A strategic plan and sales plan puts your marketing plan into action and is the implementation work horse of a business plan. This article on the strategic and sales planning process is divided into ten sections, which are presented in a particular, building-block order.
Potential Problems and Company Objectives: First identify and rank your potential problems in your company operations. With your problems identified and ranked in importance and severity, you can develop company objectives to minimize and manage the identified problem areas, emphasizing your company’s strengths.
Risk Analysis: When are Problems likely to occur? What can you do to mitigate the potential risks and problems? How will you deal with these problems? The risk analysis looks at how you can turn problems into opportunities, which parlays into the next section.
Company Strategy, Strategic Tactics and Programs: First develop your strategy, then the relating strategic tactics and then the resulting strategic programs. Strategy is focus and consists of key factors that distinguish your company and are most expected to contribute to your success. It is important that your company strategies complement each other so you are not sending your business in separate directions. Strategic tactics are used to implement strategies and relate to a specific strategy. Strategic programs are specific business activities which have concrete dates, assigned responsibilities and developed budgets. Programs relate to specific tactics of a specific strategy.
Sales Strategy: Develop the sales strategy as it specifically relates to the marketing strategy. Establish the different sale methods and channels. Determine your sales process and goals.
Sales Program: The sales program addresses how your sales strategy will be implemented. You should have systems in place to measure the strategy implementation and to support your sales efforts.
Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures: Define your keystone alliances and partnerships. Develop cooperative marketing and development opportunities. Identify any inherent risks.
Rolling Basis Operating Budget: The operating budget is a planning and control mechanism which helps you develop the sales forecast. It should be on a rolling basis, outward looking for one year, and the format on a monthly basis. It is important your operational budget reflects your strategic planning goals.
Sales Forecast: Based upon your sales strategy and programs, and considering your operational budget, develop a three to five year projected sales forecast. This sales forecast will be used to develop your detailed profit and loss statement of your business plan. It is very important to correlate how your sales forecast relates to your market analysis, market segments, marketing strategy and sales strategy.
Milestone Table: Provide your future company goals, milestones and corresponding strategies, along with your marketing and sales program rollout.
Control Mechanisms: What mechanisms for control of each critical skill and resource are available to you? Is direct ownership necessary for your resources and skills or can they be outsourced and at what cost savings? These are just some of the questions to address when identifying control mechanisms for your strategic plan’s resources.
Strategic planning is such an important part of running a successful business, I highly recommend retaining an experienced business consultant, ensuring your strategic plan is effectively developed, and most importantly, effectively implemented throughout your company operations. After your strategic plan is implemented, an experienced business consultant can also help you ensure the strategy stays on track, reaches its goals and is adjusted as necessary due to market changes and unforeseen problematic events.
Frank Goley works for ABC Business Consulting and is an expert in developing and implementing business plans, marketing plans and strategic plans.