How to Create a Sales Strategy for B2B
An eight step process to help you create a B2B Sales Strategy that will impress the bosses and most importantly improve your sales.
Original article is posted on Daniel Nilsson's blog.
A great sales strategy is the key to grow the business. I have seen many sales strategies during the years and I must say that the quality and the outline vary a lot depending on the sales person and sales manager presenting.
I have developed an inspirational sales strategy outline that I hope will help you develop a better and more efficient sales strategy. Please note that the outline most likely needs to be adjusted to your specific organization and set up.
What is a sales strategy?
A sales strategy sets out in detail how you will get products in front of people who need it. Looking at it strategically will give you a comprehensive, methodical approach to ensure that you get the resources necessary to close deals.
1. Decide your Go To Customers
Most likely you have identified a few customer segments that you are targeting. My general experience is that the sales organization is trying to reach to many segments at the same time. The issue with this is that you will not be focused and become the expert you need to be, to be successful. By truly focusing on a narrow customer segment you will be able to learn the customers job, expected gains and their pains. With this knowledge you can start to target your message and better deliver the solution that will create the best value for the customer. To identify the segment you should choose discuss who needs you the most and who would benefit most from your solutions.
Discuss in your sales team and decide for exactly who this Go To Customer is. When you have done this describe the Go To Customer in detail. How does their world look like? What is their pain? What value are they trying to provide? Why are your solutions relevant to them? How large are the organizations? Any information that can help you better understand your customer.
- Please note that when you have decided a Go To Customer, it does not mean that you will not sell to NON Go To Customers. It simply means that you will focus your resources on a specific customer to make them successful and find real value in your offering.
- Please note that Go To Customers include current customers. Make sure that when you write your strategy you include how you will develop current customer relationships and how you plan to develop them.
2. Analyze your specific market
Great! Now you know exactly whom you should target. Now you need to analyze the market itself. How many of the target customer do you have in each region? In each country? For an example do you have several hundred in one state or maybe only two? What regions are most developed when it comes to your target customer? Analyze and create a suggestion for your target markets.
3. Go To Customer Value Proposition
Now you know exactly whom you will sell to and where. It is time to set the real value proposition to this specific Go To Customer. What value do we deliver to this specific customer? Which one of your customer’s problems are you helping to solve? What bundles of products and services are you offering? Which customer needs are you satisfying? Why are you relevant? To develop your Value Proposition for B2B take a look at my article describing exactly how to do it. Click HERE.
4. Go To Customer Relationships
What type of relationship does your Go To Customer expect you to establish and maintain with them? Which ones have you established? How are they integrated with the rest of your business model? How costly are they? Create a strategy and idea for how you will create and maintain your customer relationships. As an example you may decide to have a very personal relationship and that you will use tools such as your support site to help customers in need and that you will call the customer every quarter just to check in and make sure they are alright.
5. Key Activities
Your focus and your message are established and for every great plan you need action. Create a plan and list what your key activities will be. Ask yourself: What key activities do our Value Propositions require? Are there key activities missing? What Key Activities do our Customer Relationships require? What activities do you need from marketing, product development and service department to be successful closing deals? What activities will I do to reach customers? How will I make them interested? What sales & marketing tools will I need to create that are a good fit to my Sales Process?
6. Key Resources
What Key Resources do your Value Propositions require? Your Customer Relationships? Are there resources missing? What do you need to be successful? List the resources and if anything is missing you need to create a plan for how you should get them.
7. Sales target
Build your sales target both for potential prospects and for current customers. Make sure to add details on how many accounts you are planning to close and develop in each region. Make sure that you add a timeline stating how many prospects you need to contact each month, how many customer you will contact each month and what deals you will close.
8. Build and amazing presentation
You have now developed a very detailed and clever plan to be successful. You are in the driver seat of your own sales and it is time to share your insights. Create a beautiful and amazing power point presentation of your sales strategy and present it to your manager.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I love to get comments on how this article can be improved to help more people.