Let’s begin with an example. Suppose you are selling construction materials for a specific territory, which we will call Canada, in which you have a lot of success. Now that you are successful and you have made a market analysis, you believe you could expand your sales territory to the United States.
From there, you must consider the different elements you will need to approach, such as the differences of factors between the United States and Canada, and how you are going to approach those elements. That is what it looks like to build your strategy in a very specific sliver.
But, from now, I’ll look at the subject in a much more basic perspective.
Where to start
Designing a great sales strategy is crucial to every business’ success. Although not everyone is able to implement an efficient sales strategy, as it is clearly lacking in certain businesses. If you’re willing to grow, you must understand that growth can only be achieved through sales, hence the importance of a solid sales strategy.
When you begin to establish your sales strategy, you must consider the following elements:
- What are your contributions;
- What are your margins;
- What is your cost of sales;
- In what business do you want to be.
Factors You Must Consider When Designing Your Sales Strategy
Everything depends on what you are going to sell. Once you have established that, you can start answering the following questions:
- What is the market you want to go after?
- What are the margins you are looking for?
- What is your pricing strategy going to be?
- What is the inbound and outbound marketing you are going to do?
- How are you going to generate your leads?
You must also take into account the level of risk that goes along with the strategy you are considering. For example, if you’re aiming at a growth strategy in a new market, you must evaluate the level of risk that comes with it. The level of risk can either be associated with:
- Specific regulations in that market;
- Competition in the market.
I would also strongly suggest that you consider how much risk you can absorb, in other words how much you are willing to fail at doing this. If you’re truly willing to fail, then your strategy’s level of risk can be very high, but if you need to know everything before you enter the market, then you’re probably risk-averse, thus you might want to look at a safer strategy.
Time is another factor that you must consider when building your sales strategy. Whether you are aiming for a long-term strategy or a short-term strategy will impact the kind of investments you are going to do and the kind of resources you are going to dedicate to the implementation of the strategy.
Basically, it all comes down to a great structure. What you don’t know is what the customers’ response will be, so what you need is to take care of the factors that you controle. KPIs would also be an interesting factor to look at, as it is important to respect them.
Don’t forget to be specific when establishing the factors, as it will help you to have a clearer mind throughout the implementation of the sales strategy. A clearer mind will then help you to avoid spending 80% of your time on the things that pays the least amount of money.
Have Everyone on the Same Page
If there is one thing you must absolutely remember in this article is that the sales strategy must become the whole company’s strategy.
A sales strategy cannot live on its own. You cannot simply say that you’re going to design a sales strategy. It cannot be something you design and then leave on a shelf.
A sales strategy must be implemented by the entire organisation. It has to be tied in with the objectives of the company, and the entire C-suite must be behind it. If the various departments within the organisation don’t share common goals or values, then your strategy will surely fall apart.
In fact, the main cause of sales strategies failure is that not everyone is baught in. Thus, it is having everyone on the same page is key to a successful sales strategy, especially for medium and large companies, in which there are many levels of C-suite.
Sales are what brings growth to a company. Therefore, it is crucial that everyone in the company aligns with the sales strategy, especially the C-suite. Everyone’s business objectives as well as personal goals must be tied in with what the sales strategy helps them achieve.
But most importantly, don’t forget that while designing an efficient and successful sales strategy is a priority, once you have done it, the job is not done. Heck, not even the quarter of the job is done! The real deal is implementing it so that you get the results that you targeted.