Developing a Sponsorship Sales Plan Without Crushing Your Spirit

Every sponsorship salesperson dreams of better partnerships, more sponsors and increased revenue. Today this dream seems even harder to achieve, but it doesn’t have to be. I am going to share easy steps to developing a sponsorship sales plan without crushing your spirit.

Carving out the time to define or refine the bigger sponsorship vision, identifying key objectives to get there, and working with teams and team members on how they will contribute to those goals is a wise investment toward actualizing the vision. It is a time to lift heads from the day-to-day, challenge what is possible, examine what is needed, and identify the steps to achieve your goals. It is critical for any business, team, or individual who wants to do better in the year ahead to spend the time now figuring out where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.

Companies and people want the results, yet there is often an unwillingness to invest the time and energy into planning. It can easily get overlooked or not be fully completed. Sponsorship planning doesn’t need to be reinvented or overly complicated. In its simplest form, planning takes what seems big, even insurmountable, and breaks it down to specific, measurable action steps.

After developing countless sales plans, the Sponsorship Mastery team of experts has learned the importance of having a plan and learned a few strategic shortcuts. I am providing a few questions to consider as a starting point to developing your complete sales plan. If you want to take your planning to the next level, download your free copy of The Complete Guide to Developing a Sales Plan here. A comprehensive plan answers these key questions.

  1. What is the current situation?

It is important for your organization to understand the current state of sponsorship and your role in overseeing sponsorship. This simple description should be clear enough that new colleagues can easily and quickly understand the current situation. A sponsorship plan inherently creates longevity and gravitas, so stating the current situation will reinforce the organization’s and your commitments to the program.

  1. What are the goals?

What are the goals for the year ahead? There are likely organizational goals or financial goals that you’ve been given, or perhaps you’ve been asked to determine what those goals are, but these goals should be stated in your plan. Typically, I like to have three, but no more than five goals a year. Limiting the goals allows you and your team to stay hyper-focused at a very high level, then you can develop strategies and tactics to support those 3-5 goals.

  1. What are your assets?

A sponsorship plan doesn’t need to include a complete asset inventory. However, you do need to be clear on the key assets you are selling. This can take the form of an abbreviated list of benefits at various levels, with price ranges. This should be used as an internal document only. Establishing key assets will establish what assets should be reserved for top-level sponsors across your organization. Additionally, will help you to determine what’s the minimum point of entry for a sponsor to have access to our most valuable assets.

  1. Who are your potential partners?

Your prospect list does not have to be exhaustive, however, it should include the top 25-50 companies you plan to connect with throughout the year. Commit to making contact with every contact on that list, even if you didn’t work together. Printing out your prospect list and reviewing daily is a great way to hold yourself accountable to your sales plan.

  1. What are the strongest opportunities and challenges?

Including a brief overview or an abbreviated SWOT analysis will help determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is probably the most important page in the plan because it helps to establish a baseline of understanding and agreement. Before you develop your plan, determine how you are going to collect the information to develop your abbreviated SWOT. Collaborating and having conversations with your colleagues and key stakeholders can be a helpful way to connect and start to build a mutual understanding of what the strongest opportunities and challenges are.

  1. What is your approach?

A valuable reason to include the selling approach in the plan is that if you are sharing your plan widely, you want them to understand the general sales process. The sales process is a proven method for closing deals and driving more revenue. To learn more about the sales process and what you can include, download the free guide 7 Easy Steps to Mastering the Sponsorship Sales Process here. Including this information will help anyone reading my plan to understand what is involved in getting a sponsor on board.

Sponsorship is harder and takes longer than anyone realizes. Establishing a sponsorship plan helps to manage the expectations and serves as a communication tool within your organization. If you start the process by answering the questions above, you can help the stakeholders within your organization understand the challenges and opportunities ahead. Your plan will help focus your efforts in the right direction, on the right things. Your sponsorship sales plan will be your roadmap to success. If you need more guidance on developing your plan, download “The Complete Guide to Developing a Sales Plan” here or connect with us! We will collaborate with you to develop a customized sales plan to help reach your goals faster.


About the Author

Paula Beadle is the CEO of Caravel Marketing, a national consulting company specializing in sponsorship marketing, and the founder of Sponsorship Mastery, an annual summit and programming dedicated to improving individual and organizational sponsorship performance. She is a results-driven trailblazer with a proven record of developing smart strategies and creatively connecting the right partners. Paula has helped iconic events and major brands achieve their goals through innovative sponsorship initiatives, generating incremental revenue and successfully coaching thriving teams, executives and boards.


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