How To Build an Effective Sales Strategy In 7 Steps
An effective sales strategy is essential to the success of your business. Because they can’t see the big picture, sales teams and managers with no strategy make judgments based on what seems best at the time. With a strategy, your team will be guided in the direction they need to take. As a result, you’ll be able to develop and expand your business and understand how to increase sales. Having a strong sales strategy will help you add value to your customers at each stage of the buying process.
This article will discuss how to build an effective sales strategy working backwards. Starting with a goal in mind, we’ll define what it will take to get there, as well as what it would mean to achieve success. Let’s dive right in.
1. Adopt a Customer-Centric Sales Approach
The goal is an incredible sales strategy that provides excellent results by focusing on the needs of the customer. For businesses, customer-centricity means providing a great experience for customers at every step of their journey. Because of this approach, customers become more loyal and satisfied, which encourages them to recommend you to others.
Customer-centric businesses always consider the impact their decisions have on their customers. When a company forgets about its customers, it is doomed to failure. They’ll develop the wrong products, spend their money on bad investments, and damage their brand’s reputation with customers.
2. Focus On Building Relationships
To be successful, every business must focus on cultivating long-term connections with its customers. Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Building and maintaining relationships isn’t something you can do once and then forget. Relationships between companies and their customers are no different.
One way to do this is to ensure that your team often engages on channels your customers use, whether in social media or email. Maintaining open and active lines of communication with your customers can significantly impact how they interact with you and your ability to build meaningful connections with them. When it comes to the customer experience, communication is key.
3. Adopt a Consultative Approach
With a consulting approach, salespeople spend some time with their customers to know their needs and then offer the best possible solutions to help them. To put it another way, the salesperson’s primary goal is to close the sale on a solution rather than a product. The best way to help your customer achieve their goals is to get to know them and learn about their most pressing issues.
4. Prioritize Listening Over Talking
There are many advantages to having good listening skills in sales. Every day, you’re in contact with customers and prospects. All your conversations give you new insights into their major pain points, issues, and wants. Understanding your audience’s pain points will allow you to customize your message and sales strategies to fit them better.
It’s a good idea to keep track of the most often raised issues and concerns that your customers bring up during sales calls. Set up a process that makes it easy for your salespeople to get this information. As you gather data surrounding this insight over time, you can guide your representatives in identifying which are referenced the most frequently. Look at the common terminology used to define their position and rank them in order of priority.
5. Ask Questions
Sales success hinges on the ability to ask insightful questions. By asking the right questions, you can reveal the wants and needs of your customers, build a relationship with them, and showcase your knowledge. As a result, it helps you qualify the sale and guarantees that you and your customer always have a mutual understanding. In addition to providing you with a wealth of valuable information, the questions you ask can help you stand out in a sea of competing vendors.
6. Equip Sales Reps With Product and Industry Knowledge
You can only be as powerful as the knowledge you have. Salespeople who know their products well can answer almost any question or deal with any objections that come their way. Consumers are more informed than ever before. Thus sales representatives must be well-versed in their product from top to bottom. As a result, product knowledge training is a must for every sales force.
An in-depth understanding of the product allows salespeople to discuss it in detail confidently, as well as respond to a customer’s misgivings. Representatives that know more about your products are better equipped to assist customers with problems they may encounter.
However, equipping your representatives with knowledge of your product’s specifics is not enough. You also need to make sure they’re aware of the bigger picture. Educating your representatives regarding the industry will help them better prepare for customers’ demands. As a result of keeping up with industry developments, salespeople will be ready to anticipate potential disruptions in the market.
7. Research Your Target Customers and Prospects
The core of any sales and marketing strategy is figuring out your ideal customers and learning about them. If you’re trying to reach a specific audience, this doesn’t mean you’re not eliminating everyone who doesn’t fit your description. With targeted marketing, you can spend your money and spread the word about your brand only to the people who are most likely to do business with you. With this method, you can reach a much larger audience at a lower cost and greater efficiency. In the process of determining your targeted customers, consider these factors:
- Who your customers are: To craft an effective sales strategy, you must have a thorough understanding of the characteristics of the typical member of your target demographic.
- What their major pain points are that you’re trying to address: You’ll be able to sell your product as a solution to your target market if you know what their difficulties are.
Understanding your target customer is the first step to developing a successful sales strategy. What are some of the common issues they face? Do you know what they’re trying to accomplish and how you can help them? You can design a sales strategy that meets both your objectives and the demands of your customers when you gather data and information about them. As soon as you get this down pat, your lead generation and sales activities will have a greater impact.
Selling to C-Suites Made Easy: 4 Tips to Simplify Your Sales Pitch
Selling to C-Suites can be tough. These people are the top executives of a company, after all; if you bring anything less than your A-game, you can prepare to leave without making a sale.
In some cases, trying to make a sale is where the problem lies. When approaching CEOs, COOs, and CFOs, you need to foster a conversation with them instead of directing an aggressive pitch their way. If that sounds difficult, worry not, because it doesn’t have to be.
Tips for a Productive Meeting
These four tips will help you pivot your sales pitch into a productive meeting:
1. Start with a Multi-Channel Strategy
The messenger is just as important as the message being sent. Many CXOs streamline their online data sources so that they only get accurate, relevant, and useful information. It’s unlikely that your C-Suites will welcome sellers obtained through generic channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even TikTok. Instead, they’ll want to get their information from trusted sources – preferably those that they have used before and proved to be effective.
A multi-channel strategy means creating a scattered approach to reaching your target audience. One or two channels isn’t enough; you need to leverage your platforms so you can touch base with your target CXOs through multiple points.
When using a multi-channel strategy, you should maximize its impact by pairing it with a growth marketing approach. The goal of this approach is to foster loyalty with your clients by looking at the entire cycle of lead generation instead of just the individual steps. By looking over the process in its entirety, you can gain insights that not even the firm may be aware of.
The beauty of this approach in combination with multi-channel marketing is that they move with the times. As the needs of the client change, so does your approach to marketing. So how do you showcase this during a CXO meeting? You can outline the links in the chain of operations to show your audience that you understand how the business works. From there, you can identify the weak links, taking into consideration external economic factors before eventually producing a solution to impress them and demonstrate your goal-driven mindset.
2. Find a Warm Introduction
Lead generation can get you through the door, but that doesn’t make you memorable. A good introduction captures the attention of your audience and justifies your presence in the meeting. So what makes a good introduction?
A good introduction should establish your expertise in the field. Talk about your history and what makes you a reliable source of information for their industry, then follow this up with evidence – what have you done for other firms? How have your contributions led to measurable benefits for these firms?
C-level executives got their positions because they’re very good at what they do. They have a firm understanding of the business and expect you to have the same level of knowledge; if you demonstrate anything less, you will instantly lose their attention.
3. Immediately Provide Value
From the outset, let your audience know that you can offer something useful to their operation. A good way to do this is by identifying a problem, agitating it, and then presenting the solution. This may be a formulaic approach, but it’s very effective in gaining attention and approval, even from CXOs.
For example, you can state that every year, X Company suffers a loss of $000 USD because of their problem. Emphasize the issue, then provide your offered solution. From there, you can expand on this solution, giving details such as how much it would take the firm to adopt it and how it would improve the overall operation of the company once adopted.
At the end of the day, any changes greenlit by the C-Suites need to have a substantial impact on the company. Added value is obviously important, but how do you emphasize that to the top executives?
Numbers are typically the best way to send your message. Specifically, you want them to understand how these changes affect the firm’s overall net profit. Return of investment, or ROI, is always a major concern for these people – how long will it take before the savings will equal the cost of the initial investment? If you’re wondering what a fast ROI would be, look for something that at least doubles the average ROI of investments in your industry.
You can never go wrong with an economic approach, especially with the persistent impacts of the pandemic. An analysis of data regarding sales meetings with CXOs shows that more than 70% of participation concerns economic instead of technical agendas.
4. Optimize Your Voicemails
Focus on quality when it comes to voicemails. Bombarding CXO channels with voicemails is a surefire way of getting on their blocked list. Instead, keep your introduction straightforward. Pay close attention to the words you’re using – especially the verbs. The goal is to use trigger words or industry-specific words that signify action on your part.
Address company pain points quickly and immediately; there’s no need to beat around the bush. Offer a solution and provide a clear path towards a call to action. Have them call you back, email you, or use other forms of communication. Optimize your communication to be clear, succinct, unhurried, and confident.
CXO days are packed with activity and with the current situation, they tend to focus on things that need their immediate attention. For this reason, they rarely show up for meetings if the agenda is vague or uninteresting. The voicemail or email invite should clarify your intentions and explicitly state what you intend to deliver as a benefit. Otherwise, they may choose not to come at all.
Selling to C-suites requires the input of many parts to achieve success. It’s not enough that you look the part of a reliable seller — you should also be able to capture the interest and convince them of your ability to deliver. Using these four tips will help you leave a lasting impression in your next meeting with the CXOs.
6 Effective Sales Cadence Strategies: Engage Your Customers and Drive Sales
In the world of sales, there are many strategies taken to ensure maximum customer engagement, lead generation, and revenue. One of these is sales cadence, an often-neglected process that helps develop relationships with prospective customers. If done right, sales cadence can close deals and create loyal, repeat customers.
In the simplest sense, sales cadence is a follow-up plan that begins after the first contact with a prospect. It’s how salespeople “chase” the customer and try to convince them to purchase their product or service. So how is it done, and what strategies are there to maximize its advantages? Read on to learn more about this process.
What is Sales Cadence and Why is it Important?
Most salespeople don’t have follow-up plans for a prospective customer. Typically, a prospect will need up to five follow-ups before they make a purchase. However, sales representatives typically only make a single follow-up attempt after the initial contact before moving on to the next prospect. Some stop here because they don’t want to come off as pushy, while others stop here because they simply don’t want to put in the additional effort.
However, opportunities could be leaking through the cracks if you don’t commit to follow-ups. Most people need repeated engagement and convincing to close a deal, and all of this is done after the first contact. This follow-up process is called sales cadence, a series of touchpoints that salespeople use to engage a prospect.
This sequence of interactions must be planned to remain organic. The last thing that a salesperson wants to do is pester the prospect with too many emails or calls, which will result in a lost customer at best. Sales cadence needs a strategic approach to create a good relationship with a prospect. So what can you do to enhance your sales cadence process?
Strategies for Effective Sales Cadence
Here are some things to consider when planning follow-ups with a prospective customer.
1. Develop Your List and Create a Customer Profile
It’s important to understand your target audience and find out their needs. While this step should be done before the first contact, it’s even more essential during sales cadence since it allows a salesperson to focus on key prospects. You don’t want to pour your effort on someone who absolutely has no use of your product — that is, unless you’re some gifted salesperson that can magically convince them otherwise.
So determine their demographics, which industries they belong to, and what possible pain points they have. It’s also helpful to know which platforms they use the most, whether they’re social media, emails, or phone calls. That way, you can communicate with them through their preferred channels.
2. Identify Channels of Communication
Knowing the preferred method of communication of a prospect is crucial. This is how a salesperson can maximize their contact with them. While it might look like an easy thing, the sheer number of ways that you can reach someone now — digitally or otherwise — make it difficult to find the most appropriate channel.
It will take a bit of research on your end, but the engagement you’ll get if you hit the right one will be worth it. One of the things you want to keep in mind is the prospect’s age group. Older demographics, surprisingly, tend to go online the most. The younger generation, on the other hand, prefers diverse platforms that depend on what they’re looking for.
3. Plan the Number of Contact Attempts
In most cases, at least five contact attempts are needed during sales cadence. However, most sales happen at seven attempts. It will take a bit of patience to reach this number, but a salesperson who can persist will be able to generate more leads and close more sales. Don’t give up after 7, since some customers might need up to 12 touchpoints before they’re finally convinced to buy your product. The most important thing to remember is to adjust your contact attempts depending on your previous interactions.
4. Know When to Send Attempts
Twelve touchpoints may seem like a lot, and it will be if a salesperson doesn’t know how to properly pace each contact attempt. You don’t want to seem too pushy by calling every now and then, and neither do you want a prospect to lose interest with wide gaps between each contact. Plan when to send your attempts to maximize engagement without wearing out the patience of your prospect.
5. Plan the Length of Time to Roll Out and Complete the Cadence
The sales cadence process shouldn’t go on indefinitely before a customer makes a purchase. In most cases, two to four weeks is enough for all the touchpoints. You can adjust this length depending on the prospect’s engagement. If you think you need to extend this because of a huge sale possibility, then feel free to do so.
6. Determine Your Message: What Are You Saying?
What you say to prospects can ultimately decide whether they’d make a purchase or not. So you need to determine if you’re communicating the right message during contact attempts. The channel can make a huge difference in what you can say as well. For example, a call requires on-the-spot improvisation while emails allow for more control. What’s important is for your message to remain intriguing and constructed to address their needs.
Implement, Test, and Adjust
Once you’ve created a sales cadence plan with the strategies above, it’s time to put it to work. No two prospects are the same, so it’s recommended to evaluate the contact attempts and see what worked and what didn’t. This way, you can make adjustments and adapt to the ever-changing needs of customers.
Sales cadence is one of the many strategies used in lead generation and growth marketing, and it starts after the first contact with a prospect. It’s the follow-up process that a salesperson takes to engage a potential customer and drive sales. There are a few ways to make this outreach method effective, from researching about the prospect to pacing contact attempts. If done right, sales cadence can secure a sale and increase revenue.
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Wrapping it all up
Starting with your strategy and underlying goals is essential before even beginning the next steps into your multi-channel outreach program. Once you have determined the voice of your customer and are ready to take the next steps based on data and not gut feelings, you are good to go to implement the sales cadences and multi-channel marketing tactics listed above.
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