Some Sales Strategies Just Suck….

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April 28, 2014
Some Sales Strategies Just Suck….

The only place opportunity can’t be found is in a close-minded person. – Bo Bennett, author of “Year To Success”

Hi and welcome back. Just spent a great week in Russia. The photo above is of me in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is a Must see city. A very successful business trip working with Samsung helping their B2B team develop sales strategies.

It seems that at this time of year, businesses can, and do, spend a lot of time and money setting strategy for the coming year. But what does that strategy mean to you? Can you relate to it? Can a strategy set in one country translate easily to another?

A sales strategy is fundamentally different to all other forms of strategy.

For the sales operation to succeed, it needs a clearly defined focus, like other elements of sales management process. Some of the challenges that are cornerstones in sales strategy include:

  • at1Firstly determine what went well and what bottomed out in the previous year and how the sales operation needs to change in order to move forward, basically conduct a truly honest review.
  • Secondly, look at changes in the market, including the arrival of new competitors and smarter buyers. How can you capitalise on those changes? Know your products strengths and weaknesses.
  • Thirdly, look to see how the sales team can work more efficiently and reduce the cost of sale, while simultaneously improving the effectiveness of the team.
  • Next see where Sales people are likely to find new buyers willing to consider the company’s value proposition, in a market that has a low growth rate and an increased number of competitors. Do your market segmentation analysis.
  • Understand how the skills set of the sales team needs to change to effectively address the demands and expectations of today’s buyers. Whether that means providing better technical support or further more effective training.

A sales strategy should be an effective road map to guide the sales team on a journey to greater revenue, better clients and higher engagement, without the right ingredients, that path is uncertain.

at2

So, let’s look at a few guidelines that can help you to create a strategy that will fulfil the promise of those goals:

  1. The golden rule that underpins any sales strategy is knowledge. Understand your market, your customers and the alternatives those customers have. Expand your own thinking beyond its present paradigm and in the process define a clear, focused unique selling proposition.
  1. A sales strategy recognises that a good part of success in selling is having the right people, well trained and committed. If your sales force is not the right fit then execution on the strategy will not happen. Ensure they are fit for purpose i.e. trained, keen and engaged.
  1. at3An effective sales strategy is based on knowing and doing what no one else in the sector has even considered, think outside the box. Take an educated risk and plan to succeed. Be innovative.
  1. Plan B doesn’t exist in sales. Invest the time to develop a quality strategy that will guide your sales team and the support team on the path to success and commit to making that plan work.

With these few guidelines, a sales strategy that delivers results is more likely to happen.

Til’ the next time…. Andrew

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