Is your company ready to start the new year?

Is your company ready to start the new year?

Every year starts with setting up the objectives and planning the necessary actions to achieve them

Based on each company’s activity, some steps start during the previous year but one fact is for sure: Without an annual sales & marketing plan, things can get messy — and it’s nearly impossible to put a number on the budget you’ll need to secure for the projects, hiring, and outsourcing you’ll encounter over the course of a year if you don’t have a plan. Check out some strategic planning tips that our team is following for many years, to achieve our sales and marketing goals. 

First step: Analysing the performance of the last year, compare competition and the clients’ performance.

This step sets the background for identifying opportunities, but also gaps in the strategy. Read below for more details.

Analysing performance – current situation

Start by checking the achievement of the KPIs like revenue, leads, proposals, meetings, success rate, etc. and the actions performed to achieve them.

What we are looking for is to be able to understand what we did good and multiply those actions, and what needs improvement.

Before we get started with the sales & marketing plan, we have to know our current situation.

What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Conducting a basic SWOT analysis is the first step to creating a sales & marketing plan.

Check our competitors

Additionally, we need to understand how do we compare to competition. So we run a competitor analysis. We check their products & services, how they are compared to ours. Plus, we consider the gaps in a competitor’s approach. What are they missing? What can we offer that’ll give us a competitive advantage?

Answering questions like these helps us figure out what our customer wants, which brings us to the next step.

Check our clients and prospects

We always keep our target audience in mind when we plan any commercial strategies. For this, we use buyer-personas, meaning the characteristics of the ideal client, and we put accent on their pain points and goals. What drives them? What problems do they have that our services can fix?

Additionally, we use data & analytics of the sector to rank companies based on their ability to pay, and to create various benchmarks to use in our prospecting.

For example, we target prospects based on their industry, the nationality of the shareholders or if the are importers/exporters.

Check our material about what type of Data & Analytics you can find in Romania.

Audit the digital tools for sales & marketing

For the past couple of years, since the pandemic, when in person communication was difficult, we turned our focus more to the digital technologies available for client communication and lead generation.

Creating the Sales & Marketing plan

Now that our analysis is ready, we set-up the new objectives together with the sales & marketing actions to achieve them. In terms of objectives, we define our S.M.A.R.T. goals. 

S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This means that all our goals should be specific and include a time frame for which we want to complete them.

For example, a goal can be to increase the Linkedin followers by 15% in three months. Depending on the overall marketing goals, this should be relevant and attainable. Additionally, this goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound.



In terms of marketing, we define the digital & in person mix of actions:

    • Communication channels

    • Website updates

    • Lead generation actions

    • Content marketing strategy

    • Digital tools to assess/implement 

    • Events, webinars etc

    • Other actions

    • Budget set-up

Before we begin implementing any of the ideas that we’ve come up with in the steps above, we have to know our budget.

For example, our tactics might include social media advertising. However, if we don’t have the budget for that, then we might not be able to achieve our goals.

While we’re writing out tactics, we make sure to note an estimated budget. We include the time it will take to complete each tactic in addition to the assets we might need to purchase, such as digital tools, printouts etc.

The key elements necessary for the commercial planning:

    • Brainstorming: This is the first phase where your idea comes to life in a project outline. Decide what you want to achieve and which stakeholders need to be involved to meet your goal. Set a due date and set up any necessary meetings.

    • Planning: This can include determining the project’s scope, figuring out how much budget will be allocated for it, finalizing deadlines and who is working on each task. Map out any campaigns needed for each project (social media, PR, sales promotions, landing pages, events, etc.).

    • Execution: This third phase is all about your project launch. Decide on a date to launch and monitor the progress of the project. Set up a system for tracking metrics and KPIs.

    • Analysis: In this final phase you will analyze all of your performance data to see whether or not your marketing efforts paid off. Did you meet your goals? Did you complete your projects on time and within budget?

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