Every company strives to make as many sales as possible, whether they are providing a product or a service. By and large, dynamic marketing content, short sales cycles, and return custom are the key to boosting revenue. However, they don’t appear out of nowhere – the majority of the time, they’re the result of a carefully planned sales strategy. After all, it’s strategy that will capture and convert leads, not the luck of the draw. Therefore,an effective sales strategy is a crucial element of a company’s plan to build their brand. Often, it’s the quality of the sales strategy that will make the difference between average and record performance metrics.
Although the purpose of a sales strategy is to generate revenue, it should always keep the end-user in mind. Although it may be tempting to retreat into old-fashioned, product-centric models, customer centricity is the business buzzword of the moment. In today’s increasingly competitive markets, it is service that sets businesses apart. Therefore, a sales strategy should encompass more than identifying the ideal consumer – it should place customer experience at its core. Here, we cover how to develop an effective sales strategy and the key role that customer experience plays in meeting targets.
Index of Content
The foundations of an effective sales strategy
A sales strategy is a business’s plan to drive conversions and increase revenue. It seems simple enough – however, understanding the key elements of a sales strategy is important. This is especially the case in today’s technology-driven markets. Now, there are a number of different avenues through which a company can attract customers, from traditional formats like print and television to modern tools like user-generated content (UGC) and remarketing. From here, sales teams need to devise a strategy to convert these multifarious leads into sales. As is becoming clear, increasingly complex markets mean more detailed sales strategies. Therefore, it’s important to distill the basics. Overall, a robust sales strategy should include three key sections:
- Calculate an appropriate budget. The bedrock of business best practice is good budgeting. Not only will a budget monitor overheads, it will also provide success metrics that indicate which tactics lead to conversions.
- Identify your target audience. A fundamental aspect of any sales plan is identifying your target audience. After all, not every consumer is a potential buyer. Once a business defines audience, they can channel marketing resources effectively.
- Establish your strengths. A key component of a sales strategy is determining an organisation’s competitive advantage. By researching competitors and defining your strengths, the sales team can model why a consumer may choose your brand over a competitor. Armed with this information, a business can develop sales techniques that emphasise this advantage.
Once the sales team has pulled together these principle elements, they can look towards sales techniques. From here, the business can consider how to place customer experience at the core of their operation.
Developing a sales strategy that delivers
Once you’ve drawn up your budget, identified your target market, and defined why they should choose your product above all others, it’s time to map out how to make those conversions happen. Often, a good strategy is to build out from the foundations of your sales strategy to develop techniques that deliver.
- Make your resources go further
It’s an elemental business principle that often falls by the wayside – it’s important to keep your overheads down. Once you’ve established a budget, the sales team should brainstorm ways to reduce the cost of a conversion. Often, the key to keeping overheads down is short sales cycles, which are inextricably tied to customer satisfaction. Subsequently, cost-effective approaches can be allocated more investment in the future.
- Get to know your target customer
You know who your ideal client is – now you need to figure out how to reach them. What’s more, once you’ve got their attention, you need to make sure they convert. An important step is developing a complete picture of the client journey, from brand awareness to retention rates. With this intelligence, you can adapt marketing content and user-experience to drive profitable return custom.
You know your strengths – now it’s time to learn and grow
Perhaps the most important aspect of developing an effective sales strategy is acknowledging that it is a continuous process. Once the strengths of your company’s offer have been defined, it’s important to not rest on your laurels. Companies should continually seek to improve by isolating sales activity that drives growth and improves customer service. A good way to define these objectives is to include sales evaluations in your regular agenda.
Why is customer experience key to the success?
As implied throughout, customer experience is the keystone of a successful sales strategy. This is due to the changing nature of the consumer landscape. This is particularly well illustrated by the development of marketing strategies; whereas before an infomercial may have sold a product, younger consumers find this format abrasive and untrustworthy. Instead, they are more responsive to UGC and inbound marketing. As such, sales teams should adapt their approach in response to these cultural shifts.
This begins with learning more about your target customer. Through data generated by resources like social media and review websites, brands can learn more about their clientele than ever. Therefore, companies should exploit this data to respond to their customers’ desires. With this intelligence, businesses can look for opportunities to market higher value purchases; optimise their sales timetable, and grow brand awareness.
Furthermore, as UGC becomes an increasingly dominant marketing force, reputation is everything. Therefore, companies need to ensure they are delivering exceptional service. This will not only organically drive customer acquisition but also retain all-important loyal customers. This is a crucial imperative across every aspect of a sales strategy, as it is estimated to be 6–7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one.
Satisfied customers equal a successful sales approach
Knowing what your customer wants and needs is crucial to keeping overheads down and sales up. By better understanding the end-user, businesses can refine their sales pitch to meet their specific requirements. In response to increasingly complex markets, sales professionals need to be open to new technologies. For example, companies should embrace new approaches to marketing and customer care, like UGC and chatbots. With the help of this new technology, companies can work toward a winning sales strategy.