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Sales Strategy - Optimising Outcomes

Updated: Sep 15, 2023


sales strategy to outcomes shapedlogic

From Strategy to Outstanding Outcomes


Many businesses today, large, or small, approach sales without a strategy. The core symptoms that can be seen are high sales staff turnover, complex sales plans, long sales cycles, missed goals, shrinking customer base and irritable management. Truth is that it is management’s fault and not entirely the sales executives and administrators. Yet it is the sales teams that get the bulk of the blame. Having spent over 30 years selling, in sales management and managing businesses I have never seen a successful business with out a well implemented sales strategy.


In today's increasingly competitive business landscape, having an effective sales strategy is a necessity. It's the roadmap that leads the business to their target customers, closing deals, and ultimately, driving revenue growth. However, with the myriad of approaches available, deciding on the most effective sales strategies can be daunting. Sales strategies depend somewhat on your business. So, sales strategies, their execution, and expected outcomes to give businesses a competitive edge, will be different from business to business.


Consultative Selling


Consultative selling involves becoming a trusted advisor to potential clients, deeply understanding their needs, and recommending solutions that solve their problems or enhance their operations. This strategy focuses on developing long-term relationships rather than just making a one-time sale.


By adopting a consultative selling approach, companies can expect strengthened customer loyalty, improved customer retention rates, and potentially larger deal sizes. When customers feel understood and valued, they're more likely to remain loyal to a brand and advocate for it within their networks.


Solution Selling


Solution selling is a sales methodology that emphasises solving customer problems rather than merely selling products or services. This strategy involves identifying the customer's pain points, and then presenting your product or service as the best solution to these challenges.


The outcomes of solution selling can be rewarding. It can lead to increased customer satisfaction since you're meeting their specific needs, increased sales volume as you position your offering as indispensable, and a heightened brand reputation for being customer-centric and solution-oriented.


Social Selling


With the exponential growth of digital platforms, social selling has become an important strategy. It leverages social media channels to connect with prospects, build relationships, and offer value before initiating a sales conversation. But done wrong or with partial interest it can be a sales killer and not a winning solution.

With a well-planned social selling strategy, businesses can anticipate a wider reach to potential customers, faster and more efficient prospecting, increased sales because of the high volume of leads, and enhanced brand visibility and engagement.


Account-Based Selling


Account-based selling is a targeted approach that treats individual customer accounts as the market. It involves thoroughly understanding the account, personalising outreach, and sales pitches, and coordinating between various departments to cater to the account's unique needs.


The benefits of account-based selling include a higher return on investment due to targeted efforts, improved customer relationships, more significant deal sizes due to personalised value propositions, and enhanced inter-departmental collaboration within the organisation.


Inbound Selling


Inbound selling is a strategy that focuses on attracting customers through valuable content, SEO optimisation, social media engagement, and other strategies to make the brand easily discoverable. Inbound selling aligns with the modern buyer's lifestyle and expectations allowing them to research and find your product in the maze of competitive products.


Inbound selling strategies can result in high quality leads since they attract customers already interested in your offerings, higher conversion rates, and improved customer relationships since the strategy is customer centric.




ecommerce selling online sales strategy shapedlogic

Online Sales: Strategies for Success


The rise of ecommerce and online selling has revolutionised the way businesses sell their products and services. As more consumers shift their purchasing behaviour online, it's become vital for businesses to develop and refine effective online sales strategies. The best practices in online sales involve a blend of traditional selling principles and contemporary digital strategies. Here are some of the most effective strategies:


Personalisation


Personalisation involves delivering tailored experiences to customers based on their preferences, behaviours, and past interactions with your business. You can personalise emails, product recommendations, and even the content of your website for individual visitors. With personalisation, you can make your customers feel understood and valued, which can increase engagement, conversion rates, and customer loyalty.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)


SEO is crucial for online selling as it ensures your products appear in search engine results when potential customers are looking for what you offer. An effective SEO strategy involves keyword research, creating high-quality content, and optimizing your website’s design and loading speed. When done correctly, SEO can lead to increased website traffic, brand visibility, and online sales.


Content Marketing


Content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable content to attract, inform, and engage your target audience. This can include blogs, videos, infographics, ebooks, and more. By providing helpful content, you can build trust and authority, encourage repeat visits to your site, and guide visitors towards a purchase.


Now generative AI is assisting online content marketing managers to create new and focused content more easily.


Social Media Marketing


Social media platforms provide an opportunity to connect directly with your target audience, promote your products, and build your brand. Posting regular, engaging content and interacting with your audience can increase brand awareness and loyalty. Additionally, most platforms now have features that allow for direct product promotion and sales, making it easier for businesses to reach their sales goals.


Email Marketing


Email marketing remains one of the most effective online sales strategies. It enables businesses to maintain direct contact with customers, send personalized offers, and keep customers updated with new products or services. A well-segmented email list can lead to higher open and click-through rates, enhancing customer engagement and driving sales.


Customer Reviews and Testimonials



ecommerce customer reviews shapedlogic

Positive customer reviews and testimonials can significantly influence online sales by boosting your brand's credibility and trustworthiness.


Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews, and prominently display these testimonials on your website and social media platforms. This social proof can reassure potential customers about the quality of your products or services, leading to increased sales.


Beware of review farms and falsifying reviews, these only lead to disaster.


Understand the Landscape


The landscape of online sales is dynamic and demands continual adaptation. The best strategy will depend on your business model, target audience, and resources. However, the strategies above have been proven to be effective across various industries and markets. Remember that the key to successful online sales lies in understanding your customer's needs, delivering value, and providing a seamless online shopping experience.


Stay Flexible and Stay Alive


Choosing the right sales strategy depends on a variety of factors including your industry, product or service, target customer, and company size. Regardless of the strategy employed, it's crucial to remain flexible, as the business environment is continually evolving. Ultimately, successful sales strategies require a deep understanding of customer needs, a focus on building relationships, and the ability to adapt and innovate in the face of change. These key elements, when incorporated into a well-defined and executed strategy, can lead to increased sales performance, improved customer loyalty, and business growth. Ensuring that you sales strategy is working is not a wait and see methodology. The business and all individual components must start recording and tracking the performance from the start.


Measuring Results


KPI dashboard and reviews shapedlogic

Understanding and measuring the effectiveness of a sales strategy is crucial in ensuring a business’s growth and profitability. This requires defining and monitoring specific key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with the company's sales strategy and objectives. Here are some important metrics to help measure the outcome of a sales strategy effectively:


Sales Revenue


Sales revenue, of course, is the most direct indicator of a sales strategy's effectiveness. It shows the total income from the sale of goods or services. Increasing sales revenue is usually a primary goal for businesses, so if your strategy leads to growth in this area, it's a good sign that it's working.


Conversion Rate


The conversion rate is the percentage of leads or potential customers who perform a desired action, such as making a purchase. This metric is crucial as it shows how well your sales strategy is at converting potential customers into actual customers.


Sales Growth


Sales growth measures the percentage increase in sales over a specific period. It can be useful in determining whether the sales strategy is contributing to an upward trend in sales. Sudden changes in sales growth, either positive or negative, could indicate the effectiveness or lack thereof of a newly implemented strategy.


Average Deal Size


The average deal size metric can help you understand if your strategy is driving more significant sales. If the average deal size increases after implementing a new sales strategy, it may suggest the strategy is effective in upselling or cross-selling.


Sales Cycle Length


This metric represents the average amount of time it takes for a lead to move through your sales funnel, from first contact to purchase. A shorter sales cycle may indicate a more effective sales strategy, as it suggests your team can quickly convince leads to make a purchase.


Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)


CAC measures the total cost associated with acquiring a new customer, including marketing expenses, sales team salaries, and other related costs. If the CAC is too high, it might suggest your sales strategy is not as cost-effective as it should be. Generally, it is far more cost effective to keep an existing customer than to find new customers. But a business growth and health needs a constant flow of new customers into the sales channels.


Customer Retention Rate


This measures the percentage of customers a business retains over a given period. A high retention rate could indicate that your sales strategy is effective at nurturing relationships and creating value for your customers.


Sales Productivity


Sales productivity metrics refer to the rate at which members of your sales team reach their goals. Monitoring individual and team productivity can highlight the effectiveness of a sales strategy and pinpoint areas that may need improvement.


Sales Metric: Lost in Translation


Do not miss out on the opportunities that information you gather can provide, and review the sales metrics as a team. Regularly tracking these sales metrics can provide valuable insights into how well your sales strategy is performing and where adjustments are needed. It's also important to remember that while numbers provide a clear-cut evaluation, incorporating qualitative feedback from your sales team and customers can offer additional insights for a comprehensive evaluation. Your sales strategy should be a dynamic process, constantly adapting to the evolving business landscape and the insights these measurements provide.


My Dry July


Cancer is terrible and almost 40% of all men and women will be diagnosed with cancer. People with cancer and their families and friends need support. Dry July is a fundraiser that encourages you to go alcohol-free in July to raise funds for people affected by cancer.

Support Dry July 2023

The funds you raise as part of your Dry July will provide invaluable services for cancer patients, their families and carers – whether it’s a lift to a life-saving appointment, guidance from a specialist nurse, connection to an informative voice, access to therapy programs or a bed close to treatment. Please support Dry July and make a donation to My Dry July at dryjuly.com/users/john-debrincat-2. You donation is fully tax deductible. Author: John Debrincat FACS, MAICD ShapedLogic


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