Sales Strategy is essential for your business growth.
I often find the word ‘strategy’ is used to make something which is essentially straightforward, seem anything but. In fact, some of the businesses I work with, refer to strategy as being something which bigger businesses do and that somehow they don’t need to it. Building a strategy is thought of as complicated or only for intellectuals. But the reality is, it’s your route to success, so I’m going to help you make light work of it.
If success happened by accident, you wouldn’t need a strategy – right? Wrong. One of the most important elements of building an effective strategy is the review – why did ‘X’ happen? Can we repeat ‘X’ or was it really an accident that we achieved our ambition by such a great margin? It’s rarely an accident.
Definition of Strategy: a plan of action designed to achieve an overall aim.
Of course, huge corporations have very detailed strategies which go through multiple rounds of refinement and critique. But it doesn’t have to be this way… It can be a really simple 4 step process that keeps you and your business at the forefront of your marketplace and keeps the all important pounds rolling in.
STEP 1 – DISCOVERY
To be successful, you need to discover all you can about your Marketplace and how your products and services fit within it. Who are your competitors? Are there complimentary services out there? Are your products the right fit and sold at the right price? Most importantly, you need to discover who your customers are. What do they want, why do they want it and will you be able to fulfil their needs and solve their problems with what you are offering?
Discovery should be an ongoing activity that you invest time in doing regularly.
STEP 2 – PLAN
You will have learned enough in your discovery phase to build a robust plan. First build the ‘ideal state’ from a high level. Don’t get too detailed. You should be aiming to cover off these key areas:-
What does my business do? How does it do it? Keep it high level, not too much detail.
What problems does my business solve? What purpose does it serve?
Who are my customers? How will they know my business exists?
What is my competitive edge? What are my USPs?
Plan the financials and get help if you need to.
Identify some trackable metrics which will indicate progress being made.
STEP 3 – ACTION
This speaks for itself – put your plan into action.
This is where you walk the talk.
STEP 4 – REVIEW
As part of your plan, you identified some trackable metrics that will indicate progress. And of course you have your financials to review. The numbers will tell you a story and I’d urge you to stick to facts in your review process. It’s too easy to add peripheral noise.
So you need to reflect on what’s going well or not so well. Learn from any mistakes, spot opportunities to optimise your systems and processes. One of the most important things you should do is speak to your customers – get their feedback on what they like or don’t like. Also speak to your employees – they see things from a different perspective so you’ll get some diversity in your review material.
An ever-revolving wheel….
Strategy is not something which we do once as an activity and then do not go back to for a while. It’s a cycle. A winning strategy is an ever-revolving wheel which keeps turning to keep your business running smoothly and successfully. Just because I’ve talked about 4 steps, doesn’t mean each step happens in isolation. But of course you do need to give your plan the time it needs to be implemented and effective.
So, don’t get put off by people who imply building strategic plans is a labour intensive and complicated process. Keep it simple.
Here’s to your success!