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How to plan and schedule the right sales activity for your printing company

How will you achieve the sales turnover that you require over the next 12 months?

This is a question that I have asked many printing companies over the years. Naturally, I have received a variety of answers. Some companies have very detailed plans. They showed me spreadsheets, targets and activity outlines. Others rely on their sales people to achieve the targets that they have been set. But it’s up to the sales people to decide how to achieve them.

However, there are an awful lot of companies that appear to rely on hope when it comes to achieving the right level of sales. They carry out no sales planning. They rely on their current customers to carry on working and growing with them. And that is a dangerous strategy.

Many companies have no plan to win the sales that they need

Here is a story about one printing company that I worked with. They came to me because they wanted help in marketing their services. They were full of plans on how to attract new customers. In fact, they had several different marketing projects going on at the same time.

what plans are you making to achieve the sales results that you need?

But, because there was so much activity, there was actually very little focus. It seemed that they were concentrating on a different project every week. There was no central strategy. As a result, few of these projects were actually achieving any results!

When I started asking questions, I found a disturbing story developing. The company was seeing a gradual decline in its sales. It was getting to the point where the stability of the company was being threatened. And, despite all the action around the new marketing projects, there was very little actual real sales activity being carried out.

This is a common situation

Just like so many other printing companies, this one was focusing on the day-to-day production activities. They were busy creating quotes for existing clients. They were running around chasing artwork. They were spending plenty of time creating job sheets and scheduling work. If there was a spare minute, it was used in chasing up quotes that had been sent out.

The production activity always seemed to expand to fill the day. There never seemed to be any time to carry out sales activity. It was as if the company was running to stand still. They had forgotten a vital business principle.

Planning and scheduling the right sales activity is vital

The first thing that we worked on together was agreeing and scheduling some simple but regular sales activity.

Companies that focus on this activity are much more likely to achieve their company goals and targets. They have a much better control of their sales pipeline. They have a plan for the future. They can see how they will achieve their year-end results.

Companies that get caught up in day-to-day production activities may feel that they are running on a treadmill. The year-end target becomes a hope rather than a plan. This is because they have no control over their sales pipeline. Sales activities have been forgotten. So they are unlikely to achieve the goals and targets that they have set themselves (if indeed they have set any).

There is a happy ending to my story

The company that I worked with is now carrying out regular sales activity. They are winning more new work. They have recently had some exceptional months of trading. There is still work to do, but they have a plan to build back to the turnover that they were achieving a few years ago.

This is because the company has been focusing on exactly the same activities that I am going to outline in this book. They understand exactly what sales they are likely to win from their current customers this year. They have planned for a decline in their current work. They understand exactly how much new work they will have to win to achieve the turnover that they need.

In addition, they have set themselves targets. They have plans on how they are going to achieve the extra business that they need to win. They know the activities that they have to undertake to make sure that these targets are achieved. Finally, they also will be reviewing their activity and their targets to make sure that they are on track to win the right levels of new work.

How can you achieve the same results for you and your company?

The company used some proven systems to make sure that they were on track to winning they business that they wanted. They carried out these three tasks:

  • They took time to understand their current sales
  • They set the right sales targets
  • They planned and carried out the right day-to-day sales activities

All these issues are covered in detail in my new book “How To Succeed At Print Sales”

The New Year is approaching. It’s important to make sure you have the right plans in place to create the business and profits that you need. So make sure you purchase your copy right now.
PS Are you looking for other simple but effective strategies to help you connect with today’s buyers? Download this essential resource. You’ll also be signed up to the “Views From The Buyer Community” at no cost, where you receive useful resources, tips, rants and stories three time a week

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