The key is to develop a process that is deliberate and thoughtful and repeatable. You need a process that you initiate and repeat over and over again. When I talk with business owners or salespeople who aren’t realizing the results, the cause is usually the same: There is no sales strategy or sale plan.
You can’t just sell without a target. Sales requires a strategy, a process where you can measure and monitor the results. Committing to consistent sales activity on an ongoing basis is the key! You can’t just try it for a few weeks or days! It takes consistent persistence in performing sales activates.
6 Steps To A Successful Sales Strategy
1. Start with Your Goals
If you’re learning to sell, start from the end and work backwards. Knowing your goals and measuring your performance against them (more on that later) is the most important place to start.
How many customers do you or your company need, and in what time frame? How many leads do you need to close that many customers? How many connections do you need to generate that many opportunities? And so on. Multiply your customer goal by the average sale price of your company’s product to get the amount of revenue you should be aiming for.
Make sure you set personal sales goals as well. You can always tell when a salesperson is in the top 2% of their organization. They command attention, work at their craft, provide a consistent experience, and execute. These behaviors and actions typically precede results.
Aim to be in the top 2% of your organization. It won’t happen tomorrow, and it won’t be easy, but always strive for the top.
2. Define Your Target Market
Knowing this is critical to your sales success. You aren’t going to do business with everyone. And even if you were, you have to start somewhere. You have to have a place where you can focus in order to build up that momentum we talked about.
Once you have the market defined, create a list. This list should be large enough to give you the opportunity to really delve in and repeat the process a couple of times. If your target market is too small your odds of success decrease. You may have to merge two similar target markets in order to have the numbers working in your favor.
3. Determine Your Outreach
Will you cold-call or network or both? I have a system that works really well for my clients. It goes like this:
Once you’ve defined your target and created the list, reach out to your networks to see if you are connected in any way to the person or organization you seek. This includes direct outreach – emailing or calling them – and exploring your LinkedIn contacts. Remember, you are looking for an introduction. That’s it! You want the opportunity to meet with the prospect. When your friend or associate introduces you to the prospect, follow up and set up the meeting.
Next, take the ones on the list you don’t have a connection to and cold call them. This could mean sending them an introductory letter or postcard or picking up the phone and calling them. If you send an introductory letter or postcard, you must tell them that you will call to follow up – and then follow up! You can’t leave the action in their hands. The process is yours to conduct, not theirs.
4. Know Your Questions
Before you go on a sales appointment, create a list of questions to ask the prospect. This is the time for you to really get to know them, their needs, their business practices. It is not the time for you to talk endlessly about your product or service. If they look like a qualified prospect, provide them with a quote. If they don’t, walk away.
5. Deliver and Build
Deliver on what you said you were going to do for the prospect. Then make sure you build the relationship. Don’t expect them to stay with you or use you for other needs if you aren’t taking the time to build a relationship with them. The sales process doesn’t end with the sale.
This is one of the most critical aspects of a successful sales strategy. As you move forward with your plan you must keep track of how well it is working. On the first day of each month, take a look back at the previous month.
Knowing what works and what doesn’t give you the opportunity to tweak your process. Adjust or get rid of what doesn’t work and keep what does. If you hit your numbers, celebrate! Then prepare for the coming month. What’s the goal? What’s the plan?
If you didn’t hit your numbers, determine what might need to be changed and change it. Then add the missed amount to the coming month’s goal. You don’t want to give up on the overall goal by just letting the past month drop. You want to take the sales dollars you didn’t get and add them to your goal for the coming month. Now plan for how you are going to achieve that – and get going.
This is a process that will work over and over and over again. You’ll find that the momentum builds with each step, so it becomes easier to do. Implementing a sales strategy keeps you focused and succeeding!