A winning sales strategy is the difference between a business's success or failure. Since the vast majority of businesses survive based on the sale of products or services, the ability to write an effective sale strategy is critical when planning the allocation of resources. BusinessDictionary.com defines a sales strategy as the "planned approach to account-management policy formation, prospect identification and qualification, sales presentation, and order generation aimed at achieving a firm's sales quotas or targets." This simple definition clearly defines the sections of a complete sales strategy.
- Skill level:
Write a set of sales goals you wish to achieve. Define these goals with the S.M.A.R.T. method of goal setting. "S" stands for specific. Establishing a specific goal helps determine the exact path you will take to reach that goal. "M" stands for measurable. This helps to specify the goal by giving it a real world value, such as a dollar amount or units sold. "A" means attainable. The goals you set must be realistically attainable to help motivate you and your sales team to strive toward success. "R" is for relevant. The goals must be relevant to the overall well-being of the business and its employees to have the desired effect. The "T" requires you to give a time constraint. Setting a goal that has no deadline leaves room for the company to lose sight of its priorities and lowers the probability of reaching its goals.
Evaluate your resources. This applies to both economic resources and personnel. Determine how qualified your current staff is to achieve the goals defined in the previous step. Decide if your economic resources are better spent on training the current staff or seeking outside help with designing the sales materials and advertisements required to meet your sales goals. Write a clear plan on the state of current resources and how they will be used.
List the sales techniques you plan to use to sell the product to your target market. Study the techniques used by your biggest competitors and evaluate which ones they spend the most money on. This is usually a solid indicator of what works for your target market. Brainstorm other methods that you may use after the initial sales tactics produce steady revenue. Common methods include telemarketing, e-mail and bulk mail. Include a system to measure the effectiveness of each sales technique in a quantitative way. These metrics will provide a clear picture of what works and what does not.
Include the overall budget assigned to the sales strategy and the achievement of the core goals. This includes all of the money spent on marketing and advertising. It also includes any training planned for the sales force. This number should be treated as an investment and be re-evaluated according to the specific intervals defined in your system of metrics.
Organise the sales plan into clear and concise sections that detail the information outlined in the previous steps. Write the sales strategy in a clear and direct manner easily understood by everyone involved in the sales process. Print a copy for each member of the sales force to help motivate them
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