Sales Strategy and Execution
Defining an effective sales strategy, followed by an effective sales execution plan, is critical to the success of any company, regardless of the stage that the company may be in. Over the years, we have all heard statements such as, “It takes a gifted salesperson to successfully sell a product,” “They were born to sell,” “We need to hire the ‘A’ team to get the job done,” and of course, “There is no room on the sales teams for mediocre.”
This all begs the question: What makes up a great salesperson? We create them.
Characteristics of an Effective Salesperson
When a salesperson is asked, “What do you do that makes you so successful?” they generally respond with, “I just feel it (intuition),” “It’s a numbers game (the more prospects I contact, the more sales I will make),” “I read a lot and am very knowledgeable and I know what is best for my customers,” and of course, the most frequent response being “I am just great at what I do.”
While all of these responses may be accurate, they do not help you create and build out a successful sales strategy and sales team to execute on that strategy.
As a starting point, we’ll work together to define a questionnaire that we will use when we sit down with each member of your sales team to understand what they do, very specifically, to successfully generate sales and close business.
The end goal is that, together, we will consolidate our findings, making the necessary adjustments and refinements, so we can define the winning recipe, the Sales Playbook, that will help your entire sales team close more business!
The Discovery Phase
How do they determine if the customer has the challenge(s) that your solution resolves? What questions do they ask? Who (what organization) feels the pain the most? How do they determine the severity of this challenge within an organization they are talking with?
The Awareness Phase
How has your salesperson helped the prospect understand and/or realize that they have a challenge that needs to be addressed and resolved and why? How do they articulate to their customer the overall impact of the challenge to the organization at the time of discovery and in the long term? How do they effectively raise the level of urgency for the prospect to address the challenge in the short term instead of delaying for a future timeframe?
The Consideration Phase
The discussion now leads to what are the alternatives available in the market today to effectively address the identified challenge.
What works best when discussing alternatives in the market—primarily competitive positioning and differentiation? What are the best validation points available to prove that your solution is the best, or at the very least, the most cost-effective solution in the market? What will the influencers in the market say about your solution?
It is best to understand this prior to your client doing their own private research and discovery. It is also better to disclose company / solution challenges you are aware of in the market, no matter when they occurred, as it gives you the opportunity to explain how they were identified, resolved, and will not reoccur again.
The Decision Phase
The prospect will be defining a sales strategy at this point of the sales process on how to address and resolve the challenge.
What will be CEO and COO think about the value proposition? Will they see the immediate value that the solution will bring to the organization—whether financial gains or significant gains in productivity leading to cost reductions in the short and long term? What can be done to expand the effectiveness of the value proposition to avoid deep discounting and protecting margin? What are the effective techniques that were used to ensure the leading position on the short list of solutions to resolve the challenge, and what were the final factors that closed the sale?
We will work with each salesperson to break down their day-to-day sales-related activities, with the overall goal being to better understand their selling technique, their specific behaviors, and most importantly their overall attitude towards selling.
Some of the questions we’ll address include:
- What they do to motivate themselves for the sales day ahead?
- What are the key times that they engage with their customers and prospects—and why?
- How do they identify their most effective communications channels and frequency?
- How do they prepare for their sales-related interactions?
- How do they deal with rejection?
- How do they bounce back and recover from less than favorable encounters with customers and prospects?
Together, and with marketing’s assistance, we will define an effective customer outreach process. We will define the most effective ways to find and communicate with the best prospects for your sales efforts by leveraging social media and marketing assets created by the company.
Next, we will define and create sales strategy tools and training plans that are effective and work for each salesperson.
We will define template messaging that will be useful as starting points for opening up intelligent, thought provoking, and meaningful conversations.
We will define and implement weekly roleplaying exercises to address the typical scenarios that occur during each of the four basic phases of the sale, defining and documenting how best to leverage the rest of the company to close a sale.
We will define the effective and accurate communication channel for sales-related results and tasks into the executive team.
Together, we will define the process for the accurate entry and reporting of sales. As part of that, we will define the concise stages of the sale so there is no confusion regarding the status of a specific opportunity. Then we will look at the best time to add additional members to the team and who those ideal additions will be.
Ready to learn more? Contact us now to get started.