Your Business Plan Must Describe Your Sales and Marketing Strategy
This section of your business plan should describe both the sales strategy and marketing tactics the business will employ to get customers to buy its products and/or services. A strong sales and marketing section can serve as a roadmap for the owner of a company, and will let potential investors know that you have a workable sales strategy and the resources to promote and sell your products and/or services. Your sales and marketing section should explain: (1) your strategy, (2) your intended method of sales, and (3) your proposed means of advertising and promotion.
Sales and Marketing Strategy
In this section of a business plan, the writer should provide a clear and concise 1 to 2 paragraph action plan for how the company will get customers to buy its products. The action plan should cover: (1) who the business will initially target, (2) how the company will locate and educate new potential customers, (3) what product/service features the company plans to initially emphasize, and (4) any innovative marketing or sales techniques the cpmpany plans to employ.
Once the sales strategy and marketing strategy has been explained, the writer should then focus the reader's attention on how the company plans to get its products into the customer's hands. This subsection of a business plan should describe each of the available methods of distribution and which channels of distribution the company plans to use, how, and why. If you will be using sales representatives, distributors, or brokers, describe the benefits of using specific firms, the companies that will be carrying your products, and any potential incentive plans you plan to employ to encourage your network to push your products/services.
Advertising and Promotion
Now that the sales method has been explained in your business plan, its time to describe your advertising and promotion campaign. This is how you plan to communicate information about your product or service to the intended customer. This subsection of a business plan should include a description of: (1) all advertising vehicles you plan to use (e.g., such as the internet, yellow pages, tv ads, newspapers, magazines, radio, etc...); (2) your public relations program; (3) any sales/promotional materials (e.g., brochures and product sheets); (4) your package design; (5) any trade show efforts, etc... If you are using an advertising and/or a public relations agency, be sure to discuss their talents, what efforts they are contracted to make on your behalf, and why you choose that particuler PR firm.
Go to Writing a Business Plan, Part VI – Management.