How can we help you with your sales plan ?

If you’re searching the internet for advice on how to write your first sales plan, and are confused by all the contradictory advice on offer, then don’t worry – we’re here to help !

At Vendatum, when we work with clients on clean-sheet sales strategy, we like to keep things nice and easy, and to reduce the stress for our clients. Think of us as an Asprin, for all your sales planning headaches !

When you write a plan with us, we’ll encourage you to keep it simple and dependable. This is for a number of very good reasons:

Simplicity is important, because when writing your first plan is there seems to be this irresistible urge to make things more complicated than they need to be. For some reason, complex strategy looks more professional and business like. Granted, one can draw fantastically detailed flow charts (and with all the buzz words involved, you can really improve your score at scrabble), but one can also tie oneself up in knots, and lose focus as to where one’s real priorities are. Simplicity is doubly important in start-ups where there is more than one individual in the launch team, because the simple plan it’s the one that’s most likely to be understood by everybody – and when everybody understands what they should be doing, and when they need to do it, the plan tends to work out well.

Dependability, in terms of the numbers that you are using, is also equally important. Typically, this dependability can be generated by two different approaches:

[i] The fast iterative approach ...where you try out various routes to market, sales techniques and marketplaces, in order to find out what works best for you, and in order to locate where your customers really are, what part of your offering they are really interested in and what they are really prepared to pay for it. The advantages of this plan is that it can help you get to where you want to ge very quickly, and it can save you a lot of wasted effort in building financial models that are based on inaccurate assumptions. It also works well in very small companies where there isn’t a formal marketing team and where there isn’t a great deal of money available to invest in the project at the start of the project. The disadvantage of this approach is that it can be used as an excuse never to look to the horizon and find out where you want to be in 5 or 10 years’ time.

[ii] The front end loaded approach ...where you try to cover off every possible variable before formally launching your plan or product range with real life customers. This is favoured by start-ups who are well capitalised, and can afford to employ specialist marketeers. It is also a useful approach if you are trying to persuade investors to give you that capital to start the company, and where you need to sell them the dream of what the company might be worth in 5 or 10 year’s time. The disadvantages are that this plan is very reliant on marketing to generate the numbers, and without testing the offering with real people and in a situation where competitors get the opportunity to react, you can never be 100% sure that the projections are correct. Certainly the history books are filled with examples of companies who spent a lot of money on marketing pre-launch, only to find that their assumptions were built on sand.

Of course, these two approaches are not mutually exclusive, and in most cases when working with clients, we suggest a hybrid approach - that has a clear end point in mind, but which is also founded on real-life experience.

If you’d like to have a chat about your plans, then please give us a call on 01628 306 087  or email us at: info@vendatum.com and we’ll be very happy to help you...