A sales strategy template sounds like an activity only large companies would consider doing. The reality is very different as everyone in business, from a small business to entrepreneur and salespeople can benefit from understanding the workings of a solid sales strategy.
The motivation or reasons to create a sales strategy template is that business success is tied to the ability of the enterprise to generate sales. The revenue and profits that are generated from the sales activity of the business is a direct result of the effectiveness of the sales strategy.
Why create a sales strategy?
The sales strategy template will outline the step-by-step plan for salespeople and the business to follow in order to sell their products or services, with the stated purpose of generating revenue and profits. It is the plan that enables everyone involved in customer acquisition, development and retention to successfully sell the company’s products and service over and over. Once the sales strategy is in place, it then can be re-valuated, and optimized based on results, to ensure the desired results are being achieved.
So, to create a sales strategy template will enable everyone to understand the unique selling points, in identifying the target market and customer profiles, developing the value propositions and selecting the right sales channels to engage clients. The outcome is a sales engine with a clear focus on the optimal way to create and close sales opportunities.
Sales strategy template questions
A good starting point is to ask yourself questions such as;
The purpose of the business is for what?
How effective is your current sales activity?
What are the market trends shaping your industry?
How strong is the sales skills across the team?
What is your current market position (new, disrupt, cost leader etc)?
What is your business purpose?
To create a sales strategy plan that will be a living document, it’s important to first know what is the business purpose;
The Business Vision: Where does the business want to go in the long-term.
The Business Mission: the business purpose and the reasons WHY for existing.
The Business Values: What the business stands for, what sets you apart from the other vendors.
Building Blocks to create a sales strategy template
The reality is that each one of the following or a combination of them will most likely determine the success or failure of your sales strategy.
1.The team driving the business, customer engagement and the sales effort
2.The company’s product or service being promoted to the target market
3. The target market including trends, demand data and size.
A well crafted sales strategy plan will contain some or all of these elements.
A different slant on the business model and compelling value proposition.
The business has desirable products or services that appeals to the market.
There is a large enough market to target.
The business has a cost-effective method to drive leads and sell to customers.
That the sales strategy is aligned to the companies’ position, values and strengths.
Identify the target market you want to sell to.
Probably the 1st step in creating a sales strategy plan is to research, size and select the target market you intend to commit time and resources to. This is the guiding path for all the other aspects of the plan. Research has shown that lack of market size and lack of market acceptance of a product is the biggest cause of business failure. So, take the time to get this right. What market or segment of a market will your product or service offering have most appeal?
Identify and Create your Ideal customer profiles.
Now you need to focus in on the profile of the people and companies within your target market you will approach 1st, 2nd etc. The outcome is a customer profile with an identity rather than a compilation of figures. Profiles that tell a story that everyone involved in sales and marketing can quickly understand. The way to achieve this is to create “Ideal customer profiles or “buyer personas”. Begin by looking at your current customers and understand who is actually buying your product. When you create a sales strategy plan, you need to be able to visualize your ideal buyer’s demographics across areas such as location, job title, turnover, employee size, age range, technology stack and other purchasing motivations.
Visualizing your ideal customer’s will help to create better sales and marketing value propositions and sales messaging. Once you know what they might want to gain or the pain they may be experiencing, you can create a sales process for the steps you need to follow to win over more customers.
The Value Proposition for your customers.
Now you need to outline the unique value your business brings to the market in order for you to get buyers to listen and care about what you have to say. What is your value proposition and how does it set you apart from your competition? Your value proposition should tell customers and prospects why they should consider doing business with you rather than your competitors. It makes the advantages and benefits of your products or services clear from the beginning of any sales interaction.
Sales Strategy Template Implementation
Earlier in sales strategy questions, we asked you to consider “What is your current market position?” as this most likely will define your sales strategy implementation plan. To create a sales strategy with a clear focus, most companies will select from one or two options from the following;
Penetration Sales Strategy: Selling more of the same products to the same customers
Development Sales Strategy: Selling more of the same products to different customers
Product Sales Strategy: Selling new products or services to the same customers
Diversification Sales Strategy: Selling new products or services to different customers
Sales Strategy Plan of Action.
Nothing happens with a sales strategy template until you put it into a plan of action. The action plan should match all of the sales goals with action steps. Think of this as a sales playbook that contains all the Who, When, and Where sales activities. You can then put milestones and success indicators beside each sales goal and steps in the sales process.
It is also important to remember that your sales strategy action plan requires resources to be deployed. These include – Money to fund activities, headcount, tools and materials, Information – on the market, data on competitors, insights into market trends, the market size and creating customer profiles. PLUS, People – the right salespeople needed to facilitate the growth plan, to execute the plan, to ensure the expected results happen.
Sales Strategy Template Tactics
When you create a sales strategy template or sales strategy presentation, these are some planning tactic tips to consider;
What business strengths do you want to Leverage: Three to five key strengths you will need to use to achieve the plan.
What business strengths will you need to develop: Three to five strengths you will need to develop to achieve the plan.
What will be your selling priorities (based on your sales strategy implementation): List out the priorities you will focus on.
What are you action plan selling priorities: Three to five monthly priorities that support the sales and business action plan?
To create a sales strategy template is to understand that every sales strategy involves having to invest. Investments about deciding where you want to spend the effort, time, money and energy to get the best return for the business. This means the sales strategy plan must be constantly reviewed and refreshed. Set out a series of review meetings be they quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. Evaluate the sales plans, what’s working and what needs to be updated.
Anchored by your values and purpose, a sales strategy example should also account for what sales training or sales skills need addressing to achieve the goals. The outcome you seek is a real plan that maximizes the likelihood of achieving sustained profitable business success and minimizes any wasted resources.