Do you need a Sales Strategy?
Is the term “sales strategy” misleading?
Do you need one?
After all isn’t it just about having an effective sales process?
Consider that on average sales reps spend only 39% of their time selling, the remainder of that time is spent on administrative tasks such as data entry and generating quotes.
I think 39% is quite low compared to what most business owners or sales managers might be expecting.
In considering the above fact, it would suggest that systems and procedures would need to be incorporated within your sales strategy so those administrative tasks could become automated.
Who knows return a higher conversion rate and liberate that lost selling time.
So to answer my question “do you need a sales strategy”, the answer is yes you do.
Below are a few pointers to consider as you build out your sales strategy.
Map out each step your customer takes.
A sales strategy does what it says on the tin, helps you create a strategy for your sales activity.
Taking someone from a Suspect to an Order.
This is knowing exactly what needs to happen across business functions and knowing exactly what your Prospect needs to do to move forward through their buying journey.
To do this…
Make sure you have clearly defined each step of the process so you and your Prospect always knows the “next logical step”.
The aims for that person and the steps that person needs to edge close to a sale need to be built into a process that feeds your sales strategy.
Your strategy can be flexible allowing for changes with different target markets or rigid, making sure everyone follows the same path.
Whichever you choose, make sure that your strategy is based around your ideal target prospect and their buying habits rather than a force-fed model where you expect your prospect to change.
Have a powerful value proposition.
I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs, but due to its importance I think it’s worth mentioning again.
Your sales strategy shouldn’t just be about telling your Prospects how great you are and what your product can do.
It should state clearly how your service will add value and give their business a solution.
When setting out your value proposition, remember that some customers can’t articulate what their specific issues are, just that they have a problem that needs a solution.
Your messaging needs to connect directly to your buyer by defining not just the problem, but, that you understand how to provide the solution.
Have the confidence to be different.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of sounding like your competitor.
Having the mindset of ‘if it’s worked for them, I need to do the same’.
Here’s the dilemma you can’t stand out and blend in at the same time.
Make sure your sales strategy highlights some key differences to that of your closest competitors.
This might be your purpose, people, results, case studies.
Don’t hide your successes in the belief that it will look like your showing off.
You need to share “why you” in this busy digital space.
Communicate your difference as seen in the eyes of your customer.
This way you’ll stand out, be different, and make a direct impact to that client.
This way your sales strategy will be rooted in the DNA of your customers and prospects and not inwardly focused.
Include the kitchen sink.
One of the key mistakes that most sales leaders make is thinking that a sales strategy should only focus on the sales part of the business.
I’ll say it again “it shouldn’t“.
For a sales strategy to work make sure that it encompasses your whole business.
I mentioned earlier that you need your customer and sales team to know “the next logical step”.
Without mapping this out, how do you know what that next step is.
Steps like, when do we notify supply, when do we sent out t&c’s, when do we do the credit check etc.
This sales process plan is an important part of everybody understanding your sales strategy.
Take a look at the Sales Planning Process as set out via Hubspot:
If you’re keen to find out more join me in the Sales Mindset Group on Facebook.
Additionally, if you want to take immediate action and develop some of the key skills needed to build confidence, structure and process within your sales strategy please head over to my sales training business Plan.Grow.Do.