The Elements of a Successful Sales Plan

Existing Customer Business Strategies and Tactics

Include the following two strategies in your sales plan. Remember, these strategies are designed to capture high-margin, add-on business from your existing customers. Important note: Here again, the strategies are numbered and the tactics are italicized.

1. Create a touch-point program.

  • Contact each of my existing customers no less than once per month with a new idea they cannot get from anyone else.

  • Create a noteworthy monthly newsletter.

  • Create a user-group within my existing customer base.

  • Create some sort of web-based seminar series for my existing customers.

  • Take at least three existing customers to lunch each month and invite a new prospect to join us.

2. Prospect within my existing customer base.

  • Knock on no less than three new doors, departments and divisions within each of my existing customers' businesses.
  • Ask each of my existing customer contacts to introduce me to one other person within their organization.
  • Personally meet the top executive at each of my existing customers' businesses.

The Time Is Now

The final part of your sales plan must detail the timeline for implementation of each of the tactics in your sales plan. It's best to show a week-to-week schedule.

Once you've created your sales plan, don't file it away! Keep it handy and revisit it and revise it on a regular basis. Stay on track with your plan, and you'll stay on quota.

If you have a sales or marketing question that you'd like to ask me in person, you can call me toll-free during my live Internet radio talk show on Entrepreneur Radio. Visit www.wsRadio.com every Friday between 9 and 10 a.m. PDT.

Calculating Your Prospect Ratio

Step One: Targets
Monitor your own sales work for one month (or whatever period is appropriate in your industry) and answer these questions:

A. If you contacted 100 suspects (via phone calls, mailings, in-person meetings or a combination of these), how many prospects would result? _________
B. How many of the prospects you identified in A. would turn into hot leads? _________
C. How many of the hot leads you identified in B. would you turn into actual sales? _________

Step Two: Ratio
Divide the number on line C by 100. The result is your ratio. _________

Step Three: Goals
1. What is your yearly quota or sales goal, in dollars? _________
2. What are your projected sales totals, in dollars, from current customers? _________
3. Subtract item 2 from item 1 to yield the amount of new sales dollars needed this year. _________
4. Enter the dollar amount of your average sale. _________
5 Divide item 3 by item 5 to yield the number of new sales needed this year. _________

Step Four: Your Bottom Line
Divide the number in item 5 by the ratio you calculated in Step Two. _________

Bingo! You're a CPA! Well, maybe not, but this is the number of new suspects you'll need to contact in the coming year to reach your yearly target. Now divide that number by 52 (unless you plan on taking a week or two of vacation), and you'll know how many suspects you must contact each week to make your quota.

Note: Aim high! I always shoot for 125 percent of quota if I want to hit 110 percent.

Tony Parinello is the author of the bestselling book Selling to VITO, the Very Important Top Officer. For additional information on his speeches and his newest book, Secrets of VITO, call (800) 777-VITO or visit www.sellingtovito.com.


The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, not of Entrepreneur.com. All answers are intended to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney or accountant.

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Tony Parinello has become the nation's foremost expert on executive-level selling. He's also the author of the bestselling book bearing the name of his sales training program,Getting to VITO, the Very Important Top Officer, 10 Steps to VITO's Office,as well as the host of Club VITO, a weekly live internet broadcast.

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