SALES PLATFORM & Sales Activity Planning

Not everyone who responds to your advertising, or who you approach, will buy your product or service. Therefore in order to achieve your sales forecast you need to plan how much you need to do, where and how

In order to do this you need to work out each activity and the ratios associated with them to develop a Sales Activity Plan

For Example

Imagine that you sell and install burglar alarms at an average price of £500 and you have developed an annual Sales Forecast of £25,000  

Therefore you need to achieve 50 sales per year

For every 3 responses you receive to an advertisement you are invited to carry out 1 survey For every 2 surveys you carry out you are asked to submit 1 quote For every 2 quotes you send out you make 1 sale

Therefore you need 2 x 2 x 3 responses to make 1 sale = 12 responses required to your advertisement/sale and you need to make 50 sales per year

Therefore you are looking for 50 x 12 = 600 responses per year to achieve the sales forecast.

This is approx. 12 responses per week!!

You now need to decide what promotion / advertising etc. you are going to put in place to achieve the response. There are 50 examples of possible promotional media in the section on 50 Ideas to Promote your Business.

Typical Response to Advertising / Promotion

Very often when we place an advertisement in the paper, or drop a flyer through the door, or send a sales letter to someone, we hope for a huge response - the typical response is 1-2%. This is because, unless there is an immediate need or want for your service or product, the customers reaction is usually:

"I haven't seen them before"

The second response to the advertisement can be even lower - because you satisfied those with the immediate need, or want, the first time. At this point many people become frustrated and are convinced they are advertising in the wrong place, to the wrong people, at the wrong time ... so we do not renew the advertisement after the third insertion. The response from prospective customers is

"I knew they wouldn't last"

Pointers to effective Advertising & Promotion

Little but often

If you have a limited budget consider spreading it out rather than blowing it all on one big launch, which is soon forgotten. Give prospective customers the most opportunities to see that you can. Be prepared to be persistent - but monitor response to ensure you are in the right place at the right time. Don't assume because it was there, they saw it

Use available resources & knowledge wisely

Colour can be effective in getting attention, but don't pay extra for your corporate colour if it isn't attention grabbing. Your Marketing Mix will give you the main theme of your advertising and promotion. Knowing who your customer is and where they go, what they read, watch and do will help you to determine the most appropriate media

Consider everything in context

Attention getting colours may be camouflaged against a similar background. Always place your design on the page, close your eyes and, when you open them, see what gets your attention. If it's not your advertisement, redesign it!

Think the way your customer thinks

If they're looking in an alphabetical list what are the key words they are looking for? For instance if you draw architectural plans will they look for architects, building plans or plans drawn, first? What are their problems, their needs and their wants? Start with an open mind, forget your prejudices! What appears logical to you may be totally illogical to your prospective customer

Consider format and shape when designing

A4 is predominantly Industrial (filing cabinet size), 1/3 A4 is predominantly Domestic (pocket size), unusual formats (210 square), shapes and colours can get attention, or generate a certain image. Effective advertising follows a formula 'AIDA' (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) ensure your promotion follows it and your sales people understand and employ it

Decide what it is that you want to achieve

Generate Sales Generate Leads Develop Market Intelligence Raise Awareness Decide who you aiming at and where they are Design and place the advertisement, literature, etc. Monitor response (are you getting what you set out to achieve?)

Remember, the lower the commitment you are asking the prospective customer for, the greater the response will be.

For example, as the Home Security Sales person in the top example, if you were to ask them to send £500.00 and you would call and fit a Security System, the response would probably be Nil. If you were to ask them to send a £50.00 deposit you may get a better response.

If, however you were to ask them to telephone for a Free book on home security, the response would be greater and, at the end of the day, what do you want to do ... Find out who is interested in Home Security and in the market for a Security System. So you have to have them contact you - unless you take to door knocking.