Sales planning skills, very precisely, refer to the ability of an individual to set sales targets and then define a set of steps that will be taken and the strategies that will be used to meet those targets.
Describing in detail, sales planning skills refer to the evaluation of current performance or sales of a given product in a particular target market, defining the sales target, identifying the strategies for achieving that target, and identifying the resources available for the achievement of the stated sales target.
Sometimes, these skills may also encompass the ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different sales representatives.
Why is sales planning important
Unless you are have a good luck, nothing in this world can be done without prior planning. Everything requires you to take out time and think things through, set goals and objectives, create a plan, and then implement that plan to achieve them.
Sales planning is important because it helps your foresee potential risks so that you can try and mitigate them beforehand. It not only helps you formulate a battle plan but also puts you in control by helping you determine your product’s current status, where you want to take it, and how you will take there.
Sales planning also play an important role when a product is being offered in a variety of markets. It helps you devise strategies according to the culture, needs, and requirements of each consumer market.
How to improve your sales planning skills
In order to improve your sales planning skills, the following tips may prove to be helpful:
- Integrate your sales planning with finance and operations. One of the best ways to improve your sales planning skills and achieve optimal accuracy in the process is to integrate the sales data with that of finance and operations. This will not only help the sales forecasting and budget planning to be done alongside one another but also, to some extent, it will guide the overall operations of the business including production.
- Come up with an exhaustive list of all barriers to success. List down any obstacle that you see in the path of achieving your set targets in order to know what exactly you are up against. Whether it is a competitor becoming an industry leader or a new target market that has varying needs or culture than the rest, you should know what exactly you are going to have to deal with. This can prove to be extremely inspiring, sparking new and creative ideas for the kind of strategies you may use to overcome them.
- Involve yourself in e-marketing. Whether you are trying to assess the current position of your product/brand or executing your plan for achieving sales targets, remember that in this era of internet all useful information is found on the web and one of the most effective mediums that allow you to pitch is again, the web.