- Establish income and business goals. How much money do you expect to earn and what sales performance do you need to obtain to get there? Plan out your income by quarter, then map the required sales necessary. Ask, are these goals reasonable and achievable and what must happen for me to reach them?
- Profile your top customers and prospects. Spend ample time planning and researching. Research the marketplace you are selling in. Map the types of customers and markets to the kinds of products and service you can offer. Target your sales based on potential. List all your top prospects and describe what their pain points are. Review what makes them successful and what their perception is of your company.
- Build a sales forecast for each customer and prospect. Start with your existing customers. You know them well. Identify the printing solutions that are linked to the overall success of each customer and what they will be perceive as high value. High value solutions will generate more revenue and profit. Know what makes your customer’s successful. If gaps exist between what you are forecasting and your income plan, then you must immediately put plans in place to increase your prospecting to target new and existing accounts. Don’t wait.
- Prioritize and schedule your strategies, tactics and activities. What specifically will you do and in what time frames will they be done to close the business? Develop a calendar and list the actions you will take in each account such as generating proposals, developing pilots or creating proofs of concepts. For prospecting, specifically describe your planned actions such as networking, cold calling, holding a customer event, etc. Think like an agency or marketing communications firm. If you can’t offer all the services required to support a profitable business then find partners.
- Create a monthly sales and income forecast. Based on your forecast for closing specific customers and prospects, build a spreadsheet of the monthly schedule of sales and income that you will generate. This is the tract that you need to make your overall sales and income objectives. Keep this spreadsheet up to date and use it as a reporting system to guage your success.
Joe Rickard is a sales training leader and consultant who works with printing and technology companies in the graphic arts to improve their sales effectiveness. He is the founder of Intellective Solutions, a provider of customized sales and sales management training material and services. Contact Rickard at (845) 753-6156, email@example.com, or visit www.intellectivesolutions.com.