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8 Steps for Your Effective Sales Action Plan

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Thu, Apr 07, 2022

Remember this; “You do not decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future” - F.M. Alexander. 

This blog will teach you how to create a sales action plan to help you outline the steps that will assist you in reaching, or better yet, exceeding your sales and personal goals!

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Sales Action Plan

Here are the 8 steps for your Sales Action Plan:

  1. Establish your personal goals

    We recommend starting with way too many goals, in fact, around 100 so that you think broad and deep and expand your thinking. Then categorize those 100 goals into types such as; personal, business, spiritual, wellness, etc., boil them down to the top 12 non-negotiable goals with details and timelines and don’t forget to set your BHAG (big, hairy, aggressive goal). This is the one goal that is shooting for the stars. If you want to know more about the goal-setting process for your company or personal purposes, reach out, and we will share the Extraordinary Goal Setting Process.
  2. Create a Success Formula for new business

    The Success Formula outlines the specific activities and counts of those activities that a salesperson must execute to reach their goals. Yes, there is a way to create a formula for this based on each individual’s effectiveness. It is important to understand that if you must reach $500,000 in sales, how many outreaches, contacts, appointments, opportunities, proposals, and closes are necessary. And we will point out that salespeople have weaknesses at each step, and these are coachable, but only if you have the data! We will make it easy for you; use our Sales Success Formula.

  3. Determine your key initiatives

    In the world of selling, key initiatives should point to prospecting or building relationships. All salespeople should have key initiatives of asking for introductions from their best clients, building relationships with Centers of Influence, and segmenting their current client base into the top tier, middle tier, and bottom tier with activities they will do for each. Another key initiative could be to grow relationships with current clients by X%. Be careful about setting non-sales-related key initiatives unless you can attach a direct relationship to the growth of your book.  

  4. Establish your Smart Numbers – your key measurements for success

    These are simply the specific business goals that you will track and communicate regularly. For salespeople, these likely include; average sale amount, number of sales per month and year, number of proposals, and close rate. We have a smart number that we track called “pull-through rate” which is what percentage of our proposals close. This is important to determine if we are putting a proposal out to a prospect too early and if so, we need to improve our qualifying. These smart numbers are used to evaluate or benchmark performance between salespeople, and the Scorecard, and they are very effective when shared with the team.

  5. Figure out what you should start and stop doing

    Staying focused on sales activities is not easy. It is easier to default to account maintenance, running down an Ops problem, and doing administrative work (which is sometimes necessary of course). Top-tier salespeople keep doing sales activities and stop doing whatever they can that is not helpful. They are good at understanding what is critical in their day and schedule that time, and they do not make excuses. They are very good at downloading nonproductive work to others. What are you doing that you need to stop, and that will allow you to start doing other activities that will help you grow your book of business? Make your list!

  6. Create your sales & marketing plan

    In the workplan available below, you will see a sample marketing plan. These are your categories of activities that are of the highest priority that will drive the achievement of your goals, such as Networking, COIs, LinkedIn, Introductions, Social Media outreach, and video emails. Let’s face it, the world of selling has evolved dramatically in the last couple of years, and the days of in-person selling have changed. The buyer finds everything they need online, and if you are not found in that search process, you may not even know about the possible opportunity. Sales and marketing are more connected now than ever before, so make sure to create a plan and inspect it regularly and be adaptable to what is working for your business.

  7. Review, respond and redirect as needed

    This may seem obvious but think about a sport that you enjoy watching. What happens if what a person or team is doing is not working or not working well enough? Do they keep running the same plays, or do they start serving to a competitor’s backhand or rushing the net instead of playing the backcourt? Good tennis players will change their strategies to gain an edge, and make their competition uncomfortable. The same is true of salespeople. If you are not reviewing your plan, you will not know if you should be adjusting your activity!

  8. Don’t forget to celebrate your success

    This is the most overlooked step but what we know is that top-tier salespeople reward themselves by reaching their personal goals. Make sure that you do not forget to share your goals and celebrate them with your most important people. Why are you in this crazy business of selling otherwise?!

For more details on this approach, you can download our Sales Action Plan template today and get started. Remember, the best time to plant a tree is today so get started now growing your sales action plan and results.

Download your Personal & Business Work Plan for Free

Topics: sales action plan


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    About our Blog

    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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