“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up some place else.”
Yogi Berra was a baseball player with an affinity for tripping over his words, but his sentiment was right. Without a plan, it’s hard to find success. The same is true for startups with regards to a sales and marketing plan.
Many of the growing B2B organizations that we work with at Venture Accelerator Partners have detailed product development plans, but don’t have a sales and marketing plan to drive revenue other than an arbitrary target dollar amount. Developing a great sales and marketing plan will help you guide the daily, weekly, and monthly activities you need to grow your business.
At VA Partners, we use the Sales and Marketing Fast Start Plan™ as a guide for ourselves and customers as we work through an engagement. Here are the keys to a developing a great sales and marketing plan.
What is the problem or issue you are helping your prospects and customers to resolve? Be sure to describe the benefits, functions, and features.
Target Customer and Contacts
What are the best industries, verticals, size of customer, and geographies for your solution? Who are the key people involved in the decision making process?
What are the benefits for your target customer? Remember, benefits and features are very different. If you can quantify the benefits the value proposition can become very powerful.
The Path to Sales Success
What are the steps from the point where a prospect moves through to a customer?
Sales and Marketing Tactics
There are many different tactics that can be used. Which are the best at reaching your target customers in the places they hang out? Where do you target contacts find information they use to make decisions?
Process and Tools
There are many tools and processes that can be used to help create repeatable winning actions that help organizations close revenue faster and with less effort. Which ones map to your startup?
Competitors and Overcoming Objections
Who are you competing with? What are they better at than you, where are you better? What objections do you face through the sales process and how can you overcome them?
The revenue target or user number is the end goal. What are the activity targets and other quantifiable targets that help you get there? Targets could include meetings with decision makers, page views, inbound leads, and proposals.
For many organizations, leaders seem to expect sales to happen almost by accident. Creating a sales and marketing plan, including a social media plan, will lead to a more focused effort with better results. If you would like to understand how VA Partners can help you create your sales and marketing plan, feel free to get in touch. For more great sales and marketing information delivered to your inbox, sign-up for our newsletter.