Why do I need a plan?
Here are six reasons why a retail company should plan, specifically a sales plan.
1. Work without a goal, a plan is the solution of particular, separate issues, only conditionally related to each other. This is the fight against fluidity, "extinguishing fires", the search for some miraculous ways of selling. The presence of a goal, a plan allows you to make this work systemic, when separate and seemingly local tasks are linked into a single whole, when the solution of one problem contributes to the solution of others, when the process of improvement becomes constant and self-developing.
2. Lack of planning, in particular a sales plan, does not allow us to understand the dynamics of demand, which means that we do not have the opportunity to analyze and understand what components influence (or influenced in the past) trade in a given time period. Planning will help you determine the stages of output and entry of goods from the assortment matrix.
3. No plan - no motivation for employees. Judge for yourself, why give all your best, if you can not do this, but just give out average sales figures. There is an opinion that sellers are a priori interested in selling more, since their percentage depends on this, and therefore their wages. Of course, people want to get more money, only one "but" - they want to get more, spending LESS efforts, and the sale, especially the active sale in the hall, is not the most comfortable thing. So it turns out that each of our salesmen "weighs" in their minds whether the extra 1000 rubles to pay for his strength, nerves and efforts to sacrifice laziness. Alas, often employees are inclined to think that "I have enough already" and as a result, the store's revenue is measured by this personal measure of each seller. In other words, if we do not give people a plan, they themselves decide which plan is most comfortable for them. And there are always excuses to justify low rates. The presence of specific numbers, working rewards and punishments, stimulates the desire and motivation for action in the sales staff.
4. Sales planning is directly related to setting goals and planning business development in general. The consumer is now pretty spoiled by competitors and their indecently low prices for a very tolerable quality. Luring a client by dumping prices is a thankless job, especially since the time has passed when the buyer only went for a low price. Now give him the concept, service, care and innovation. Time obliges to move, change something in business, try different concepts to reach different audiences. Good old flyers and "Hello, how can I help you?" died long ago, but, alas, nothing new and really working their place has not come. The dynamics of sales is a kind of measure of the effectiveness of a particular business concept, a new approach, rearrangement, advertising.
5. Transparent rating system. Finally, when you introduce a sales plan, a clear understanding of the system of rewards and punishments appears, an element of competition, visibility of results is added, which exploits the feature of the human brain to run better short distances than long ones - and now sales have gone up, sellers have become more active. and customers are satisfied with the attention and compassion of the employees. Foreigners working with Russian companies joke: “For the work a European does for a week, a Russian only needs one day. Because if you give a Russian a week, he will still start work on the last day. " Familiar, isn't it?
We advise you to develop a sales plan for the department for a month, print and hang it in a place that is visible to employees. It’s good when, according to the results of the day, your sellers themselves cross out the amount that they were able to bring in per shift. So they see that every day brings them closer to the treasured figure of the completed plan.
How to make a sales plan?
Of course, it is worthwhile to understand that there is no 100% of the executed sales plan. However, the very existence of a plan will allow you to add tone to the workflow and maximize the use of available resources.
We offer 10 steps that will help in drawing up an effective sales plan.
Step No.1. Analysis of the market situation.
The economy, market and demand are not stable, which means that it is impossible to take data from previous years as an absolute unit of reference. Try to predict consumer demand, increase / decrease in the number of competitors. What does it depend on? From many external factors: political, economic, social, cultural situations, trends and even rumors. Examine competitors' offers - this is not just about competitor stores located across the street from you. See what federal networks, international players, companies with a similar, but not completely similar assortment are doing. Be curious and when you get new information, think about how you can use it to your advantage.
Step No.2. Consider sales data for recent years, consider the seasonality of your business, if any.
I recommend that you reduce all the available data into a single chart in which you can clearly see the dynamics of sales by month: January, February, March, April, etc. What is this technique good for? You can place data for several years on the A4 sheet and trace the financial history of the company. If you keep records of the work process, you can trace the interdependence of various factors on sales (holidays, weather, shift workers, tourist influx, human factor, wages days among the population, and others). With this knowledge, you can adjust your development plan and promotions. Do not forget to take into account the reduced coefficient in the “off season” and increased during high demand. By the way, even the percentage of sales that consultants receive may vary depending on the season: the more sales are expected, the lower the percentage; the lower the seasonal patency, the higher the payment for each pair sold. I don’t argue, this is painstaking work, but once a cut is made, it will greatly facilitate the understanding of the basic components in planning your company's sales.
Step # 3. Create sales tables for each consultant.
Undoubtedly, it is important to analyze the work of sales staff, as a result of which the average sales plan for a department is usually put. On the one hand, this is logical, on the other hand, we often face the fact that the team is not homogeneous, there are strong employees, “workhorses” with average indicators and those who for some reason do not hold out. And it turns out that the plan for teeth is only average, but for the rest it is either too difficult or, on the contrary, very easy. To optimize this issue, I recommend having a plan in the arsenal for three types of employees: a sales plan for the “star” employee, for the average worker, and for the weak employee. Of course, we will not position employees this way. We simply indicate the main plan (the level of "average") and a fixed percentage for it, as well as an increased plan (level of the "star") and a higher percentage for exceeding a certain financial line. For ourselves, we understand that there is a certain minimal plan, which for us, although not desirable, is not something critical. Naturally, the level of a weak employee, like the minimum plan, cannot be regular, most often these are temporary indicators (seasonality, new sales staff, January holidays, etc.). It is important that we understand this minimum, it is calculated and, although not desirable, it is permissible and controlled.
Step No.4. Decide which is more important: team or effectiveness.
The plan is personal (when it is set for each employee separately) and team (the plan is distributed to the whole team), each of the two options has its own strengths and weaknesses. A personal plan allows you to increase the number of sales, get the spirit of competition and increase the degree of personal responsibility. However, with personal sales it is rarely possible to create a united team, a friendly atmosphere, which often leads to a negative climate and high staff turnover.
Team sales plans, on the contrary, are aimed at forming a close-knit team, team, developing mutual assistance, interchangeability, and obtaining synergies. However, when you do not specifically ask someone, periodically there are problems with responsibility, efficiency, and the motivation of employees to sell is replaced by the motivation “good work is work where a good team is”, as fundamental. Our solution is a combination of plans. Put the overall plan on the store, dividing the total figure for each employee.
Step No.5. Find out how much regular customers bring to you?
An analysis of the percentage of the total number of sales that is provided by regular customers should be carried out. It is important to understand: the frequency of purchases, the time of the visit, what goods are purchased, and what is the average check. Focus on the best-selling product when planning. It will be the main one in terms of sales for new customers. With significant differences in the number of sales for each product, the sales plan for each of them must be prepared separately, we will assign an increased bonus for a poorly sold product. Do not forget about working with the database and the developed loyalty program for your regular customers. Market experts confirm that a business can only be successful if it is based on regular customers (this principle does not apply to companies that focus on one-time sales).
Step No.6. Invest in potential new customers.
If you run advertising campaigns, promotions, participate as a sponsor in any entertainment events, in other words, invest in attracting new customers, it is important to plan the expected number of new customers. Understanding the approximate number of new customers, it will not be difficult to estimate the expected conversion from incoming visitors to customers, usually this is the average percentage, which, depending on the specifics, in retail stores varies from 5 to 20%. By the way, this formula also works in reverse order. Thinking about conducting an advertising campaign? Rate the potential number of those who see this ad, divide by 2 and get a rough number of those who notice, hear your appeal, remember your ad; divide by 2 - and those who are interested will remain; divide by 2 - we get the number of those who come to your store, and then you know the conversion calculations. In general, in planning the budget for advertising activity I recommend being a pessimist: if you are satisfied with the worst (zero) exhaust result - act! Unexpectedly, getting better conversion results is much nicer than badly expected.
Step No.7. Set a goal!
Data analysis is a must when setting a realistic goal. When going through the above steps, the necessary analysis of the current situation is usually formed and the necessary statistics are obtained, which will become the basis for drawing up a working sales plan. For example, according to the analysis of last year’s situation, one can understand that there are chances to increase sales in the current year of the order of 25%. Consequently, the sales plan will be drawn up taking into account these prospects. Remember to compare your sales goal with your overall business goal.
Step No.8. Discuss the sales plan with the staff.
Have made a plan - discuss the expected result with the team, transparent tools for evaluating its implementation and the system of fines and bonuses. Perhaps subordinates can add something. Be sure to set the deadlines for the implementation of the plan. Remember to run short distances: the plan should be divided into small segments (quarter-month-week-day).
Step No.9. Make a budget.
It is important to plan and budget sales costs. This is a fairly voluminous block: here, and training, and advertising, and the payment of bonuses to employees, do not forget about the purchase of supplies, communications. It may be necessary to invest in the training and development of employees to achieve better results.
Step No.10. Finally, control!
Control is the last on the list, but it is one of the first blocks in terms of importance. How well the plan will be implemented, what the level of motivation of the employees will be, and whether they really move with you towards your goals, to a large extent depends on the leader and his control. Your people will quickly realize the frivolity of the management’s intentions if the plan is put in place for good measure, and promises of bonuses and fines are not fulfilled. Therefore, there is no sense in increasing the efficiency of their work for the ordinary seller. Control is the final tool in the implementation of any new strategy, a new introduction, or even optimization of a familiar workflow, a cherry on your cake for a successful start in the great business of planning and goal setting.
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