Sales Strategy: What is most effective? A Great Message
How do you build the best sales strategy? Many people will tell you that you are ready if you have a plan, a process and a bullpen of reps who understand your solution. Well, not quite.
Problem is that most sales strategies tend to be too internally focused. While they can document the internal processes well, they often lose sight of the messages and skills your reps require to communicate value to prospects and customers.
Take a look at these insights:
- Get started with researchSiriusDecisionsIt is clear that sales quota achievement is impeded by the “inability” to communicate a value signal.
- SiriusDecisions conducted similar research, asking executives to rate their interaction with salespeople. Only 10% said that sales calls were of sufficient value to justify the time spent.
- AForrester ResearchA study found thatOnly 15 per cent of sales calls are sufficient to add value. Surveyed executives.
- Another finding from the Forrester study was thatOnly 7 percent of respondents said they would schedule a follow-up.
The bottom line is that your sales strategy will not help you increase sales if your sales force cannot communicate value.
So what are you left to do?
Here are 10 tips to build a winning sales strategy. Each one is backed by behavioral research and has been rigorously studied to be effective in B2B selling situations.
It’s crucial to first understand what it means to have a successful sales strategy.
What is a Sales Strategy?
A sales strategy is a written plan to position and sell your product or services to qualified buyers in a way that sets you apart from your competition.
Your sales strategies should be clear and provide direction for your organization. They typically include key information like growth goals, KPIs, buyer personas, sales processes, team structure, competitive analysis, product positioning, and specific selling methodologies.
These guidelines are useful for communicating goals and keeping sales reps on the right track. A common problem with sales strategies is that they are too focused on the internal workings within your organization. It’s not necessary to know the actual skills required to win conversations with buyers.
When you boil it down, the goal of every sales strategy is to make sure your salespeople hit their quota, right? The messaging element, which is what salespeople say, do and write to create perceived worth, is what wins or loses a deal.
A company’s sales strategy should be based on conversations with customers. This will make it more effective. This skillfully delivered conversation creates a distinct buying experience that demonstrates value to your buyers and sets your company apart from the rest.
These are the 10 key points to remember when planning a sales campaign.
8 Keys for Developing a Profitable Sales Strategy
1. In your Messaging, create a compelling value proposition
Many prospects aren’t able to identify or articulate the root issues they face every day. Your prospects may not recognize the true value of your product or service, no matter how amazing it is. This is why it’s important to craft a persuasive message.
In factForrester ResearchIt was found thatExecutive buyers are 70% more likely to give their business away to companies that have a clear buying vision.Compared to the vendors in a group of commodity supplier groups.
It is not enough to highlight your product’s benefits and hope that buyers choose you over other products. It only places you at value parity, and forces you to compete with other solutions.
Instead of talking about the things you do and how you think you can improve them, create a buyer vision that sets out new challenges that align with your unique strengths. This powerful value proposition will uncover previously Unconsidered Needs for your prospect, create contrast, and drive the urgency to change using stories and insights.
2. Make it a priority to make changes
Unknowingly, most companies position themselves to compete in a variety of benefits and features. The “why should you choose me?” question is answered by these companies for their prospects. However, this is a missed step.
The truth is that most buyers prefer not to change. In reality,63% of pipeline deals are lost due to “no decision” and not to competitors.
Staying the same is comfortable and safe, but change can be dangerous and scary. To break through Status Quo Bias and get prospects to leave their current situation, you need to tell a story that makes a compelling case for why they should change, and why they should change now.
Effective sales strategies require that you understand your competition-the status quo. You must help your prospects make a decision to change. This is how you differentiate your solution and sets the tone throughout your buyer’s Deciding Journey.
3. Share a Memorable and Memorable Story
Salespeople are trained to get all facts about their offerings straight when they meet prospects. You can’t make your customers feel special even if you have the best information.
Telling personal stories and using metaphors and analogies helps bring your message alive in a more compelling way than simply reciting facts and data. Storytelling creates a vivid picture of your customers, showing the contrast between their current and future situation, and linking what you offer directly with their unique situation.
You will find that your customer relationships are more meaningful and deepening if you begin to share stories in sales conversations.
4. You should speak to the customer and not your sales process.
A sales process is an organized set of steps that a salesperson uses in order to guide a prospect towards purchasing. The typical sales process includes several steps, such as prospecting and qualifying, discovering needs, negotiations, and closing. If your buyers were all robots going through an assembly line, then this checklist would be ideal. However, this isn’t the case.
Selling today is not a straightforward process. It’s not something you can predict. What you’re really up against today is a Customer Deciding Journey -a series of key questions your buyers are asking as they look to address specific business goals.
Instead of being program-centric with a one size fits all sales strategy, you must be problem-centric. This means that you address the needs of your buyers by creating situationally relevant messages and content.
5. Don’t depend on Buyer Personas for your Sales Strategy
The idea of customer personas and buyer personas sounds good in theory. It is possible to identify common attributes, attitudes, behaviours, and demographic characteristics of your target audience in order to frame and target your messages. But when used as a superficial profiling approach, personas can lead your messaging astray.
Persona-based sales assumes that the actions and behaviors of your target buyer are driven by their internal characteristics. Outside influences can motivate buyers to challenge the status quo or convince them to change. These outside influences can include rapid growth within the company or inefficient or unsustainable processes or larger changes that affect the entire industry.
Your buyer’s professional attitude and their real motivations for behaviour change and behaviors are what drives them. Instead of focusing your sales strategy only on inconsequential attributes and ignoring the real drivers behind behavior change, you should talk to your buyers about the challenges they face and why it is putting them at risk.
6. Do not ask Discovery questions, but lead with insights
Many salespeople attempt to be “trusted advisors” by asking customers discovery questions, diagnosing customer needs, and then offering a solution that matches the criteria. However, this approach can be detrimental to your customer and you.
Your buyers need you to go beyond saying, “Tell us what you want; we’ll get it.” Buyers expect salespeople who will help them understand what they want. They want you as a salesperson to help them sort through all the information and provide insight into their needs in order to improve their performance.
This goes beyond simply searching online for statistics and data. A fact without a story will be nothing more than a statistic. Wrap your insights in a story to make them feel connected and provide context.
7. Align Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing can often be seen as separate departments with different goals. Marketing creates and uses sales messaging and tools to generate leads for the sales team. These tools and messaging help sales teams convert those leads into revenues. But a lack of alignment and gaps in your process can sabotage your efforts.
One side might say the following: “We’re doing what we can, but they don’t get it.” This goal fosters an attitude of us-versus-them and misses the bigger picture. For better marketing, sales is the design point. Marketing is the storyteller in your company’s story.
Both teams must work together to reach one goal: convince buyers to choose you.
8. Continued Situational Training
The majority of training and learning initiatives are based upon a set or competencies. They are supported by a catalogue and curriculum. Schedules are determined based upon availability and calendar interest. What does all this have to offer the company in terms of a business strategy, responding quickly to market changes, and intervening when necessary?
Sales training needs to increase flexibility, adaptability, and relevance to your situation in order to be effective and efficient. Using a flexible, on-demand training model enables you to deploy it at a moment’s notice to solve problems as they occur, and tackle initiatives as they arise. Training your sales team for situational agility equips them with the messaging and skills they need relative to the customer conversations they’re having.
Go beyond the “best practices” approach to your sales strategy
The majority of “best practices”, as they are called, won’t work for your sales team. Instead of following a “fill in the blanks” template, you should create a strategy to communicate more value during sales conversations.
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