Successful sales professionals know that every little advantage matters if you want to dominate the market. If you can come up with an effective sales strategy plan to distinguish yourself from the competition, you should seize it. But how do you build the right sales strategy template that will empower your sales representative and help them create amazing pitches?
Here, we'll define what sales strategies are, eight types of sales strategies you can try, and how each one can help you reach your organizational goals.
Simply put, sales strategies are sales tactics, goals, or actions that form a guide for how your sales reps will position your organization and products to market segments.
It also serves as sales training for all the best practices which your employees must remember and use. It has distinct objectives for product positioning, competition analysis, and your sales processes.
An effective sales strategy hones your sales teams' strengths, trains them to craft a more appealing sales pitch, and improves conversion rate. Gradually, it will lead to a loyal customer base and a strong sales team.
Because it gives you an in-depth look at sales activity, it's one of the best sales tools for reaching revenue goals and getting insights to improve team performance. If you don't know which strategy to use or have problems with your current one, you can use People.ai to get powerful insights into your sales and marketing team.
You'll find the following practices useful if you're putting together a sales strategy plan:
You need to develop goals so you can accurately measure if your marketing teams' activities are delivering the best possible results. Keep your goals as measurable and specific as possible. For example, you can task your team to increase lead generation by 40% in Q1. This will clarify performance evaluation when the time comes.
Create a list of attributes and baseline criteria that your sales managers should use to screen prospective employees. This is crucial to finding and retaining talented representatives.
After that, you should have a comprehensive onboarding plan that will guide them through the sales process and prepare them to handle customers. Don't forget to reward hard work with proper compensation and benefits to build employee morale and loyalty.
Create metrics that will help you track organizational performance throughout the sales cycle, be it on company, team, or individual levels. Examples of metrics you can use to measure performance are monthly reviews and KPIs.
Track all aspects of the sales process from the pitch to closing. This is crucial to refining your sales process and developing best practices for your organization's growth. Even if your organization is just starting out, this will help you set benchmarks and document your team's progress towards these goals.
It's not enough to have a superior or unique product offering. You need to distinguish your organization and product during the sales process. Here are eight sales strategies that can help you stand out from the pack.
Create detailed customer profiles (a.k.a. buyer personas) that describe your targeted market segments. This should include notes on their buying process, market size, and psychographics. It should connect to your product offering and how it can address pain points.
A nexus is defined as a connection between two or more things. In successful sales strategies, a nexus is an insight that will change the way your customer sees a problem and thinks about it. This insight is usually polarizing, but this is fine as long as the majority of your target market agrees with it and the solution you offer.
The best nexus for your organization is polarizing, challenges your customer's confidence, and makes them question the way they think. Persuade them that the status quo needs to change.
"Sell the problem, then sell the solution" is a popular sales strategy to reach more customers. However, we often fail to think of how a product offering offers a distinct solution. There are a number of ways to solve a problem, but typically your product can only do a few of them.
Go back and think about the problem that your unique selling point solves. This will help your sales reps distinguish your product and emphasize its value.
We often say "time is money", and there's nothing that a prospective customer hates more than feeling like you're wasting their time. When making sales calls, your solution selling should get to the point fast. Emphasize the value immediately.
This is especially true for cold calls. You are more likely to build new customer relationships if you open the call by immediately saying why you're calling. Make it a point to shorten cold emailing and calls with all prospective and existing buyers.
Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are those that your marketing team has measured to be more likely potential customers. However, generating them takes a lot of time and hard work. To optimize team performance, you should use a marketing automation program to get better leads.
Different programs have different ways of doing this. Try a few and see which best works with your company's sales process. Some score leads to see if they fit your ideal customer profile before your sales reps reach out. Others track customers' browsing behavior to get feedback on what content matters most to them.
The key to customer acquisition is to show them that you understand their problem better than the competition. Stop harping on product functionality and the superior features, and start training your sales organization to learn about your potential customers' problems.
Put them in the buyer's shoes and encourage them to think about what makes them tick. By knowing their pain points, you can effectively show how your organization and product can successfully solve these.
Let's face it, no organization or product can do everything. Take an honest look at your competitors and what they're best at. Then think about what that strength fails to solve for your ideal customers.
For example, Apple may not have Microsoft's broad customizability. However, it’s instead positioned itself as an easy-to-learn, one-size-fits-all tech and device provider. This allowed it to capture a large customer base that wasn't into tinkering with systems and programs.
It's okay to acknowledge your opponent's strengths, and some customers may actually appreciate this as a sign of honesty. This even builds trust in your organization. The key is to figure out how your own organization can do something better than your competition.
Weak links can hurt the entire organization, but there's also no way that everyone can be good at everything. Instead of forcing each sales employee to optimize their performance for every role, examine their strong points and jobs in your organization.
Make every sales employee well-rounded for all tasks. This will help cover all bases with core competency. Then, train them to excel at a specific role, be it presenting strategies or closing on qualified leads.
Your team leaders shouldn't be doing their subordinates' tasks. This wastes time, stifles employee potential, and negatively impacts organization growth. Coach employees on how they can best do their roles, and use data to help you understand what they need to improve their performance.
Simple: get performance insights. Most of the time, we blindly process sales conversations without making connections between results and employee practices.
By taking a closer look at the impact of each employee and their actions on the customer journey, you can better understand team performance. This will help you give more effective recommendations for improvement, and let you evaluate if your marketing plan will attain your sales goals.
These sales strategies are just a few examples of how you can outperform the competition and increase your market share. In the coming years, expect to see more companies use new technology and solutions to widen their customer base and improve their sales performance.
This is where a solution like People.ai can come in handy. Find out more about how it can help you get a closer look at your target customers, reduce operational expenses, and improve team performance. Schedule a demo today!