How to build a sales plan for your food business
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How to build a sales plan for your food business

A well thought out sales plan is your roadmap to sales success. Many food supply businesses are missing out on sales and not reaching their sales potential because they don’t have a sales plan.  This may sound cliché but it’s true; “failing to plan, is planning to fail”.  A plan sets sales targets to measure performance, it allows you to better manage the sales process and it ensures that you and your buyer are on the same page.

Even a poor sales plan is likely better than having no plan.

Sales PlanWhat are your sales goals for the year with each customer?  How much are you going to sell each week during the season and to whom?  What discounts or sales promotions are expected and what is the cost to you? How much do you have to sell and at what price to make a profit? These are all important questions that you need answered if you want to have a successful sales year and profit to put to the bottom line.

A successful sales plan is the result of a strong sales vision, a compelling unique selling proposition, an understanding of the customer’s need and goals, and marketing strategies to execute the actions required to achieve the desired sales targets.  A good sales plan raises the bar, setting sales targets that push you to achieve more than you thought was possible.

Your goal should be to maximize your annual sales, not just look at past sales numbers and set weak sales targets hoping to do better than last year. Hopium is highly overrated and it rarely delivers the sales results you want or need. Without an aggressive sales plan to push your sales growth, your business will becomes sales mediocre; order takers, not order makers. A sales plan is a self-fulfilling prophecy, set your goals low and you likely won’t be disappointed, but set your goals high, then you might just surprise yourself.

There is likely a gap between where your sales are today and where you want them to be tomorrow.  So make sales your business priority and prepare an annual sales plan.  Mistakes made on paper are much less costly than those we make in real life.  A sales plan forces you to consider the sales environment, how you intend to stay relevant to your customers, it will push you to sell more and it will give you a measuring stick to monitor your progress and put new dollars to the bottom line.