Your sales strategy creates your advantage
It’s happened so often that we’ve almost stopped being surprised by it, but we have to admit we’re intrigued by the number of businesses we have come across that don’t understand the power of a strong sales strategy. It’s something that typically comes up while we work through a brand or marketing strategy when we brief clients on a new project. The design process we use here at team scope helps us to develop an understanding of each business and its goals – we ask direct questions about sales methods, successes, challenges and profitability. And to this day, we’ve never met a client who didn’t want to make their sales more consistent and profitable – but hardly any of them know how to make it happen strategically.
What is a sales strategy?
A sales strategy is similar to a marketing strategy, and is synchronised with both the brand and marketing strategies. The marketing strategy defines your business’s core message, its target audience, the best channels to reach your audience, the ‘four P’s’, and the frequency with which you should put your message out there. Selling, on the other hand, consists of two main functions: strategy and tactics. Your sales strategy dictates how you plan your sales activities: how you’re going to reach clients, what your competitive difference is and which resources you have available to you. Your sales tactics involve the day-to-day selling: prospecting, sales processes and follow-up.
Although the tactics of selling are obviously very important, the competitive advantages of strategic sales planning are too compelling to ignore. A strategic sales plan will let you:
• Increase your closing ratio, because you know your clients’ ‘hot buttons’
• Improve client loyalty, because you understand and appreciate their needs.
• Shorten your sales cycles with outside recommendations.
• Outsell your competitors by offering the right solutions to your customer’s needs.
The moral of the story is that you need to look at both sides of the sales equation – tactics and strategy. If you make sure your brand, marketing and sales strategy are synergistic, then you develop a system where the sum of the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. And this will give your business a competitive edge that will deliver more consistent and more profitable sales.