A lack of sales experience or specialist sales knowledge within your management team can produce erratic results over time. To turn things around and enable your small business to thrive you need an efficient sales strategy that produces consistent revenue.
Implementing a sales strategy requires a tailored approach that meets your business' specific needs. This includes synchronising sales operations and applying expert skills that will ensure your sales division exceeds its targets.
If your sales function isn't delivering on results, this article will help. We explore what a best practice sales strategy is and how to implement one in your business.
A successful sales strategy is a business-wide plan used by all salespeople when selling products or services and involves including key points when speaking to potential customers. Let's look in detail at how this strategy can be used to advance your business.
Assess where you’ve been and where you are now
To move forward with the future, first you need to look at the past. Carry out an assessment of your previous year by drilling down into the performance of your sales function, which will highlight what is being done well and what you need to work on.
As part of this, look at: how much you sold, who sold it, which clients brought the most/least profit, and how much was repeat business. Then consider what has changed since then and how will you achieve growth? Does your team need additional support to do so?
A SWOT analysis reviews your organisation's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that could impact the overall success of the business. This is a valuable starting point for your marketing strategy as it provides insights into where your business is now and how this can be used to create a successful action plan.
Set a clear market strategy
Now that you know where you have been and have started working out where you want to go, start to formulate these into the foundation of a sales strategy. Typically, the faster revenue will come from existing customers, while the slowest will come from converting new customers. Consider the following and how they apply to your business:
- How much can you grow existing accounts?
- How can you leverage existing accounts to get referrals?
- How much can you increase revenue inside existing areas?
- How much can you increase revenue outside existing areas with new products?
Create revenue goals
By combining your revenue targets with the sales strategy you’ve created you can generate realistic revenue goals for different areas and individual salespeople. Once you reach this point, consider what support your team will need to achieve these goals and then work together to make this a reality.
Create an action plan
Once you know your targets, how much revenue you want to generate and where it should come from, you need to create a plan to support these goals. Work with your sales team to design a system and timeline, which may involve working with marketing and existing leads. Ask questions to help guide the action plan, such as: how much of each type of revenue do you need to make? How many sales and calls does this represent?
Track, measure, and adjust as you go
A sales strategy is a living document that should evolve over time. Continually review what's working, what's not and adjust it as needed. Like all aspects of your business, to be successful the plan should adapt to accommodate new features, campaigns and team members.
To enable your small business to thrive you need a solid, detailed sales strategy. Following the above process will give your sales team clear priorities, guidelines and milestones that everyone can work towards to keep you on track and achieving your sales goals.