The main step you must take for successful sales planning is most definitely preparation. As with anything in life, to be successful you must have a written game plan.
Lets not pretend it's easy, because it is not.
But just because it is not easy does not mean you should put it off.
Lets just put any worries aside about it being to difficult and make a start on our plan.
Lets start by listing your existing customers, starting by listing them in order by how much revenue they bring you.
And then list them in order of sales potential followed by listing your sales prospects in order of potential.
Decide how many times during the year you will arrange appointments to see your very best customers. Then decide how many times you will visit your second most responsive customers. etc, etc.
Then decide how often you intend to visit the smallest businesses. Then go through the whole thing again in terms of your prospects.
Once you have completed this task you will be able to see your call plan taking place, based on sales potential and whereabouts these different companies are based geographically.
If you can, put together a strategy that will include a script with the aim of making telephone sales easier.
Also put together a general list of questions for when you visit the customers and prospects in person, making sure you take plenty of notes along the way, that is vitally important.
Another benefit of taking notes is that it shows you are actually interested in what your prospect is saying, believe me when I say that this goes along way in building a productive relationship between you. It also shows that if you are taking notes it is your prospect that is doing most of the talking.
The listening will earn you more money than you would if you were just talking. Make sure you set goals that you will be able to achieve through hard work.
They have to be attainable but challenging at the same time.
For each goal make sure you write down the steps required to achieve those goals. When you reach your goals, make sure you take the time to celebrate with family and friends, the memories of these celebrations will spur you on when you hit troubles when going for future goals.
As soon as you have reached one goal start working on the next, keep the momentum going.
You don't have time to mess around, just go for it. Be sure to set out a basic marketing schedule for your territory and make sure you contact all of your best customers at least once a month. Don't take that the wrong way, even if it is just a cursory phone call, that is OK.
You now have put a plan together that will put you ahead of those sales people who just think it is to difficult so won't bother.
The fact that you have bothered shows that you have the potential to become a leader in this great industry of ours.