Establishing a sales development plan guarantees that you’ll get your business up and running. Read on to find out what tools you can use in order to boost your business sales!
The life cycle of a business can be compared to the stages of human development: childhood, adolescence, maturity, and old age. All these phases of a maturing business have their own nuances, similar to the need for specific approaches when handling children of different ages. At each stage in the development of the sales department, there are set methods and tools that can be utilized to further growth. If your business is stuck in one of these stages and can no longer increase sales, keep reading to learn about new tools and strategies that will help move your company forward.
What is a Sales Development?
Sales development is a set of measures aimed at improving the efficiency of your cannabis company sales specialists. Examples of these procedures are as follows:
- The development of optimal models to be used when working with clients, and the consolidation of these models with corporate sales standards;
- The development of effective scripts to provide the sales managers with guidelines for handling specific conversations;
- Training managers in product knowledge for effective sales;
- Implementation of these standards through training including, but not limited to, on-the-job training and coaching;
- The creation and application of criteria that evaluate the effectiveness of a sales manager.
Sales Development Process
To ensure a successful plan for the development of sales within your cannabis business, you need to understand what changes need to be made to get the maximum results from your efforts. To do this, you can use the Pareto principle. This world-famous principle states the importance of focusing on actions that give the best possible outcome. These actions should only use 20% of your efforts yet yield 80% of the results. Some examples of this idea in action are:
- 20% of your range provides 80% of the turnover;
- 20% of buyers buy 80% of your products;
- 20% of sales bring 80% of the profits.
The Pareto principle is very important for drawing up a sales development plan. To begin the employment of this idea, follow these simple guidelines:
- Analyze the results of all the current actions your sales managers are making. Which of these provide your business with maximum results, and which do not affect the performance indicators of the sales department?
- Determine what tasks your managers spend the majority of their time on and what results you get from this in the end;
- Recognize weak actions that have no effect on sales and identify strong ones that bring excellent results;
- Finally, drop all of the weak actions and focus only on those that brought you 80% of the results.
Next, consider how this principle works in regard to different aspects of your business.
Estimate the profitability of your sales. You will see through your own sales which 20% of goods bring 80% of the profit. Focus on selling the best products, with emphasis on the profit indicator rather than the volume of revenue.
Evaluate the KPI of your employees. In each department, there are employees that make up the backbone upon which the department’s main achievements are obtained. Place personnel changes in the sales development plan of each department. Create a sales plan that provides jobs only to those managers who reach a certain level. This will leave your cannabis business with only the most valuable employees.
Every day the cost of advertising is growing, despite the crisis, and attracting a buyer is very expensive. Therefore, attracting the right target audience for your sales is crucial to a successful sales development plan. Carry out an ABC/XYZ analysis of your customer base, and determine which customers bring you the majority of your income. In addition, try to analyze the most effective advertising channels that bring you these key buyers.
What is a Sales Development Strategy?
The sales development strategy expresses the business owner’s plans to achieve the desired result within a specific time frame. In order to implement this strategy, it is necessary to first draw it up with the departments of sales, logistics, marketing, and production. Secondly, it is important to fix all the problems currently facing your company. Finally, calculate the numbers as accurately as possible. With these steps in mind, we will now look at what aspects should be considered when creating a sales development strategy:
- Determine what target audience you need to work with (age, gender, location, interests, income, marital status, etc.);
- Change sales channels while considering possible subsequent problems and budgets;
- Write up documents detailing competitive advantages, USPs, service standards, and internal processes of sales organization;
- Consider a pricing strategy. You might decide to dump the market or introduce premium products into the assortment, and it is important to figure out what those decisions may result in. Discounts would also be good to evaluate if you already have statistical experience.
How to Form a Sales Development Strategy
First of all, you need to determine the existing situation for the following elements of the sales system:
- Product (compare with competitors, market research, etc.);
- Staff (what are they capable of doing, what do they currently do, and what should they do);
- Processes (evaluate the effectiveness of using sales tools).
Then, draw a concise picture of how sales in a company should develop in 3-5 years. Planning for 10 years in an ever-changing economy is impossible while planning for less than 3 years is no longer consistent with a global sales strategy. As a result, you will end up with a list of specific actions that your cannabis company can implement as part of your overall strategy. Thus, you can formulate tactical actions to achieve the set sales of the development plan. The world is constantly changing; therefore, a real sales strategy is one that constantly adjusts with reality and the market position of the company. Developing a strategy to increase sales is not a one-time job. It is a job that must be active and live in the reality of continuous progress.
Tools for Sales Development: Revise the Department Structure
The plan for the development of a sales department should include measures that analyze its current structure and motivation, as well as ways to correct these if necessary. The principles that should be used when correcting errors in a commercial unit are quite simple and at the same time very effective.
- Experienced Staff
If you do not have a competent department head with relevant sales experience in the field, you can be sure that you, as the company owner, are wasting money and time. You should be engaged in strategic business development while your department heads handle the operative side of things. This would ideally keep you from drowning in a routine of everyday worries, keeping competitors from bypassing you. When cbdee online retailer got a new head of sales department with an experience precisely in the cannabis industry, their overall sales have grown significantly.
- Smart Management
One person is simply not able to manage more than 7 subordinates. Therefore, ensure that you employ the appropriate number of managers. This is an indispensable law of effective management.
- Avoid Chaos in your Sales Department
If the company practices the “everyone is doing everything” approach, the department will most likely become chaotic. This results in the owner not understanding how his sellers are obtaining their results. The commercial structure of a company has 3 main functions:
- Lead generation, or customer searches;
- Initial deal closing, or finalizing a sale to a new client;
- Maintenance and retention of the current customer base.
- Use the “Divide and Conquer” Principle
If there are more than 6 employees in the sales department, they must be divided into 2 groups, each group possessing its own head of sales. Such a step will have the most favorable effect on revenue, as you will have a full-fledged alternative structure, which ensures fulfillment of the sales development plan. Furthermore, the groups will begin to compete, ultimately increasing efficiency.
- Appropriate Lead Generation
When the target audience is understood, it is necessary to determine the lead generation scheme. Which one is right for your industry? The two types of lead generation are direct, when a consumer presents a direct demand for a product, and indirect when demand is formed by the seller. With the latter, the buyer does not know that they need some kind of product, but demand is encouraged by offers of free action, probes, tests, periods of free use, demo versions, services, advertising, or high-tech solutions. The most promising sources for lead generation are:
- A blog;
- Targeted ads and SMM in social networks;
- Contextual advertising in Google;
- CPA networks;
- Teaser networks;
- Banner advertising;
- Review Sites;
Internet marketing today is a very promising area and is important to include in your business. Use these tips to increase your sales and develop a smart sales strategy. You may need to reduce the organizational structure of the department, rotate personnel, or reallocate customers among managers. The main takeaway is that all changes made should create an environment where minimal effort leads to excellent results.