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  • Writer's pictureCassidyMason

Creating a Strong and Sustainable Sales Strategy.

A sales strategy is defined as “a plan by an individual or a business outlining how to go about selling products and services and increasing profits”. But what does a business need to include in its analysis to create the optimum sales strategy and how does a business maintain a strong sales strategy in an ever-changing market landscape?

In every industry there are external threats to each business’ sales strategy. These may come in the form of new competition, new technology, socioeconomic impacts on demands or even global pandemics to name but a few, so it is vital that a sales strategy builds in resilience and flexibility in order to drive continued success.

At the very start of any business journey, before it can even launch, a large amount of market analysis needs to be carried out. This includes fee modelling, competitor landscape analysis, customer profiling, process creation and value proposition analysis as a minimum. Each one of these are vital to ensuring a robust go to market strategy, however they are also constantly required throughout the journey as part of your sales strategy.

Once launched, new factors come into play very quickly and need to be added into the mix. A business starts to cultivate its own data for analysis in the form of purchase data, conversion rates, C-Sat, marketing ROIs etc. Using all of this data combined with reviewing processes to improve efficiency, especially as part of the customer journey, collaborating across the business on creative marketing and nurturing relationships with suppliers all help to strengthen your sales strategy and, ultimately, grow revenue.

In reviewing each of these aspects, and more, a business can not only stay on top of market shifts, changes in customer behaviour and optimise profits but it can also make quick, and in some cases, bold decisions. We know that innovation and challenging the norm often allows business to succeed with Apple, Nike, Facebook, Amazon, Starbucks and many more providing excellent examples of this.

Over the last year we have seen the importance of a business being able to pivot and adapt to drastic market changes however none of those who have seen success over this time would have had a weak sales strategy. A sales strategy gives you transparency of what is currently happening in order to optimise what can happen in the future.

But it is not all data analysis and efficient processes. Communication and collaboration are vital. As a strategist it is very common to become reliant on data as a sole driver to make decisions. I remember interviewing a young lady who carried out a case study for us. The task was to recommend a seasonal sales strategy including marketing recommendations, price points and bundle structures and present as though presenting to a sales team. While the candidate showcased fantastic data analysis abilities, sadly she had removed the human element which makes strategists so vital over and above a computer programme. The data on its own gave an excellent framework but, when logic was applied and she was asked to put herself in the position of the customer and look at the purpose of the campaign for the business, it was clear that the data alone was not sufficient. Understanding your customer is a vital aspect to a sales strategy and collaborating with members of the business, conversing with your target market and understanding external factors that impact data are all vital as well.

Once a business has used all of this, and more, to create its sales strategy going forward, the execution is the final hurdle. Communicating the strategy to the business may sound simple but you have to get the buy in of everybody. Of course, your sales team need to believe in the strategy, be excited by it and agree with it, but your operations team are just as important in its success. From marketing, to quality assurance, to finance, to analysts, to customer service to production staff and beyond, each member plays a role in elevating your product or service. If they care and believe in what you are doing, then your customer will receive an experience that creates brand loyalty, something every business should strive for as part of their strategy.

A sales strategy is not just about numbers, whether those numbers be data, profit margins or units sold. A sales strategy should be about that and brand loyalty from your customers, your employees and your suppliers. Only when all of those come together do you create a strong and sustainable sales strategy that will optimise the success of your business and make you the one to watch.

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