Revenue operations Guide

How to create an effective Sales Action Plan? Definition & Examples

Published , Updated 9 mn
Profile picture for Axel Lavergne

Axel Lavergne

Co founder and chief editor

Axel is one of Salesdorado's co-founders. He's also the founder of, a review management tool for B2B SaaS companies

The Sales Action Plan (SAP) is the essential roadmap for any company wishing to achieve its sales and development objectives. But how can you build an effective CAP that will unite your teams and boost your performance over the long term? In this article, we take a look at the challenges of CAP and present 3 examples of sales action plans.

Sales action plan: defining er objectives

A sales action plan (SAP) is a strategic document that formalizes all the actions to be taken to achieve your sales targets.

It’s a roadmap that details :

  • Your targets: customer profiles, markets, segments…
  • The resources you will use: marketing, sales, communications, etc.
  • The resources you’ll need (human, financial, technological, etc.).
  • The action plan you’re going to follow (logical for a document called “sales action plan”!).
  • The performance indicators that will enable you to measure your success.

The main aim of your sales action plan is to align all your teams around a common strategy. It gives you a clear vision of where you want to go, and ensures that all your efforts are focused in the same direction.

The sales action plan should be seen as a strategic and operational management tool that will help you structure your sales development and master all its levers.

5 advantages of using a sales action plan

1. Anticipate and structure your sales approach

The very act of producing a sales action plan requires you to take the time needed to think through your strategy and structure your approach. It’s a key step in ensuring that you don’t sail blindly through the opportunities and emergencies of everyday life.

The objective of the commercial action plan is as much in the construction process itself as in the resulting final document. It’s the reflexive journey that counts as much, if not more, than the destination.

2. Coordinate the actions of your various departments

Your sales action plan serves as a common reference for improved collaboration between your marketing, sales, customer service and sales administration teams. Everyone knows what needs to be done, when, how and with what resources. Everyone understands how their contribution fits into the overall strategy and serves its objectives.

This strengthens cohesion and collective efficiency. You avoid misunderstandings, duplications and blind spots. You facilitate the flow of information and cross-functional cooperation. It’s a powerful management tool for clarifying priorities and empowering your employees.

3. Monitor your performance and adjust your actions

By defining the most relevant management indicators upstream, your sales action plan enables you to continuously monitor the progress of your plan and the achievement of your objectives. Sales, margins, number of customers, average basket, conversion rate: you monitor the key parameters of your development.

By comparing your results with initial forecasts, you can react quickly to any deviation or drift. You analyze the causes of any delays, identify the levers you need to activate, and adjust your aim to stay on track. Your steering is finer, more responsive and more efficient.

4. Justify your resource requests

A solid sales action plan is an invaluable asset when it comes to justifying recruitment, investment or organizational change, because it demonstrates a quantified need to achieve validated objectives: it lends weight and credibility to your requests for resources.

Facing your management or external decision-makers (banks, investors, etc.), you can defend your demands rationally and convincingly. You don’t ask for resources “blindly”, but to implement a well-thought-out, structured strategy.

Going further
If you want to optimize your recruitment processes, don’t hesitate to draw on these resources:

5. Improve responsiveness and adaptability

However complete your CAP may be, it shouldn’t be a rigid straitjacket. On the contrary, it should be designed as a flexible, evolving tool that enables you to adjust your strategy in line with feedback from the field and market developments.

Well-designed, it incorporates this flexibility right from the start. It identifies potential risks and opportunities, provides alternative scenarios, and defines regular milestones to take stock. It gives you the means to adapt quickly, seize the best opportunities and correct course if necessary.

3 examples of sales action plans to inspire you

Example 1: a sales action plan based on SMART objectives

The SMART objectives approach is one of the most common and effective ways of building a sales action plan. It involves structuring your plan around objectives that meet 5 key criteria:

  • Specific: the objective must be precise and concrete.
  • Measurable: progress must be tracked and quantified.
  • Achievable: the objective must be ambitious but realistic.
  • Relevant: it must be relevant to the overall strategy.
  • Temporallydefined: it must be limited in time.

The SMART approach has several advantages. Firstly, it sets a clear, shared course by translating strategy into operational goals. Secondly, it empowers teams by giving meaning and a concrete horizon to their actions. Lastly, it facilitates management and mobilization over time, by providing benchmarks against which progress can be measured. For all these reasons, it’s an approach we often recommend on Salesdorado.

Here’s what a typical sales action plan based on this model might look like:

1/ Diagnosis and challenges

  • Market, customer and competitor analysis
  • Company strengths and weaknesses
  • Opportunities and threats
  • Key issues for the period ahead

The aim of this section is to diagnose the situation and then identify the priority challenges to be met. This is the foundation on which to build a relevant strategy.

2/ SMART objectives

  • Overall objective (example: +10% sales within 6 months)
  • Breakdown into sub-objectives: by product, by customer, by sales rep…
  • Associated measurement indicators

The aim here is to give concrete expression to the chosen course by setting objectives that meet SMART criteria. These objectives will guide the action plans.

3/ Action plans

  • Major projects to be carried out: overhaul of offers, new pricing policy…
  • Quick wins (fast, high-impact actions)
  • Actions by target/channel/commercial
  • Planning and managers

Here, we translate objectives into concrete actions by identifying priorities and critical paths. It’s the teams’ operational roadmap.

4/ Means and resources

  • Budgets: media spending, promotions, events…
  • Human resources: recruitment, training, organization…
  • Technical resources: CRM, marketing tools…

This section is used to quantify and plan the resources required to implement the plan. It can also be used to support budget requests.

5/ Steering and adjustments

  • KPI tracking dashboard
  • Regular progress meetings
  • How to readjust actions

Last but not least, we need to plan for long-term monitoring, to measure progress, identify any deviations and adjust the plan if necessary. This is key to staying on track.

By following this framework, you’ll obtain a sales action plan with both a strategic and operational dimension. Of course, the precise content will have to be adapted to your specific context and challenges, but this basic structure puts you on the right track for defining and deploying your sales strategy.

Example 2: a sales action plan based on customer personas

Another interesting approach to building your sales action plan is to structure it around a detailed understanding of your target customers’ profiles and needs.

The idea is to start from buyers’ expectations and behaviors, and then define the best way to address them.

This approach is generally based on the creation of “personas”, i.e. typical customer profiles. Each persona embodies the characteristics, motivations, obstacles and habits of a specific customer category.

This approach is particularly relevant for companies focusing on a niche strategy, personalization or quality of service. It is also very useful in B2B sectors, where purchasing decisions often involve multiple players with varied profiles (specifier, buyer, user, decision-maker, etc.).

Here’s an example of how to structure a persona-based sales action plan:

1/ Defining personas

  • Identification of major customer categories
  • Creation of a representative persona for each category
  • Detailed description of each persona (identity, needs, usage, purchasing process, etc.)

This “profiling” of typical customers must be based on real data, and must involve all teams in contact with customers (sales, customer service, marketing, etc.).

2/ Customer journey mapping

  • Identify the key stages in the buying journey for each persona
  • Analysis of expectations, behaviors and friction points at each stage
  • Definition of desirable brand interactions at each stage

The aim of this second phase of the sales action plan is to understand how customers experience their relationship with the company, from their first contact through to after-sales, and what is important to them at each stage.

3/ Action plan by persona

  • Definition of objectives and indicators for each persona
  • Specific marketing, sales and service actions for each persona
  • Action planning and management

The action plan is segmented by customer profile, with customized tactics for each one. The idea is to stick as closely as possible to the uses and preferences of each target.

Going further
If you’d like to optimize your sales processes, take a look at these resources:

4/ Tracking and optimization by persona

  • Track conversion, satisfaction and loyalty indicators by persona
  • Identify the levers of progress for each persona
  • Continuous adjustment of actions and itineraries

Tracking is also done by customer type, to measure the performance of actions in detail and identify what works best for each profile. This enables us to continuously optimize our approach and personalize our customer relationships.

This personas approach requires a great deal of preliminary customer research and segmentation. It also requires us to review our marketing and sales organization to make it more customer-centric.

But this effort can pay off, by enabling you to develop closer, more relevant relationships with your customers, build loyalty and stand out from the crowd with a tailor-made experience.

If you have a diversified customer base and personalization is key to your business, this type of action plan could be a very interesting avenue to explore!

Example 3: a sales action plan by sales channel

A third approach to building an effective sales action plan is to structure it by sales channel. The idea is to tailor your strategy and tactics to the specific characteristics of each channel, in order to get the most out of them.

This approach is well suited to multi-channel companies, which market their products or services through different points of contact: physical stores, e-commerce sites, mobile applications, field sales representatives, social networks… Each channel has its own codes, constraints and opportunities, which need to be integrated into the action plan.

As you can imagine, the aim is to guarantee a fluid, consistent customer experience across all channels, while optimizing the performance of each. This means understanding the role and potential of each channel in the buying journey, and then defining synergies between them.

In the end, it’s a highly operational approach that keeps us in touch with the realities on the ground, and directly involves the teams in each channel in the implementation of the plan. It also favors a finer allocation of resources and efforts according to channel-by-channel priorities and opportunities.

Here’s an example of how to structure a sales action plan by sales channel:

1/ Omnichannel diagnostics

  • Mapping of sales channels and their contribution to sales
  • Analysis of performance and usage by channel
  • Identification of each channel’s strengths and areas for improvement
  • Benchmark best practices by channel

This initial diagnosis provides a precise overview of the situation of each canal and its development potential. This is the basis for defining priorities and the appropriate levers for action.

2/ Channel strategy and objectives

  • Defining the role and objectives of each channel
  • Identify channel-specific growth levers
  • Breakdown of targets and value proposition by channel
  • Defining synergies and bridges between channels

The aim here is to specify the mission of each channel and how it will contribute to the overall objectives. It’s also at this point that you can think about the complementarity between channels.

3/ Action plan by channel

  • Marketing, sales and service actions specific to each channel
  • Focus on digitalization and personalization of pathways by channel
  • Definition of channel-specific needs and resources
  • Coordination and synchronization of actions between channels

The action plan is segmented by channel, with tactics adapted to each channel’s usage and audience, but it must also integrate cross-functional measures to ensure a consistent customer experience from one channel to the next.

4/ Omnichannel management

  • Definition of performance indicators by channel and overall
  • Setting up tracking and information-sharing tools between channels
  • Cross-channel customer journey analysis
  • Ongoing adjustment of actions and cross-channel coordination

Steering must enable us to monitor the performance of each channel in fine detail, but also to have an overall view of customer relations. The challenge here is to identify synergies, friction points and optimization levers to streamline processes and boost the overall efficiency of the system.

Going further
If you’d like to measure your sales performance more accurately, take a look at these resources:

This omnichannel approach is relatively complex to orchestrate, as it requires a very transversal and decompartmentalized view of the customer experience. It often overturns siloed organizations, and requires a major effort to coordinate and share information between teams.

But it’s a powerful lever for boosting sales, by playing on the complementarity of channels and offering customers a seamless journey that combines the best of physical and digital. At a time when the boundaries between channels are becoming increasingly porous, this is a real strategic challenge.

If multiple points of contact are a reality in your business, this is clearly an area to explore in your sales action plan.

As you can see from these examples, there are several approaches to building a sales action plan. It’s up to you to choose the one that suits you best, or to combine several approaches. Beyond their diversity, all sales action plans have one thing in common: they are :

  • Built collaboratively, involving all stakeholders
  • Based on robust market and customer insights, not just hunches
  • Focused on customer value and optimizing the customer experience
  • Agile and scalable, to adapt continuously to changes in the environment
  • Actionable on a daily basis by teams, with concrete objectives and action plans (the sales action plan, in fine, serves to guide action, as its name suggests)
  • Precisely measurable, with relevant performance indicators

It’s up to you!

About the author

Profile picture for Axel Lavergne

Axel is one of Salesdorado's co-founders. He's also the founder of, a review management tool for B2B SaaS companies