The ultimate measure of success of a product or service is sales. Savvy companies realise that marketing and sales strategies are two of the most important documents incorporated within their overall business and growth plan.
Marketing and sales working in synergy achieves key business goals that help shape an organisation’s success and future. Marketing’s priority is to reach customers and build good relationships.
On the other hand, sales’ priority is to accommodate qualified leads and customers to help them meet their needs with the company’s products and/or services and maintain good relationships. The difference in their roles, functions, and priorities is precisely what makes them synergise with each other.
There is no question that the sales department is the revenue-generating engine of a company. As such, it should merit top priority of a having a document of its own, the sales plan, that outline strategies and tactics that aid salespeople to close sales.
For sales to get to a level where it can generate desired results consistently, a well-defined sales strategy that covers the marketing plan is needed.
In simple terms, a sales strategy is a process of persuading interested people to buy products or engage services. On top of that, a sales strategy also covers how salespeople can maintain relationships with prospective and existing customers, which ultimately lead to sales. These prospects and customers have been guided to sales, most of the time, through the efforts of marketing.
A sales strategy is basically a road map about how to generate real and quantifiable profits. Regardless of how good a business’ products/services are, or how effective a marketing plan/strategy is, it will all be for nothing if the sales process can’t produce results.
A well-designed and executed sales strategy gives salespeople a clear direction on how to seize opportunities like a well-oiled machine.
The Importance of a Sales Strategy.
For a business to grow, it is essential to have an effective sales strategy. With a clear strategy, you can plan, assess problems, and manage different approaches across the organisation. Sales strategies should have a clear objective with a plan that can be continuously reviewed.
The main advantage of developing a sales strategy is that it creates focus within your organisation. For it to be successful, everyone on your team needs to be on the same page.
Your business will be able to target the right demographic with a clearly defined strategy and well-developed action plan. This, ultimately, helps you sell your product/service to the right people.
Creating a sales strategy requires you to analyse existing tactics and to address the customer’s needs at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Thus, you can examine the overarching objectives and determine what is currently working as well as what strategies are needed to ensure success.
Steps to Creating a Sales Strategy.
Every business, even if they belong to the same industry or sector, is unique. It is therefore vital to come up with a sales strategy that suits their company’s identity and business model.
To develop a sales strategy that fits your business, the following must be clearly outlined first.
- Your company’s vision – Defining the company’s future direction helps in determining what needs to be achieved currently, this month, this quarter, and onwards. Everything being done presently must bring the company closer to its vision.
- Revenue targets – This must be aligned with the company’s vision. How will it help the company’s vision to generate an X amount of dollars in sales in each quarter?
- Your ideal customer profile – It is no longer enough to identify your ideal customers through interests, association, demographics, etc. It is now essential to create an archetype of your ideal customers. This includes their background and pain points. This helps the sales team to quickly qualify prospects.
- Value proposition – How will you make customers understand that your products/services is/are beneficial in fulfilling their needs and how it is different or better from your competition?
- Budget Allocation – Sales involves various activities that require tools and software for salespeople, inclusive of training they would need to be able to sell more efficiently. Investing in your salespeople help in boosting revenue.
After you have clearly defined and outlined the points above, it’s time to create and build:
1. Identify your market and their persona.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to look at what’s already working for you in generating sales. Inspect your current customers and understand who is buying. This exercise is vital since there is a gap between target customers and actual customers.
2. Examine risks and opportunities.
Analyse your company’s current position by implementing a SWOT analysis. Examining your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats provides wisdom on where you can expand further and with the knowledge of possible risks involved. This paints a clear picture of your weaknesses in contrast to your competitors and spots your areas of strength.
3. Synergise marketing and sales.
Once you know where your business is at, you need to create synergy between marketing and sales functions, so they can work effectively alongside each other. Both these functions have parallel goals, and that is to drive customer acquisition and generate revenue.
One area marketing and sales can synergise is through content. It plays a critical role in attracting, engaging, and even converting buyers. Ensure to organise your content with buyers in mind and provide them with relevant and compelling content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Make sure both teams know how and when to use your content to engage prospects and existing customers.
4. Define your sales process.
Your sales process is a structured set of repeatable actions designed for sales teams to follow with a goal of converting prospects into paying customers. A sales process is a vital part of your sales strategy that covers what your salespeople should do at every stage of your prospect’s and/or customer’s buying process.
A sales process is vital, since without one, the only metric that you will be able to track is the number of deals closed and their value absent the visibility into the sales pipeline.
A sales process provides much-needed visibility of your sales team’s activities and insights into what works and identifying areas that need improvement. This is critical, especially in events when revenue fluctuates, you’d be able to easily identify where and why it happened.
5. Assemble the perfect team.
Hiring the right people who fit in with your current team and the company culture help in driving sales revenue. Having a happy sales culture not only attracts people to join in your organisation, but also helps in retaining your best salespeople.
No matter how good they may be, coaching them and providing them with necessary skills is still important. You also need to provide them with sales enablement content. These are necessary tools and resources to close deals, such as (but not limited to) battle cards, case study documents, sales email templates, etc. Sales enablement content helps prospects overcome concerns, answer product-related questions, and convert interested buyers into customers.
6. Prepare an action plan.
Create a workflow that breaks down all the tasks and activities involved in bringing you closer to your goals. Assign tasks and/or delegate team members with the right skills and experience. Set timelines for completion of tasks in sync with your revenue goals.
7. Invest in tools and software.
Now that you have all hands-on deck, you need an application to help you in capturing, tracking, and nurturing prospects or leads to implement your sales strategy. A tool that enables you to do all of these (and more) is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
Plan for success.
When dealing with sales targets, planning is vital for any business. A well-defined sales strategy is essential before you start selling your product or service, since it outlines your goals and ways to execute them. When there is a clear plan or strategy in place, you will know how to proceed to attain your goals.
What sales and marketing strategies have worked for you and your business? We would love to hear them. Or perhaps you are looking for new and innovative growth strategies to increase your annual revenue?
The Growth Manager can help you out with our Sales Mastery Mentoring Pack designed to teach you proven techniques that work. Our package will help empower you to develop winning strategies to increase your success in gaining sales for your business, today!