If your organization has embraced a solution selling approach to sales, you may think you don't need a sales strategy. In reality, all sales reps benefit from some structure to help them refine their focus and move prospective customers through the sales process. Although solution selling lets the customer take the lead, your team still needs tools and resources to do their best, and your company needs a strategy for optimal sales numbers and growth.
Assess Your Current System
Start by taking a close look at your current system. What do your numbers look like? Are some sales reps consistently making more sales than others? Talk to your team members about their priorities, and how they approach each prospective and current client. Are you seeing growth? Is your team dependably meeting group goals? If you find that a few members are carrying the team or that your growth isn't in line with industry expectations, a sales strategy is likely the answer. The right strategy boosts the performance of weak team members and drives improvement across the board.
Refine Your Focus
Create a sales strategy that helps your sales reps prioritize accounts. Even if your sales force is effectively letting the customers' needs set the pace for interactions, your team members need to know the best way to divide up their time and effort. Focusing on accounts with the most potential helps your company grow faster than spending a lot of time on smaller clients. Develop a strategy that helps sales reps rank accounts and keep track of contacts, buyers and customer criteria at each high-potential organization to drive sales.
Involve Your Team
Be sure to solicit information from your current team members when developing a formal sales strategy. Look both to the sales leaders to learn about procedures that work and to your poorest performers to see where they need the most help. Create a sale methodology that includes current best practices, and provide tools to help your sales reps move step by step through the sales process.
Recruit Sales Leaders
Any comprehensive sales strategy should include a recruitment component to help your hiring managers assess the sales potential of prospective employees. Hiring the best is one of the quickest ways to promote fast growth in sales. Even a few sales reps with lackluster performance pull down the numbers for the whole department. Experienced sales reps with proven records who fit well with your culture are obvious choices, but don't automatically reject applicants without extensive experience. Develop hiring criteria that focuses on traits associated with sales success, such as positivity, passion and excellent problem-solving skills.
Every sales team needs a strategy to drive improved performance and increase growth. The right strategy helps sales reps focus and provides tools to move them through the sales pipeline. Get your sales team involved in the process to develop a sales strategy the works well within your company culture. Then, implement a plan to review and update that sales strategy on a regular basis.
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