Sales revenue is one of the most important factors in determining the success and progress of a company. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to develop a strategic plan for propelling your business forward. A successful sales strategy requires a lot of thought, commitment, and hard work, but is well worth the time. Here is a simple five-step process for creating a winning sales strategy:
Conduct a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a savvy business tool that will allow you to think about your business in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This analysis is designed to help you see your business in a big picture way and identify new areas of opportunity and focus.
Take a look at your previous sales and identify what worked well, what didn’t and see where you can implement improvements. This careful analysis is a great starting point and will provide you and your team more with more direction.
After you’ve reviewed the SWOT analysis and identified any opportunities for your business, you’ll want to generate goals related to these findings. You’ll want to guide your team through a focused goal-setting exercise.
Any goals you set should follow the SMART template and should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and contain a timeline for completion. These specific guidelines ensure there is no ambiguity and clearly communicate the long-term goal to the team. Consider putting your goals in writing and referencing them with your team on a regular basis. This will keep your sales team motivated and focused during the sales process.
Define Your Target Market
The next step in the process is to clearly define your target market. Your product or service does not appeal to everyone, so it’s important you focus your energy on an audience who will actually be interested in what you’re selling.
Begin by creating a list of relevant markets. Work with your team to narrow the niche further until you have a manageable market size and a winning marketing message that relates to the entire group. While you do want to narrow your market as much as possible, make sure you aren’t leaving any potential clients out of the mix. Work hard to blend multiple markets as much as you can so the numbers are on your side.
Refine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Every time you develop a new sales strategy you should revisit your USP and make sure it is strong enough to help you stand out from the competition. To appeal to your ideal customer, you will need to develop a sales pitch that resonates with your target audience.
You can never assume you know what a consumer wants and needs. It’s extremely important that you take the time to ask and observe. Once you’ve done all your market research you’ll need to find a way to differentiate and solve their biggest woes. You’ll also want to be aware of your competitor’s approach to the market. This will allow you to tailor your message and land a larger portion of the sales.
Track Your Progress
As with many areas of life, it’s not enough to put together and execute a strategy. You’ll also want to continually evaluate your progress and adjust as necessary. As you are drafting your sales strategy, make sure you include defined metrics for success. These written and transparent metrics should be communicated clearly to the team and each member should be held accountable for executing on this carefully crafted plan.
Consider scheduling regular meetings with the team and reporting on progress. You should also include a rewards and recognition process anytime a goal is achieved. Celebrating each victory is helpful in keeping your team motivated throughout the year and will be appreciated by your team.
These tips are just a guideline for developing an effective sales strategy. You may need to tweak the steps in a way that best suits your needs, but taking the time to analyze your business in this way will offer a great return on your time investment. If you’re looking to boost your sales revenue this next term, consider these five helpful hints.
About the Author
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.