Five guidelines for developing an effective sales strategy

While hope isn’t a sales strategy, without the right ingredients, failure is certain.

The protocol for developing a sales strategy is fundamentally different to that used for other business strategies. Even the thinking that drives a sales strategy is somewhat different to that which drives marketing strategies.

Here are a few guidelines:

  1. The golden rule that underpins any sales strategy is knowledge. By learning as much as one can about the market, buyers and the alternatives buyers have, a sales team is able to expand its own thinking beyond its present paradigm, in the process defining a clearer, more focused role in the value chain;
  2. A sales strategy recognises that a good part of success in selling is having the right people, with the right mindset, trained, and committed. A sales strategy can easily be destroyed by having the wrong or an ill-equipped sales force;
  3. Even brilliant sales strategies risk merely “getting the job done” because those in sales management are unwilling to risk the absolute necessity to change the way they do things;
  4. Truly effective sales strategies are usually based on knowing and doing what no one else in the sector has even considered; and
  5. There is no such thing as a Plan B in sales. If there is, it means that management know there is something wrong with Plan A. So, instead of launching a rushed strategy — with no time during the heat of implementation to make adjustments — invest the quality time to develop a strategy that works and then commit the sales team, operation and resources to making that plan work

With these few guidelines the chances of developing a sales strategy that can deliver the results the organisation wants are a lot higher.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Sue Barrett is the founder and chief executive of the innovative and forward thinking sales advisory and education firm, Barrett and the online sales education & resource platform www.salesessentials.com. Striving to develop and deliver better sales standards and strategies to help people and businesses sell better, Sue is a sales philosopher, strategist, speaker, trainer, writer, adviser and selling better activist.

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