Will You Make it Through the Current Economic Turmoil? Part 3 – Explaining Sales Strategy

Will You Make it Through the Current Economic Turmoil Part 3 - Explaining Sales Strategy

What is a sales strategy?

There are many proven methods for creating a sales plan. However, the most important thing to remember is that a sales plan answers the question, “How do I attract new customers to my business?” How do you retain and grow existing customer revenues? There are many well-documented models and approaches that can be used to develop a relevant and targeted sales strategy, depending on how complicated you want it to be. To simplify the process, you will need to review the five boxes of the selling strategy puzzle. You will be able to make your ideas into reality if you put them into practice. As we go through each strategy box in detail, I will pose some key questions that will prompt you to think about how each strategy impacts your business. These questions will stimulate your thinking and give you ideas and inspirations for actions. These ideas and actions can be saved for later. These are the five selling strategy boxes that make up a puzzle about sales strategy:

Market
Customer
Capacity
Competition
Newmarket space
You should review each one in detail.

1. Understanding your market

Is your current market still appropriate?
Do you see a rise in demand for your product/service? How can you tell?
Which market segments are you currently serving that are growing or shrinking in size?
Which is the best way to reach your market? How can you find out?
What actions are needed?

2. Understanding your customer

Are you able to describe the ideal customer?
Who actually buys the product/service?
Who might be interested in our product/services? – What is the reason?
Why would they choose to buy from you?
Is your customer base shrinking or growing?
What percentage of their wallet share do they currently hold?
Are you seeing a decrease in your crucial customer’s wallet share or a rise?
What actions are needed?

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3. Know the value of your capabilities

How can your prospects and customers benefit from the products and services you offer?
What are your core competencies?
What are your strengths?
Which problems can you solve?
What are your target market’s needs, pains, and wants?
Do the needs outlined above still apply?
Do you have any similar or similar problems?
What modifications, if any, are necessary to adapt your product or marketing collateral to current market conditions.
Action: What actions should you take?

4. Understanding the Competition

How significant is your unique selling proposition/value statement (Unique selling proposition (USP) defines your competitive advantage? This clearly defines what sets you apart from your competitors. Use it to highlight these benefits in your marketing and sales efforts.
What are your competitive influences (external/internal)?
Are you able to identify and deal with all competitive influences in your competition strategy?
How can you distinguish yourself from the competition?
What are the potential rivals that could “play” in this space, either above or below our limits (determined by price and performance)?
Do you think there is a chance to be competitive?
Action: What actions should you take?
These questions will help you confirm if your cheese has moved. These questions should open up discussion about potential “new cheese” opportunities. A slight shuffle of three to five degrees in the direction of your current operation can help you open up new market opportunities.

5. Learn about new markets

W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne, and their Harvard Business Review paper “Creating New Market Space” and their book “Blue Ocean Strategy” present six strategies for companies looking to expand new markets.

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In my next article, I will detail the six strategies.

Ian Segal is a leading authority and coach in Australia in sales management. He has been involved with the training, coaching, and development of sales managers for more than two decades.

Ian has 25 years of experience in sales and sales management. He also leads an HR and training department. This gives him a strong sense of fiscal reality as well as practicality.

Ian has an insatiable appetite for learning about selling and people management. He has tirelessly sought answers to the question, “How can some people sell while most people don’t?”