It is that time of year again; time to update,
redefine and enhance our sales strategies.
Oh, you thought it was the holiday season? Well, technically it is… but hold on a minute before you jump into all those holiday celebrations. I am guessing when all the partying and gift giving is done, you want to be in a position to make 2017 an amazing year. If I am right (and I am or why else would you be in business), then take a day, even a half-day to work on your sales strategy.
The sales strategy, in my opinion, is the most important strategy in your business. Without it, you have no systematic method of bringing in sales, closing sales or generating revenue. If you do not put systems, processes and strategies in place with sales in mind, then you have no need for any other systems.
Without sales, you have no business. You need a sales strategy. Without it, you have no way of understanding specifically what you do to generate revenue. No idea what is working and what is not; and what, if anything, you need to change. You have no answers to questions that are critical for effective and efficient growth. And, who doesn’t want effective and efficient growth? Aka – do not work any harder than you must.
So, let’s jump in! How do you build a sales strategy? And, how do you use one? It is really simple, actually. I was just getting ready to work on mine (on a four-hour flight of all places), so, I thought I would share my process. The anatomy of a sales strategy according to me!
7 Steps To Create The Perfect Sales Strategy
Define your market
Oh, you have heard this a million times, I know. But, before you even think about creating a sales strategy, you need to think about who you are creating it for. Understanding your ideal customer will determine every other step in the process. You must know that first.
Set your goal
Your revenue goal that is, we will get to closed sales, etc. later. But, I want to know how much in sales (revenue) you need or want to produce. Push yourself beyond last year’s goal, at least ten to 20 percent. If you have never done this before, then pick a number. Don’t sweat the goal, we are going to blow past it anyway.
Set your milestones
Make the goal manageable by breaking it into mini-goals. I like to do mine monthly. Some of my clients do it weekly or quarterly. It is whatever works for you. You need to set milestones to give you something to actively and consistently measure. Then you can see if step 4 is working or not working. Also, I like milestones. When we blow past those milestones, we have lots of opportunity to celebrate.
Define your behaviors
This step is key to ensuring you remain consistent. In this step, we define what actions or behaviors we will do on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis to achieve our goal. These actions include:
- Networking events
- Prospect lists
- Prospect calls
- Sales calls
- Follow-up calls/systems
- Sales meetings
- Accountability sessions
We need not only determine what actions/steps we will take, but how many of each it will take (weekly/monthly/quarterly) to achieve our milestones and ultimate goal. Or, again, blow past it!
In this step, we learn why choosing a target market is so important. Imagine being at networking events without people that use your products or services. If you know your target market, attend events where they are present. Then, you will find the best prospect, get more sales calls, and close more deals.
Learn from accountability
Ah, my favorite step. Accountability is one of those words that gets a bad rap. No one likes to be held accountable, right? Well you will, once you learn how powerful and sexy it is. In this step, we take 15 to 30 minutes each week to see behaviors we did vs results we gained. If our ratio of behaviors to results is strong, we keep doing what we have always done. If we are doing a lot of behaviors and getting little results, guess what? Yep, it is time to change behaviors. There is no better sales teacher than you. Learn from what you do well. Learn what you need to change.
Wahoo! Enough said. I am all about the celebration. Take the time to reward yourself for every single thing you do right! Doing so will keep your motivation high and your results will get stronger.
Rinse and repeat
This step is about constant adjustment to the strategy. No strategy or system is perfect. And certainly not one developed in this crazy economy. So ‘rinse’ it, change it up, take the “dirt” out, and repeat the process again.
So, there you have it – the complete anatomy of a solid sales strategy. Now, I am just a few hours from landing, so I am going to get back to working on mine. How about you do the same? Together, we will use our sales strategies to make 2017 our most amazing business growth year to date!