6 Steps to Creating (Or Improving!) Your Sales Strategy

A Simple 6-Step Process to Creating (Or Improving!) Your Sales Strategy

April 20, 2016

Let’s say you’re a brand new startup that just acquired funding and you’re looking to grow a sales team from the ground up. Or perhaps you’re a company that’s been around for a couple of years but you’ve stagnated, and you’d like to fine-tune the existing sales process and achieve rapid growth. Maybe you’re a large Fortune 500 company whose sales team needs a reboot, whether you know it or not.

No matter what situation you’re in, it’s highly likely that your sales process could be improved, but it’s difficult to know where to start or what to focus on. Thankfully, I’m here to help! Below are some of the most important aspects of the sales process that you should implement or improve.

 

1) Focus on core competencies

This may sound obvious, but you might be surprised at how many companies spread themselves too thin and don’t focus on what they’re really good at.  

Honing in on the specific services, products, or offerings that make your company stand apart from the rest allows you to further develop levels of expertise and uniqueness instead of constantly struggling to succeed at something you haven’t quite figured out how to do well.

Plus, it’ll make it a whole lot easier for your sales and marketing teams to develop lyrics around your services when what you’re offering is truly of a high caliber.

 

2) Create a structured and organized process

According to Worldleaders Sales Solutions, over 91% of emerging technology and services companies don’t apply a sales process to manage their sales opportunities or their salespeople. I cannot stress enough how much of a game changer a structured sales process can be for an organization.

Not only does it streamline day-to-day operations and make it easier to scale for growth, but it also helps make evident what aspects of the process may or may not be working.

I understand that creating a sales process that sticks can be incredibly difficult. Just make sure to remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect: mistakes are fine, as long as you learn from those mistakes and continually tweak and improve the process.

 

3) Invest in and customize a CRM

If you’re not already using one, consider investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) software that will not only help organize sales information but will also help simplify daily tasks.

If you haven’t already invested in a CRM, make sure you have a clear sales process in place (which you should already have, because you read my tip #2, duh) and you know exactly what you would like to get out of a CRM.

What information would you like to input, and what kind of data would you like to get reports on? Having a clear idea of the scope of your needs will better help you choose the right CRM for your company.

Even if you already have a CRM in place, it’s important to make sure that it’s customized to your specific business needs. No CRM is one size fits all (even if you did a stellar job vetting various CRMs), and if you’re just using the CRM as it comes it’s probably not working as efficiently for your business as it could be.

 

4) Automate

Often some of the most time-intensive aspects of sales can be automated, and people don’t always realize the extent of this. I really can’t stress enough how many products out there now exist that allow for easy automation. If there’s some hypothetical automation that you would love to implement, chances are it probably exists somewhere out there. What a world we live in!

Here at Perfect Search, we use a tool called Zapier to further automate processes. Zapier makes it easier to automate tasks between web apps. In our case our CRM and Google Calendar are linked through Zapier. It’s a huge time saver and ensures a high level of organization that really can’t be beat. I definitely recommend it.

 

5) Create a script

Scripting out what you would like your sales team to say during their sales pitch is the best way to ensure consistency, and will seriously improve your employees’ learning curves.

If you’ve never written a sales script before, make sure it flows naturally when spoken and doesn’t sound stilted or strange. Consider what aspects of your business are imperative for each sales rep to hit, and make sure they’re all reflected in the script.

Things you may want to consider including: company history, those core competencies (see tip #1), what sets you apart, and questions to ask the prospect. You may also want to consider including answers to questions or objections the prospect may throw back at your reps.

If you’re a seasoned vet when it comes to sales scripts, take a step back and try to look at the script with fresh eyes. Does your pitch perhaps need some reviving or a complete rewrite? Change can be a good thing, and keeping things fresh and current is important.

 

6) Test, test, and test again

Let’s say you’ve already put tips 1-5 into place (and took my advice along the way, of course). You’re not done. Industries are constantly changing, generations are constantly evolving, and what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow.

Always look at sales with a testing mentality. Make sure every aspect of what you’re doing is rooted in goals and statistically significant metrics.

Let’s say you’re convinced that the best way to acquire new business for your dog-walking company is to go door-to-door. Are you sure? Have you tested other methods of outreach like digital marketing? Shameless plug: Check out our digital marketing services here. What about email outreach or phone calls? It may be worth investing in determining what sales methods are actually the best for your business.

 

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While every company’s sales process should be unique to the intricacies of their business, every process should include some aspect of all six of these tips. Be open-minded to new technologies out there that may help make your sales team more efficient, and don’t get stuck in your ways! Testing out new strategies may lead to surprising results.

Interested in more business development advice? Check out my post on the 7 B2B email marketing elements every marketer should test.

Are there some strategies that you’ve implemented for your sales team that aren’t mentioned here? We’d love to hear about them! Tweet us at @Perfect_Search

Director, Business Operations
Laura Cain is a University of Chicago alum who hails from Mandeville, Louisiana. If she could have her own store, she would sell sandwiches on really fancy bread, and the one thing she can’t live without is ice cream (seriously).

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