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Five Steps to Connecting Sales Strategy for More Efficient Selling

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An effective sales strategy unites your sales team around shared objectives without cross-over of conflict. Connecting sales strategy ensures that all sales channels and customers are effectively managed. Salespeople operating independently without a sales strategy can unknowingly create conflict across accounts and partners.

Effective sales strategies yield results as they assist companies in setting attainable individual and team objectives and incentives. It creates a way to market, including a consistent sales process, ensuring greater team success.

There are two primary elements of a sales strategy. Those are the category of customer and the sales channel.

Typically, customer type (or a customer segment) is determined by the customer’s product and services purchasing, industry, or geographic location.

Through the channel, you can reach these customers. You could, for instance, establish contact via self-service channels, partners, or direct sales.

Although it is possible to develop a strategy based on the segment or the channel, the most effective approaches consider both.

The companies are separated by size. These segments are commonly subdivided into two categories: enterprise firms and small and medium-sized businesses. By utilising the breakdown, one can categorise suppliers into two separate selling strategies.

The initial approach, enterprise selling, concentrates on a relatively minor quantity of high-value transactions involving major corporations. Conversely, the latter strategy targets small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that engage in more frequent but lower-value transactions.

Geographically divide. As your market presence grows, it is prudent to implement this approach, given that you will be obligated to ascertain the most efficient methods for meeting diverse local demands, emphasising the unique linguistic barriers, business complexities, and cultural nuances of each market segment.

Market segmentation by product. This is often the situation for substantial organisations that possess a blend of newly introduced, lesser products and legacy products, which are frequently acquired. Preventing the lesser, more recent products from being overlooked is paramount.

You can increase overall success by designating particular sales teams to handle those products while relegating other sellers to legacy products.

Segment according to industry. This classifies suppliers based on industry sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, and finance. By equipping this customer segment with a sales strategy that facilitates the development of subject matter expertise—which empowers them to proficiently tackle the unique obstacles encountered by diverse clients—including compliance obligations (as frequently observed in financial services) and supply chain complications (as is frequently encountered in manufacturing)—this methodology has the potential to substantially enhance win rates (the quantity of deals closed).

Assign the target customer to the appropriate sales channel based on their purchasing preference, following the segmentation of your customer base: direct sales, channel sales, or self-service sales. To generate a variety of revenue streams, a business will frequently begin by focusing on a single channel, mastering it, and then expanding into others.

The three principal channels for selling are as follows.

1. Direct sales is the archetypal method of selling, consisting of a single representative engaging in conversation with a customer, gradually developing a rapport, and ultimately finalising the transaction. When the transaction size is significant, or the product is complex, requiring an extended sales cycle and substantial human intervention, choose this sales approach. Enterprise or complex sales implements direct sales as a prevalent sales strategy.

2. Partner sales, alternatively known as channel sales, prove to be a successful approach in increasing revenue without requiring supplementary staff. It facilitates the sale through partners, resellers, and distributors, an increasingly crucial strategic choice as sales organisations worldwide endeavour to curtail costs.

3. Customers can purchase through self-service channels like online retailers without interacting with a sales representative.

Connecting sales strategy through these channels provides the market coverage and the focus within the sales team.

It is common for a sales executive to set a revenue target for the entire year initially. This will aid in determining the intended clientele and the number of transactions that must be finalised in the coming calendar year.

Consider a revenue target of $10 million. Identifying the proper selling channel and target market is essential to accomplishing your objective.

Ascertain the target customer initially through a market analysis that identifies the determinants most likely to facilitate the achievement of the revenue target. As previously stated, you may focus on the product you sell, the region, the scale of your company, or the industry.

In addition, undertake competitor research and acquire knowledge of the customer’s operational methods (both online and via sources within your network) to determine your target market’s purchasing preferences. This will determine the prioritisation of sales channels.

Determine the sales process, or the sequential set of activities that your sales team can perform to finalise a transaction, with respect to the chosen customer type and distribution channel. Comparable to a strategic pathway that specifies milestones from the moment of initial customer interaction until closure, with guidance on how to pass through each checkpoint.

Commence adding your qualified potential customers to your sales pipeline once the segments of your sales process have been defined. Determine the quantity needed by considering historical conversion rates and the projected deal size of the specific customer segments you aim to attract.

As the remaining elements of your sales strategy are executed, your team will commence concluding deals without delay, advancing from cold leads to warm opportunities to closed deals. Concurrently, substantial disruption and transformation will occur in both your industry and market.

It is critical to monitor the health of your pipeline on an ongoing basis and make any necessary adjustments in response to changes that indicate that your selling engine is being disrupted or that things are not proceeding as intended.

When in uncertainty, clarify the circumstance.

Connecting sales strategy is comparable to operating a vehicle while it is still being constructed. In addition to accomplishing your objectives, you must build the underlying apparatus. Always revert to the fundamentals when uncertain. Define the product.

Which method does your customer favour for purchasing? By attaining the ability to provide these responses, one will have confidence that their progress is on the right track.

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About the Author: Adele Crane

A leader in Implementation Consulting.
CEOs and Managing Directors have relied on Adele Crane to solve challenges with the performance of their sales and marketing since 1990. Her consulting experience in delivering results in 90-120 days is unprecedented by any other known sales and marketing consulting professional in the world. As an author of 3 acclaimed books, appearances on major media, and publications in USA, NZ and Australia, Adele’s experience brings fresh thinking and contemporary practices to business.