When preparing a business plan (or a "standalone" marketing & sales plan), Marketing Strategies, Sales Plans & Projections is a critical section within the overall plan.
In simple terms, marketing and sales plans should cover the 4Ps - Product, Price, Place and Promotion. The following issues need to be considered:
- What are the key market entry/development strategies? Explain how your business will continue to market its products/services and sell them to customers.
- What are the plans and projected costs for marketing, selling, promotion, advertising, representation etc.? Discuss conversion rates and cost effectiveness.
- How will your products be presented to customers? Discuss packaging, physical distribution, sales support and product support and forecast the related costs.
- Explain pricing policies and credit terms (be realistic !). What discounts will apply and to whom? Will there be bad debts and what provisions should be made?
- What will be the end-user prices for each market and offering?
- Assess the competitiveness of your business's offerings in terms of price, quality, features etc. at the level of sales outlets or end-users.
- How will you deal with the competitors and how will they respond?
- What are your contingency plans in the event of sales targets not being fully realized?
Based on these marketing strategies and plans, you can compile detailed sales (volumes and prices) projections and marketing expenditure forecasts for your various segments and products/services. These projections should be monthly for one year ahead (or longer if the business is seasonal or growing rapidly) and either annual or quarterly (much better) thereafter to cover 3-5 years.
For in-depth help, review Marketing Strategies, Sales Plans & Projections within our Business Plan Guide.
Also check out the Plan Write Market Planner - a software tool to generate a comprehensive marketing plan with examples, checklists and expert advice.