Adopting a sound Sales Strategy framework is vital to improving your conversion rates, which impacts your bottom line. Use this step by step guide to building your own sales strategy from scratch.
1 – Build an ideal target account profile
If you haven’t done this yet, begin with this step. Use existing customer data to determine who you should be targeting and write up a hypothetical ‘ideal’ profile. Think about what the criteria are for targeting them, what do they look like, what are their demographics, where are they based, what company size are they, which job title is the decision-maker and so on.
As a second step, set some criteria for who you should not target. Even it’s simply a list of what doesn’t qualify a good prospect, then it’ll help your team know what should be prospected to and what should be excluded.
2 – Adapt the buyer persona
Once you know which accounts to target, you want to be a lot more specific when it comes to the buyer personas within them. These are the actual people you want to get in front of. You want to know what motivates them, what they are responsible for, what their age range is likely to be, where they consume news, what are their concerns, and so on. The more you can add, the more personalised and targeted you can get.
A buyer persona should shape how you talk to each person differently.
3 – Create a repeatable process
Once you’ve nailed your targeting and personas, you want to nail the process side of things. Getting the process right ensures a scalable and repeatable strategy which makes predicting revenue a lot easier. Firstly, identify the repeatable parts of the sales process – meetings, calls, emails, outcomes – and build a flow of activity from the initial activity to closed won/lost. This can form a basis for improving your processes, but it should always be tweaked and amended to reflect areas of potential improvements.
To start, this can be a rough workflow that you then make more detailed as you flesh out the process plan, including descriptions of each activity and sales stage.
4 – Build a conversations matrix
The next step is to build a conversation matrix for your sales team to use to tweak their messaging to prospects, based on the problem you are solving, the persona you are speaking to and the stage in the sales process.
The matrix should form the go-to document for guiding your salespeople through the sales journey and equip them with everything they need to have better conversations. Identify each problem that comes up and provide an answer. Identify the common questions that arise, and add an answer. This stops your team all saying very different things on calls, and helps to standardise answers across the business.
The final outcome should be an all-encompassing ‘if this then that’ matrix which your team can use for help and guidance.
5 – Align with marketing to create demand
Now you’ve got some of the basics in place, you want to start getting leads into the pipeline. Align with marketing to ensure everyone is aware of what the objectives are/targets are, what is the average deal size, what is the current close rate and so on. These numbers will inform you of how many opportunities you need to create to hit your target. Once you know how many opportunities you need to create, you can work out how many are currently coming from sales sources and how many from marketing – that should then form the objectives for both teams.
These are the five fundamental steps to creating your sales strategy framework. The more you learn, the more you can add to it until this becomes a well-oiled machine.