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.
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.
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:
How do you create a smart sales strategy? Here are the most essential steps.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
For tips and best practices for sales prospecting, check out these resources:
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.
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:
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:
You can use a CRM to track, access, and analyze this data.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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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