How to Develop an Effective Sales Strategy?
Most companies don’t recognize the importance of developing an effective sales strategy. They go about their business and leave sales success up to chance.
To tell the truth, there is no magic or art to selling; there is only science. In fact, if a sales organization develops an effective sales strategy and follows a sound selling process that is based on science, they will be successful.
The main elements of an effective sales strategy are listed below:
1- Product you can sell.
2- Know the target customer.
3- Customer Buying Motivations.
4- Know the competition.
5- Price your Product or Service.
7- Selling methods
8- Hire the right Sales People.
9- Train your Sales Team.
10- Sale Process Continuous Improvement.
Product you can sell
In order for you to have a successful and effective sales strategy, you need to have a product or service that people actually want to buy.
Moreover, I have seen companies that spend a tremendous amount of time and money on products that no one wants. Basically, they come up with super sales strategy, amazing marketing, and advertising campaigns. Additionally, they reorganize their sales team, fire sales executives and hire super sales heroes for the task. But still, nothing changes. Mostly because, the product or services is either not good or no one wants it.
‘Me too products’ are also very hard to sell. Especially, if you are competing with a formidable company that is very focused, has high-quality products at a good price and have already won the hearts and minds of the target customer.
Therefore, I believe, a good selling strategy starts with a product or service that a customer actually wants to buy. Overall, you need to have the right business idea.
You can read my post on How to Find a Good Business Idea? to learn how to get a great idea. I have also left you a link at the bottom of this post.
Know the target customer
1- The Customer Demographics:
7- Family status
The Demographics identify your customers as a group. And they will tell you that this group will have the tendency to buy a product like yours. However, they will not tell you that the customer will actually buy your product specifically. In fact, the customer psychographics will do that. Let’s take a look at what the customer’s psychographics are all about.
2- The Customer Psychographics
The Customer Psychographics cover the personality characteristics of the actual customer that will buy your product. This is well explained in my post on How to Develop a Marketing Strategy? I have also left you a link at the bottom of this post.
To clarify, the Demographics tell you where the customer lives, how much money they make, is it a man or a woman and so on. While, the Psychographics tell you about the actual customer and how they will actually commit and buy your product. To find this customer, you will need to develop advertising and selling campaigns that are specific to this customer.
Customer Buying Motivations
The customer buying motivations can be categorized as follows:
1- Avoidance of pain
1- Identify the pain points and find a remedy.
2- Reduction of cost.
3- Increase efficiency.
4- Competitive advantage.
2- Seeking of pleasure
1- Customer self-esteem
2- Entertainment value
3- Comfort value
5- Ease of use
Know the competition
Next, knowing your competition is essential to your selling strategy. And the way to do it is by:
1- Search the Internet
2- Know your product and your competitors’ products
3- Know your strength and weaknesses relative to your competitors, such as:
1- The product itself, features functions and so on.
2- The geographic area that you are competing in.
3- Marketing strategy, approach, and tools.
4- Selling strategy, approach, and tools.
6- Financial strength
7- Quality of your staff relative to the competition
8- Training tools
4- Talk to your sales team
Your sales team must know your competition. Because, they may encounter the competition every time they talk to your customer.
Make sure you communicate with your sales team and equip them with the right tactics to gather information about your competition.
5- Talk to your customers
At last, talk to your customer directly. And make sure you use the right approach to retrieve the information you need about the competition from the customers.
Pricing your Product or Service
The equation below calculates a price that can be relevant to your market while keeping an eye on your competition and all the relevant pricing variables:
Price = Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) + Overhead Cost + Profit
Profit = (COGS + Overhead) * (Unforeseen + Growth + Shareholder ROI + Brand Value) * Supply & Demand * Marketing Initiative
Pricing your product and/or service properly and relative to your market can mean a great success. While doing the opposite can mean great frustration and eventual failure.
You have worked so hard to build your product and/or service and paid attention to the details. So, do the same for pricing and don’t leave it up for a chance.
Please refer to my post on Pricing Strategy: How to Price your Products or Services? I have also left you a link at the bottom of this post.
There are many forms of advertising that are available today. You need to select the form that is most effective to your target market. Some of the advertising forms include:
1- Mass market such as; Radio, TV, Billboards and so on
2- Targeted such as; Mailers, telemarketing, knocking on doors and so on
3- Digital and Social media; Google, Facebook, Twitter and so on
Designing the right advertising campaign and targeting the right audience will reduce the barrier to closing on sales and will increase the chances of success.
Next, the selling methods come in when preparing an effective sales strategy. As a matter of fact, selling methods vary depending on the target market and the product. You can implement one or more of the following selling methods:
1- Direct cold calling.
2- Knocking on doors.
3- On location selling, your business location such as your store or office, or customer location such as your customer place of business.
4- Online selling.
Hire the Right Sales People
Basically, hiring the right salespeople is the most important part of the selling strategy. To do that, create a sales employee profile and describe the personality traits of the sales employee to be hired.
Most hiring managers don’t think about this, I believe. However, this is very essential to hire the right salespeople.
Think about the following items when you create the employee profile:
1- Team player
2- Loyal and committed
6- Problem solver
7- Want to learn and improve their skills
8- Want to improve their work environment.
Also, please refer to my post on How to Hire the right people? I have also left you a link at the bottom of this post.
Train your Sales team
Train your salespeople to have them understand your product or services in depth, your unique value proposition, features, and functions.
Systematically, teach them the proper approach to deal with the customer, such as:
1- Train them on how and why your product or service will be helping your customer.
2- Create an environment where the sales team can practice their selling skills.
3- Put your sales team in your customer shoes, so that they can relate to the customer needs, wants and pain points.
4- Equip them with the ability to present your product or service clearly and concisely through talking points and presentations.
5- Equip them with a full understanding of your competition, their strength, and weaknesses.
6- Provide them with the material and have them practice comebacks to overcome customer objections.
7- Teach them how to close the deal and ask for the order.
Sales Process Continuous Improvement
1- The effectiveness of the hiring process
2- The effectiveness of the instruction and training material
3- The effectiveness of the sales material
4- The effectiveness of the selling approach
5- Total leads and closing rate
6- Measurement of the success rate of each salesperson and why
7- Improve the process and start again, do this on a monthly basis
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