Strategic Sales Process
Transcript: "Strategic Sales Process"
This process is around the systems behind managing the sales rather than the sales team themselves. And again, just observations we have seen over the years and around the market, and certainly in recent times that seemed to work well for people.
In managing that strategy process, managing your sales, I’m just going to give four or five key things that we’ve seen that companies do that worked really well.
The first one is to have a really clear approach to your market. So understand, be quite strategic about the verticals that you plan to play in and about the segments in those verticals and about the targets in those verticals, rather than taking a wider sort of scatter gun approach to sales, be quite precise about it, which enables you to manage your resources.
Next, we see companies doing better that have a platform for all of this. A client relations management platform of some kind, you know, you’ve got the big ones like Salesforce, but you’ve also got HubSpot and others that work quite well.
The important thing really is having a database that everyone can have access to, to really keep everyone up to date on the latest interactions with customers, but also engage the wider team in the process.
Other things that we see work well for people having a good understanding of the relationships from your client’s perspective is pretty important. We’ve seen companies that measure how deep those relationships run in their customer organizations, you know, is it just the CEO or is it with the general manager? Try to get as many layers as possible to have a good relationship, especially if you’re delivering product or service regularly into that customer.
Another observation would be sales pipelines, making sure that the pipeline is visible, use some sort of visual tool that everyone can understand. Also make sure you are measuring the probabilities of success in that pipeline. It’s not just the confirmed work, but the stuff that’s very likely to convert. So you can build the operations around it.
Having some management process around the campaigns, if you are selling products into market and how that relates to the requirement and operations, or in the case of project companies, how are you managing your bids? Have you got a bid schedule or that sort of thing that is tying into the pipeline?
Also think of your Pareto customers i.e. those customers, the 20% of customers that are 80% of your volume in sales, do you have good account management around those customers? Are you are managing the relationships well? Are you up to speed with the latest challenges in those accounts from a customer’s perspective and just making sure that you are aligned to what’s going on there?
The other important thing I think that this leads to, is having a regular customer pulse. Understanding your customer base, whether you have tens of customers, hundreds of customers, or thousands of customers really understanding what the pulse is from the customer’s perspective, what is your reputation in the market out there?
What are the key things you need to do to address the common concerns across the customer base? That is probably one of the most fundamental places we see companies undo themselves, by assuming that what they’re doing is what the customer wants or not taking into account what’s happening on the wider customer base and the reputation that’s causing.
Lastly, I’d say the most important thing, as important as all of this process is about keeping up to date with it. So having monthly reviews of your pipeline, having monthly reviews and your CRM process, or of your bids etc, because implementing good process around all of this is of little use to you unless you use it and the company uses it to make decisions.
Okay. So that’s really it from me for strategic sales. Again, just some quick observations. Next time I’m going to be talking about business models and the model worked well for you, until then I’ll see you next time.
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