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Creating and Implementing Sales Strategies

If you want to get results consistently, you need a well-defined sales strategy and process for your sales team.

In this playbook, we’ll cover how to create an effective sales strategy and define your sales process. Read through this guide for an introduction to sales strategies and click through to the additional resources to learn more.

What is a sales strategy?

A sales strategy is a detailed plan for an organization’s approach to sales. It describes positioning, target markets, sales processes, techniques, goals, and more. The sales strategy guides the actions sales teams take toward achieving meaningful results.

What is a sales strategy?

Why do you need a sales strategy?

A sales strategy keeps sales representatives aligned with each other and the goals of the sales team and the organization as a whole. Creating a strategy enables you to set meaningful goals, track progress, and create processes that you can improve over time. A strategy provides direction for the sales team and ensures the whole team is working toward the same goal.

Want to learn more about sales strategies? Explore these sales strategy resources:

the benefits of creating a sales strategy

Key steps to creating a sales strategy

How do you create a smart sales strategy? Here are the most essential steps.

Identify your target market and customer segments

To create a sales strategy, you need to know who your product or service is intended for and who your ideal customers are. This involves analyzing data on customer demographics, purchasing patterns, and more. Create a profile that describes your ideal customer and the segments who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. You can then tailor your sales techniques to these segments.

Identify your target market

Conduct competitor and market analysis

When creating your sales strategy, it’s crucial that you understand the market and competitive landscape. Determine who your competitors are and how your product or service differs from theirs. This knowledge will help you develop your value proposition, create effective messaging, and select the right sales techniques.

Learn more competitor and market analysis:

Conduct competitor and marketing analysis

Develop your value proposition and messaging

Your value proposition guides how your sales team will explain the unique benefit your product or service provides. Ensure your value proposition is tailored to your target market’s needs and preferences. The messaging you use to explain the value proposition should be clear, concise, and compelling and should focus on the benefit to the customer.

Tailor your value proposition to your target market

Set sales goals and define key performance indicators

Setting sales goals is an essential part of creating a sales strategy. Your goals and targets give you something to work toward with your strategy and provide direction and motivation for your team. When setting goals, choose realistic targets that align with the company’s overall goals and define the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure and track progress.

Learn more about sales goals:

Set sales goals and define KPIs

Defining your sales process

In addition to a sales strategy, effective sales teams also have a well-defined sales process.

While your sales strategy defines your overall vision and goals for your sales team, your sales process lays out the steps sales representatives take daily to generate leads, qualify prospects, close deals, and reach their goals.

The best sales processes are clearly defined, repeatable, and used by the vast majority of the sales team. You can use customer relationship management (CRM) software to help you design your sales process, track leads throughout the process, and automate parts of the process.

When defining your sales process, it’s important to make sure the roles and responsibilities of the sales team are clear. Also be sure to choose sales channels and distribution methods that align with your target market and goals, such as direct sales or online sales.

Learning more about creating an effective sales process:

Use CRM software to help you design your sales process

Tips for prospecting

One fundamental step in the sales process to consider when creating your sales strategy is the prospecting phase.

Prospecting refers to the process of finding potential customers, determining whether they’re a good fit to become a customer, and if so, working to move them further through the sales pipeline.

When creating your sales strategy and process, define:

  • What makes a good prospect
  • How sales reps should connect with prospects
  • How sales reps should determine whether a prospect is a good fit
  • The techniques sales reps should use to move prospects through the funnel

For tips and best practices for sales prospecting, check out these resources:

sales prospecting definition

More sales strategy tips and best practices

Want to learn more about how to perfect your sales strategy? We’ve got you covered. Follow these best practices to improve your sales performance and get the most from your strategy.

More sales strategy tips

Align your sales team with other departments

When sales, marketing, customer support, and other departments can work together, your organization will be more effective. Aligning and connecting these various departments allows them to share helpful information and ensures they’re working toward the same goals.

For example, marketing supports sales by generating leads, increasing brand awareness, and positioning the company in the market. Working with the sales team helps marketing generate the right kinds of leads and position the brand in a way that matches your sales strategy. Marketing and sales should also have access to the same data, such as through a CRM, so that they can track leads through the marketing and sales funnel.

When customer support and sales work together, they can share information about customer pain points, keep data current through a CRM, and collaborate on increasing customer retention.

Learn more about aligning sales with marketing and customer support:

Ensure sales and marketing have access to the same data

Use data in your sales strategy

If you want to create the best possible sales strategy, using data is essential. If you’re creating a sales strategy for a new business, look at data on your market, target audience, and competitors. You likely have at least some historical sales and customer data too — this data is extremely valuable for creating and refining your sales strategy.

The data you can use includes:

  • Data about interactions with prospects, leads, and customers
  • Sales data such as sales volume, lead volume, and win rate
  • Data about customer demographics, preferences, interests, and more

You can use a CRM to track, access, and analyze this data.

Learn more about using data in your sales strategy:

Use a CRM to track, access, and analyze sales data

Hire the right team

Your sales representatives and managers are the ones who will implement your sales strategy, so, of course, it’s essential that you build the right sales team. Define the roles you need to fill as part of your sales strategy and look for team members who have the skills, knowledge, and motivation to fill those roles.

Learn more about how to hire the right sales team:

Hire the right team

Providing ongoing training and support to the sales team

Training and support is another key aspect of enabling a sales team to be successful. Ongoing training on things like sales techniques and product knowledge can help both new and experienced sales representatives reach their goals. To make your sales strategy more effective, build ongoing training into it.

the benefits of ongoing training for sales reps

Create plans for sales presentations

Sales presentations can make the difference in whether a deal is won or lost, so you’ll want to make sure your team has the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to create and give excellent ones.

In your strategy, include processes for when team members give sales presentations, the information they should include, and techniques they can use to make them more effective. Of course, presentations should be tailored to the potential customer, but training on best practices for your strategy can go a long way.

Check out these resources for sales presentation tips:

Sales presentations can make the difference in whether a deal is won

Develop plans for troubleshooting poor sales

Your sales strategy should also include plans for how to deal with poor sales. Including this in your strategy helps ensure your team is prepared for challenges they may run into.

When developing your sales strategy, it pays to consider the barriers to sales your team will likely face, such as competition, price sensitivity, and resistance to learning about a new product. Identifying potential barriers early and putting together strategies to overcome them will help set your sales team up for success.

Strategies for troubleshooting poor sales might include a process for determining the root of the problem, offering an incentive to leads to boost sales, and various other techniques.

For tips on dealing with poor sales, explore these resources:

Common barriers to winning sales: competition, price sensitivity, and resistance to learning a new product

Invest in tools and software

Another important aspect of a sales strategy is choosing tools and software that will set your sales team up for success.

One of the most important tools you’ll choose is your CRM, which will help you:

  • Design, execute, and track your sales process
  • Collect, track, analyze and report on your lead and customer data
  • Collaborate with various teams

Other tools you may want to invest in include project management tools, email management tools, live chat tools, and collaboration tools such as internal chat and video call software.

Learn more about sales tools and software:

Invest in tools and software

Evaluate and refine your sales strategy on an ongoing basis

Creating an effective sales strategy and process is essential for the success of any sales team. The resources in this guide will help you create a strategy that works for your business, team, and customers.

Evaluate and refine your sales strategy

Sales teams trust Nutshell

If you’re looking for a CRM to help you manage your sales process, consider Nutshell. Our CRM makes it easy to design your process, track your customer data, automate sales tasks, and much more.

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