Step by Step Guide to Creating a Sales Plan for Your Pop-up
Think of your sales plan like a playbook. A sales plan is your month-to-month forecast of the number of sales you expect to achieve and the steps you will take to achieve those goals. Your sales plan will define the “who, what, when, why, and how”, providing you all the tools to succeed. Regardless of the overarching strategy for your pop-up, creating a fortified sales plan will give you the necessary information to quickly identify opportunities, sales drought, problems - and what do about them. Creating a sales plan is tough - it takes a lot of work, but enacting a great sales plan will take your pop-up to the next level.
Sales plans can be generally broken down into three parts:
- Sales Forecasting and Goal Setting
- Market and Customer Research
- Leveraging existing customer and brand relationships
Sales forecasting and goal setting
Dream Big, but Don’t Forget to be Realistic
We always talking about dreaming big, and we think you should. However, creating unreachable and unattainable sales goals for your business will only lead to disappointment, stress, and anxiety down the line. Do not fall into the trap of projecting your personal wants and desires for your business onto your sales plan. We all want our businesses to succeed, but generating unreachable expectations is not setting your pop-up for success. So where should you start?
Start with your annual goal first (if you are a pop-up annual might only mean 3 months), look at your available resources, size of your target market, the strength of your sales team, and your companies long-term goals. If you are an e-commerce store looking to open your first pop-up, look at all your previous sales data - did you forecast and set goals last year? Did you reach those goals? Examine the things that have changed since then and adjust accordingly. (Also, before making the sales forecast decide if this pop-up shop has a goal to be revenue driving or if its purpose is marketing and brand awareness.)
Your goals can range anywhere from increasing the number of customers that come in by 10%, or generating a 15% increase in sales for your company. Whatever your target is, be sure that you and your entire team are aware of what the goals are.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself and your sales team when sales forecasting and goal setting:
- What is your metric of success? The number of customers? Revenue totals? Percentage of Year over Year or Month over Month growth?
- What expectations do you have overall market performance? Will it increase/decline?
- What does your team think about your projected goals?
- Is your timeline for meeting your goals realistic?
Be Firm With Your Set Goals
Once you’ve created your sales projections and goals, lock them in stone. Adjusting the goal posts, so to speak, will not be helpful if you want to evaluate the success or failure of your pop-up. Your sales plans are projections, it’s okay if they aren’t 100% accurate. If you discover after a week that you have been overly pessimistic or optimistic - that’s okay, keep your goals firm.
Market and customer research
Find Your Niche
Once you’ve built out your sales forecasts, you’ll need to know what space you occupy in the market. Your niche will determine everything about your branding, content, and your team. Essentially, it will be how people will find you and pinpoint who you are as a brand. Don’t try to please everyone with your pop-up - because you’ll end up creating something that no-one will love. Look to find and energize 1,000 fans, for your brand and pop-up, these will be your advocates looking forward.
Ask yourself these questions when evaluating your niche:
- How big is the market I am playing in?
- What’s my current position in the market? What are we doing well? What are we doing poorly?
- Who are my competitors? What are they doing well? What are they doing poorly?
Get to Know Your Target Customer
Chasing after the wrong customers can be a waste of money - find where your people are and find out the best way to communicate with them. What needs, wants and desires are you helping your customer attain or fulfill with your pop-up? Once you know who you are targeting, it will be easier to communicate your value and eventually map out your customer’s journey through your pop-up.
Depending on the resources you have available your customer insight will be varied, but you should at least start with the basic information on your customers, such as their geographical location, age, income, and the job they have. You should be building a customer profile that will inform the customers you pursue from here on out.
Consider these questions when finding your ideal customer:
- Which blogs or websites are they following?
- What kind of online platforms and services are they using?
- Where are they located?
- How old are they?
- What is their income range?
- What are their spending patterns like?
- Have they purchased from you before?
- How have they been affected by changes in the economy or other developments outside their sphere of influence?
- What’s their culture like, what values do they practice?
- How do they position themselves in the market?
- Which associations or organizations are they members of?
- How technically sophisticated are they?
- What’s their awareness stage? Do they already know you have a store and just aren’t motivated enough to come in and buy? Do they have all the information available about your brand to make an informed decision?
- What’s the number one reason that would prevent them from coming into your store?
- What’s the number one reason that would make them decide to visit your pop-up? What makes your store/brand appealing to them?
- What goal do they want to achieve by coming to your pop-up?
- How are they currently trying to achieve this goal in their own life?
- Why did past customers decide to buy your products/ visit your retail locations? (What was the decision making the process that led to this choice?)
- What’s the main pain point with their current life?
- What are the three most important features in a pop-up for them?
- What’s their buying process like?
- Did they ever make a purchasing decision to fulfill the need? If yes, how often did they already do this?
Finding customers and leveraging partnerships
You’re missing out on a huge opportunity if your sales plan only focuses on finding new business leads. Word-of-mouth, introductions, and current customers can be your most solid lead for growth and success. We’ve spoken about brand clarity before, and this should be factored into your sales plan. Create brand specific words that your sales team can use when communicating the brand story. Take this language and push it on all your social platforms, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and email will be key tools to engage with your existing audience. Provide them with the right language and content they will be your best ambassadors.
The last group you should include in your sales plan are any strategic partners—individuals, organizations, or companies—that reach the same customers. Find other brands that are targeting similar customers and plan to partner with them
Plan to build your relationship with these groups through things like:
- Writing for their blog
- Instagram Giveaways
- Email acquisition campaigns
It’s all about providing value to complementary businesses and fostering a culture of ‘growing together’. The more you add value to the community, the more willing people will be to throw business your way.