You know you need sales strategies to score the sale, but do you know how to create these strategies? It’s about more than just cold calling and loading up the customer with information. Today’s sales strategy best practices keep you and your sales team up-to-date and on your toes to exceed your goals.
Zero in on Six Best Practices
Sales strategies are designed to be generic and broad in scope. But that doesn’t mean the same strategy works for every company and client. To establish a competitive edge, focus on best practices.
Keep sales strategies adaptable. This means listening and observing – to your sales team, to your prospects, to your clients and to the market. Ask questions. Rely on your instincts. Adjust your strategies accordingly, ideally while you are in the sales process and not after, when it may be too late to salvage the sale.
Clearly define your goals. Are you targeting a sales number? Conversion rates? How many clients are in the pipeline at any given time?
Determine how you will measure success. Keep the focus on leading key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than lagging ones. Leading indicators are predictive and help you intervene before it’s too late. Think of how you forecast sales and the metrics – number of customer visits, prospects in the sales funnel, proposals on the table, etc. Low numbers, or low KPIs, signal that it’s time to adjust. With lagging indicators, it may be too late and the client may have one foot out the door.
Make sure your goals are clearly communicated to your sales team. If everyone is on a different page, they can’t work together to overcome challenges and evolve.
Play up your sales team’s strengths while working on the weaknesses. This requires commitment and hard work from your sales team. Thus, implementing a sales strategy is a good way to weed out lagging sales people. For a true competitive edge, also play up your competitors’ weaknesses.
Actually execute the strategy. Sales strategies can look great on paper or a white board, but they have to be actively put into play to work.
Sales Plan or Sales Strategy?
Do you know the difference? Your competitor probably does. Each plays a key yet distinctive role in building an efficient sales structure and closing the sale.
A sales plan lists the most important and effective things that your sales team can do to reach their sales goals.
A sales strategy outlines the required activities to reach clients and close sales, referred to as sales tactics. A strategy requires you to know and utilize specifics, such as your competitive differentiators, resources available and details about your target market.
This is where working with a sales consultant can help. He or she assesses your situation and builds a sales plan that will make your company standout from the competition, while helping you to implement best practices of a solid sales strategy.
At Progrowth Advisors, our team of licensed advisors has over 28 years of experience that allows us to truly see the big-picture perspective necessary to create success-oriented sales strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. To see where you stand and how you can improve, take our Sales Agility Assessment or schedule a one-on-one consultation.
Joe Dauskurdas is the founder of ProGrowth Advisors, a Sales Xceleration Consultant and a Certified Sales Leader. He builds sales plans and sales teams that help businesses exceed growth and sales targets. To learn more, contact Joe at Joe@ProGrowthAdvisors.com or 512-696-1333.