06/06/2023 0 Comments
What makes a good sales strategy & who should be involved in its implementation?
In the world of business, a well-thought-out sales strategy can make all the difference between success and failure.
A good sales strategy sets a clear direction for your sales team(s), it aligns your efforts with your company’s goals, and helps you stay ahead of your competition. In this article, we will explore what makes a good sales strategy and who should be involved in its delivery and implementation.
Elements of a good sales strategy
A good sales strategy is built on several key elements, including:
1. Your Sales Growth Goals and Objectives
2. Identification of Your Target Audience
3. Analysis of Your Market including the Competition
4. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or alternatively your Customer Value Proposition (CVP)
5. Your Sales Channels and Go-to-Market Strategies
6. Sales Forecasting and Measurement/ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Each of these elements plays an essential role in building a comprehensive and effective sales strategy.
Your Sales Growth Goals and Objectives
If you’re not clear on what you’re looking to achieve then how will you know you’ve achieved it or are even close to achieving it?
Are you sure that you’re even heading in the right direction?
Articulating your goals and objectives is the best way to get off to a good start in terms of scaling your business.
Sales goals and objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Your sales team should have a clear understanding of what they need to accomplish and how their efforts will contribute to the overall success of your company.
From there you can develop your sales tactics and highlight the activities or specific actions you require your sales team tol take to achieve your sales goals and objectives. This can include various lead generation approaches including prospecting and cold calling to product demonstrations, and closing sales. Basically, the sales approaches that fit with the nature of your business.
Identification of Your Target Audience
Target audience identification involves defining your ideal customer and understanding their needs and preferences. This information will help you tailor your sales approach and messaging to resonate with your target audience.
This will involve developing a persona or personas of your ideal client(s) - those people within the businesses you are targeting with your solution.
Elements to consider are:
• The role of the individual within the business you are targeting
• What goals are they looking to achieve in their role?
• What challenges do they face? What’s stopping them from achieving their goals?
• How your solution suppports them in overcoming their challenges and reaching their goals?
• What are the personal impacts of them achieving achieving their goals or not?
• And various other considerations
Knowing your customer is central to the success of a business and understanding this will support everything else that follows.
Analysis of Your Market including the Competition
Market analysis involves researching your industry and identifying market trends, competitor activity, and customer needs. This information will help you identify opportunities and challenges that your sales team will need to address.
There are many tools available and activities that can support you to gain access to the information you need to make informed decisions for your business based on what the market is doing.
Creating a systemised process around this area can get you off to a good start in the initial stages of your business or can help you identify where you are and from there you can decide how best to proceed.
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or alternatively your Customer Value Proposition (CVP)
A unique selling proposition (USP) is what sets your product or service apart from your competitors. It should be clear, concise, and communicate the value that you offer to your customers.
Oftentimes, what someone believes to be unique isn’t necessarily so. It is therefore by taking a deep dive into your business and understanding what exactly you do for your customers that separates you from others in a similar category that can help you define what you uniquely do that is of benefit to them.
This is whereby having undertaken market analysis in the previous section, you will be better placed to understand and express your unique selling proposition.
Your Sales Channels and Go-to-Market Strategies
A sales channel refers to the various methods or paths through which a company or business distributes and sells its products or services to its customers. It is essentially the route or platform that connects the producer or seller to the end consumer. Here's a brief overview of the various sales channels available:
• Direct sales (direct to customer)
• Retail sales (via third party retailers)
• Wholesale sales (selling in bulk through an intermediary to retailers)
• Online sales
• Indirect sales (through distributor networks, agents and independent sales representatives)
• Partner and Affiliate sales (collaborating with other businesses or individuals to promote and sell products)
Then there are different strategies within those from telemarketing and prospecting to developing business networks and attending exhibitions and/or other business events.
It's important for businesses to carefully consider and evaluate their target market, product characteristics, and customer preferences when choosing the most suitable sales channels and lead generation approaches.
Often, a combination of different sales channels is utilised to maximise market reach and increase sales opportunities.
Sales Forecasting and Measurement/ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Sales forecasting and measurement involve tracking your sales performance, identifying areas for improvement, and making adjustments to your sales strategy as needed. This information will help you stay on track and make data-driven decisions.
There are many tools available to support you in tracking the sales performance of your business and this is where things can get a little complicated and perhaps overwhelming.
Understanding the core metrics important to the growth of your business is paramount as many can get sidetracked and obsessed with vanity metrics that don’t contribute to the bottom line.
It’s always best to start with something rudimentary in place and develop as the demands of the business become more sophisticated.
So now that you have your sales strategy in place, it’s crucial to know who is required to ensure it is successfully implemented within your business.
Let’s explore this.
The importance of involving key stakeholders - who should be involved and why
A good sales strategy requires collaboration and buy-in from several key stakeholders. This generally includes member from the sales team (of course), the marketing team, the customer service team, the product development team (yes, really), and the executive leadership team.
Each of these stakeholders brings a unique perspective and expertise that can help you build a more effective sales strategy.
Let’s look at them in turn.
Sales team members are on the front lines of your sales efforts and can provide valuable insights into customer needs and preferences.
Marketing team members can help you craft a compelling message and promotional materials that resonate with your target audience.
Customer service team members can provide feedback on customer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.
Product development team members can provide insights into product features and benefits that can help you differentiate your offering.
Finally, the executive leadership team can help you align your sales efforts with your company’s overall goals and provide guidance and support as needed.
Strategies for involving key stakeholders
To effectively involve key stakeholders in your sales strategy, you should establish regular team meetings, use collaboration and communication tools, incentivise and motivate team members, and establish feedback and evaluation mechanisms.
Regular team meetings can help you stay aligned and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals. Collaboration and communication tools can help you stay connected and share information and resources more efficiently.
Incentivising and motivating team members can help you maintain morale and productivity, and feedback and evaluation mechanisms can help you identify areas for improvement and make adjustments as needed.
So there you have it - your sales strategy framework.
A good sales strategy is critical for business success, and the fundamental components of creating one include:
1. Being clear on your goals and objectives
2. Understanding your target buyer
3. Knowing the market you operate in and the other players within it
4. Articulating your USP/CVP
5. Developing the sales channels and process that is fit for purpose
6. Deploying a system for measuring and tracking performance to ensure you know whether you are on track to hit your goals or not.
Furthermore, involving key stakeholders in its delivery and implementation can help ensure that your strategy is well-rounded and effective.
By taking the time to go through the elements outlined above to develop a comprehensive sales strategy that involves input from across your organisation, you can create a winning approach that helps you stand out in a noisy market.