What is a Sales Strategy (and How Can You Build an Effective One?)

Building a Sales Strategy

Just what is a Sales Strategy? More importantly, how can your company build an effective Sales Strategy to increase sales and boost market share? Let’s start with the basics by defining “Sales Strategy”:

Sales Strategy Definition

For top sales performance and results, your Sales Strategy should be…

…a well-defined, goal-focused, clearly communicated, and mission-oriented plan that positions your solutions (i.e., your products and services) uniquely in the minds of your targeted customers, while also providing actionable direction for your sales organization.

Key Elements of an Effective Sales Strategy

Let’s take a deeper dive into that definition to recognize and understand its most important components:

Well-defined

While many smaller organizations tend to operate with a “seat of the pants” approach, most sustainable, successful, and growing organizations understand the importance of defining and documenting their plans and processes. Your Sales Strategy must be clearly documented, containing key information like goals, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), buyer personas, sales processes, team structure, competitive analysis, product positioning, and specific selling methodologies.

Goal-focused

Your Sales Strategy should also include at least broad reference to measures of overall sales success and market leadership. While specific quotas and objectives are best detailed in sales plans and internal communication, your Sales Strategy should state, with intent, how your company plans to lead in the marketplace. As described above, your Sales Strategy should provide a detailed description of the important components of success.

Clearly Communicated

No matter how well-defined or goal-focused, your Sales Strategy will only succeed if clearly communicated to internal and external stakeholders. Clear communication, of course, demands understanding, so you’ll also need to monitor your Sales Strategy messaging to ensure what you intend to say is what your audience actually reads, hears, perceives, and believes. (And don’t forget that your audience isn’t just customers, but also your employees.)

A Mission-oriented Plan

Whereas a corporate Mission Statement is also big-picture and goal-oriented, your Sales Strategy should go further by adding how the mission will be accomplished. Think of your Sales Strategy as a bridge between your Mission Statement and your specific sales plans and processes.

A Unique Solution Positioning Statement

Positioning and differentiation are always essential to sales success. Therefore, your Sales Strategy should reference your unique place within the market and how you will differentiate your solution from your competitors. (Naturally, you’ll need to clearly understand your competitors and their methods and messaging.)

Target Customer Oriented

Likewise, sales success demands a clear understanding of your ideal customers and their needs and expectations. So, your Sales Strategy should refer to your buyer personas as well.

Actionable

Finally, a successful Sales Strategy must be actionable – that is, translatable into effective sales processes that turn plans into results. If the above elements are thoughtfully included in your Sales Strategy, it should be relatively easy to align your sales processes with it.

Creating Your Best Sales Strategy

To build an effective Sales Strategy, one designed to reach clients and close sales, you’ll need to recognize and respect your target market, your competitive differentiators and advantages, and the key resources in your organization.

Remember, however, that an effective Sales Strategy is not a one-and-done endeavor. As your market, customers, solutions, and processes change, so must your Sales Strategy. Revisit your Sales Strategy at least annually to make sure it accurately represents where your organization is and where it intends to go.

To learn more about the key elements of an effective Sales Strategy, click here for a downloadable template. You can also click here to schedule a free consultation with one of our Sales Leadership Consultants or contact us at (844) 874-7253.