- Nikolaus Bremerich
THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT SUCCESS FACTORS FOR STRATEGIC SALES
In many companies there is no strategic sales concept, no own defined "way of selling". Often, the opinion prevails that the "right" seller or the product decides on the sales success
Strategic sales, on the other hand, defines quality criteria for customer acquisition or account management and continuously optimizes sales processes. This framework creates the conditions for long-term growth and makes your sales more effective. To benefit from these advantages, we have summarized the 5 most important success factors for a strategically oriented sales in a compact manner.
Create a written sales strategy!
The role of a sales strategy is to define customer segments and appropriate distribution channels. It is advisable to form a project group of sales people for this process. In addition, it makes sense to include the strategy department of the company, which can support with methodological know-how and ensure embedding in the company strategy. In this way, you not only use the existing expertise of your employees. It also raises the commitment of all those involved, because they feel that they taken seriously.
Very important: Codify your finished sales strategy! Because many companies refrain from writing down guidelines and best practices, the strategy doesn’t seep through to the employees. However, if companies do not have a sales strategy, this often results in noticeable quality differences in account management and the acquisition of new customers, especially in the international environment. Conversely, a sales strategy in black and white can be consulted again and again and give your sales team a clear direction.
Actively manage your distribution channels!
The active management of your sales channels also determines your sales success. The aim is to achieve the largest sales success with the least possible effort. There are a number of stumbling blocks lurking on companies. For example, distribution channels are often seen as isolated from each other rather than as an organic whole. Or it is forgotten to look at ther elevance of distribution channels in regular terms. After all, what happens, when the market has changed in the meantime and the importance of a distribution channel has decreased or increased? Channel management is precisely about these issues: how can we make optimum use of distribution channels while taking into account the market and adapt them flexibly.
Work continuously on your sales excellence
The third success factor of strategic sales is the tactical component and the implementation of the sales strategy. The aim here is to consistently implement a strategy that has already been developed, to continuously examine and improve it and thereby to build up competitive advantages in sales.
This is particularly true for sector sand markets in which products differ only slightly from each other, so that it is difficult to advertise product advantages.
In such an environment, Sales Excellence becomes a decisive competitive advantage! Therefore, you should regularly put all the characteristics of your sales organisation based on the product and develop their skills further. Specifically, this includes:
the optimization of sales calls,
improving strategic account management,
optimization of sales processes,
effective sales management,
the establishment of a data-driven sales,
the willingness to recognize and implement digitization potential.
Take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalisation in sales!
The importance of digitization for strategic sales has often not yet been properly recognized. The people responsible think exclusively of the topic of e-commerce. However, this falls far short: digitalization offers important competitive advantages for sales that are waiting to be cutoff. Here are some examples:
Improved forecasting and reporting methods using artificial intelligence (big data, data mining)
Lead generation using digital marketing tools
Reducing distribution costs through automation
Cost-effective expansion of product and application competence through eLearning
Cost and time savings by configurators that make it easier to create quotations
Videoconferencing systems that, as we learned during COVID, can make sales meetings more efficient and location-independent
If you are now investing new ones in sales technologies that will become mission-critical in the future, you will soon start from pole position: a decisive competitive advantage.
Actively manage the transformation process in sales
Change processes in sales need the acceptance of the teams. Example digitization: Currently, large sums of money are invested in the improvement of IT systems such as CRM. However, it is rarely asked whether the sales staff are also able to cope with this important change. If this is not the case, any innovation will fail.
Therefore, intensive discussions with employees are carried out to involve them in the process of generating and using information. Only when key sellers are on board should it be used for implementation.
It is also important to continue to accompany the transformation process in the day-to-day business. This can be done through continuous training or talking about it in sales meetings and sales managers being role models in using the CRM systems.
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