You have a great product or service. Now you have to sell it. This course will give you an overview of sales plans and other tools to get your product or service into your customer/consumer’s hands.
Duration of the course: 00:30:00
System Requirements: Adobe Flash Player.
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For Additional Small Business Management Knowledge Feel Free to Explore the Following Topics:
1.3 Course Topics
This course provides a sales guide for small businesses. Some of the questions answered in this course are:
• Why make up a good sales plan?
• What role should research play in planning your sales strategies?
• How can you use blogs, community web sites, and email to generate sales?
• Why is it important to track marketing effort results?
• What are realistic expectations for hiring sales employees?
Many additional resources are identified to help you. Visit the resource icon in the course player or locate additional tools, templates, and mentors on SBA.gov once you finish the course.
You can have the greatest product in the world, the most reliable and effective service available, or the most efficient manufacturing process known to man - none of which mean a thing if you don’t have sales. Selling your product or service is what generates revenue, and without revenue, you do not have a business. This lesson will cover the fundamentals of planning and establishing a sales mechanism that works for you.
1.5 Sales Planning
You usually plan activities and events of your life - whether it is a birthday party for a child, a vacation for the family, or a major purchase such as a car or a house. Most people can't imagine not having some sort of plan when they start something important. Yet many small business owners plunge into sales without any kind of sales plan at all. A sales plan is a
critical tool for setting goals and identifying where and how you should work to generate revenue. Select each tab to learn more about components of a good sales plan.
A sales plan is a strategy that identifies potential customers, establishes goals, and lays out the sales and marketing tactics you will use to meet those goals.
An overall company sales goal defines what you are trying to achieve and provides a focal point for your business 'big picture.' It also helps your sales personnel better understand
where they fit into your operation. You also need to establish individual goals for salespeople based on his or her skills, knowledge and abilities. Both your overall goals and any individual goals need to be achievable - setting an unrealistically high target can backfire by making failure seem unavoidable.
What tactics will you use to make sales? Are you going to market products through retail stores or sell directly to consumers using a web site? You must determine which sales activities will work best for your particular product or service and make sure to explain them to your sales staff so that they know how to best use them.
How will you focus on the customers you're targeting? A wholesale market will require different strategies than selling direct to end users. Your sales plan should identify potential avenues of contact, such as media advertisement, classified listings, or direct mail.
What is the schedule for your sales plan? You need to lay out the steps of your sales plan within a realistic time frame and keep that timeline flexible. Be ready to adjust if one portion of your plan bogs down, or another is completed ahead of schedule.
1.6 Customer Relationship Management Systems
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System is a robust software-based process used by businesses to identify new customers, automate and track various sales or trend activities, and develop sales opportunities by forecasting and/or providing insight to help satisfy and retain existing customers. Once considered to be a business trend, CRM has become an industry standard needed to maintain your competitive advantage. Thanks to
social media and other internet tools, you can create, operate, or outsource CRM system's and services at little to no cost while increasing profitability and increasing customer loyalty.
Some potential CRM approaches include customized mailings based on known customer buying habits, or sending out e-coupons on customer birthdays.
1.7 Question 1
It's time for a quick knowledge review. For the following question, select the correct option, and then click Submit.
What is the strategy that identifies potential customers and tactics, establishes goals, and lays out the process you will use to meet those goals?
A. Sales goal
B. Customer Relations Management
C. Sales plan
D. Account targeting
You have correctly identified the definition of a sales plan.
1.8 The Four “P’s”
When you are putting together a sales strategy, you need to keep in mind the four P's of marketing. These are key areas that have a direct impact on how you sell your product or service. Click each tab to learn more.
While you won't be changing your product each time you make a sale, you may target specific products to different areas. As an example, you may sell custom notebook binders, which can be marketed in specific school colors. If you are selling custom made products, understanding what your customer wants will be key to making the sale.
Can you be flexible on pricing? Balance the value of getting customer volume against profit margin. This can be a critical factor where you have competition in the same market.
What kind of promotions are useful for your product or service? Can you use coupons or discounts? Are you advertising where your target market will see and notice you?
Where are you selling your product or service? Are you using a web site, a traditional retail store, direct marketing, or some other location? Where does your target market look to buy your product? The answer will help determine what strategies will work for you.
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