According to the Brevet Group report, only 13% of customers trust salespeople. The more you have customer’s trust, the more your business will expand.
If you have effective sales strategies in place, 13% can be increased by manifolds. A good sales strategy will enable your sales team to understand the customers and take the right action that will act as an embrocation for their pain points. Before delving deeper into this topic, let’s understand first, “what is sales strategy?”
What is a sales strategy?
A sales strategy is an approach to sell one’s product(s) and/or service(s) to bring in revenue and expand a business. It is an efficient plan on how to go about “sales”.
How do you develop a sales strategy?
While developing a sales strategy, the obvious goal would be growth in revenue generation. The sales strategy should be planned by keeping below these key elements in mind:
- Relevant market/audience
- Buyer Persona
- Product offering
- Performance measurement
- Sales activities
While strategizing the action plan, the first thing you need to keep in mind is the “Goal”. Set it with the time frame such as the number of sales or the revenue you need to generate from sales for Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4.
You need to do market research to find the target audience. By including this factor in your strategy will help you to get more sales.
Knowing your buyer’s persona is the most significant element in the sales funnel. The basic information of the customers will provide you with ideas about your customers’ interests and needs.
Followed by the customer profile, the product offering is another crucial phase of the sales strategy. However, customer profiles provide fair ideas if your product is suitable for them or not.
The last two elements (performance measurement and sales activities) belong to the internal strategies that need to be implemented inside the sales team. Observe the performance of the sales team and find the points that will empower them to be active. Plan the sales activities according to their performance.
Different Types of sales strategies
Sales strategies might not and should not be the same for all organizations even if the products belong to the same niche. Different types of strategies work for different companies and it depends upon the nature of business.
Here are the list of effective sales strategies:
- Start with specific niche markets
- Use lead scoring to prioritize your prospects
- Connect with the decision-makers
- Make Exciting your sales pitch
- Listen to your prospects
- Emphasize the risks and opportunities
- Develop the right mindset
- Go beyond business
- Reach out to SQL immediately
- Follow the PAS framework
- Target your Existing customers
- Make the prospect realize that it is a final offer
- Employ email automation
- Keep track of customers’ records
- Organize Healthy competition within the sales team
- Strengthen your Buyer’s persona
- Have a clear understanding of your clients
- Bring the USP to your customers with a free trial
- Align your sales and marketing team
- Run sales offer unexpectedly
1. Start with specific niche markets
The sales strategy starts with targeting the audience. The efficient strategy is to target the specific audience initially such as the company that has small employee size, specific location and industry. This practice will open the door to pitch and implement your plan.
Most of the marketers don’t want to target the small scale industry as they think it will limit the opportunity, but the fact is that you will be able to train your sales team according to the feedback you receive from your client. If you target big and renowned industries, it will not only be difficult to have feedback about your sales team but also, the conversion will be diminished. It is always better to target a specific niche market.
2. Use lead scoring to prioritize your prospects
While handling a huge volume of prospects, positioning the lead scoring into your sales strategy is most. It helps provide you the idea to whom you need to prioritize.
Lead Scoring is a system to rank your prospect and score him/her. As per the score, you can follow up and send reminders. For instance, you are connecting with a new prospect who is a decision-maker and you need to prioritize him to nurture. The score should be decided as per prospects’’ position, timeline (how soon s/he needs the product), type of solution, etc..
3. Connect with the decision-makers
In the realm of B2B sales, a decision-maker occupies a vast arena. Therefore, targeting decision-makers should be a part of the B2B sales strategy. If you are connecting a manager who doesn’t have authority, it is kind of a waste of time for your sales team. Target the decision-makers to throw your baits.
Another remarkable point in the B2B sales field is the way you approach. The approaching method to a customer (B2C) is completely different from the approaching method to a decision-maker (B2B). So, train your sales team with probable questions to be asked by the decision-makers with the tactful answer.
Make a note of not limiting your sales strategy by connecting with a decision-maker and encountering his/her challenging questions. Building a relationship by understanding his/her pesky problems and providing possible solutions beyond your products and nurture him in a regular interval.
4. Make exciting your sales pitch
Speaking with customers and building a relationship is an art. All sales reps may not have this art. In order to uplift their skills, train them on an effective sales pitch.
Categorize the types of customers (or clients) and prepare the script for each category. When it comes to pitching sales, bring your unique selling points without rattling off your existing customers and experiences.
The first 90 seconds of your conversation is called the “elevator pitch”. Stress yourself to show the prospects that you understand their challenges and provide the solution for their pain point within the elevator pitch.
5. Listen to your prospects
Effective communication happens when both parties listen to each other and respond accordingly. Listening to your prospect will help you understand prospects’ interests and expectations.
Most of the sales reps stress on particular points such as price, benefits of the products or services, the example of existing customers, etc. instead of understanding customer’s problems and providing the solution. This way of approaching the products/services throws the picture of compelling to the prospects for the products. Therefore, listening to your prospects is one of the most significant factors that should be included in the sales strategy.
6. Emphasize the risks and opportunities
Highlighting risks and opportunities is one of the most effective ways to strengthen sales growth. While conversing with the prospect, bring the trending challenges and its probable risks, find possible solutions for their problems including your products and services.
Also, don’t hesitate to let them know the risk of having your products or services. This will give them a picture that you are pretty much aware of the problems they are going to face and you have the solution for it. If they don’t think this way, they will not go for your product. It is better than withdrawing later.
7. Develop the right mindset
Most of the sales reps lose their patience by experiencing the rejections. The significant sales technique is to develop the mindset of your sales team not to consume the rejections. Once you plan sales call for the day, you need to set your mind that you are going to hear “no” multiple times. Instead of getting disappointed, train your mind to shift to the next lead.
According to Tony Robbins, the business strategist, and philanthropist, a successful business has 80% determination (Psychology) and a 20% plan. Therefore, developing the right mindset is one of the most effective sales strategies.
8. Go beyond the business
“Being helpful” concept always provides the trust relationship. While trying to sell the product, understand the lead’s problem and see if your product or service can help him/her. If not, be helpful, go beyond the business and suggest the proper solution. This may not provide you a sale at that moment but trust will be there.
It will help you to gain the leads’ referral or regain the same lead when s/he needs help from you.
9. Reach out to SQL immediately
Once you have all the information about a Qualified Sales Lead (SQL) if possible reach out to him/her immediately or within 24 hours. Most of the buyers do a plethora of research on the product they want. If you don’t reach out to the SQL early, s/he may encounter your competitors’ calls.
One of the most effective strategies is to reach out to the SQL within 24 hours and give him/her a picture of your product or services that will be helpful for him/her. Your initial outreach email should be short and precise and ask permission to schedule a call within a day.
10. Follow the PAS framework
As per Perry Marshall, author of “80/20 Sales and Marketing”, talking about the problem can deliver 3 to 10 times more responses than talking about products and services.
When you highlight the problems and possible risks behind it, people will listen to you carefully.
The PAS framework associated with the three steps:
P – Problems
A – Agitation
S – Solutions
According to this framework, stress on the problems your prospect is having and highlight the risks behind it. Finally, position your product or service as his/her best solution. Your sales strategy should include this concept to enable your sales growth.
Followed by the above information, I want to highlight that this is not to scare a lead by creating false problems and risks. Be genuine and make them realize regarding the problems, risks and bring them solutions.
11. Target your existing customers
In order to hunt the new prospects, most of the companies ignore the existing customers. This is the biggest mistake they do. Targeting to your existing customers is one of the best sales strategies. Connect to your existing customers and get feedback from them. If there is anything pesky they are facing, sort it out. Build the trust relationship by providing post service.
This process will give you new prospects. Your customer may refer to his/her friends or relatives to your product. By nurturing your existing customers, you can seed the sales strategy.
12. Make the prospect realize that it is a final offer
As per the psychology studies, we don’t take action until we realize that we are getting the things in the best offer. Therefore, creating urgency is an effective hack to convert your lead to the paying customers.
There are a few points you need to mention to create urgency:
- Limited offer – Give them the picture of limited offer you are having which will get over soon.
- Price will increase soon – After the month-end, this offer will end soon and the price will increase or any complimentary stuff will not be included. Give this kind of picture to the leads.
- Selected and prime customers – Whatever you are offering to the leads, let them know that it is exclusively for him/her and a few customers are getting this offer.
- 24 hours discounts – Provide them some discount and make it valid for 24 hours.
Let me share my experience with the result of creating urgency. I attended a webinar last weekend on digital marketing and it was good. End of the webinar, the host provided a link to the attendees to enroll for the digital marketing course and the link was valid for 10 minutes with minimum price. More than 50 attendees enrolled for the course within 10 minutes.
Creating urgency will provide you an amazing result.
13. Employ email automation
Email automation is an essential part of sales and marketing. Employ the email automation to enable your sales team’s growth. It helps to expedite the activity of a salesperson by sending out the email automatically.
Outreach your customer through email automation tool but it should not look robotic. Humanize your automated email to personalize it. Then only your subscriber will reply. Also, your email should be sent out to the customers at a regular interval with new information or offers.
14. Keep track of customers’ records
Keeping track of every customer’s records is not an easy task. That is the reason 90% of customers think the salespeople contact them only for sales. If a salesperson uses the tracker and the information from the previous conversation, he can find the problems and the interest of the customer. This activity will give the impression that the salesperson prioritizes the customer and understand the problem.
Develop the habit of keeping track of all customer’s previous records in your sales team and advise them to use it in the next conversation. Use any CRM to track and gain information regarding the customer you are dealing with. This will help you to judge his/her behavior in the sales funnel and act accordingly.
15. Organize Healthy competition within the sales team
Equipping all facilities to your sales team doesn’t work sometimes. Empower them internally (motivate). Set up a lot of incentive plan to motivate them and conduct competition within the team to achieve the targets.
Apart from the monetary aspect, set up the behavioral goals for your sales team to keep them motivated. This goal includes the number of events they have to attend per month and hosting the on one and ask for referrals. This activity encourages them to target the audience apart from outbound calls.
16. Strengthen your Buyer’s persona
These days, buyers are overwhelmed with the various options and entombed with emails and calls. In order to win the game, you need to understand the buyer’s problems and solutions. Design your buyer’s persona in such a way that will provide your sales team clear understanding on the below points:
- What are the challenges they are facing
- What are the probable solutions for it
- How soon they want to get out of the problems
- How do they prefer to communicate
- What information they need to make decisions
Once you have a clear understanding of the above points, value them in each conversation. Personalize each problems and provide the solutions by positioning your product or services at the right time.
17. Have a clear understanding of your clients
Most of the sales reps do the mistakes of not understanding the customers. They apply the same techniques for all the customers that give the pictures of byhearting the scripts. While training your salespeople, train them to observe and understand customers they are talking with by asking a few key questions.
Once they understand the customers, they can customize their responses and take actions accordingly. This is another effective strategy most of successful business apply.
18. Bring the USP to your customers with a free trial
While providing a free trial to your customers, be wiser. Check how your competitors are offering free trials and make your trial different from them. It can be different when you provide free trials for a shorter period. When something is available for a short time, people will take action within the offer period.
Also, make yourself different by showing up your USP (Unique Selling Point) and how that is helpful for your customer.
19. Align your sales and marketing teams
Sales and Marketing teams always play the blame-shifting game. The sales team claims the marketing team is responsible for the loss of customers and vice versa.
When the information of a lead is handed over from the marketing team to the sales team, if something is missing, the sales team should query with the marketing team before contacting the lead. If not, misunderstandings will be created and it may result in losing a customer.
Therefore, aligning your sales and marketing team is an important sales strategy.
Align them by conducting frequent get-together or any team activities. Once in a month or two, take both teams for an outing to build a good rapport.
20. Run sales offer unexpectedly
When a company runs a sale on a particular occasion, it becomes a habit for the audience to wait till that particular moment to buy things. Don’t encourage such things.
Too many promotions indoctrinate the audience to wait till the next offer. Offering discounts or any other special offer will grab your audience but making it unexpected will double the numbers of customers.
Which one works for you?
All the above-mentioned strategies are effective and proven. Pick any one strategy and try it for some time. Once you see the results, share it with us by commenting in the below box.