Strategic Selling: How to Build a Sales Plan That Works
Strategic selling is a lot like a game of competitive chess. It requires the sales representative to always be at least a few moves ahead of the client while keeping in mind that the competition is watching.
Should that sales rep slip up, it could cost them dearly. And while a loss in chess is no fun, it pales in comparison to the risk of failing to meet a sales goal.
More importantly, sales reps aren’t only responsible for themselves: they’re responsible for their whole team.
That’s why it’s crucial to come up with strategic selling points that make sense for your business.
Not sure where to start or why sales strategies matter? Then keep reading for a briefing on how to create a strategy that is sure to increase profits.
Set Reasonable Goals
In order to get big, successful results, it’s important to start by taking a step back. Before creating a sales plan, it’s often helpful to start by analyzing one’s personal goals for the project.
What is it specifically that needs to be achieved? For some companies, it may be as simple as increasing profits. For others, customer engagement needs improvement.
There’s no right or wrong answer.
Make sure, however, that these goals are both specific and reasonable. Of course, it’d be nice to make a quarter of a million dollars next quarter.
But is that something that can reasonably be achieved?
There’s absolutely merit in setting smaller goals. Think of reaching each goal as a means to gain momentum. Once a few goals have been met, it’ll be easier to master those trickier, more lofty goals.
So don’t worry about becoming the top salesperson of the company. That will come in due time. For now, worry about things like reaching more customers and following up more.
Strategic Selling Requires Knowing the Product
Perhaps this sounds obvious, but it’s shocking how many salespeople don’t truly know their product. How can one expect to reasonably sell something to a customer if they don’t know about it themselves?
Therefore, it’s time to go back to the basics and learn everything possible about the product.
Set aside a team building day to educate yourself and the rest of the team. Make it a goal to learn as much about the product as possible.
Don’t just know the price and shipping information. Know the history of the product. Know the value that it adds to the customer’s life.
This education will build a stronger, more confident team that is sure to show when it comes time to hit the road.
Know the Customer
With that said, it’s also crucial to have a thorough understanding of one’s customer base. To do so, it’s time to ask yourself and the team a few important questions.
Why sell this product?
This hearkens back to something mentioned in the previous section. A sales team should understand the value of the product they’re selling. There are probably dozens of other, similar products on the market. Why sell yours specifically?
Who do we sell to?
‘Anyone that will buy the product’ isn’t a specific enough answer. Nor is, ‘other businesses’ or something vague of that nature.
No, a sales team is only as strong as its knowledge base. Come together and come up with an ideal customer. Start analyzing everything about them.
Who are they? What does their life look like? What methods of communication are going to work best for getting in touch with them? What do they have in common with team members?
It’s a lot to contend with at once, sure. But creating a client avatar is a great way to train future members and sharpen a team’s understanding of their customer base.
Focus on Communication
There are hundreds of different sales positions and products, but one thing unites each and every one. All salespeople are in the people business.
The product is important to the bottom line, of course. But being in the people business means focusing on the customer above all else.
Strategic selling involves a ton of interpersonal communication skills that not everyone has. But those skills can be gradually honed over time.
In order to succeed at strategic selling, it’s important to be open and honest. Start paying closer attention to body language and the signals it may send.
Even something as minuscule as word choice and voice tone can play a huge part in how comfortable a customer feels around a salesperson.
At the end of the day, it isn’t just a client being contacted, it’s another human being.
Learn from Past Mistakes
There isn’t a sales team out there that is going to get great results 100% of the time. It just isn’t feasible.
But take heart in knowing that it’s perfectly okay. In fact, it’s more than okay — it’s great!
By messing up or studying up on past blunders, a team has two options.
First, they can simply accept the defeat and move on as fast as possible. Or they can dissect the issue and determine what went wrong and how it can be changed in the future.
There’s tons of value in learning from those past mistakes. Messing up shouldn’t be viewed as a failure, it should be viewed as a learning opportunity.
Finally, a sales team needs to stay organized. Whether using a filing cabinet or geographic sales info, there are tons of ways to stay on top of organization.
Not only can poor organizational skills make a team look unprofessional, but they can result in audits or even lawsuits.
Every team member should take the necessary precautions to make sure he or she has an organization system in place.
Last Thoughts on Strategic Selling
There’s no getting around how difficult it is to come up with an effective sale strategy. But follow these tips and you’ll have a stronger, more well-rounded team.
And Mapview is here to help by giving you in-depth data your business needs. Get in touch today to request a demo and learn how you can use Mapview to better your sales strategies!
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