"What is sales strategy and what is the operational sales plan?"
Many managers ask this question. Sarv Singh Soin, in his book "Total Quality Essentials" gives a clear answer.
Sales strategy: key elements of company business strategy
Based on many years of practical experience Sarv Singh Soin states that the company business strategy consists of seven elements or sections (see picture)
Within the company business strategy the sales strategy consists of those three elements for which the Chief Sales Officer is responsible: customers, channels and competition.
- Customers: customer needs and segments
- Channels: to customers, to customer segments
- Competition: situation and trends - per customer segment and channel
Other executives own the other elements of the business strategy, depending on their responsibilities in the company.
Operational plans define execution
While company business strategy describes "where we must go to" operational plans describe "how we will get there".
In other words: operational plans describe the specific operational measures required to lead the company business systems to the strategic goals.
Each company thus needs operational plans for (as example) researcha nd development, manufacturing, sales, logistics and service in order to execute the business strategy.
Operational sales plan
In this sense operational sales plans contain all measures required to lead the sales system (and its sub systems) to the strategic goal "sales".
Sales units (like units for geography sales, product sales, channel sales) need their own operational sub plans defining the specific measures required to lead these to their sub goals.