Last editedJul 20213 min read
Whether you’re working on a start-up business idea or preparing to launch a new product, don’t take a leap into the unknown without a plan. A well-defined sales and marketing strategy can make all the difference when it comes to success. Here are a few rules of thumb to follow, along with five types of sales strategies to try.
Developing a sales strategy
Why do you need a sales strategy? Here are a few benefits:
More effective use of resources
Clearly defined target audience
Improved conversion rates
Coordinated approach between sales and marketing teams
Wider understanding of your market
Developing a sales strategy starts with defining your objectives. Before you get started, review your goals over the next one to five years, ensuring all objectives are measurable. Think about how you want to define your brand, and what position you want to be in. For some, this might mean developing and launching a new product. For others, this might mean coordinating a cohesive content marketing strategy. Most new businesses will need to build a core customer base as one of their primary objectives.
You can put these individualised, specific objectives at the heart of any sales strategy plan.
5 types of sales strategies
Once you’ve identified your resources and objectives, it’s time to get down to business. Here are a few different types of sales strategies that might be helpful.
1. Define your buyer.
The first sales and marketing strategy is to focus on your core demographic, learning everything you can about your buyer. What do you know about your market? You can review competitor content, conduct market research, and send out surveys to gain a greater understanding of who your core customers are.
An effective buyer-centric strategy will focus on choosing the most productive leads. You don’t want to waste your limited resources on leads that are unlikely to convert to a sale. To do this, research prospects thoroughly, defining priorities and influencers. All of this can be used to compile a buyer profile based on details like the following:
Industry (for B2B sales)
Follow up with regular surveys, listening and learning from your client feedback to refine your buyer profile.
2. Tell a story.
A second type of sales strategy plan is to focus on telling a story using content marketing. As humans, we’re hardwired to respond to evocative storytelling. Rather than providing customers with a dry rundown of your product features, why not focus more on the personal benefits your products offer?
Share real-life problems that your customers can identify with, following up with examples of how your products or services can help. This type of strategy puts customers at the heart of the story. You can incorporate this within your social media accounts, targeted emails, newsletters, and website.
3. Target a niche market.
A common approach for start-up businesses is to begin with a highly niche market before expanding your sales strategy to a wider demographic. Use customer segmentation and other forms of analysis to identify paint points that each market shares. Choose a small grouping of companies or individuals to target, explaining how your product or service can solve these problems.
It might seem counterintuitive not to cast the widest net possible, but you’ll be able to refine your business to a core group of customers and grow from there.
4. Sell your brand.
Another type of sales and marketing strategy is to sell yourself. While many businesses focus purely on marketing their products, buyers don’t want to make a purchase from a company they know nothing about. Build customer trust by sharing information about your brand’s background and ethos.
In addition to a strong social marketing strategy, you can grow brand-client relationships with impeccable customer service and transparent communication. Don’t confuse your buyers with jargon or slick marketing-speak; instead, you can foster an air of authenticity by sharing behind-the-scenes views of how your brand works.
5. Focus on internal growth.
Our final sales and marketing plan is to focus not only on external outreach but internal growth. You can’t adequately grow your business without maintenance of your existing customer base. Track sales figures on a regular basis, monitoring all key performance indicators.
Identify what’s working and what isn’t to tweak your strategy as needed. Keep your salesforce motivated with incentives, collecting regular feedback from all stakeholders as you continue to grow.
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