Sales planning, whether it’s at a company, department, or team level, is a documented strategy for hitting key targets. There’s no way to consistently execute the sales strategy without a sales plan.
A sales plan should show you where you’re at, where you want to be, and the path for getting there. The best sales plans make it possible for everyone on the revenue-generating team (sales, executive sponsors, marketing, and customer success) to understand the big picture, align on objectives, and collaborate on the same plan to achieve them. In other words, it makes sales execution possible.
It’s no secret that sales planning processes can vary from organization to organization. Sometimes they even differ inside of organizations, across teams. Sales plans can range from being relatively simple to more complex than your tax return. It may be a tactical sales management tool, or it may be a strategic approach that executive leadership leverages for corporate planning.
There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all.’ What is important is that it fits your organization’s needs. As you learn and grow as a company, you will want to advance along the sales planning maturity curve to increase your success and alignment with others. Mature organizations will have a strategic approach to sales planning to ensure accurate forecasting, dynamic and agile workflow, and cross-functional collaboration to achieve top-level corporate goals.
What is the Sales Execution Maturity Model?
Like your children, maturity comes with time and nurture (and maybe some tears). Many organizations start with an Ad Hoc process, and after a lot of trial and error, an organization might find its way to an integrated approach. Some companies don’t ever move past Ad Hoc. It just depends on how much emphasis you want to place on being a more strategic partner to customers.
Stages of the Sales Execution Maturity Model
- Ad Hoc: Unpredictable and lacking clarity. Creating serious issues for your forecasting.
- Tactical: Plans are created but probably not finessed and tailored to your team.
- Integrated: Plans are more consistent; technology is in place to help the team be more successful.
- Intelligently Managed: Plans inform revenue management and improve revenue predictability.
- Strategic: Cross-functional teams use sales plans to inform Marketing, Customer Success, and more.
What stage of the model does your organization currently function? What are you doing to ensure your team arrives on a Strategic Sales Planning approach in the future?
Find out more about how sales planning can help sales teams stay aligned, deepen relationships, and drive measurable impact on revenue in their most important accounts.