Post #13: Quick Thoughts on Sales Planning + Mapping

The goal of this post is to outline the rough steps. One caveat — the post is catered toward selling into grocery stores, but the methodology holds true for any brand that sells into a distributed network of customers (e.g. restaurants, hospitals etc.)

Why is Sales Mapping/Important?

It lays out your list of potential customers along with how you’re going to engage with them over a certain period of time. In other words, it’s a tactical plan that informs whether or not your growth goals are realistic.

What are the Key Steps?

  • Create an outline — Start with a blank spreadsheet. Add columns for store name, location, point of contact, title, estimated sales, additional notes etc. Here’s an example:
  • Identify stores — Add relevant stores to your spreadsheet. The more information you can add upfront, the more you’ll be able to slice and dice the data later (i.e. region, priority, category, store size etc.)
  • Rank priority — Priorities will differ depending on your product and company. For joyloop, we’re not overly scientific. We take into consideration a few things like proximity, size, and customer fit. From there, we just rate each store on a 1–3 scale (1 being highest priority, 3 being lowest).
  • Estimate Sales — Estimate a rough sales volume/week or month for each store.
  • Estimate Timing — For example, larger accounts will take more time to close so allocating a 3–5 month sales cycle may make sense. For local stores, you may only need 1 month.
  • Establish owners — Every store needs an owner. This owner is responsible for follow ups, meetings, and visits. Once the store becomes a client, the owner should also handle scheduling demos.
  • Add up current sales to estimated sales then map them to timing —See the example below. Timing is key here. For example, you may estimate selling 30 units/week through a new store, but it won’t turn on for another 5 months. When you multiply that by 50–100, things start to add up.
  • Use a mapping tool to create plan of attack — There are several tools for this at different price points. I’m a fan of mapmycustomers. It’s $6.99/month and simple to use. You can sort prospects by things like zip code, city, priority etc. One feature I like is that you can create a most efficient route for when you’re visiting multiple prospects/clients. Here’s a look at some of the views:

Prospective Customer Map:

Optimized Route:

I’m always curious to hear what I missed so please leave comments!