Why Sales Plans Fail

Based on K&A's 30+ years of experience developing, and executing, sales and marketing plans, K&A believes that most companies do not understand how to successfully develop, and execute sales plans.

Here are the top 5 reasons that most companies experience such a low success rate with their sales plans, based on K&A's experiences:

  1. The company does not understand, nor has defined, what are the key components of an effective sales plan. Two critical aspects are aligning its sales plans to the strategic and operational goals that the company's executive team establishes each year, and effectively staffing the company's key sales management roles.
  2. The sales goals that are established for each sales resource are not well thought out. Additionally, the company does not plan, and track, its sales effectively. One example is not managing its sales to new customers, differently than its sales to existing customers. All of these factors results in the individual sales goals, or sales quotas. that are established, to be unrealistic, and consequently, un-obtainable.
  3. The company does not manage its compensation plans effectively, by directly relating them to the company's management goals. 
  4. The company underestimates the amount of sales pipeline that is required to achieve its sales plans. Additionally, it has not defined optimal sales processes for each target market. 
  5. The company does not understand the sales roles that it needs and/or it does not develop an effective sales hiring plan to successfully staff these roles.

K&A defines "sales" to be the activities that are performed to turn sales leads into customer orders, and commitments.