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February 04, 2020

How to create a winning sales strategy

Every business needs a sales strategy that informs how they will position their services in a meaningful way to their prospective clients. Sales strategy is useful in the later stages of business growth for sustainable market traction and to increase sales.

To ensure business growth, you need a sales strategy that has been thought out and a coordinated approach. The plan must utilize the available resources. Here is how to create a winning sales strategy.

1. Understand What Attracts Your Target Customer

The target audience is the most crucial part when coming up with a sales strategy. Understand the niche your product covers and determine how you want to position yourself in the market. Once you know the target audience, learn how to attract them. After this, set your sales goals, deadlines, and milestone tracking based on the target customer.

Jason Zook, a serial entrepreneur, discourages from creating a product without a specific client in mind. He states that by creating a product for everyone, you are creating for no one. Understand how big the market is, the demand for your products, and your current market position. Some of the ways to identify consumer needs include market research, industry reviews, and market surveys. Understanding the target audience allows you to align the sales and marketing of your company to provide a unified buyer experience.

2. Set Realistic Sales Goals 

Whether based on customers reached or sales, every winning sales strategy has a specific goal to achieve. Your sales goals should align with the market, the available resources to the sales team, and the other company goals. Your goals must be devoid of wishful thinking or being overoptimistic. Start by looking into the previous results and then determine how much you can improve. You should also do away with personal assumptions and biases.

Once you have your sales goals, stick to them, even if the market changes, or until you realize a mistake on the forecast. The set goals will act as your measurements of success or failure. You will only make changes in later versions when looking for ways to improve. To set realistic sales, involve your sales team throughout the process. Seek their opinion and information about the clients. Remember to seek feedback from an experienced party before settling on the goals.

3. Include Clear Milestones and Deadlines

The only way to determine if your sales strategy is winning is through deadlines and milestones. With the milestones and deadlines in place, you can track the achievements of the plan. Deadlines and milestones act as motivation for the sales team. They also help avoid confusion on the roles of the group.

To set milestones, you need to base them on your sales and company goals. Research to determine achievable milestones. The milestones should not be so hard on your sales team that it kills their morale. Take into account the individual abilities of your sales team. Interact with everyone to determine their most desirable strategy and achievements. With the information, you can customize everyone’s deadlines depending on individual abilities.

4. Define Your Ideal Customer

Every business has a perfect customer. To come up with a winning sales strategy, you must be in a position to describe your ideal customer's profile. Create the ideal client persona to gain a deeper understanding of their buying behaviors. With this information, you can use the right strategies to delight them and increase sales. Your customer profile should contain their problems, goals, motivation, and purchasing tendencies.

Once you have established the ideal customer’s profile, use the information to create a personalized sales strategy. According to Accenture, customers are 75% more likely to buy from outlets that recognize their name, provide purchase recommendations, and understand their purchase history. Defining your ideal customer profile also comes in handy when creating ads. Creating an ad that appeals to customers increases their chances of buying from you.

5. Establish Clear, Differentiated Roles on Your Sales Team

You need a winning sales team to execute a winning strategy. The more your business grows, the more you will need a talented, well-trained, and reliable sales team. No matter how skilled or qualified they are, everyone comes with unique strengths and weaknesses.

Have specific roles when setting up your team. The available positions determine the talents you put to the particular task. Different sales roles require different skills and qualifications. For example, outside sales need an individual who is goal-oriented and self-motivated to meet deadlines without supervision. On the other hand, inside sales require interpersonal skills to help establish and maintain strong business relationships.

Creating roles based on specialization allows the team to hone their skills and become experts. If they do not, then they will be all over the place and there will be minimal impact on their work.

6. Create a Culture of Experimenting with Your Sales Strategy Before You Pivot

For the ultimate winning sales strategy, come up with different ideas. Not every approach will be successful. Even though an idea might be successful for a competitor, you can opt for a new concept to avoid direct competition. To prevent confusion when coming up with ideas, stay open to experiments as they often lead to surprising insights. Using sales analytics tools, you can track the progress of your team using different metrics.

Are you confused about how to create your first sales strategy? Start by varying the messages. Try using a similar message to that of your competitors, a bit of humor, and at times straightforward clarity. Note the conversions rate from each approach to determine which one works best. To sell more products, compare strategies that discuss problems or find pain points. Other sales experiments can involve trials vs. no trials, automation vs. no automation, and full sales rep ownership vs. appointment setters.

7. Be Deliberate When Expanding Your Reach

Growth is natural in any business set up. The more you grow, the more you desire to expand your operations to reach new prospects and markets. Sustained growth demands superior features, more sales reps, and expansive sales and marketing strategies and goals. Once you decide to explore new markets, create a plan on how to go about it. Your sales strategy must outline how to handle new clients, competitors, and operational costs.

8. Use Channel Partners to Accelerate Growth

As much as you might want to work with channel partners to help sell your products, this has limited chances if you are new in the market. Create the first few clients for yourself. During the initial period, take notice of the client's reactions and behavior towards your products.

Once you have the market power and produce the right products for your intended customers, introduce channel partners to speed up your growth. When expanding to newer markets, only engage the reseller and other channels when you have the production capacity and you are ready for expansion.

9. Apply SWOT Analysis 

You have to understand your company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to create a winning sales strategy. Using a SWOT analysis can determine both the external and internal factors that affect your business.

Understanding your strengths is the best way to start developing your sales strategy. Determine what your sales team does best and how your clients benefit from your products. After which you must understand what your products offer that the competitors don't and other unique selling points.

Take time to identify your weaknesses and solve them as early as possible. Establish what the competitors and clients think is your weakness and improve upon those. Also, understand the reasons for lost leads. Eliminate your weaknesses while building your strengths.

Encourage your sales team to be open to noticing new opportunities. They should be looking for new markets, ways of making more profits, and how to strengthen the business. The opportunities should match your strengths. To ensure business survival, you must constantly identify and deal with threats. Some common threats are competition, debt, and other external challenges.

10. Always Follow Up

As much as you might want to find new clients, you need to retain the existing ones. According to Forbes, selling to a new client is 5 to 20 times more costly than selling to a current client. Follow up helps improve revenue by allowing you to sell existing clients while also getting referrals to new clients. A sound follow-up strategy with an excellent attitude increases your chances of retaining the existing clients. Some of the best follow-up strategies to use include; sending thank you notes, checking-in for customer opinion, and keeping the line of communication open.

Bottom Line

Use these steps to create an executable sales strategy. When you apply them, you will end up with a system that your sales team understands, with measurable outcomes, and clear guidelines.

About Eniture Technology

Eniture Technology specializes in helping e-Commerce merchants grow by providing useful information, digital marketing services, off-the-shelf apps that solve common problems, and custom programming services. Please contact us if you need help growing your online business or implementing the concepts presented in this blog post.

Interested in learning more?  Start with our free guide on how to increase online sales, and subscribe to our blog!

How To Increase Online Sales