By Jeff Brunings
Part 1:  Strengthen Your Sales Strategy with These Basic Templates

Solid business strategy hinges on the efficacy of all supporting functions firing on all cylinders. It requires marketing, operations, finance, and human resources to be aligned to organizational goals. And for organizations with a revenue focus, the effectiveness of your sales strategy is your heartbeat.

In our experience working with organizations around the globe, we’re reminded that sales performance is both an art and a science. The art side of sales is an intrinsic, relationship-oriented, gut-feel for helping people solve problems. The science side includes a data-driven, template-based approach that adds structure and process based on best practices.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve applied the science, go back to the basics. Try these template-based exercises to ensure your sales strategy is a living, breathing, and dynamic response to what the market is telling you:

  • New and Existing/Solution and Market Grid: There are a lot of variations available, but we like this one best. Chances are, you’ll find a distribution of sales-driven revenue across multiple, if not all, of the quadrants. Where are you seeing growth? Where is there stagnation? Where’s the opportunity? Are you managing to it?
  • SWOT Analysis: If you haven’t done a SWOT analysis from a sales perspective, do it. Remember, strengths and weaknesses are from an internal perspective and specific to your sales organization. Opportunities and threats are external. What are you hearing within the market? What are you anticipating will happen? Does your current departmental sales strategy have a response?
  • Competitive Advantages: A strength is something you’re good at. A competitive advantage is a strength that’s unique to you, and most importantly, is something that’s valued by customers. Competitive advantages change because the markets and customers change. Your sales organization is best positioned to answer these questions. Your organizational and departmental sales strategy is largely built from how you answer them.

It’s easy to get buried in the weeds. Over-engineering sales within the context of an organization’s broader, organizational growth strategy inhibits the art of selling. It’s OK to zoom out from time to time, fly at a higher elevation, and revisit a few of these tried-and-true, template-driven sales strategy exercises.

Don’t miss out on our next newsletter – Part 2: Customer Segmentation Tells You Where to Sell.

Jeff Brunings

With over 20 years management experience in multi-industry environments, Jeff drives customer experience by advancing the effectiveness of OnStrategy’s cloud-based platform and services.