Strategic Planning FAQ

Sales Planning - Frequently Asked Questions

By Kimberly Clark on March 19, 2021

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Kimberly Clark

Kimberly oversees global sales and strategic marketing planning.

What type of Sales Planning makes sense in Phase A, Recovery?

  • Phase out marginal opportunities; repair margins
  • Hire key sales reps and implement cross-training programs
  • Give sales reps the ability to extend credit if needed
  • Allocate additional resources to your sales staff

What type of Sales Planning makes sense in Phase B, Accelerating Growth?

  • Avoid straight-line forecasting; identify your next cyclical peak to set realistic sales goals
  • Invest in your sales team’s training and retention
  • Ensure you have the right price escalator; space out price increases
  • Expand credit to customers
  • Ensure your sales reps know the company’s competitive advantages and are adequately using them in their sales processes

What type of Sales Planning makes sense in Phase C, Slowing Growth?

  • Don’t blame your sales team; make sure they have the proper tools and mindset to adapt to the cyclical changes ahead
  • Know if your markets are headed for a soft landing or a hard landing and set appropriate sales goals that are not unrealistic but also not easy to attain
  • Be vigilant regarding customer credit amounts
  • Identify which of your products are not profitable and stop incentivizing your team to sell them so as to focus their attention to the most profitable products you sell
  • Don’t hire more sales reps; you can’t just simply “sell yourself” out of the situation; “you can’t make a rock bleed”

What type of Sales Planning makes sense in Phase D, Recession?

  • Have your sales reps focus on selling alternative products with a lower cost basis; you’re looking for volume
  • Be sure your sales reps are being very price conscious during their discovery and vetting processes
  • Instruct your sales reps that it’s time to tighten up on your credit policies
  • Start working with your sales leadership on training plans you can implement once the business has moved back into Phase A, Recovery


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