Start Now: The Importance of Early Sales Planning

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by BHG Staff


Blue Horizons Group is an end-to-end service provider and consultancy for your revenue operations strategies and systems.

Why you should get started before the New Year

In the fast-moving world of sales, the future is always knocking at the door. To ensure that your team hits the ground running in the new year, it’s imperative to start your sales planning now. Waiting until the last moment can cost you time, revenue, and even talented employees. In this blog, we’ll delve into why early sales planning matters and explore four key areas you need to focus on to get a head start.

The consequences of delayed sales planning

Before we delve into the specifics of sales planning, let’s understand the repercussions of delaying this crucial process. Failing to have a sales plan in place can leave your team feeling adrift and directionless at the start of the new year. This lack of guidance can result in:

  1. Missed Opportunities: Without a solid plan, you may miss out on key opportunities in the market, allowing competitors to gain an edge.
  2. Revenue Loss: A disorganized sales approach can lead to inconsistent performance and, ultimately, revenue loss.
  3. Employee Frustration: Talented sales professionals thrive on clear goals and expectations. A lack of direction can frustrate and demotivate your team, potentially leading to attrition.
  4. Inefficient Resource Allocation: Resources may be misallocated, leading to inefficiencies and wasted budgets.

Now that we’ve highlighted the risks of not having your Sales Planning done on time let’s explore the four critical areas of sales planning that demand your attention:

Go-to-marketing strategy planning

Your go-to-market (GTM) strategy outlines how you’ll bring your product or service to market and win customers. It’s about understanding your target audience, positioning your offering, and crafting a compelling value proposition. Starting early allows you to:

– Conduct Market Research: Analyze market trends, customer personas and behavior, and competitor strategies to refine your approach.

– Position Your Product: Define how your product or service meets customer needs and differentiates from competitors.

– Allocate Resources: Plan how you’ll allocate budget and human resources to support your GTM strategy effectively.

Territory alignment

Territory alignment involves assigning sales reps to specific geographic regions or customer segments. A well-planned territory alignment ensures that sales efforts are evenly distributed and optimized for success. Starting early enables you to:

– Analyze Current Performance: Evaluate past performance to identify areas for improvement in territory assignments.

– Ensure Fairness: Create equitable territories to motivate and engage your sales team.

– Maximize Efficiency: Align territories to target the most lucrative markets and potential customers.

Quota planning

Setting quotas is a crucial aspect of sales planning. Quotas define individual and team sales targets, providing a clear roadmap for performance. Early planning allows you to:

– Review Historical Data: Analyze past sales data to set realistic and achievable quotas.

– Align with Objectives: Ensure that quotas align with your revenue and growth objectives.

– Provide Clarity: Communicate quotas to your sales team well in advance to allow for proper preparation and motivation.

Sales incentive planning

Sales incentives are powerful motivators. They drive your team to meet and exceed their quotas. Effective incentive planning involves:

– Designing Incentive Programs: Create enticing compensation plans and bonuses that align with your sales goals and industry benchmarks.

– Evaluating Past Incentives: Analyze the effectiveness of previous incentive programs and make adjustments.

– Communicating Incentives: Share incentive details early so your team knows what to expect and can strive for excellence.

Blue Horizons Group is your extra hand

If the sales planning process sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. The sales operations team whose shoulders this typically falls on are already up to their ears in tasks, and Sales Planning can end up being badly delayed. Starting your sales planning now is not merely a suggestion; it’s a strategic imperative. As previously mentioned, delaying this process can result in lost opportunities, revenue, and talent.

Blue Horizons Group consultants can relieve this burden from your team and help them proactively address go-to-market strategy, territory alignment, quota planning, and sales incentives. Not only can BHG help shoulder this planning process, our sales planning experts can provide insights from others in your industry to ensure your plans are on par with market values and norms. With BHG’s help, you’ll be able to provide your team with the clarity, motivation, and direction needed to make the coming year a resounding success. Don’t wait; start planning today for a prosperous tomorrow.



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