When businesses experience stagnation in their sales and revenue, something that’s easy enough to avoid is often to blame: They lack a clearly defined sales strategy. Even if you have a sales strategy, how often do you revisit it?
Chances are that yours could use some tweaking. To be effective, a sales strategy should outline a defined process that includes measuring and monitoring the strategy’s success. Additionally, an effective sales strategy must be used on an ongoing basis, as its benefits take time to be realized.
Is your sales strategy strategic enough to help you achieve your objectives? Consider the following points and adjust yours accordingly to ensure the best return on your investments of time, money, effort and energy:
- Have You Defined Your Target Market? Your sales strategy won’t get you anywhere if it’s not being directed at a specific niche group or market. If you have products and services that appeal to many different groups, establish unique strategies for each. Sure, it takes more work, but once it’s in place, you’ll realize more benefits while expending less effort. Whether you’re targeting one group or several, create lists of prospects to include in your outreach efforts to make your strategy as actionable as possible.
- Do You Have a Proposal Ready to Go? It’s true that you should customize your approach for each prospect, but you still need an overarching proposal in mind and ready to go. You can then tweak it to apply to the specific prospect that you are approaching. Always work smarter–not harder–by considering the best outreach approach. If the prospect is in your network, use it to gain a toehold. If not, cold-calling is the way to go.
- Are You Asking Questions Instead of Answering Them? Your first instinct may be to present a prospect with the top benefits of working with your company or to sing the praises of your products and services. A much better approach is to ask questions and really listen to your prospects. If you give them time and hear them out, they will eventually reveal how your offerings will benefit them, and you will know how to proceed from there.
- Are You Delivering on Your Promises? Nothing can destroy a sales strategy more quickly or completely than not making good on your promises. The services and products that you offer should live up to the expectations that you’ve created. Even after making the sale, keep building that relationship. Follow up in the short term, but make a point of touching base from time to time to increase loyalty.
- Do You Track Your Results? Eliminate terms and phrases like, “seems to be,” “probably” and “apparently” from your vocabulary, at least when it comes to how well your strategy is faring. Don’t assume things are going well. Every month, determine whether or not you hit your numbers. Which of your efforts produced results? Which didn’t? Use this information to continually tweak and optimize your strategy going forward.
Now that you’ve brushed up on the key components of an effective sales strategy, you will probably want to adjust yours. In fact, it may be the time to start from scratch entirely. Either way, making it a priority will help you achieve and maintain success over the long term.
Originally published on TheListInc.com