But they both have been updated. They’ve been around since 2011 and the time came to see if they needed sprucing up a bit.
Guess what? They’ve stood the test of time, they’re still relevant, useful and actionable.
In these updated versions, we’ve fleshed out the Sales Action section with a little more detail to better define your prospecting activities.
If you’re an email subscriber and want to download the updated free eBook and sales plan template, click the link at the bottom of the email. If you haven’t subscribed, what are you waiting for? Go here to get the free stuff.
eBook Supplemented with Online Articles
The updated sales plan and eBook are our gift to you, and we’re putting a bow on it.
In this article, links are provided to articles that supplement the eBook’s new content (saves you time looking in the eBook). Together the articles give you even more smarts when completing your plan. And isn’t it time to review and revise yours? Or complete one for the first time?
Let’s get started looking at the new stuff in the eBook, which is all in section…
10) Sales Actions
Prior to this section, you’ve defined your target prospect profile, sales goals and the activity needed to reach them.
Here you’re going to figure out how to get in front of prospects who are ready to buy. You’ll describe the major steps to do that, and make it comprehensive but concise. Sounds easy, but this is the hard part.
Think about what you’ll do to make that first contact, and how you’ll then stay in regular communication. Consider these sub-sections:
- FIRST CONTACT
- AFTER FIRST CONTACT – Follow-up campaign
If these don’t work for you, change the names and groupings as appropriate.
1) FIRST CONTACT
This is what you’ll do to get that first live interaction with your prospects. Here’s an article with 23 Ways to Get a First Meeting with Prospects. In the sales plan, it’s broken out into the three areas below.
- WARM referrals
- COLD push – calls/emails/direct mail
- TEPID/WARM pull – Pay-per-click (PPC), social media, blogging, subscription email
In the following, I’ve added links to articles that fill in the picture even more.
Start with your best opportunities, warm referrals. Identify where you can find people your prospects know and trust, read:
- Referrals: 8-Steps to get Customer-Friends to Help
- LinkedIn Introductions are Prospecting Bliss
- Deconstructing Sales Referrals for More Juice
- The Next Best Thing – Referrals
COLD push – calls/emails/direct mail
Contacting prospects cold is not fun or very efficient. However, it does produce results when done in large numbers over a sustained period. If this approach is for you, read:
- Cold Calling – Last Question First
- When Prospecting, Never Leave Voice Mail Except…
- Cold Calling’s Multiple Personalities
- Who Cares What Sellers Want?
TEPID/WARM pull – Pay-per-click (PPC), social media, blogging, subscription email
Inbound marketing is fun and very efficient. Prospects may contact you directly as a result of these efforts (WARM), or be familiar with you or your company when you reach out to them (TEPID).
However, it takes a long time for results to come in, and it means getting knowledgeable, which is more work for you.
If this approach is for you, read:
- Outbound & Inbound Marketing
- The Secret Trigger to Inbound Marketing
- Selling in Our Millennium
- Do the Right Thing: Market or Sell
AFTER FIRST CONTACT – Follow-up campaign
This is what you’ll do after you’ve met with, or talked to, or exchanged emails with your prospects. It’s all about staying on their radar screens and becoming recognized over time as a valuable resource.
The frequency with which you’ll follow up with prospects depends on how you’ve ranked them, as an “A” or “B”.
“A” prospects should be touched at least monthly, but only if it’s of value to them. They’ll delete and forget your sales message if that’s what your touches are mostly about.
“B” prospects can be touched quarterly or twice a year. Remember, they’re not that attractive but still worth a sale if relatively easy to secure.
Consider revisiting the following, as there will always be a need to follow-up as prospects rarely buy on the first contact – Or are you that exception 😉
- Give to Get
- #12 in 31 Ways to Lose a Sale (the other 30 ways are worth knowing too)
- The Secret Trigger to Inbound Marketing (repeating this here because it’s so critical to staying in touch with prospects in a way they want)
There it all is. Free, detailed, prescriptive. Nothing left but to take the time and put in the work.
Knowing where you want to go is everything, as seen in an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.