For any business to succeed, its understanding of the customer, sales goals, and sales tactics must all be in sync. A tool that can help achieve this alignment is the sales roadmap, which shows not just where you would like to go, but how you plan to get there.
Sales roadmaps can help get different departments on the same page while helping to nurture a better relationship with customers. Keep reading to learn what a sales roadmap is, why they’re important for startups, and how it can be used to help secure customers.
What is a sales roadmap?
You’re probably already familiar with the term “product roadmap.” A product roadmap is a visual, strategic document that outlines the steps and actions necessary to reach a company’s high-level goals. It is intended to orient cross-functional pieces of the business toward one shared, “big picture” goal.
A sales roadmap should be a perfect complement to the product roadmap. A sales roadmap offers a zoomed-out, high-level view of the sales activity happening across a business. It is a visualization of the initiatives and strategies the company will employ to meet its sales goals. For leaders, sales roadmaps can be a helpful tool in communicating overall sales goals and plans to other departments, such as marketing or product. They can also help keep everyone is aligned on the overall direction and goals as the team grows or changes.
How sales roadmaps can help the team succeed
The main goal of creating a sales roadmap is to increase customers and revenue by optimizing internal sales processes and aligning them with outside departments that can have an impact on sales, such as marketing. Naturally, having these different business functions in sync tends to result in a better, more personalized customer experience.
How sales roadmaps can help secure customers
Sales roadmaps are generally for internal use. However, they can also be used as customer-facing tools to build trust and close deals. Using them in this way can be particularly helpful for startups or early-stage companies, whose sales and product roadmaps tend to line up the most closely. This makes matching sales goals with new product offerings or features simpler. For customers, understanding what products or new features are coming down the pipeline (and when) can help build a sense of trust and get them excited to buy in now. It can also help to proactively manage expectations.
What’s included in an effective sales roadmap?
There is no one-size-fits-all sales roadmap; they are individual to the business they serve. That said, there are a few pieces that every sales roadmap should include:
- Sales goals – You have to start somewhere, and here, it can be easier to work backward. Setting sales goals can help you do that. These could change over time, but they are a great place to start.
- Milestones – Once you’ve got your sales goals you can set certain milestones to measure progress over time. Having milestones to work towards rather than a sales goal number can make reaching that big goal feels more achievable.
- Key sales tactics – These are the sales tactics that will help move you towards your milestones and overall sales goals.
Implementing a sales roadmap
A sales roadmap isn’t a set it and forget it document. Think of it as a living document. To be as effective as possible, it needs to grow and evolve with your business. A sales roadmap for an early-stage startup should look quite different from that of a later-stage, mature company.
A sales roadmap can be fairly rudimentary to start, and that’s perfectly fine! It is a document that is designed to grow and develop alongside the business, which means there may be multiple versions early on as you finetune goals and strategies. Remember, the sales roadmap is never set in stone. The more flexible it is, the better positioned a company is to meet the needs of its customers.
The information presented here is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be construed or used as, comprehensive offering documentation for any security, investment, tax or legal advice, a recommendation, or an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, an interest, directly or indirectly, in any company. Investing in both early-stage and later-stage companies carries a high degree of risk. A loss of an investor’s entire investment is possible, and no profit may be realized. Investors should be aware that these types of investments are illiquid and should anticipate holding until an exit occurs.