Sales Strategy Development

When developing a sales strategy for your company, consider using this approach. Where does our journey start in developing your companies’ Strategy for Sales Perfection? Several years ago, Jim Collins wrote the best-seller “Good to Great” and I am sure most people have read the book. I personally was not a huge proponent of the book, look where Fannie Mae and Circuit City are today, two of his great companies? But he did make some valid observations, and one in particular is “companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” “They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”

During my tenure as leader who designed solid well defined sales plans, my people were the most important asset in the organization. I felt pretty confident in getting them slotted in the right position; I also felt that every person deserved a chance unless they were completely incompetent. You basically have three basic personalities in your sales organization: over achievers, steady producers, and the rest who can either be coached upwardly or allowed to move onto something else or onto another company.

Sales people, for the most part, thrive on direction from upper management as well as autonomy. If they are well coached, they will win, if they are winners, they will be self-starters, and if they are self-starters they will work autonomously. Look at the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks, on paper they were an inferior team to the Miami Heat, but the Heat was clearly outcoached, and the Mavericks executed the plan and played with more heart; they stunned most everyone by winning the championship. Your sales team needs to be empowered and given the proper direction, the over achievers will excel, the steady producers will surge to a new level, and you will be surprised how the rest respond, and if they don’t, get them off the bus.

At this point, you do not need to make any personnel changes unless you have people who simply do not get the program; that will come as you begin your journey into a full-fledged execution of the strategy. Cream always rises to the top, and you can’t make lemons from lemonade, so take what you have and let attrition and performance make the plays.

Evaluate your short-term and long range growth strategy- What are the realistic expectations for your company to grow at a pace greater than your industry? Only you can answer this question, while at the same time you need to consider the many factors including the culture of your company, the return desired, and executive commitment to the plan.

There are eight elements of the winning business strategy:

Sales team – review, benchmarking, testing and motivation.

Products – pricing, indexing, revenue and opportunity grid inauguration.

Competitive SWOT Analysis – organizational uniformity.

Customer – organic and inorganic growth platform.

Geographic reach – market saturation

Supply chain and vendor plan.

Market share – penetration and saturation.

Marketing – customer incentives, communication, training, demographics.

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