How to Write a Business Plan
4: Marketing and Sales Plan 


The Marketing and Sales Plan section of the business plan puts the market analysis into action. In this section, you will describe how you will implement the marketing plan to achieve the expected sales performance.

A complete and convincing Marketing and Sales Plan will outline the following strategies:

  • Pricing. Here you need to document the cost of goods sold, explain why you are choosing to offer your product or service at a particular price, and elucidate why you think the market will support that price. You might also want to consider outlining the impact that changes in price would have on the expected gross margins of the company.
  • Distribution. Your distribution strategy describes the process of actually getting the product into the hands of customers. Will you sell your product directly to customers? Will you sell through retail outlets? Explain why the distribution channels you've selected will contribute to your success.

  • Promotions. A key component of your Marketing and Sales Plan is anticipating how your product will be promoted in the marketplace. How will you use what you know about the market to ensure that your target customers know your product and prefer it over the competition’s product? You should include a description of your advertising strategy, detail your plans for sales and distribution, and create a marketing budget.

Relative to the rest of the plan, how much effort should you put into the Market and Sales Plan?
Paul Wimer
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     Ask Paul Wimer: What is the Market and Sales Plan section of a business plan and what's its purpose?

     Ask Paul Wimer: Do you really understand your customers' buying patterns?

     Ask Paul Wimer: Relative to the rest of the plan, how much effort should you put into the Market and Sales Plan?


An Investor's Perspective
"Show me that you've thought about the dynamic of selling your product and considered alternative ways of selling."