5 Tips for Creating a Killer Sales Business Plan

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

40% of companies failed to reach their sales goals in 2021.

Sorry, didn't mean to scare you.


But you should take that stat to heart. Going into the next period without a good sales business plan is setting yourself up for failure. If you don't know your history, sales performance metrics, team structure, and main objectives, how do you expect to reach your goal?

It's like going on a road trip with no GPS…or even a map.

That's where we come in.

This blog is going to be your all-in-one guide to writing up a stellar sales business plan. Plus it includes the 8 best tools to help create a software sales plan.

You ready to crush those sales goals? Because we are.

What is a Sales Plan?

A sales plan lays out your sales objectives, best tactics and strategies, target customer, and potential challenges. It's essentially a business plan, but it focuses on your sales strategy and goals.

A sales business plan is crucial to your team's success. How crucial, you ask? Enterprises miss the equivalent of 10% of annual sales in lost opportunities due to poor planning.

10% of your revenue is a whole lot.

What should you include? Here's a quick-and-dirty sales plan example:

  1. Objectives
  2. Target audience
  3. Potential challenges
  4. Tactics and strategies
  5. Team structure
  6. Revenue goals

This is your roadmap to success. Having these points laid out clearly will do more than just put thoughts to paper. An effective sales plan will:

  • Help determine sales quotas
  • Provide direction to your sales team
  • Communicate goals clearly
  • Outline responsibilities and roles in your sales team
  • Monitor sales performance progress

You can see why a sales business plan is a key part of sales performance management.

Sales Strategy Outline

Sales Strategy Outline

A sales strategy outline can be created by asking yourself a few important questions about your business, goals, intended market, and team.

It's a good idea to draw up an outline before you dive right in. It will be your frame before you start construction – you don't just build a house without the frame, right?

Here's an example sales outline and the accompanying question you should ask yourself:



Executive summary

What's a short, precise account of your goals, strategies, and expected time frame?

Target audience

Who is your company aiming its product or services at?

Revenue goal

How much revenue do you plan to bring in per term?


Which actions will your team take to accomplish your goals?


Which tools do you have to accomplish your objectives?


Who's on your team and what is their role?

Market conditions

What's your industry like right now? Who's your biggest competition?

Determining your target audience is more effective when using real, hard data. Take the guesswork out by using Ringy's features surrounding leads and deals.

They can help you outline your plan simply and smoothly by determining where your leads are, where they came from, and when to engage with them.

Sales Business Plan vs. Sales Action Plan vs. Sales Activities Plan

Your sales business plan consists of your goals and objectives. A sales action plan is how you're going to accomplish your goals and objectives. And a sales activities plan covers the little things that will get you closer to your goals and objectives.

Still confused? That's okay, we've got some great examples:

Business plan / goals

Action plan / execution

Activities plan / ways to boost success

Buy milk

  1. Take the bus to the store
  2. Use a credit card

1. Write a shopping list

2. Read the bus schedule

Attend a concert

  1. Buy tickets
  2. Book a hotel room

1. Plan your driving route to the venue

Increase revenue by 30%

  1. Increase daily phone calls by 15%
  2. Increase the total number of product demos by 25%

1. Research solid sales techniques

2. Practice phone sales techniques with colleagues

Activities help you get closer to your goal, although they aren't the actual steps taken to achieve your goal. Like the difference between studying and the exam itself.

Actions are the steps you need to take to actually achieve your goal.

They're both important, but actions are the star to achieving success.

All of this is important to lay out for your reps – after all, only about half of employees say that they confidently know what's expected of them at work.

How to Create a Sales Plan

A sales plan can be quickly and easily created using your CRM and all the data within. A lot of folks say it only takes 7 steps.

Here's a general one:

  1. Define your mission statement
  2. Determine your goals
  3. Outline team structure
  4. Determine your target audience
  5. Create an overview of sales strategies and market conditions
  6. Outline an action and activities plan
  7. Analyze KPIs

We said it would be easy, didn't we? And your CRM will give you reports on last quarter's revenue, performance, and challenges, as well as ideal target customers and metrics like email open rate, conversion rate, and average sales cycle.

A CRM helps ensure you're putting accurate, updated information into your sales business plan. Which is a good thing, because inaccurate data usage costs companies $3.1 trillion per year.

But let's get one thing straight: a sales plan is clarifying your goals and methods and putting them on a document. It doesn't have to follow any set rules. It doesn't have to pass a test or follow the Official Sales Plans Guidelines of 2022 (we just made that up).

If you need more guidance, you can check out our in-depth guide and suggestions in our blog on creating a great sales plan.

5 Tips for Creating a Killer Sales Business Plan

Tips for Creating a Killer Sales Business Plan

Now, there isn't one set way on how to create a sales plan – but that doesn't mean we aren't going to give you some solid ideas and advice.

We wouldn't be much help if we didn't.

1. Data-driven research

Data helps reduce costs, and increase sales, and it also helps build an amazing sales plan. It just makes sense that having all the information laid out in front of you will help you make better decisions.

So why is it that only 48% of decisions are made based on quantitative information and analysis? That means 52% of your company's decisions are based on opinions, luck, and “gut feelings”.

We don't like that much of a gamble.

But data-centered features like a call log monitor give you a look at your sales reps' overall performance, allowing you to find their strengths, address their biggest challenges, and assign realistic quotas.

Utilizing analytics to access your business' big data will allow you to:

  • Identify problem areas, weaknesses, and potential challenges
  • Find strengths in your process and discover opportunities
  • Validate your own ideas and beliefs
  • Use predictive analysis to forecast sales outcomes

No wonder 97% of organizations say they're investing in it.

2. Break down individual plans

Break your plan down into individual sections for each role in your team. Plans are not one-size-fits-all.


After finding your exact team structure, it'll be worth your time to section out actions and responsibilities for each employee. After all, sales enablement, sales operations, SDRs and AEs, etc. will all have different places in your sales plan.

Here's a quick example of the roles different team members play in your sales plan:





20% increase in leads compared to last period



  • Increase lead qualifying activity by 25%
  • Increase lead generation activity by 25%

End of Q2

15% increase in sales rep performance and skill

Sales enablement

  • Increase sales training via software by 15%

End of Q2

Everyone likes to do exactly what they're going to be doing – I mean, that's why you're here, right? To know exactly what you're doing?

3. Gather up stats and industry trends

You can't sell in a market you don't know. Don't be that guy that's selling hot cocoa in the desert.

Research industry trends, current market statistics, your ideal customer base, and anything else that directly affects how, where, and to whom you sell your product.

Keep in mind how your company is evolving, too. When you first started you may have aimed your product at small businesses and entrepreneurs (because you were a small company) but now the business has grown. Or maybe you tried selling to the corporate industry but ended up finding more success and a bigger customer base in the education sector.

Use current, up-to-date research and statistics when making decisions. There's a reason that between 2017 - 2022 the market research industry has grown approximately 3.6% per year.

Knowledge is power.

4. Nail down your tools


No, no, not like that.

Part of making a sales business plan is documenting which tools you need to purchase, which tools you already have at your disposal, and how exactly they fit into your plan and help accomplish your goals.

This could be anything from the most obvious, a CRM, to things like:

  1. Sales rep tracking software
  2. Monitoring and coaching programs
  3. Project management software
  4. Graphic design programs
  5. Sales rep training tech
  6. Power dialers
  7. Lead generation software

Outlining your best tech, tools, and resources will let you know what you and your team need to succeed. It will also give you an insight into your expected budget.

Which, would you look at that, leads to the last tip.

5. Back up your budget with facts

Every sales initiative needs money to move it forward. But there are ways to up your odds of getting the cash you need.

Do your research. Lay it all out. Detail the cost of every tool. Use data and industry statistics. Back your budget with facts.

Superiors like seeing you did your research when supplying the budget because they're looking at stats like these:

  • 55% of project managers cite overruns as a reason for project failure
  • 9.9% of every dollar is wasted due to ineffective business strategy

And then looking at your sales plan.

It's a good idea to be honest and transparent with your expected expenditures. It's also a good practice to give an ROI analysis for any purchases you intend to make.

For example, the average ROI for CRM software is $8.71 for every dollar spent. And a CRM can increase revenue by 40% per sales rep.

How interesting.

Sales Planning Report

A sales plan report will ensure everything's going well and help keep you on track.

After you build your plan, determine the metrics and decide how you're going to track and measure it. Have a “sales report” to report the progress of your plan.

You can then compare sales volume, sales performance, gross revenue, and more to what you predicted it would be. If it's going along as planned – great! If it isn't – then make minor adjustments to keep things running smoothly.

Would you believe that despite how essential a sales plan is, entrepreneurs who wrote out business plans never updated or seldom referred to their plans? That's like putting a cake in the oven and never checking if it's done.

However, with tools like Ringy's interactive insights and reports, you can easily monitor and measure information like calls, response rates, and lead generation right from your dashboard.

8 Software for Building a Sales Plan

That's right – we aren't going to go on and on about how a software sales plan is better than an old-fashioned sales plan and then not give you some good recommendations.

Here are 8 awesome sales plan tools to get you started.

No, we're not going to leap right into Hubspot - in fact, we have an entire blog on Hubspot alternatives. ;)

1. Ringy



Look, we aren't just tooting our own horn – if you want a great, affordable sales CRM to help you build a reliable sales plan, Ringy's the software choice for you.

Ringy has insights into historical sales data during the creation of your sales plan, it will allow you to report on its progress to ensure you're on track, and it lets you manage sales and coach reps so they can perform to the best of their abilities.

Plus, remember all those other tools we mentioned? Because Ringy's an all-in-one CRM, it covers all your bases:

  • Sales rep training (Ringy is also a CRM for education, doncha know?)
  • Power dialers
  • Monitoring and coaching
  • Lead generation
  • And more

We really meant all-in-one!

And it's only $99 / month (as of 04/2022).

2. Anaplan



Anaplan is a sales planning tool that allows you to monitor real-time performance and forecast future outcomes for data-driven results.

Anaplan includes:

  • Territory planning
  • Quota planning
  • Compensation planning
  • Sales forecasting

It's a handy planning tool with an easy learning curve, high customization, easy implementation, and it's mobile-enabled.

Pricing is not disclosed and you must contact Anaplan to learn more.

3. EmailAnalytics



A little more specific, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

EmailAnalytics allows sales managers to monitor the productivity, effectiveness, and progress of their sales reps' emails. It includes such metrics as response time, volume, word count, and sent and received.

You can also sort the data by top senders and recipients, days of the week, hours of the day, and more.

Visualizing your team's email activity is valuable insight when creating, managing, and reporting on your sales plan.

Pricing goes from $5 / month to $10 / month, with the top tier at $15 / month (as of 04/2022).

4. Ciara



Ciara is an automated note-taking program that transcribes calls and summarizes them. It also provides reps with a playbook onscreen to provide them with structure and let them easily handle objections.

Automatic notes make it easy to review sales calls and make sure your plan is going along as it should. It lets you observe your reps' calls and make suggestions where you need to.

Ciara also allows you to build a consistent sales call template based on your sales plan goals and actions. You can input the tactics and strategies from your sales action plan right into your template to simplify it for your salespeople.

The most common plan is $79 / month (as of 04/2022).

5. PipelineManager



PipelineManager is a sales planning app that integrates with Salesforce. It offers forecasting, real-time insights, CRM-native spreadsheets, and great organizing and coaching features.

It gives clear visualization of your pipeline and data in your main dashboard, allowing you to monitor your plan, the process adoption, and the impact it's having. You can then strategize accordingly.

PipelineManager also has onboarding, training, and sales enablement features – so you can cross those tools off your list.

Pricing is $1 / user / day (as of 04/2022).

6. Board



Board is a decision-making platform with a focus on planning, predictive analysis, and business intelligence. It allows businesses to leverage data to create accurate overviews of their processes and create solid sales business plans, sales action plans, and sales activities plans.

Board touts its ability to analyze, simulate, predict, and plan in one environment through actionable insights and easy-to-use business data.

It has a simple drag-and-drop interface, easy learning curve, dashboard customization, and “What-If” scenarios to help you simulate possible outcomes.

Pricing is not disclosed.

7. ProspectCRM



ProspectCRM is designed for the wholesale, distributor, and manufacturing industries, making it ideal for specific industry sales plans. ProspectCRM is a Stock-Aware CRM, which means it's able to track orders, inventory, backorders, special prices, contracts, serial numbers…

And all of that is crucial when determining a sales plan.

All insights and analytics are easy to access and monitor on your dashboard. Plus, it has great reporting and forecasting.

The most popular package is $55 / month (as of 04/2022).

8. Demand Metric Key Account Planning

Demand Metric Key Account Planning


Demand Metric is a huge resource for sales and marketing training courses, assessments, templates, and more. It's a huge library of great sales information – plus, they're partnered with Microsoft.

This document in particular is a key account planning template. It allows sales managers to analyze growth opportunities, collect account information, establish a concrete sales action plan, and then share it with the whole team.

Just a quick browse through Demand Metric's resources turns up a slew of sales business plan-oriented tools, such as a lead generation objective scorecard, an account scoring template, and an allocated budget template.

Unlimited access to these resources is $97 / month (as of 04/2022).


“How do I write a sales business plan?”

The simplest way is to create a sales strategy outline with the bare bones of the info you need. Then, using data and analytics from your CRM, start to fill out the outline with goals, team structure, budget, etc.

Once you get started, you'll find it's pretty easy.

“What makes a good sales business plan?”

A researched, detailed, data-driven one. Your sales plan will be solid as long as you're using hard facts, industry trends, statistics, and up-to-date research to create it.

Look closely at your data – if last quarter's sales plan didn't work, chances are it won't work this time. Monitor your success (and failures!) and learn from it.

“What are the 7 steps to creating a sales plan?”

There's no hard-and-fast rule saying a sales plan has to be created in 7 steps…but it can be.

Here's a pretty common layout for a 7-step process:

  1. Define your company mission statement
  2. Determine your objectives
  3. Outline your team structure
  4. Determine your target customer
  5. Make an overview of sales strategies, market conditions, and industry trends
  6. Outline a sales action plan and a sales activities plan
  7. Analyze KPIs


Feel better now?

It really isn't too hard once you get going, write up an outline, utilize solid CRM data, and do some good market research. Then you just have to break down your plan for your individual team members and their activities, actions, and goals.

Oh yeah – and document all the tools and tech you'll need. Just a quick FYI, it'll be a pretty long list if you don't just opt for a simple, all-in-one CRM that can provide coaching, data and analytics, education and training, lead generation, and progressive dialers.

If that sounds like a great deal, request a demo with Ringy so you can get to work on the best sales business plan your team's ever had.

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