Using market research to increase sales

Understanding your market is your first step to developing a good sales plan. To understand your market you will need to carry out market research.

Market research

An effective sales plan relies heavily on market research.

Summarise your business's target market segments. Describe:

  • your target market segments
  • the types of people in that market
  • the numbers in each market segment
  • segment classifications according to previous sales volume or potential sales volume.

Based on your market research, explain:

  • why there is a demand for what you're selling
  • your current market position – including any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats
  • your competitors' strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.

Your sales plan might also include market research about emerging or forecasted trends in your chosen market.

Learn more about market and customer research.

Using your marketing plan

Marketing is positioning your business's reputation in a way that ideally matches your chosen market's needs and wants.

Your marketing plan will help you:

  • define and build your chosen business reputation
  • increase your customers' awareness of your ability to meet their needs
  • communicate with your customers in the way that increases your customers' opinion of and reliance on your business.

Your marketing plan will influence your approach to sales from strategy to point of sale.

Market assumptions

Make a list of assumptions to describe the facts or beliefs that influence your sales plan, such as the:

  • number of customers you expect to retain
  • capabilities of your competitors
  • amount of competition you have
  • resources required to continue your operations
  • costs of materials and labour.

Your periodical sales plan reviews will allow you to consider whether your assumptions remain relevant over time. If you find your assumptions have changed, it might also be time to make changes to your sales plan.

Also consider...