As a busy sales manager or salesperson, you have likely had little time to create a sales prospecting action plan. After all, getting out there and “selling already” is top priority, right?!
No salesperson wants to miss their quota, and they especially don’t want to get on their manager’s bad side. But what if a sales prospecting plan was the key to more effective selling?
We believe it is.
Create a Sales Prospecting Action Plan
A Prospecting Action Plan will help focus your salespeople’s prospecting activity and create a log of actions and impacts.
As a sales manager, you are able to review this plan and refine it. Over time, you’ll be able to compare the Prospecting Action Plans created by your sales team members against prospecting outcomes to see what works and what doesn’t.
As a salesperson, your plan will keep you fit and focused—helping you to prospect better, smarter, and more efficiently. It will keep you on track, and will show you where you might have gaps.
The most effective Prospecting Action Plans are drafted on a monthly basis by salespeople, reviewed by management, and then executed.
Targeting: Create an Ideal Prospect List
The first step for any Prospecting Action Plan is defining the ideal target and creating an ideal prospect list. Ask your sales team the following questions:
- Who are your best customers (not necessarily the biggest, but the best)?
- Where did you find your best customers?
- Is there an industry in which you have experience that might make it a good target industry?
- What is your ideal company size?
- Who at the organization is the decision-maker for your products and services?
Once you’ve identified your ideal targets, ask your sales team the following questions to get them thinking about ways to interact with prospects:
- Who are your prospects’ customers?
- Why do their clients buy from them?
- What industry events (such as trade shows) do they attend?
- What type of social functions are your clients most active in?
- What books, magazines, and blogs do your prospects read?
Sales PlayBook Activity
As your salespeople respond to the above questions and begin building their prospect lists, have them track and record their responses in the Sales PlayBook.
List individual behaviors for success and set specific and measurable goals for each target.
Have sales team members post their Prospecting Action Plans in their Weekly Goals page to stay accountable.
Sales Prospecting Action Plan Goals
Below are examples of the types of goals you might have your salespeople include in their Prospecting Action Plan. Remember, these are just examples. Actual plans should contain less than 10 items to keep them meaningful and manageable.
- Networking & Social Media
Sample Prospecting Action Plan
Targeting and Follow-Up:
- Follow-up with all prospects in my target list
- Focus on our new product “Giant Rubber Band”
- Schedule at least 4 face-to-face sales meetings
- Qualify at least 20 prospects
- Request at least 10 referrals from current customers
- Spend Mondays and Fridays conducting research, participating in one-on-one and sales team meetings, updating account notes, planning meeting agendas, and developing DEAL documents. Spend Tuesdays through Thursdays making calls and running meetings.
- Document at least 2 success stories
- Attend at least 2 networking events and get at least 4 leads from them
Sales growth isn’t as tough as it seems after all! A little planning using the Prospecting Action Plan and your Sales PlayBook will help your sales team grow and take their efforts to the next level.