your customers are spending their time, and set up shop on those platforms," he told Business News Daily. "Develop a content strategy that can be executed internally, [and then] execute your strategy by posting branded content on your selected platforms."

Though email marketing is not as new as social media marketing, it is an effective and popular choice for small business owners. Companies can implement email marketing techniques in many ways, including newsletters, promotional campaigns and transactional emails. For instance, Mailchimp and Constant Contact help companies manage their email drip campaigns .

Farmiloe added to set your email marketing efforts apart from the others by segmenting your markets.

"Not all subscribers want to receive the same blast," he said. "Smart email marketers take the time to segment subscribers at the outset, and then continue to segment based on subscriber activity. Through segmentation, companies reduce the amount of unsubscribes, increase open rates and, most importantly, increase the amount of actions taken from an email send."

The popularity of smartphones and tablets has changed how companies target consumers. Since people have these devices with them nearly all the time, companies are looking to implement strategies that reach customers on their gadgets.   

"Mobile marketing is interruptive," Farmiloe said. "It's because of this power that a marketer has to let the consumer determine how and when to receive marketing material. That's why almost every app comes with the option to turn notifications on or off. The consumer has to hold the power with mobile marketing."

Key takeaway: Use digital marketing channels – such as social media, email and mobile – to reach customers, but only after researching each channel in depth and developing a strategy to capture consumers' interest. 

Monitoring results

Well-defined budgets, goals and action items – with appropriate personnel assigned to each – can make your marketing plan a reality. Think about how much you're willing to spend, the outcomes you expect and the necessary tasks to achieve those outcomes.

Analytical tools that track customer behavior and engagement rates can serve as a helpful guide for your marketing strategy . Unlike billboards or commercials, digital channels allow you to assess each step of the customer journey and gain insights on the individual patterns and intent of prospects. Intention can soon develop into prediction, empowering your marketing team to develop campaigns that consistently reach target audiences at the right time. 

You can find more tips for measuring your marketing ROI here.

Jordan Beier and Adryan Corcione contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Every successful company needs a well-thought-out business plan to outline its course of action. A marketing strategy is

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Close more deals with the latest sales trends and tips from Salesblazers.

What Are Sales Goals? S.M.A.R.T. Strategies + Examples

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Help your team succeed with sales goals that build confidence while increasing revenue.

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If you’re only thinking about how your reps can hit quota, you’re missing out. As a leader, you have to set broader sales goals, track your team’s progress, and keep your team accountable if you want to see real payoff. But setting goals that are both challenging and achievable is easier said than done. Start small with weekly or monthly goals, and build up your confidence to work towards bigger and more lucrative goals down the road. We’ll show you how to get started.

What you’ll learn:

What are sales goals, why sales goals are important, s.m.a.r.t. goals explained.

  • 14 common sales goals with examples

How to track your goals

The biggest challenge when setting and tracking sales goals, attain quota faster and speed up sales ops .

Learn how Sales Performance Management helps you connect customer data to sales planning and execution. 

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At their core, sales goals are objectives that a company wants to achieve over a set period of time. But sales goals aren’t just dry, impersonal measurements. If you don’t have any benchmarks for success, you’re going to encourage mediocrity and accept the status quo, losing team engagement. When your team sets concrete goals, it helps them hit their sales targets and gives them ownership over their success: They know what it takes to win.

As the CEO of sales training firm The Sales Evangelist , my role does not always allow me to do outbound sales. Most of my leads come directly from the podcast, website, referrals, and my deep network. However, I understand the power of outbound selling so I set a goal for myself to bring in $250,000 each quarter — driven in part by outbound efforts. During Q3 of last year, I beat this goal, clocking in at $300,000. Not only that, I was able to validate to my team that setting goals really works. If I can do it while running my business, they certainly can do it.

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Setting sales goals gives your team a north star — something to aim for. But that’s not the only reason why they’re important. Here are a few other things sales goal-setting does:

  • Helps create forecasts: From a business perspective, sales goals give you a picture of potential sales revenue .
  • Creates learning opportunities: If it turns out a particular sales strategy fails to accomplish a goal, this is valuable data. Failing to meet a sales goal offers a chance for reps to innovate and try different approaches. And if a goal is particularly challenging, it can improve focus and prompt creative problem-solving.
  • Encourages teamwork: Group goals increase the stakes because they affect everyone. They can also spark competition, which can be motivating to reps.
  • Sparks process development: A roadmap helps you get where you need to go, but only works. if you know where you’re going. Once you have your sales goals lined up, you can create a path to get there.

One proven way to set yourself up for success is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Let’s dive into that methodology.

S.M.A.R.T. is an easy-to-remember acronym for the five steps of effective goal-setting. If you want your goals to fuel success, makes sure they are:

  • Specific: It’s easy to say to your team, “Let’s increase sales!” But after the cheers and high-fives die down, this vague statement doesn’t help anyone. Why? It lacks detail. Get specific. Deliver concrete numbers and explain how you plan to raise revenue with actionable guidance. For example, you might want to increase your monthly revenue by 5% over the next quarter using a consultative sales approach .
  • Measurable: Numeric benchmarks can be helpful because they record progress while removing subjectivity. Remember those fundraising events that used a poster of a giant, old-fashioned thermometer? For each donation received, the thermometer would be filled with red ink to show that the organization was inching closer to its goal. You can do the same with your team by tracking progress to help them reach goals and motivate at the same time.
  • Achievable: Ambitious goals are great, but you want to set your team up for success. You need to make sure that your goals are sensible and not totally out of reach. Review your team’s past performance data and be honest about what you can accomplish during a set period of time. Instead of setting a goal to double sales by the end of the month for example, a more achievable goal would be to make 10 more cold calls per week, which you could break down further into two per day.
  • Relevant: When setting goals for your team, whether individual or team goals, you should keep three things in mind: Do they align with your reps’ existing goals, personal and professional? Do they align with your organization’s goals? How will the results matter? If goals resonate personally with reps, that could drive motivation. As an illustration, if a rep meets their goal of 100% subscription renewals for their existing accounts, they might receive a bonus or promotion, helping them meet a personal goal of earning a higher salary.
  • Time-bound: When goals have a clear starting time and end date, it makes it easier for your team to plan how they’ll get to the finish line. Setting small weekly or monthly sales goals can help your team get focused, build confidence, and enjoy smaller wins. For example, you might set a goal for yourself to provide at least one week of one-to-one coaching per quarter to your sales reps.

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14 common goals with examples.

Setting clear goals for your sales team can go a long way in improving the bottom line of your business. To illustrate these examples, we’ll look at the goals of a fictional roller skate company in Florida, SpinzFlip:

1. Grow revenue

Every company needs to grow their revenue to remain profitable. To do this, you’ll need to set a specific target for how much gross or net profit you want to see increase over a set period of time. Revenue targets are typically set monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Example: The sales team at SpinzFlip has ambitious goals for the new year. They want to increase year-over-year revenue by 100%.

2. Increase quota attainment

To understand how close your sales reps are to meeting their targets, you need to track their quota attainment , measured as a percentage of total quota achieved out of quota targets.

Example: The SpinzFlip sales team set an annual team quota goal of $3 million for last year. By the end of the year, they hit $2.5 million in sales for a quota attainment of about 83%, which shows them there’s room for improvement.

3. Acquire new customers

Another important sales goal is to increase the number of new customers purchasing your products or services. Gaining new customers over time will lead to a healthy and profitable business, ensuring that profits don’t slide backwards when you lose longstanding customers.

Example: SpinzFlip set a goal of increasing its customer acquisition rate by 8.5% monthly. This is to offset the customer attrition rate of 7% while still ensuring growth.

4. Increase market share

A company’s market share is the total percentage of the sales they control in the market for their products or services. Increasing market share is a clear indicator of a company’s competitiveness. As a matter of fact, when a business improves its market share, it often improves profitability.

Example: The global roller skate industry is worth about $600 million . SpinzFlip has $3 million in annual sales or about 0.5% of the market. If they want to double their market share, they need to set a goal to increase their annual sales to $6 million.

5. Increase unit sales

If you want to get a specific product into market faster, you might set a goal for the number of units sold. Increasing the number of units each rep needs to sell pushes them to pursue more leads.

Example: SpinzFlip currently sells 60,000 pairs of skates annually. They want to double their unit sales, so their goal this year is to sell 120,000 pairs.

6. Minimize customer churn

Reducing customer churn (aka customer attrition), or the number of customers who leave your business during a specific period of time, is a worthwhile sales goal as it ensures you don’t have to constantly replace your customer base with new leads. If your business has a low churn rate, you are more likely to experience growth. For example, a subscription-based company likely needs more new subscriptions than lost subscriptions in a given period to be profitable.

Example: In addition to selling roller skates, SpinzFlip also sells a podcast subscription. Its podcast currently has a churn rate of 20%. This year, SpinzFlip’s goal is to use listener insights to produce a more engaging podcast and lower its churn rate to 10%.

7. Increase customer upsells

Upselling is when a company offers a premium or upgrade for products or services. At the end of the day, setting a sales goal for upselling is a great way to increase the profitability of each sale.

Example: SpinzFlip offers a premium podcast with exclusive celebrity interviews for an additional monthly fee. Last year, SpinzFlip managed to convert 1% of its regular podcast audience to the premium service. The sales team wants to double that number this year by upselling 2% of SpinzFlip’s regular podcast audience.

8. Boost customer cross-sells

Cross-selling is when a company offers complimentary products or services in addition to its primary product or service. If you improve your cross-selling rate, you could see increased revenue and higher customer satisfaction rates.

Example: Roller skates are SpinzFlip primary product, but it also sells rollerblades. Last year, cross-sales of rollerblades were non-existent. According to an internal survey, 99% of SpinzFlip customers weren’t even aware that the company sold rollerblades. This year, SpinzFlip set a modest cross-sales goal of 0.25% to increase brand and product awareness.

9. Improve lead generation

Above all, lead generation attracts customers to your business. You can generate leads by collecting customer information like phone numbers and email addresses. If you want your business to grow, a meaningful goal would be to improve your lead gen process so you can identify more qualified leads who are ready to buy.

Example: Before this year, SpinzFlip was not capturing email addresses when customers purchased its skates at retail stores. Now, SpinzFlip offers a free, three-month subscription to its premium podcast to retail store customers. Consequently, they can capture the email addresses of customers interested in the podcast subscription. With this new offer in place, SpinzFlip hopes to improve its lead generation by 10% this year.

10. Improve sales forecast accuracy goals

Accurate sales forecasts are kind of like a crystal ball. They help you identify where you’re going — and where sales pitfalls might scuttle your target attainment. Businesses that can forecast their sales witt a +/- 5% accuracy enjoy the confidence that comes with being able to plan for the future.

Example: SpinzFlip needs to work on the accuracy of its sales forecast. Last year, it hovered around -15% (that is, they were 15% shy of their targets), but this year, they want to reach -10% accuracy. If SpinzFlip meets or exceeds that goal, they’ll join an elite group of sales organizations — just 21% manage to forecast sales within 10% accuracy, according to SiriusDecisions research .

11. Increase customer lifetime value (CLV)

This metric reveals the total revenue a company can expect to gain from a single customer over the course of their relationship with the brand. This is a keen interest for ROI-focus leaders: It is much easier to increase the value of a current customer than hoping to get the same value from a new customer.

Example: This year, SpinzFlip aims to increase customer CLV by 15% year-over-year by extending customer tenure and introducing add-ons and cross-sells.

12. Improve Net Promoter Score® (NPS)

NPS is an important metric used to gauge customer loyalty. NPS scores are measured with a single question:

“On a scale from 1-10, how likely is it that you would recommend [company, product, service] to a friend or colleague?”

After surveying some customers with that question, an NPS score is calculated from -100 to +100, with the higher number being a better score.

Example: SpinzFlip sells an awesome pair of roller skates. When customers were surveyed about the buying experience, they averaged a score in the high 70s. But when customers were asked about SpinzFlip’s podcast, it scored closer to 40. SpinzFlip clearly needs to set a goal to improve the NPS score for its podcast.

13. Reduce the length of the sales cycle

A sales cycle is the average length of time that it takes for a rep to convert a lead into a closed sale. Shortening the sales cycle can help sales reps close more and grow revenue.

Example: It takes a SpinzFlip rep three months, on average, to go through an entire sales cycle. This includes a discovery call with a prospect, a roller skate demo, proposal drafting, negotiation, and finally closing the deal. This year, SpinzFlip set a goal of shortening its average sales cycle from three months to two. This will give SpinzFlip’s reps an extra month to get more prospects in the pipeline.

14. Reduce the average number of touches

Touches are contacts with prospects — over the phone, online, or face-to-face. In my experience, it takes the average sales rep nine or 10 touches to close a deal. Ideally, you want to reduce this to five, six, or seven touches, and that takes finessing. You get there by doing more research and coming prepared with solutions and value prospects understand.

Example: SpinzFlips has never kept track of the number of touches required for a rep to close a deal. Once they started tracking, they were surprised the average was 12. They set a goal to get the average under 10 by the end of the year. To help facilitate this, managers told reps to tailor sales pitches to each prospect.

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If you want your sales team to see success, tracking their progress toward a goal is essential. Technology is an effective way of doing just that: Sales Cloud offers sales management dashboards that provide team performance insights. These tools interpret raw data and transform them into insights that can help sales leaders identify top prospects and leads, evaluate marketing campaigns, and track the success of their team.

Here are the sales dashboards that every team needs :

  • State of sales Designed for sales managers and executives, a state-of-sales dashboard provides a snapshot of all key metrics that affect team-wide sales targets.
  • Forecasting Also designed for sales managers and executives, a forecasting dashboard provides a “weather report” for your sales team, forecasting whether or not you’re likely to hit your goals.
  • Sales rep performance Useful for sales managers, a sales rep performance dashboard typically measures three key metrics: conversion rate, total revenue generated, and quota attainment percentage.
  • Sales leaderboard This dashboard lets sales reps and managers see the entire team’s performance, encouraging healthy competition.
  • Win/loss Helpful to sales managers and executives, this dashboard tracks win/loss trends over time.
  • Sales lead Provides a closer look at sales reps and lead generation teams, whether or not leads are converting, and the effectiveness of prospecting and marketing efforts.
  • Pipeline generation Offers managers, reps, and marketing teams insights into a pipeline value-to-sales ratio, which is critical for hitting sales targets.

A huge roadblock salespeople have when setting sales goals for themselves is a lack of accountability. You might set goals at the beginning of the year and not look back on them until the end of the year when your team is not performing well. Clearly, you need more checks. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be on top of salespeople, reminding them of their goals every single day.

Think back to the S.M.A.R.T. method. This is where the T, time-bound, becomes extremely important. If you set a goal that wraps at the end of Q2, you have to follow up with your team, individually or as a group, to see if it was completed. In other words, match the check-in to the time period set for the goal. Of course, you need to check in with them a few times before the goal’s deadline to gauge their progress and support them if they need help, but the big review should happen at the end. Did they hit the goal? If not, why? How can you help them next time?

Use S.M.A.R.T. goals to fuel success

By setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, you give your sales team an outline for success. Make sure that the goals you set not only align with the goals of your business but also with your individual reps’ goals. When the benefits of a goal aren’t clear or the path to achieve it is too complicated or unrealistic, motivation suffers. Set your team up for success with a clear roadmap that puts them in the driver’s seat.

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Spot and address pipeline gaps that threaten your forecast. Discover how with Sales Analytics from Sales Cloud.

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Sample Consulting Firm Business Plan

consulting firm business plan

Writing a business plan is a crucial step in starting a consulting firm. Not only does it provide structure and guidance for the future, but it also helps to create funding opportunities and attract potential investors. For aspiring consulting firm business owners, having access to a sample consulting firm business plan can be especially helpful in providing direction and gaining insight into how to draft their own consulting firm business plan.

Download our Ultimate Consulting Firm Business Plan Template

Having a thorough business plan in place is critical for any successful consulting firm venture. It will serve as the foundation for your operations, setting out the goals and objectives that will help guide your decisions and actions. A well-written business plan can give you clarity on realistic financial projections and help you secure financing from lenders or investors. A consulting firm business plan example can be a great resource to draw upon when creating your own plan, making sure that all the key components are included in your document.

The consulting firm business plan sample below will give you an idea of what one should look like. It is not as comprehensive and successful in raising capital for your consulting firm as Growthink’s Ultimate Consulting Firm Business Plan Template , but it can help you write a consulting firm business plan of your own.

Example – InsightAdvantage Consultants

Table of contents, executive summary, company overview, industry analysis, customer analysis, competitive analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, management team, financial plan.

Welcome to InsightAdvantage Consultants, our new consulting firm rooted in the vibrant landscape of San Francisco, CA. Born out of a vision to fill the void for high-quality local consulting services, our mission is dedicated to offering unparalleled consulting solutions tailored to the unique needs of businesses in our community. Specializing in strategic planning, management consulting, and financial advisory, we craft personalized solutions that empower our clients to navigate their specific challenges and seize opportunities for growth. With our firm strategically located in San Francisco, we not only ensure our services are highly relevant and specialized for the local market but also contribute actively to the local business ecosystem, making us the go-to consulting firm in the area.

Our success at InsightAdvantage Consultants is driven by a blend of factors. The wealth of experience brought by our founder, who has a proven track record in the consulting industry, sets a solid foundation for our operations. Coupled with our commitment to superior consulting expertise, we stand out as a leader in the field. Our specialized understanding of the San Francisco market further cements our position as the preferred local consulting partner. Since our launch in January 2024, we’ve hit several key milestones, including establishing our brand identity, securing a prime location for our operations, and structuring our business as an S Corporation ready for growth. These accomplishments underscore our readiness and enthusiasm to empower local businesses towards success.

The Consulting Firm industry in the United States, currently valued at over $250 billion, exhibits a robust demand across various sectors, including healthcare, technology, and finance. With an expected annual growth rate of 3-4%, the industry is on a trajectory of steady expansion. A notable trend is the emergence of specialized niche consulting firms like InsightAdvantage Consultants, which cater to specific business needs with highly targeted expertise and solutions. This trend aligns with our focus on the San Francisco market, positioning us to leverage the increasing demand for specialized consulting services in the region.

InsightAdvantage Consultants targets a diverse customer base, starting with local residents to establish a strong community presence. We also focus on small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and tech startups in San Francisco, offering them tailored consulting services to address their unique challenges. By providing strategies for growth, efficiency improvements, and competitive positioning, we aim to support the backbone of the local economy and the dynamic tech startup sector with agile, innovative solutions that drive sustainable success.

Our main competitors include Run Right Business Consulting, with their tailored services and deep local market understanding; Piedmont Avenue Consulting, specializing in marketing and branding strategies; and BookSoEasy, which combines business consulting with technological solutions. Despite the strengths of these firms, InsightAdvantage Consultants remains unmatched in our blend of industry experience, innovative strategies, and deep local market insights. Our diverse team of industry veterans and young innovators enables us to offer solutions that are both time-tested and infused with fresh, forward-thinking ideas. This unique combination, along with our strategic location in San Francisco, positions us as a leader in the consulting industry.

InsightAdvantage Consultants offers a comprehensive suite of services, including Strategic Planning, Management Consulting, and Financial Advisory, each designed to meet our clients’ diverse needs. Our pricing strategy is tailored to reflect the value and customization of our services, with prices varying based on scope and complexity. To promote our offerings, we employ a robust digital marketing strategy, leveraging social media, SEO, and email campaigns, complemented by content marketing to position us as thought leaders. Networking events, referral programs, and targeted advertising campaigns further amplify our visibility and attract a broad spectrum of clients.

Our operations at InsightAdvantage Consultants are centered around key processes such as client communication, market research, strategy development, project management, and quality assurance, to name a few. We are committed to continuous learning and professional development to stay ahead of industry trends. In the coming months, we aim to achieve several milestones, including securing initial client contracts, achieving operational efficiency, and building a strong local network. These efforts are all geared towards ensuring our firm’s success and sustainable growth.

At the helm of InsightAdvantage Consultants is Lucas Jackson, our President, who brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record from the consulting industry. His expertise in strategic planning, operational efficiency, and business development is invaluable to guiding our firm towards achieving its strategic goals. Lucas’s leadership and deep market understanding ensure we are well-equipped to navigate the industry landscape and achieve lasting success.

Welcome to InsightAdvantage Consultants, a new consulting firm based in the vibrant city of San Francisco, CA. As a local consulting firm, we stand out in a landscape that previously lacked high-quality local consulting services. Our mission is to bridge this gap and offer unparalleled consulting solutions that cater specifically to the needs of businesses in our community.

At InsightAdvantage Consultants, we specialize in a range of services designed to empower businesses to achieve their goals. Our offerings include strategic planning, which helps businesses chart a course for success in an ever-changing market. We also provide management consulting to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and foster leadership within teams. Additionally, our financial advisory services are tailored to help businesses optimize their financial strategies for growth and stability. Each of these services is crafted with our clients’ success in mind, offering personalized solutions that address their unique challenges and opportunities.

Our firm is proudly based in San Francisco, CA, serving customers within this dynamic city. This strategic location not only allows us to be close to our clients but also to be an integral part of the local business ecosystem. By focusing on serving San Francisco businesses, we ensure that our services are highly relevant and tailored to the specific needs of companies operating in this unique market.

InsightAdvantage Consultants is uniquely qualified to succeed for several reasons. Firstly, our founder brings valuable experience from previously running a successful consulting firm, ensuring that we have the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver exceptional results. Moreover, we pride ourselves on offering superior consulting expertise compared to our competition, setting us apart as a leader in the field. These factors, combined with our deep understanding of the local market, position us as the go-to consulting firm in San Francisco.

Since our inception on January 5, 2024, InsightAdvantage Consultants has achieved several milestones. We have successfully established our brand, starting with the design of our logo and the development of our company name, which resonate with our vision and values. Furthermore, we secured a prime location that not only serves as our base of operations but also reflects our commitment to being an accessible and integral part of the local business community. As a S Corporation, we are poised for growth and are excited to continue building our legacy as we serve and empower businesses in San Francisco.

The Consulting Firm industry in the United States is a thriving sector with a significant market size. Currently, the industry is estimated to be worth over $250 billion, showcasing the high demand for consulting services across various sectors such as healthcare, technology, finance, and more.

Market research indicates that the Consulting Firm industry is expected to experience steady growth in the coming years. With an annual growth rate projected to be around 3-4%, the industry is set to reach new heights as businesses increasingly seek out expert advice and guidance to navigate complex challenges and drive growth.

One of the key trends in the Consulting Firm industry is the rise of specialized niche consulting firms, such as InsightAdvantage Consultants. These firms offer tailored services to specific industries or business needs, providing clients with highly targeted expertise and solutions. This trend bodes well for InsightAdvantage Consultants, as their focus on serving customers in San Francisco, CA, positions them to capitalize on the growing demand for specialized consulting services in the region.

Below is a description of our target customers and their core needs.

Target Customers

InsightAdvantage Consultants will target a diverse range of customer segments, beginning with local residents. This group is essential for establishing a strong community presence and reputation. By focusing on the unique needs and challenges of San Francisco’s residents, InsightAdvantage Consultants will tailor services to offer practical, impactful advice and solutions.

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the city will also form a significant part of InsightAdvantage Consultants’ target market. These businesses, which are the backbone of the local economy, often encounter unique challenges that require specialized consulting services. InsightAdvantage Consultants will provide these companies with strategies for growth, efficiency improvements, and competitive positioning.

Furthermore, tech startups, which are prolific in the San Francisco area, will be another primary customer segment for InsightAdvantage Consultants. This sector is dynamic and requires agile, innovative consulting solutions to navigate rapid growth, funding rounds, and scaling challenges. The firm will offer bespoke services that align with the fast-paced nature of tech startups, helping them to achieve sustainable success.

Customer Needs

InsightAdvantage Consultants caters to the distinct needs of San Francisco residents by delivering high-quality consulting services that align with their diverse ambitions and challenges. Clients can expect tailored solutions that resonate with their unique scenarios, whether they are startups seeking to innovate, enterprises aiming to scale, or individuals pursuing personal growth. This dedication to customization ensures that every strategy is not just a roadmap but a reflection of the client’s vision and potential.

In an environment as dynamic and competitive as San Francisco, customers demand not just advice but actionable insights that can lead to tangible outcomes. InsightAdvantage Consultants rises to this expectation by leveraging cutting-edge research, data analytics, and industry expertise to empower clients with strategies that are both innovative and practical. This approach guarantees that clients not only navigate their immediate challenges but are also equipped for long-term success.

Moreover, InsightAdvantage Consultants understands the value of accessibility and ongoing support for San Francisco’s bustling clientele. Clients have the convenience of engaging with experts who are committed to their success beyond the initial consultation. This includes follow-up services, the provision of resources for implementation, and the availability of guidance through the evolution of their projects or businesses. Such comprehensive support underscores our dedication to not just meeting but exceeding client expectations.

InsightAdvantage Consultants’ Competitors Include the Following Companies

Run Right Business Consulting

Run Right Business Consulting offers a comprehensive suite of services including strategy development, operational improvements, and financial advisory. The firm specializes in serving small to medium-sized businesses across various industries. Their services are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client, ensuring a personalized consulting experience.

Pricing models at Run Right Business Consulting are project-based, with costs varying depending on the scope and complexity of the consulting engagement. This flexibility allows them to cater to a wide range of budgets. The firm reports annual revenues in the mid-range, indicating a stable client base and consistent service delivery.

Located primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area, Run Right Business Consulting has a strong local presence. However, they also serve clients across the United States, leveraging remote consulting capabilities. Their customer segments include startups, established SMEs, and occasionally larger corporations seeking niche expertise.

Key strengths of Run Right Business Consulting include their tailored service approach and deep local market understanding. Weaknesses may include limited international exposure and a narrower service offering compared to larger consulting firms.

Piedmont Avenue Consulting

Piedmont Avenue Consulting focuses on marketing and branding strategies, offering services such as social media management, public relations, and digital marketing. They cater to a diverse clientele, including retail, hospitality, and technology sectors. This specialization enables them to offer deep insights and innovative strategies in these areas.

Their pricing strategy is flexible, offering both retainer-based and project-specific engagements. This allows businesses of varying sizes and budgets to access their services. Piedmont Avenue Consulting’s revenue is competitive, reflecting their strong position in the niche of marketing consultancy.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Piedmont Avenue Consulting maintains a strong local presence while also serving clients nationwide. Their geographic reach is supported by a robust online consulting platform. The primary customer segments include small to medium-sized businesses looking to enhance their market presence and brand visibility.

The firm’s key strengths lie in its specialized focus on marketing and branding, coupled with a strong understanding of digital trends. However, their narrow focus could be seen as a weakness, limiting their appeal to businesses seeking more comprehensive consulting services.

BookSoEasy offers a unique combination of business consulting and technological solutions, with a focus on streamlining operations, improving customer engagement, and enhancing digital presence for their clients. Their services are particularly appealing to the hospitality and retail sectors, where they leverage technology to drive growth and efficiency.

The firm employs a value-based pricing strategy, ensuring clients only pay for tangible improvements and outcomes. This approach has contributed to their competitive positioning in terms of revenue, signaling strong client satisfaction and results-driven service delivery. BookSoEasy operates primarily in San Francisco but has started expanding its services to other major cities across the US.

Their customer base mainly consists of small to medium-sized enterprises seeking to leverage technology for business improvements. BookSoEasy’s strength lies in its ability to integrate consulting services with technological implementation, providing a comprehensive solution to business challenges.

A potential weakness is their sector-specific approach, which might limit their appeal to a broader audience. Additionally, as they expand geographically, maintaining the high level of personalized service that characterizes their San Francisco operations could present a challenge.

Competitive Advantages

At InsightAdvantage Consultants, we pride ourselves on delivering superior consulting expertise compared to our competitors. Our team comprises industry veterans and young innovators, all of whom bring unique perspectives and cutting-edge strategies to the table. This blend of experience and fresh ideas enables us to provide our clients with solutions that are not only time-tested but also infused with innovative approaches. We understand that the landscape of business is ever-changing, and our ability to adapt and foresee shifts in the market sets us apart. Our consultants specialize in various sectors, ensuring that clients receive tailored advice that directly impacts their specific industry challenges and opportunities.

Furthermore, our location in a vibrant city such as San Francisco allows us to stay at the forefront of technological advancements and trends. This geographical advantage complements our commitment to utilizing the latest tools and methodologies in our consultancy services. We leverage local networks and partnerships to offer our clients exclusive insights and opportunities that are not readily available elsewhere. Additionally, our commitment to fostering strong relationships with each client means we go beyond traditional consultancy roles, acting as true partners invested in their success. Our approach is holistic and personalized, ensuring that every strategy we develop is not only innovative but also practical and sustainable in the long run. This unique combination of expertise, innovation, and partnership is what makes InsightAdvantage Consultants a leader in the consulting industry.

Our marketing plan, included below, details our products/services, pricing and promotions plan.

Products and Services

InsightAdvantage Consultants offers a comprehensive suite of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of its clients. With a focus on delivering actionable insights and strategic direction, the firm has positioned itself as a valuable partner for businesses looking to navigate the complexities of today’s market landscape. Among the services offered, Strategic Planning, Management Consulting, and Financial Advisory stand out as core competencies, each designed to address specific areas of client concern.

Strategic Planning is a critical service offered, designed to help businesses define their vision, set achievable goals, and develop a roadmap for success. Clients can expect to engage in deep-dive sessions aimed at understanding their market position, competition, and internal capabilities. The average selling price for Strategic Planning services is typically around $10,000. This price can vary based on the scope and complexity of the project, tailored to meet the unique needs of each client.

Management Consulting is another key service area, focusing on improving organizational performance through the analysis of existing business problems and the development of plans for improvement. InsightAdvantage Consultants leverages industry best practices and innovative strategies to guide leadership teams through transformational changes. Clients opting for Management Consulting services can expect to invest approximately $15,000, depending on the project’s duration and depth.

Lastly, the Financial Advisory service aims to help clients manage their financial strategy, planning, and risk. This service covers a broad spectrum of financial disciplines, including mergers and acquisitions, financial planning, and risk management. With an average selling price of $20,000, this service provides clients with expert advice and insights into optimizing financial performance and achieving long-term financial stability.

InsightAdvantage Consultants prides itself on delivering high-quality, tailored services that drive value and competitive advantage for its clients. By focusing on strategic planning, management consulting, and financial advisory, the firm ensures that it covers a comprehensive range of needs that are crucial for businesses aiming to thrive in the modern economy.

Promotions Plan

InsightAdvantage Consultants employs a comprehensive suite of promotional methods to attract customers, with a keen focus on leveraging the power of online marketing. In the digital age, establishing a robust online presence is non-negotiable, and InsightAdvantage Consultants recognizes this by prioritizing a well-rounded digital marketing strategy. This includes the utilization of social media platforms, search engine optimization (SEO), and email marketing campaigns, all designed to build brand awareness and drive customer engagement.

In addition to these online marketing efforts, InsightAdvantage Consultants also taps into the potential of content marketing. By creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content, the firm aims to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. This strategy not only positions InsightAdvantage Consultants as thought leaders in the consulting industry but also helps in building trust with potential clients. High-quality blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies will serve as tools to showcase the firm’s expertise and success stories.

Networking events and industry conferences represent another pivotal promotional method for InsightAdvantage Consultants. By actively participating in these gatherings, the firm has the opportunity to connect with potential clients face-to-face, build meaningful relationships, and stay abreast of the latest industry trends. These interactions often translate into business opportunities and collaborations, further amplifying the firm’s reach and influence within the consulting sector.

Referral programs will play a critical role in the firm’s promotional strategy as well. Encouraging satisfied clients to refer others to InsightAdvantage Consultants not only helps in acquiring new customers but also strengthens the firm’s reputation. Offering incentives for referrals demonstrates appreciation for existing clients while simultaneously expanding the customer base.

Lastly, targeted advertising campaigns, both online and offline, will complement the firm’s promotional activities. These campaigns will be carefully crafted to reach potential clients within specific industries or sectors, ensuring that the messaging is relevant and resonates with the intended audience. By employing a mix of traditional advertising mediums and digital channels, InsightAdvantage Consultants aims to maximize its visibility and appeal to a broad spectrum of clients.

In conclusion, InsightAdvantage Consultants employs a diverse range of promotional methods to attract customers, with a strong emphasis on online marketing. By integrating content marketing, networking, referral programs, and targeted advertising into its promotional strategy, the firm is well-positioned to build its brand, engage with potential clients, and achieve sustainable growth in the competitive consulting industry.

Our Operations Plan details:

  • The key day-to-day processes that our business performs to serve our customers
  • The key business milestones that our company expects to accomplish as we grow

Key Operational Processes

To ensure the success of InsightAdvantage Consultants, there are several key day-to-day operational processes that we will perform.

  • Client Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with clients through emails, phone calls, and meetings to understand their needs and provide timely updates.
  • Market Research: Conduct continuous market research to stay updated on industry trends, challenges, and opportunities relevant to our clients’ businesses.
  • Strategy Development: Develop customized strategies for each client, focusing on their specific goals, challenges, and market position.
  • Project Management: Utilize project management tools to track progress, manage deadlines, and ensure that all team members are aligned and accountable.
  • Data Analysis: Analyze data from various sources to inform strategies, measure performance, and make data-driven decisions.
  • Quality Assurance: Regularly review and assess the quality of our work to ensure that it meets high standards and delivers value to our clients.
  • Professional Development: Engage in continuous learning and professional development to enhance our skills and stay ahead of industry changes.
  • Networking: Actively participate in local and industry-specific events to build and maintain a strong professional network in San Francisco and beyond.
  • Financial Management: Monitor and manage the firm’s finances, including budgeting, invoicing, and financial reporting, to ensure healthy cash flow and profitability.
  • Feedback Collection: Solicit feedback from clients post-engagement to identify areas for improvement and strengthen client relationships.
  • Marketing and Business Development: Implement marketing strategies and business development activities to attract new clients and retain existing ones.
  • Team Collaboration: Foster a collaborative work environment where team members can share ideas, solve problems together, and contribute to each other’s professional growth.
  • Compliance and Ethics: Ensure that all business practices comply with local laws and regulations and adhere to the highest ethical standards.

InsightAdvantage Consultants expects to complete the following milestones in the coming months in order to ensure its success:

  • Launch Our Consulting Firm : Successfully establish and officially launch InsightAdvantage Consultants, including setting up a fully functional office in San Francisco, CA, and a polished online presence that showcases our value proposition and services offered.
  • Secure Initial Client Contracts : Within the first three months, secure at least 3-5 initial client contracts through networking, marketing efforts, and leveraging personal and professional contacts. This will provide an early revenue stream and case studies/testimonials for future business.
  • Achieve Operational Efficiency : Streamline business processes, including client onboarding, project management, and billing, to ensure operations are as efficient and scalable as possible. Proper use of technology and software tools should be integrated to support these operations.
  • Build a Strong Local Network : Participate in local business events, join relevant associations, and actively engage with the business community in San Francisco. Building a strong local network will be crucial for word-of-mouth referrals and gaining trust within the community.
  • Develop a Robust Marketing Strategy : Implement a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes digital marketing (SEO, content marketing, and social media), speaking engagements, and workshops. This strategy should aim to establish InsightAdvantage Consultants as thought leaders in the industry.
  • Hire and Train Key Staff : As revenue starts to grow, hire additional consultants and support staff to ensure the ability to scale operations without compromising on the quality of service. Implement a training program to ensure all team members are aligned with the company’s methodologies and values.
  • Get to $15,000/Month in Revenue : This is a critical financial milestone that indicates the business is gaining traction. Achieving this goal will likely require a combination of increasing the client base, possibly raising prices for services (based on the value delivered), and ensuring high levels of client satisfaction for repeat business and referrals.
  • Establish Partnerships : Form strategic partnerships with other businesses and organizations that can offer complementary services or refer clients, such as law firms, accounting firms, and local business associations. These partnerships can help expand the client base and add value to InsightAdvantage Consultants’ offerings.
  • Implement a Client Feedback System : Develop and implement a systematic approach for collecting and analyzing client feedback to continuously improve the service quality and address any areas of concern. This will not only help in refining the services but also in retaining clients and encouraging referrals.
  • Evaluate Expansion Opportunities : After achieving a stable client base and consistent revenue growth in San Francisco, begin evaluating opportunities for expansion either by offering additional services or by extending the geographic reach to other cities or regions.

InsightAdvantage Consultants management team, which includes the following members, has the experience and expertise to successfully execute on our business plan:

Lucas Jackson, President

Lucas Jackson brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success to InsightAdvantage Consultants. Having previously helmed a consulting firm, Lucas has demonstrated an exceptional ability to lead, innovate, and drive growth within the consulting industry. His expertise spans strategic planning, operational efficiency, and business development, making him well-positioned to guide InsightAdvantage Consultants towards achieving its strategic goals. Lucas’s leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of the consulting market, ensure that InsightAdvantage Consultants is not just equipped to navigate the complexities of the industry but is also poised for lasting success.

To reach our growth goals, InsightAdvantage Consultants requires $397,000 in funding. This capital will be allocated across both capital and non-capital investments, including location buildout, equipment, working capital, initial marketing, and staffing. These resources are crucial for establishing our operations, securing a competitive position in the market, and laying a foundation for future growth and profitability.

Financial Statements

Balance sheet.

[insert balance sheet]

Income Statement

[insert income statement]

Cash Flow Statement

[insert cash flow statement]

Consulting Firm Business Plan Example PDF

Download our Consulting Firm Business Plan PDF here. This is a free consulting firm business plan example to help you get started on your own consulting firm plan.  

How to Finish Your Consulting Firm Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your consulting firm business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

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IMAGES

  1. Sales Planning Process: Steps, Tips, And Tools

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  2. Simple Marketing Plan

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  3. 32 Sales Plan & Sales Strategy Templates [Word & Excel]

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  4. How to Write Marketing Plan in Business Plan with Examples

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  6. 17+ Sales and Marketing Business Plan Examples in PDF

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VIDEO

  1. How to Write a Marketing & Sales Plan for Your Business

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  3. 5 Tips to Create a Marketing Plan for Small Business in 2024

  4. Marketing Plan Explained ✅ What It Is & How To Create One

  5. How to Create Marketing and Sales Plan when Writing a Business Plan

  6. How To Write A Marketing Plan In 5 Easy Steps

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Sales and Marketing Plan

    A sales and marketing plan is a document that outlines strategies for creating awareness of your product or service among a defined group of prospective buyers. It also describes pricing and distribution structures that provide the highest anticipated return on investment. Learn the difference between sales and marketing, the steps to write a sales plan and a marketing plan, and the templates to use.

  2. How to Write a Sales and Marketing Plan

    The marketing and sales section of your business plan dives into how you're going to accomplish your goals. You'll be answering questions like: Based on your audience, how will you position your product or service in the current market? What marketing channels, messaging, and sales tactics will you implement?

  3. 10 Steps to Create a Complete Sales and Marketing Business Plan

    The sales and marketing plan outlines everything you need to do to promote your products and generate revenue for your business. Contents Why do you need a sales and marketing plan? What to include in the marketing & sales plan? Marketing plan for your startup: The what and why Sales plan for your startup: The what and the why

  4. Marketing & Sales Section in Your Home Business Plan

    A marketing plan is an essential part of a business plan. Business plans and marketing plans are important even if you're not seeking funding. A marketing plan can be built around the 5 P's: product, price, place, promotion, and people. You should set up metrics to measure how your marketing plan is working.

  5. Business Plan Section 6: Sales and Marketing

    Business Plan Section 6: Sales and Marketing Business Plan Section 6: Sales and Marketing Learn about the points to address in the sales and marketing section of your business plan, plus key aspects for a successful sales strategy. Remember all that research and hard work you put into the Market Analysis section of your business plan?

  6. What is a Marketing Plan & How to Write One [+Examples]

    A marketing plan is a strategic roadmap that businesses use to organize, execute, and track their marketing strategy over a given period. Marketing plans can include different marketing strategies for various marketing teams across the company, all working toward the same business goals.

  7. Marketing Plan Component of Your Business Plan

    The marketing portion of the business plan addresses four main topics: Product: What is the good or service that your business will offer? How is that product better than the competition? Why will people buy it? Price: How much can you charge? How do you balance sales volume and price to maximize income?

  8. What is Sales Planning? How to Create a Sales Plan

    Sales plans often include information about the business's target customers, revenue goals, team structure, and the strategies and resources necessary for achieving its targets. Free Sales Plan Template Outline your company's sales strategy in one simple, coherent sales plan. Target Market Prospecting Strategy

  9. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Sales and Marketing

    Here are some of the basic steps involved in creating our marketing plan: Focus on your target market. Who are your customers? Who will you target? Who makes the decisions? Determine how you...

  10. How to Write an Effective Marketing Plan

    A marketing plan is a core component of a business plan. It relates specifically to the marketing of a particular product or service and it describes: An overall marketing objective. A broad marketing strategy. The tactical detail related to specific marketing activities. The various costs associated with these activities.

  11. Business Plan 101: Sales & Marketing

    The sales and marketing section of your business plan is especially crucial because it determines how you'll plan on generating profit and describes how you intend to create exposure to best sell your product. It's in this area of your business plan that you'll hone the key elements of your marketing strategy.

  12. How to Create a Sales Plan for Your Business

    Shifting the goalposts. Failing to ask for sound advice. Not having a feedback mechanism. 2. Have clear deadlines and milestones. You need to know if the assumptions you are making in your sales plan are close to your target. To do this, split that big plan into smaller goals (deliverables) with strict deadlines.

  13. How to present a sales and marketing strategy in a business plan?

    The sales and marketing section follows both the market analysis and the pricing subsections. Its main objective is to communicate to readers that you have a well-defined go-to-market strategy that will help you reach and sell to your target customers.

  14. How to Write a Sales Plan

    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 ...

  15. Sales Plan

    How to create a sales plan in 7 Steps Pipeline A sales plan is the first step toward defining your sales strategy, sales goals and how you'll reach them. A refined sales plan is a go-to resource for your reps. It helps them better understand their role, responsibilities, targets, tactics and methods.

  16. 9 Stunning Sales Business Plan Templates to Close Your Next Deal

    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.

  17. How to Write Marketing Plan in Business Plan with Examples

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