Still think that a successful sales strategy is about numbers alone? Sure, the amount of money you can invest and the scale of a sales strategy still matter, but today, numbers alone are not the only recipe for success.
These days, it’s not really about budget or the number of emails you send, but rather about your ability to define clear goals and see a larger picture. A quality sales strategy is an essential part of your business development plan, and a wise entrepreneur will never separate these two.
For instance, most successful B2B sales strategies formulate clear goals for the next three-ten years of business operations. Some businesses in B2C look at least a year ahead, which is also quite a timespan in a rapidly changing economy.
So, what can you do to formulate a successful sales strategy? These steps should be enough to get you started.
1. Hire sales reps that share your vision
Most business owners still think that hiring a super-experienced sales rep will magically solve all of their problems. In reality, it’s not always about past employment or a six-figure salary. The best sales representatives are people who share your vision and understand the value of your products and services. If they do, they should be able to come up with a strategy that conveys the same feeling to all of your potential prospects.
While it is not always easy to hire a team of people like that, you can focus on some other qualities that make a great sales rep. Look for intelligent people, who have a knack for entrepreneurship, are not afraid to think out of the box, and work only with verified data. Most often, candidates like these are also driven and hard-working, and a team like this can do wonders in the long run.
2. Clearly define your target audience
One can collect volumes of articles and books on customer targeting, but too many businesses today still do not have a good understanding of their target audience. A clearly defined ideal customer profile (ICP) is your key to success. Sadly, most business only answer a few basic questions about their ideal customers, leaving quite a lot of points undefined.
Usually, a properly defined ICP can answer many questions about your potential clients — pretty much like most people could answer about their close friends. There is a chance that your ICP is solid if it is detailed but simple to explain. Most importantly, it should have a clear plan on how to attract ever more customers regularly. This plan is the key to any successful sales and business development strategy.
3. Know how to appeal to your ideal customer
Having a plan on how to attract more customers is great, but to make sure your theoretical plan is successful in practice, you have to understand how you can appeal to the people you target. Once again, having a solid ICP will help you define the best ways to attract your ideal customers even from Google. But, you should not stop there; a quality sales strategy also has clear goals on how much revenue you will need to earn from your prospects.
The amount of revenue you need to stay afloat will, in turn, depend on your business model and the type of product/service that you are selling. For example, most enterprises deal with complex products and can invest a lot of time and money into advertising them. If, on the other hand, you have a self-service business model, you will need to act fast and make the most of every ad effort your make.
4. Conduct SWOT analysis for your business
This is not a job for one person, so you will need to get your sales, marketing, and product development teams on board if you want to have a truly comprehensive analysis. SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is always the result of team-work. Here, it is important to consider how you can sell to your current prospects, how you can attract more prospects, and how you can eventually turn all of them into paying clients.
While not always the easiest of tasks, a comprehensive SWOT analysis will help your existing sales team address any challenges you are facing now and build a solid development plan for the future.
5. Clearly define your corporate goals
Speaking of planning for the future, it is always important to have a set of clearly defined business goals in mind. As you work on SWOT analysis, you will once again see that every little detail of running a successful business is interconnected. You cannot analyze your strengths and weaknesses if you have not formulated any clear milestones you plan to achieve.
Also, remember that any milestones you set for your business development should be reasonable and smart. When introducing a brand new product, you cannot expect that it will dominate the market in the next five or ten years. While you surely should hope for the best, you should also understand how to plan for the worst.
6. Make sure your system is scalable and has room for improvement
Say, you want to attract twice as many clients within a year. The next question is — will you be able to provide same-quality products and services? This is what scalability is about — making sure your business has room for growth and can sustain any goals you set.
Ideally, your business should have room for regular, steady growth. If you feel that this is not the case at the moment, try speaking to your current customers. What do they like about your product/service? Do some of them feel there is room for improvement?
Then, brainstorm your employees with similar questions. Pay special attention when talking to your sales reps because they work on selling your goods every day. So, they should have a pretty good idea about their strongest and weakest selling points.
Finally, embrace the fact that there is no magical formula that will work in 100% of cases. Designing a successful sales strategy is about team-work, experiment, and innovation. Running a business means constantly embracing the change and being ready for it.
Article Submitted By Community Writer