Sales 101 - Developing A Sales Strategy


You’re not a sales rep – you’re in management, so what do you know about sales, right?

For good or bad, gone are the days when management could ignore the selling process. The small business owner of today must have a selling strategy to successfully grow their business.

“But why do I need a sales strategy?” you ask, “Most of my business comes through personal references and that’s all the selling I need!”

It’s true that new customers who come through word of mouth can be great for business, but are they the type of client you really want? Are they the most profitable clients you could get? And is working with them going to lead you to bigger and better things? A clearly articulated sales strategy is one of the best ways to develop your business in the direction you want to go when it comes to getting the right sort of customer.

What makes a great sales strategy

Developing a great sales strategy isn’t really that hard and it will save you time and make you money in the long run. But there are a few building blocks that need to be put in place before you can march out the door with your pockets stuffed with business cards.

First, identify the market that’s right for your product – will you be offering a low cost product and going for high volume sales, or is your product a specialty or niche one that would appeal only to certain market segments? Then decide how you want to sell to your customers - cold calling, direct mail, emarketing, or through a seminar for example.

You’ll need to organise the back end of your sales initiatives to take full advantage of the strategy you adopt – that is, develop a sales support system. A database of contacts that is continually updated is essential in many businesses, and where that’s the case, so is a sales tracking system so you know where particular customers, and potential customers, are in the sales cycle (this will also help with projecting revenue).

You might also find that the results, or conversion rates, achieved by some of your people are better than others - tracking conversion rates is an important part of any sales strategy. What you can measure, you can manage … and it’s great if you can have the people with the best conversion rate sharing their techniques with the rest.

Until next week,
Mike Reddy