Is it possible to climb a mountain without a rope or a ladder?
No, right? You need a rope and the exact route to move forward.
Climbing up becomes a lot easier when you have a set of well-defined steps.
Similarly, sales is a highly strategic process. Every sales leader needs to learn how buyers respond in a given sales environment and then plan sales management strategies that best suit their requirements.
In this article, we’re going to see the exact step-by-step approach one can follow to achieve sales success.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Why Do You Need A Sales Strategy?
There should be a solid reason to follow specific rules, right?
Here’s why you should have a sales growth strategy.
#1 - A clear path for the sales team to follow
When you have a well-defined sales strategy, there's no chance reps' would get confused about what next steps to follow. This allows the teams to work in flow without confusion.
#2 - Open the doors to improvement
Having a sales strategy will enable you to look for several areas of improvement. If you're able to fulfill your objectives with the defined strategy, then its good news! But if you can't, you'll immediately get an idea about the necessary changes needed.
#3 - Get insights into reps' performance
When each sales rep is assigned the tasks, you can assess their performance. If they lack at a certain stage you can guide them to do the right things.
Also, you can learn who's performing and who needs to improve.
#4 - Predict future sales
When you understand the nuts and bolts of your sales strategy, you easily predict the required outcomes. And replan your sales strategy
Do you want to speed up your sales process?
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9 Steps for a Successful Sales Strategy
Sales strategy requires a strategic approach. Below are the exact steps you need to conquer before putting steps forward into selling.
1 - Do the Homework
You need to carry out special set practices before searching for prospects. Below are the essential steps that make the base of an effective sales strategy.
They are as follows:
Creating the buyer’s persona
Buyer’s persona is the imaginary picture of your ideal client. You have to visualize the individual and give him/her a name. E.g., Michael.
Now, create a spreadsheet and write down details about Michael.
Include details such as;
- Name: Full name of the person
- Address: Permanent address, temporary address, location, city, country, pin code
- Income: Monthly, income, yearly income, quarterly income
- Likes & Dislikes: Choices, preferences, priorities
- Interests: Special liking for a specific thing.
- Social media preference: Accounts he/she follows, social media accounts he/she is most active in.
Perform competitive research
In this step, you need to find what your competitors are doing, what strategies they're implementing, what’s working for them, and what isn’t working.
Focus on what they aren't doing or missing and that market needs. Try to fill the gaps!
Do the market research
You go and find out what the market needs.
Do you have a specific problem in mind?
Is a solution required?
What questions do your prospects have about the product?
2 - Prospecting
Once you’re done with the homework, you go out in search of clients.
Prospecting is the process of finding your ideal clients.
The CEO and founder of Valuetainment Media and PHP agency, Patrick Bet David shares 3 types of audiences to look for while prospecting.
- People you don’t know
This includes the cold audience. The people you’ve never spoken to–you get to learn the art of cold pitching, go to networking events, and approach people on social media.
- People you know
This includes your friends, family, and neighbors. Think about all the people in your network you’ve known till now. Make a list of them and identify potential buyers.
- People your people know
This category of people comes from referrals. People in your network refer to you. Maintain the relationships with your prospects to get the maximum number of referrals.
3 - Qualify the Buyers
Qualifying the lead is the most critical step of the sales process. Buyer qualification means confirming the fact your products meet prospects' requirements.
It’s to make sure that your product is the exact solution they’re looking for.
You can’t expect a cold audience to buy your product.
The buyer should go from 3 stages before purchasing anything.
- Awareness Stage
In this stage, the prospect is aware of the problem. They know their suffering or pain point. They’re looking for a solution.
- Consideration Stage
In this stage, prospects know the possible solution. They’re aware of the choices available in the market
- Decision Stage
In this stage, buyers know exactly what product they want to buy. They are at a stage and mindset where they can start negotiating.
4 - Cold Pitching
Pitching is the courageous act of approaching people with your irresistible offer.
You must prepare yourself to face many rejections at this stage.
There can be many reasons prospects won't approve your solution.
Make sure you've implemented all the steps mentioned above.
Recommended Read: How To Cold Call: 21 Cold Calling Secrets (From the Sales Masters)
5 - Objection Handling
Objection handling is an essential stage of the sales process. You need to maintain your calm and focus on managing the prospect's concern.
There are mainly four reasons for having objections at the prospect's end.
Lack of trust
Prospects prefer to buy from the people they know, like, and trust.
So, if you're someone they haven't seen before they most probably won't buy from you.
Lack of urgency
Extreme decisions is made at extreme urgency. If there's no need to buy the product right away, why would they purchase it?
"Your product seems out of our budget!" This is also known as pricing objections. If the product you're selling is beyond their scope of price and you're strict at negotiations, it could be the reason they won't buy.
Lack of need
You might be selling excellent products. But if it doesn't meet their requirements, they won't buy it.
Here are a few tips for effective objection handling:
- Don't become aggressive and pressurize the prospects to think.
- Empathize with the prospect's objections. Explain that you understand their viewpoint with phrases like "I understand your concern".
- Ask more questions about their needs and pain points. It shows your willingness to solve their problem.
- There's no harm in getting someone to laugh in the middle of a serious conversation. Remember, if you can make them laugh you can make a sale.
- Be authentic. Show who you are, and how passionate you’re to solve their problems.
If you’re looking for better ways to handle objections, you may want to tune into the podcast: How to handle Objections Effectively?
6 - Close the Deal
Closing is a sensitive situation right before the sale. One silly mistake can cost you to lose thousands of dollars.
Here are a few most effective techniques you can use to seal the deal successfully:
Question close :Could we add value to your business ? If not, would you please recommend how can we improve ?
Soft close : “Would it help you to meet your objectives if I helped you reduce product cost by 30% and increased efficiency by 35% ?"
Assumptive close :I’m sure we would build a powerful empire together
Take away closes :Ok!! I’ll cut off the cost to around 50% and remove 3 major services.
- Question close
Asking the right questions can make you a deal.
Ask open-ended queries such as, "Did our service assist you in resolving your issues?" If responded "yes," you've got the deal. If the answer is "no," you may ask, "Can you tell me why we can't make progress?"
In this sales closing technique, you approach prospects by providing benefits and asking lower-ended questions like, “Would it help you to meet your objectives if I helped you reduce product cost by 30% and increased efficiency by 35% ?"In this way, you create a way to know more and increase your chances of closing the deal.
- Assumptive close
By being positive from the start of the sale, you increase the chances of closing the deal until the end.
Ask your prospects assertive questions such as, " Does this feature help you meet your goals?"
Does it help you solve your pain points?
- Take away closes
You must have noticed that when you take away the favorite toy from kids, they cry because they want it more.
Similarly, if you present a product cutting out the interesting feature and offer it at a discounted price, they'll want it more.
7 - Follow-up Regularly
One of the biggest mistakes sales reps make is that they don’t follow up after the initial conversation.
Research by Brevete shows that an average sale requires about 5 follow-ups. Four out of five salespeople give up after the first attempt.
You can’t expect your prospects to buy immediately after the presentation. They need time to think, to compare, to make a decision if you’re fulfilling their needs or not.
You’re losing a big deal if you don’t follow up, here’s what you can do :
- Follow up with value: Remember, you’re not following to make the next sell. You’re trying to solve a prospect’s problems. So make sure you follow up with value. Whenever you’re mailing, make sure to embed useful resources like guides, articles, or webinars.
- Don’t sound salesy or pushy: You’re following up to know if they’re ready to buy.
You don’t try to convince a lot. They may have already made their decision.
It’s just a final try before giving up!
- Mind your subject lines: If you’re following up with an email, then subject lines can make or break your success. You’ll have to craft extraordinary subject lines that would entice them to open the mail otherwise it would end up falling in the spam box!
8 - Get Referrals
Referrals are the second revenue stream of your business. The easiest way to get the referrals is to ASK!
Once you’re done with selling your services, ask your prospects, “Hey [Name], did you like our services ?” If yes, “How would you rate us on a scale 1 to 10 ?’’
If 1- 4, indicates “Happy’’
If 5 - 7, indicates “Satisfied”
If 7- 10, indicates “Excellent”
If they respond somewhere between, 7 to 10, ask them, Could you please recommend us to your friends or colleagues?
They’d happily do it because they’re already satisfied with your services. Moreover, try to become the prospect’s best friend. Show simple gestures of compassion at times they’d never expect, and send seasonal greetings and wishes. When you give a lot, you’ll get back a lot in return.
9 - Maintain Good Customer Relationship
Last and the most important step of the sales strategy cycle is to deepen your relationship with clients. Those relationships shouldn’t just be limited to business, it should be much beyond.
There’s no harm in knowing your client’s first name, phone number, email address, date of birth, etc. Send them birthday wishes, and festival greetings. This small gesture creates a pleasant customer experience.
Provide value to your customers. Know what’s happening in their lives, why are they suffering, and try to help them as much as you can.
Be with them at good and bad times, share your joys and sorrows, listen to their stories and share yours. That’s how you build relationships and maintain them.
Ready To Craft Your Next Sales Strategy?
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We know it can be a daunting task to analyze each step in the above cycle.
Especially when the market is extremely volatile.
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Interested folks can Sign up and experience it themselves.
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