How can you expect your sales team to know where they are going if you don’t provide them with a clear, compelling and believable sales strategy? Sure, perhaps they know what the company produces in the way of offerings but do they know why or to whom they should sell or how they can win?
A great deal of time and effort can be wasted unless sales teams are given a clear plan for how they can navigate the competitive waters successfully. High performing sales leaders chart the path forward with their sales teams so they can be as effective as possible in reaching their destination.
Here are the three questions your sales strategy should answer. You will know you are on the right track when your sales team believes that the answers are clear, believable and implementable in your unique sales culture and business strategy:
1. SOLUTION SET: What products or services does your company offer?
Help your sales reps focus more on the ways your offerings can solve customer issues than on the list of features and benefits that are more conducive to a transactional approach. The focus should be on how what you sell can help your customers.
2. TARGET MARKET: Who are your best buyers?
Define for your sales reps just exactly what type of organization comprises your ideal target market. Identify target customers by industry, size, situation, location and title of the most likely buyers. This will give direction to your sales reps’ efforts and save many hours of research on their part. Help them avoid misdirected efforts to chase every potential prospect.
Target buyers should also be defined in terms of the problems that your offerings are able to solve. Do you have more success with growing companies whose resources are stretched to the limit or companies who have enough breathing space to invest thoughtfully in their future?
3. DIFFERENTIATION: Why specifically are your offerings better suited to solve your customers’ most pressing problems than your competitors’?
Here we come to your value proposition. What is it that you can do for the customer that no other company can do as well? This is your brand promise and it is a critical part of your sales strategy. This is how you (and your sales reps) go to market. Done right, it should be meaningful to your target clients and you should be able to back it up with research, demos, client case studies, testimonials and references.
Without a clear and compelling strategy and a differentiated message that matters to your market, your chances of building a high performance sales team are slim. Provide the sales leadership and sales strategy map required to help your sales team to prioritize their time, pursue the right deals, get qualified meetings, exceed their sales targets and help their clients to succeed.
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