A sales strategy is really a series of steps, objectives, and targets that tell how your sales staff. It positions the company and its offerings or products to close more sales so as to drive greater business results for the organization. It acts as an educational guide for sales representatives to follow with clearly defined objectives regarding product positioning, sales tactics, and aggressive market analysis. If you have a sales strategy in place, the next challenge is to align all of your sales strategies with one overall objective.
The second step in developing a sales strategy for a specific company or region is to define what you want to get out of sales. Are you looking to close deals, create new clients, improve your earnings, or build recognition? If you want to close deals, then you need to use the same sales approaches that have been successful in the past. On the other hand, if you want to create new clients, then you need to adapt new marketing strategies. Closing sales conversations represents a third step and it is often the most challenging.
In most cases, the salesperson needs to have a very clear picture of what the company’s perceived status quo is – what is it that buyers are currently buying from the company and what do they expect to receive in the future. Without this perception, the salesperson will not be able to communicate the benefits to the buyer. Consequently, any strategy developed should address the perceived status quo. This means that if you want to help the buyer close deals, then you need to first create and deliver to them a clearer definition of what the buyer perceives as the company’s current position in the marketplace. Once the buyer knows what buyers are currently purchasing from the company, you can then help them to solve problems by suggesting additional opportunities.
Unfortunately, many salespeople have difficulty developing a comprehensive sales strategy. They don’t understand enough about the product or service to formulate a comprehensive plan. Many salespeople also don’t have enough experience with certain clients to be able to apply their understanding of the client to the sales process. Effective salespeople are self-directed and are able to use their understanding of the marketplace to apply that knowledge to the process.
A comprehensive sales strategy should include one important component: a follow up strategy. When you follow up with your prospects after the sale, you are communicating that you care about them and their needs. A follow up communicates that you are interested in learning more about them and what they are looking for. This is the first step in developing a relationship with your prospects. A sales team that follows up on leads after the sale has been made cannot simply disappear when prospects begin to move away from your products or services. Effective follow up ensures that you will continue to be an integral part of the prospecting process.
Effective sales strategies require that you identify the problems that your buyers are having in their buying decisions. Then, you must be able to change those problems to make your products and/or services more appealing. Effective selling requires that you be prepared to ask your buyers for feedback and adopt creative solutions to their problems. You cannot sell a product or service if you are not willing to ask for feedback.