Developing An Effective Sales Roadmap To Win Your Customers Over

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Imagining the trajectory of your long-term sales can be a daunting endeavor — especially if your business is barely out of the start-up stage

You know you need to set sales goals, understand your customer base, and leverage the right sales tactics. But how can you make all of these pieces work together to win as many customers as possible? 

Allow us to introduce you to the sales roadmap. This handy view goes beyond the “what” of your sales strategy and straight into the “how.” 

With a sales roadmap, you can better align with other teams in the business and instill trust in your customers. This, of course, leads to better sales outcomes for you. 

Ready to learn how to create a sales roadmap? Let’s get started. 

 

What is a sales roadmap? 

A sales roadmap, also known as a sales plan, is a high-level view of your business-wide sales trajectory. It typically features sales goals, key deals, and important tactics that your sales team will work toward to grow the business. 

Evolved from product roadmaps, sales roadmaps are living documents. As your product offering changes and your business grows, the sales roadmap will need to grow with you. 

Let’s look at an example in the insurance industry. In its early days, a company like True Blue Life Insurance may have only offered a limited selection of life insurance products, which would limit their pool of sales prospects. This impacts both the projected sales goals and the tactics the sales team can use to bring in revenue. 

As True Blue grows, however, they may start to offer more life insurance products. This broadens the pool of sales prospects, increases the number of available sales tactics, and provides a new source of revenue that can contribute to sales goals.  

True Blue life insurance website screenshot
Source

Now, True Blue’s sales roadmap needs to consider which products are more valuable to the business and what sales tactics will have the best impact on business-wide revenue growth. At this point, it might also highlight major deals the business hopes to close in a certain time frame. 

Depending on how your business is set up, you might also assign stakeholders to different pieces of the sales roadmap. You might consider looking at sales responsibilities by department, region, or another division, so your sales roadmap accurately reflects how your business operates. 

 

How a sales roadmap wins over customers

A sales roadmap may sound like yet another internal sales tool, but in some cases, it can be a powerful customer-facing document that helps you close more deals. That’s especially true for start-ups looking to find their footing and meet internal sales goals. 

The earliest forms of a sales roadmap will likely align with your product roadmap, allowing you to match your sales goals with new product features or offerings. At this stage, your sales roadmap shows customers that you have a well-defined growth plan that will benefit them in the future. 

Mostly, though, a sales plan or roadmap has a more visible impact on internal sales processes that ultimately result in more customers and revenue. With a roadmap, the sales team is more aligned internally and with external departments like product development or marketing. Together, this creates a much more streamlined and personalized experience for the customer. 

When you as a business can be concrete and transparent about what you can offer customers and when, you’ll build a deep sense of trust and rapport that ultimately yields more sales.  

 

Key elements of a sales roadmap

As you may suspect, a sales roadmap is a highly personalized document. While a sales plan template or similar tool can get you started, you’ll have to fill in most of the blanks yourself with detailed knowledge about your company and sales team. 

Sales roadmap template example
Source

Sales roadmap templates, like the one above from Roadmunk, may have a lot of extras that aren’t relevant to you. However, there are a few common elements that every sales roadmap should have. 

First, let’s look at the concrete items you’ll want to include: 

  • Sales goals: If your sales plan is a map, your sales goals are the destination. Even though these may evolve, your roadmap should always include the latest goals. 
  • Major milestones: Note what goals, deals, or tactics signify a big achievement from your sales team. This helps you see more nuanced progress throughout the year, rather than measuring success by whether or not you reached your overall goal. 
  • Action items and sales tactics: Incorporate the major tactics you’ll use to reach your sales goals or other milestones. This is the “how” of your sales roadmap. 

Beyond these items, your sales roadmap should allow for a lot of flexibility. Allow for change management so you can continue to work successfully with the product team. This will also help you be on the lookout for other factors that might disrupt your roadmap. 

 

5 steps to creating a sales roadmap

Now for the fun part: how to actually create a sales roadmap. Here are five simple steps to get you started. 

1. Define your sales goals and milestones

First, you need to know where your sales team is headed. Using past sales data and any other relevant information, define your overall revenue and sales goals for the year. Be sure to choose KPIs that make your goals easily understandable. 

Consider setting quarterly goals or milestones to better track progress throughout the year. You can also set milestones for closing a certain number of deals, signing a high-profile client, or anything else that drives your sales strategy forward. 

2. Identify high-impact deals

High-revenue or high-visibility deals can have a far-reaching impact on your sales strategy as a whole, so it’s important to identify how they will do so. These kinds of deals can also take months to iron out, so knowing when you can expect them to come through has a major effect on attaining your sales goals. 

It’s smart to identify the salespeople responsible for high-impact deals, so as the sales manager you can check in with them should something unexpected happen. 

3. Outline your sales pipeline

If you don’t already have a sales pipeline in place, now is the time to make one. A sales pipeline defines all of the touchpoints a prospective client will go through before they close a deal. It can include tasks like prospecting, cold or warm emailing or calling, and sales meetings. 

Importantly, your sales pipeline also needs to define exactly how a deal can be considered closed. Normally, this will involve signing a contract, but if there are other actions to be taken, be sure that your sales team is up to speed. 

This is also where you can eliminate bottlenecks in your sales process. For instance, if signing the contract slows down your pipeline, consider finding a document signing software like this one to speed up the process. 

Source

4. Organize your sales roadmap

Now you’re ready to start building your sales roadmap. You can organize it by deal, stakeholder, or sales goal — or pretty much any way that works well for you. 

The most important thing is to provide a clear, visual representation of everything we’ve covered in this article. Reduce jargon and unnecessary elements to create a clear view of where you are, where you’re going, and how you’ll get there. 

A project management tool like monday.com will come in handy to help you stay on track when organizing your roadmap.

5. Share the roadmap with your sales team

Finally, share your sales plan with your team. Not only will they be able to provide feedback and adjustments, but it’s also important that the sales roadmap is easily accessible so teams can remain aligned. 

Remember that you’ll need to make adjustments to your sales roadmap as your business grows and changes. Each time, get feedback from your team, so you’re always on the same page. 

 

Roadmap your way to winning over customers

You might make several iterations of your sales roadmap, but that’s okay — it’s here to grow along with you and your sales team. By setting clear goals, defining how you’ll reach them, and sharing that information with your team, you’ll be well on your way to closing more deals. 

As your business grows and changes, allow your sales roadmap to do so too. That flexibility allows you to keep customer needs at the front of your mind. Then, you can adjust sales tactics to best reach your most valuable audience. 

Take the time to start building your sales roadmap today. 


Brian J. Greenberg, aka The Salesman Who Doesn’t Sell, has founded businesses in e-commerce, marketing, and financial services. He has generated over 50 million in revenue from his businesses and collected over 10,000 reviews and testimonials from customers. Brian is the founder and president of True Blue Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest and helpful to their customers without ever bugging or pushing them.