According to a recent poll, most sales professionals consider closing more deals as the top sales priority. Businesses that share this concern are likely lacking a clearly defined sales strategy. Otherwise, they’d have a tested process in place that generates deals over and over again.
A sales strategy sounds like a concept that large companies toss around. However, everyone from the small business owner to the solo entrepreneur can benefit from a solid sales strategy. In this page, we explore everything you need to know about a sales strategy including:
A sales strategy is a concrete, step-by-step plan by an individual or a company to sell products or services for the purposes of generating and increasing revenues. It is the plan that enables you to successfully sell your products or service again and again. This strategy is always tested, evaluated, and optimized to facilitate the achievement of desired results.
In other words, a sales strategy involves understanding your unique selling points, identifying your target market, developing your pitch, and identifying the best sales channels. Done right, a strategy gives your sales team a clear focus and allows you to seize opportunities like a well-oiled machine.
A carefully-crafted sales strategy is critical to the survival and growth of your company. Many business owners hyper focus on product development and forging their marketing plan, leaving little room for the development and refinement of a sales strategy plan. This is a costly mistake.
To understand why, let’s first establish the difference between a marketing strategy and a sales strategy. The former is designed to increase your visibility, while the latter concentrates on actually making the sale. A sales strategy is concerned about generating real, quantifiable profits. No matter how good your product or marketing plan is, it will be for nothing if your sales process can’t produce results.
To get to the level where you can consistently generate desired results, you need a well-defined sales strategy that also covers your marketing plan.
In essence, the importance of your sales strategy goes way beyond the bottom line. It helps you modify who your customers are and how you approach them as well as fine-tune your sales tactics, and find the right people for your team.
Every business is unique. Therefore, you must come up with a sales strategy that suits your company’s identity and business model. To come up with a plan that fits your business, you have to determine the following:
A clear declaration of your company’s future direction helps you determine what you need to achieve now, this month, this quarter, and so on. Everything that you’re doing now and in the future must bring you closer to your vision.
Your revenue goals must be aligned to your company vision. Why do you want to generate $250,000 in sales this quarter and $1 million for the whole year? How does it help you achieve your company’s vision?
Gone are the days when you can identify your customers through demographics, interests, associations, and so on. You must create an archetype of your ideal customers including their personal background and pain point. This will help your sales team quickly qualify prospects.
Once you’ve identified your customers, come up with a plan on how to effectively reach them. Identify the best platforms to reach them: TV, radio, email, social media, and so on. Then, create a sales message that will both communicate your unique value proposition and make you stand out from your competition.
Come up with a workflow that breaks down all the tasks involved in bringing you closer to your goals. Assign the tasks to team members with the right skill set and experience. Put together a timeline for the completion of these tasks. Your timeline should be in sync with your revenue goals.
These elements are usually found in a sales strategy template that you can get online. By the end, you and your sales team would be able to generate clear priorities, strong guidelines, and measurable outcomes that everyone understands and are fully-equipped to implement.
Now that you have a sales strategy plan for your business, it’s time to put it into action. Let’s look at the application of the plan through sales strategy examples.
One of the easiest ways to generate more sales is to look at what’s already working. Look at your current customers and understand who’s actually buying your product. This is critical because in business, there’s often a gap between your defined customers and your actual customers. The former is whom you’re trying to market to while the latter are the ones making the purchase.
Get to know you’re actual buyers and create a customer persona that creates an identity rather than a compilation of figures. Here’s an example of a customer profile for an e-commerce consulting business:
Stephen is a 36-year-old retail store owner who is fairly successful selling homemade healthy chips to local customers. However, he knows he can make more sales and grow faster if can sell his product online. Unfortunately, Stephen has no idea where to begin. He has a website but it’s not making a lot of sales because it is not search engine optimized. He needs an expert to show him the ropes.
As opposed to the usual demographic-based profile that says 30 - 50 years old, business owner, retail industry, and so on, this profile tells a story that your sales team can quickly understand. With a persona of actual buying customers, you’re one step closer to generating consistent sales.
Create a new marketing plan based on the persona of your actual customers. Perhaps instead of using Facebook ads to market your service, you could better reach your customers through webinars, blog posts, and email marketing.
For example, your sales team would have a better chance of converting Small Business Owner Stephen if he became aware of your business through high quality SEO blog posts and was nurtured through a series of emails and free webinars. With this process, you build a relationship where you demonstrate authority and foster trust.
With all hands on deck to implement your sales strategy, you need an application that can help capture, track, and nurture prospective customers or leads. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software enables you to do all of those and more.
With a CRM software like Freshsales, you’ll be able to automatically capture and record lead information. Instead of manually entering data, the best CRMs in the market capture lead information and records them on your database.
On top of that, a sales CRM also enables you to nurture leads through various sales campaigns. Through this process, you can educate or provide value by sending relevant content or promotional offers. Using Small Business Owner Stephen as an example, you can create an automated campaign that sends blog posts or free webinar invitations based on predefined intervals.
This helps demonstrate your expertise, minimize resistance, and encourage the customer to purchase your product or service.
Your sales process needs to be regularly assessed and optimized. You need to see if your sales strategy delivers the expected return on your investment. After all, your sales strategy must be a repeatable process that gets you results.
Look at the various areas of your plan and identify which sales tactics and channels help you close more business. Perhaps for Small Business Owner Stephen, free webinar invitations gets you more business than free blog posts. Then a possible alternative strategy here is to use Facebook ads to market your free webinars.
Formulate new approaches to replace the ones that perform poorly. This way, you are able to get the most out of your sales process while cutting the waste.
According to a report, 9 out of 10 businesses with at least 10 employees use CRM software. After all, a study shows that using CRM helps improve revenues by up to 41 percent per sales representative. This means that most businesses including your competition invest in CRM applications. Hence, you risk becoming a laggard if you choose not to implement this technology as part of your sales strategy.
In this section, we reveal how you can take your sales efforts to the next level with the assistance of a sales CRM.
Scoring leads means assigning a particular value to each lead based on the likeliness of making a sale. The higher the score, the higher the chances of closing the deal. This enables your sales team to prioritize the most ready buyers.
Enter Freshsales. The best CRM software allows you to score leads using a combination of factors that assess quality of fit and level of interest. In other words, leads that match your customer profile and engage with your company are given high scores and labelled as hot leads. Here are sample factors that you can use to score leads:
With the help of a CRM system, you can put your efforts and resources to leads who are very likely to buy from your business. Get lead information from web forms, emails, and chat sans the manual work. With the enrichment feature in Freshsales, the CRM automatically records the lead’s profile with information such as company details, job title, and social media pages.
With your sales documents organized, you can launch sales campaigns with ease. Using a CRM software, you can design a workflow that lets you executes certain steps based on predetermined conditions.
For example, you can create an email campaign that performs certain steps such as email reminders or call reminders at an interval of three or four of days. Using Freshsales, you can put together a series of emails that you can send according to a predefined timeline or customer behavior. Every interaction takes you one step closer to making a sale or closing a new deal.
You can program these instructions ahead of time and watch your CRM automatically generate sales for you.
Your sales scripts, email messages, and objection management templates should be accessible to your sales team. It’s even better if these documents are stored in one place and can be retrieved using mobile devices.
The best CRMs in the market offer these features. They enable you create, save, and access sales templates using desktop and mobile devices. You’d want to equip your sales representatives with these resources so they can access important documents on the go.
Tracking the performance of your sales strategy is no easy feat, especially if this is something that you have to do manually. It consumes time that could have been spent nurturing or closing a lead. You can easily automate this part of your operations with the help of a CRM software.
The most effective CRMs generate multiple custom and visual reports that help you evaluate the performance and progress of your team. With the wealth of data at your fingertips, you can identify problem areas and make adjustments in your sales strategy.
With Freshsales, you can create custom reports on key sales metrics such as conversion rate, email open rate, and time to contact a lead. On top of that, the CRM also generates sales cycle and velocity reports. This feature enables business owners and sales managers to determine the sales stage where you struggle the most so you can come up with an informed action plan.
Get the best Customer Relationship Manager in Freshsales CRM. Signup and get a 30-day free trial that comes with 24/5 email and phone support. Revamping your sales strategy is one of the best times to integrate a CRM software.
Configure multiple sales pipelines for your business
How Freshsales helped customers drive growth and gain traction
Sales cycle and velocity reports to keep you up to date
Trendline reports to track sales trends and forecast deals
Sales activity reports for emails, phone calls, tasks & appointments
Create tasks and appointments from the deal pipeline
Prioritize activities from the deal pipeline
How to use sales pipeline in Freshsales