Any business committed to generating revenue and maximizing profit understands the key role an effective sales strategy can play in the long-term realization of those goals.
The bottom line is that a marketing strategy can't work without an effective sales strategy. Both strategies need to align to deliver the best results. An effective sales strategy can boost your business's conversion rate by turning potential customers into buying customers.
This article will discuss winning strategies that deliver long-term results for both big organizations and small businesses.
What Are Sales Strategies?
Sales strategies are carefully structured and documented plans geared toward driving conversions. A winning strategy should translate features into benefits and differentiate your solution from your competitors.
Sales strategies contain key information like sales processes, competitive analyses, key performance indicators (KPIs), product positioning, team structure, and specific selling methodologies that enable you to complete your sales cycle successfully. Your sales strategy must be tested and optimized to achieve the desired result.
The Benefits of Having a Sales Strategy
An effective sales strategy makes for a successful and cohesive sales organization where target goals are efficiently communicated and sales reps are kept on the same page.
In a nutshell, a winning sales strategy exposes and positions your brand positively in the market, thereby driving more sales from existing and new customers while keeping you ahead of competitors.
Types of Sales Strategies
Depending on factors like current market trends, buyer behavior, and more, business owners can adopt inbound or outbound sales strategies or both. These two sales tactics can deliver results when well-executed.
Inbound Sales Strategies
With inbound sales strategies, business stakeholders and decision-makers target prospects through digital channels, such as social media, websites, blog content, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing activities. Prospects are given adequate personal attention geared toward understanding and solving their specific needs.
Being a need-based and buyer-oriented strategy, emphasis is on buyer intent, customer challenges, and customer retention. Trust and long-term customer relationships are also built into the process since ideal customers are not forced into buying a product but only guided through the buying process when they visit.
Your marketing team should empower prospective customers through sales templates that educate them about the products, pricing, and even possible solutions to their problems to speed up the sales process. Inbound sales strategy complements inbound marketing strategies to deliver results.
- Creates a better digital experience
- Easily leads to brand trust
- Customers may not easily find you
Outbound Sales Strategies
Outbound sales strategies involve a more traditional sales approach in guiding customers in their decision-making. Sales reps connect with potential customers in outbound sales strategies via face-to-face interactions, outreach, and social media channels.
The outbound sales strategy also involves sales calls made by your marketing team to reach different customer demographics through a sales pitch that flows naturally and doesn't sound too pushy.
There are different prospecting techniques that a salesperson can use to reach out to potential customers in an outbound strategy. Some sales techniques include cold emailing, cold calling, and social selling on platforms like LinkedIn. Once you can get customers' attention with your sales pitch, you can get them interested in your product and then sell it to them.
- Helps you reach people you may not even know
- Allows you to advertise your product to a wider audience
- High cost
- Can interrupt marketing
8 Approaches to a Winning Sales Strategy
The following approaches will ensure your sales efforts don't get wasted.
Identify Your Target Market and Build Your Buyer Persona
To record sales or close deals, you need to identify your target market. Here, both the marketing and sales teams play a role. First, your marketers will inquire about the challenges new customers face and how you can uniquely provide solutions. The existing customer base is also duly noted. The information is then communicated to sales professionals so they can act on it.
Building your buyer persona involves painting a picture of your typical buyer regarding their wants or needs, interests, likes, dislikes, favorite social media platforms, purchasing power, psychology, and more. It's like a profile that enables you to drive a more productive engagement with your customers. Identifying your target audience and building your buyer persona is the first step toward developing a winning strategy.
Have an In-Depth Knowledge of What You're Selling
Prospective customers are bound to ask questions and raise objections about your product or service. This is true for both potential and current customers, especially for new products. Your salesperson must be able to provide them with reasonable answers.
Knowing the product's features, its value to customers, and what differentiates it from competitors will enable you to close deals without sounding pushy. Your sales reps can undertake product training to understand the product better and resolve all doubts.
Consistently Follow Up
Most sales result from your ability to convince prospects to trust themselves, not you. The reason is that most prospects can be indecisive, probably because they can't trust themselves to make the right decision.
Your sales call might be rejected multiple times because of such indecisiveness, but that's OK. Respect their right to be indecisive, but then follow up. Additionally, prospects can be preoccupied with other aspects of their life. Therefore, you need to patiently and consistently follow up using personalized email, newsletters, texts, and social media to close the deal.
Request Feedback and Ask for Referrals
Your sales team should provide avenues for feedback after closing a deal. Survey tools like SurveyMonkey and JotForm are effective in this regard. Customer feedback can give you insight into your customers' pain points. Knowing their pain points enables you to make improvements in your products or services. This further boosts product acceptability and your ability to close more future deals.
In addition, your sales team should request referrals from loyal customers. A great way to do this is through referral programs where qualifying customers are promised a certain discount when referring new customers to buy your product. Again, you should upsell and cross-sell to loyal customers as necessary. Based on established trust, loyal customers can easily act on your recommendations.
Get in Touch With Inbound Leads
Responsiveness is a key factor in delivering sales. Research shows that 30% to 50% of sales go to the salesperson who responds first. The bottom line is that you have to reach out to inbound leads as soon as possible to avoid losing sales to competitors. Always ensure that you respond to their messages fast enough. Don't hesitate to show the value proposition of your product and how beneficial it will be to them once they purchase it.
Nurture Cold Leads and Provide a Free Trial if Possible
Cold leads don't always mean that prospects aren't interested in your products or services. A broader view should encompass prospects who show interest and then suddenly disengage. The reason might be bad communication on the part of the salesperson or something else. Either way, you don't have to give up on cold leads. If you remain patient and consistently nurture such prospects, it might yield results over time.
You can professionally reach them through personalized emails, newsletters, promotional e-blasts, social media, etc. With the sales manager's approval, offer them a free trial on products you think they might like to boost their interest. Even if they don't show interest immediately, they'll remember to contact you in the future when they need something that you have.
Invest in Your Sales Team
Your sales team is at the forefront of your business and is the first to hear both positive and negative customer experiences. Investing in your sales team is important to the sales process, as only trained and qualified salespersons will provide professional responses to customers' needs. Part of the training may include:
- Getting team members to speak in a sales conference where they'll deliver practical presentations based on real marketplace success
- Getting them to attend sales webinars, comment, and write industry blogs around customers' stories that involve using your products to solve everyday problems
Your sales pipelines will surely increase when your sales team aligns with your business sales goal and is motivated to take the business to the next level.
Invest in Tools and Software
The appropriate tools and software will enable you to gauge customer interest. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is one of those tools, although other marketing automation software exists. CRM software can be integrated with your prospects' social media accounts to serve you better.
With CRM software, you can see how a prospect interacts with your website, products they're checking out, industry-based topics they're reading on your blog, the product they like on your social media page, etc. Armed with this, it becomes easier to engage prospects and close deals. Both Salesforce and HubSpot offer comprehensive CRM software.
Communicate Effectively and Perfect Your Sales Speech
Irrespective of how you view it, the messaging element is what closes a deal. So, how your salespeople communicate value propositions can either close the deal or stall it.
Part of effective communication is being able to patiently listen to and understand what the customer is saying. Most customers aren't just looking to make purchases and move on. Some want to connect with the brand on a deeper level. What your salesperson says and how they say it matters.
The bottom line is that poor sales speech or online write-ups can make customers lose interest easily. Therefore, your sales team needs to master their sales speech to convert potential customers into buying customers.
Stay on Top of Your Business Finances With Skynova
While developing a sales strategy, you also need to pay attention to other aspects of your business. The financial aspect especially needs great attention. The good news is that there are online solutions that can help.
Skynova's accounting software lets you stay on top of your business finances by allowing you to track your business transactions, create invoices, and manage your business expenses. This gives you time to focus on other parts of your business, like developing an effective sales strategy.
Notice to the Reader
The content provides a broad explanation of sale strategies that can possibly improve businesses' conversion rates. It may not work for your specific business. Always seek expert opinions to get a more detailed view of these strategies.