4 Apr 2023
A sales strategy is a plan that every company needs to achieve sales goals. How to create successful sales strategies, and what should they contain? Read our article and learn more about builiding effective sales strategy.
A sales strategy is – in simple words – a well-thought sales process that includes your company’s sales goals and a way of reaching target customers.
It is hard not to agree with Richard Rummelt, the management expert, who says:
“A good strategy is a coherent set of analyses, concepts, policies, arguments, and actions that allow achieving an important goal. This is what most organizations usually lack. Instead of these elements, they only have many goals and initiatives that symbolize progress. But they do not have any coherent plan to make that progress, except spend more and try harder“.
A sales strategy is not a general direction that a company is willing to take. It should not contain any vague values written down somewhere on a sheet of paper and forgotten by employees.
Building a sales strategy does not rely only on setting up sales goals, making strategic sales plans, or choosing the way your product or service will be distributed among existing customers or new customers. A good sales strategy should describe the way your company wants to move forward.
The strategy is a complex activity that encompasses the substantive preparation of salespeople to hold professional conversations with clients. It also includes creating offers that help your company to stand out in comparison to other businesses. According to Rummelt, the sales strategy is finding a way for a given company to develop and grow.
In other words, the sales strategy plan takes into consideration many factors to increase revenue. Moreover, if you create an effective sales strategy, you know which good practices your company should follow for future growth.
In relation to the behavior of sales reps and sales planning, we can divide sales strategies into inbound sales strategies and outbound sales strategies.
Inbound sales strategy – sales reps do not persuade target customers to buy products, instead of this, they treat potential paying customers as individuals.
A sales rep tries to get to know a target customer, their problems and needs. Thanks to this, a salesperson can create a personalized offer. This kind of sales strategy is based on educating customers and providing them with information.
Outbound sales strategy – this is the sales strategy that relies on searching for clients by sales reps – persuading, calling, sending e-mails, and arranging meetings.
A sales process is complex, therefore, companies decide to mix these sales strategies to achieve their revenue goals and be more successful.
Regardless of how a sales process is complicated, it should consist of several layers. According to Rummelt, the good sales strategy has a logical structure called the kernel. It is a mixture of activities and thoughts that are decisive factors as far as a successful sales strategy is concerned.
The kernel of a sales strategy consists of three elements:
On the other hand P. Kotler and the “Encyclopedia of Management”, point out such elements of a sales strategy as:
You are aware that a sales strategy can consist of different elements. Some sources distinguish the differences between a strategy and a strategic sales plan. (A strategic sales plan can be a part of a broader strategy).
Obviously, is hard to think critically about your own company and the sales activities of sales and marketing teams.
Creating professional sales tactics can be demanding. Therefore, if you want to develop a successful sales plan, you need to have a pattern of behavior that your sales teams have to follow.
If you want to create a great sales strategy, start with an observation of sales processes and business processes in your company. You need to see the bigger picture to perceive the actual situation.
The elements important to strategic sales planning:
What is good to know?
How many sales reps work in your sales teams?
Do you have a professional sales department?
How often do salespeople contact customers?
How do they take care of customer retention?
Have you defined a sales pipeline and know the sales pipeline stages?
What do sales managers and reps know about products or services? Do you provide any professional sales training?
Do you use sales enablement tools to affect sales performance?
What kind of marketing strategy does your company have? Are your marketing strategies successful?
What are your budget, revenue, and profit? What affects all these factors?
A strategic sales plan has to be preceded by an analysis of various sales documents. Look at the available sales data, sales cycle, the effectiveness of sales teams, and the details of your offer. Remember that your sales goals have to be realistic. Too low sales goals will not lead to a sales pitch, on the other hand, too high sales goals will be unreachable and discourage sales professionals in your organization.
You have done an analysis of your sales organization, however, are you sure that you have the most important information? What are the necessary elements of the most effective meetings with customers? Do salespeople use scripts? Does your company have an established standard of customer service? What are the selling methods and techniques that you use to achieve sales plans?
If you have no knowledge about this, think about redefining your strategy and sales plan.
Richard Rummelt mentioned the importance of the evaluation of a sales strategy:
“A good strategy is based on laboriously acquired knowledge, and each new strategy is an opportunity to gain new experience. From a scientific point of view, the new strategy resembles a hypothesis, and its implementation – an experiment. As results emerge, effective leaders accumulate knowledge about what works and what does not and adjust strategies accordingly.”
Now you know what elements comprise a good sales strategy, and you can create your own strategic sales plan. The next step is to realize what the advantages of implementing the strategy are.
You are aware that it is impossible to implement a strategic sales plan without effective sales analytics and other important processes. However, to create a detailed and well-developed strategic sales plan, you need reliable data.
A modern CRM system and an app from Salesbook support salespeople at every stage of the sales process. Moreover, it gives you the exact data that you need to create your sales plan.
Salesbook gathers hard sales data:
These are only examples of data that you can check with our tool. Salesbook offers an extended Reports module that provides you with all the necessary information you need.
The next step in a sales plan and strategy is an analysis of customers. Salesbook can help you with that too.
Thanks to Salesbook, you know:
Salesbook can provide you with more information about your business. If you want to make a strategic sales plan and set your goals, Salesbook will help you in several ways:
Thanks to Salesbook, you obtain hard quantitative data, but you gain also qualitative data.
What can you know from Salesbook?
A sales strategy and strategic sales plan are essential to your company. So it cannot be written on the basis of random data. Salesbook is a tool that allows you to set up realistic goals and help you in achieving success.
Do you want to set your strategic sales plans with Salesbook? Try the free demo.
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