sales-strategy

Sales Strategies To Make Your Company Successful

Selling is hard. I wish I could tell you the opposite.

That is why I’m not surprised that salespeople, like so much motivational quotes, speeches, and self-help books.

When I first resigned as a financial analyst in my previous life; I figured that I’d build a digital business which in a couple of months would start making six figures until I realized how hard it was to push sales and distribution

A few years into it and a few things are now clear to me.

Many people associate sales with tricking, manipulating, or lying. 

There are out there many fake gurus claiming to make you the most talented salesperson in the world. 

In reality, selling is hard work, which requires consistency, organization, and planning. 

Once you have these qualities, the rest is about perspective.

Finding the right angle which makes your offering compelling. 

Thus, in this article, I want to highlight a few critical elements that can enhance your sales strategy.

It took me years to internalize the fact that sales and distribution are key elements to make your business successful.

And tweaking your product so that it fits your customers’ need is actually one of those things that make a huge difference.

The first two things might sound basic, but you might be surprised of how many people miss these.

Let’s get into that!

 

Work on volume

There is no such thing as a full pipeline.

One of the things that most madden me (as a business person, as in life I’m usually quite calm) is when I hear at company’s meetings “our pipeline is doing well!.”

An experienced sales professional knows that things are pretty volatile. And the more you manage complex deals and contracts, with higher budgets and more people involved. The more the dates to close that same contract might vary from a few weeks to a few months.

Therefore, the smart salesperson is always working through the pipeline.

When the time arrives to focus on closing and pushing in critical contracts, that is the number one priority.

However, the top of the funnel should never stop. There should always be a continuous flow of leads ready to be processed.

Sales is also number game. You can work on becoming the most fascinating, charming person in the world.

But if your timing is wrong, the person on the other side doesn’t like you, your company’s value proposition is not aligned with the potential customer or partner, there is no charm that will work in that moment.

The timing will come for you to close the deal. And when it does you better be fast. But for the moment, you need to work on having your pipeline always full.

Tip: Choose and pick a channel that works for your business. For instance, LinkedIn is a good place to start for B2B. You find the full guide here.

Follow-up

Once you have your pipeline full, make sure to follow-up.

Closing a large contract might take a few months, but if you make sure to have your contacts organized so that you won’t miss them in a few months, that is an excellent advantage.

That’s because, in the short-term, your offering might not align with the potential client due to timing, short-term budget constraints, internal misalignment, which require time to pass through.

In that period rather than see that as an obstacle, you can organize your agenda to make sure you update your contacts by time to time.

You don’t need sophisticated tools or particular automation, a simple agenda, and a change in perspective will do.

You need to see the time it takes to close the deal as a way to build a relationship with the future customer.

Tip: Make sure to follow-up periodically with potential customers. Don’t be boring. You can use simple tools like Streak to remind you and set follow-ups at specific dates. When you do follow-up you might want to update the person on the other side about current development which might interest to them (for instance product updates that make in the past, they showed interest for). But also to keep up to date with what they are working next.

Now that we’ve seen two essential things that will improve your sales but imply a lot of pushing and hard work.

Let’s see some other elements that do require hard work, but over time will pay off.

Let your name resonate

If the person on the other hand already knows and appreciates the company you work for, or she heard about your work (for instance if you published an interesting update) that makes it easy to kick off the conversation.

That is why marketing and sales need to work hand in hand.
If people are aware of your brand, then there is no pitching, just closing.
That might seem obvious. Yet if you are only working on pushing and pushing but you’re not amplifying your brand it’s very hard that your sales strategy would become scalable.
Tip: If you’re just working on reaching out potential prospects. Start thinking about ways to build your personal brand. Or to leverage your company’s brand. For instance, by having an allocated budget for experiments that can help you better prospecting.

Give options

This is the most important element which we’ll see from several perspectives.

In general, I think there are two kinds of sales strategies you can implement.

You either position your product and service as the top of the line, thus limiting options, creating real scarcity (unlike fake gurus who say this is for a few people and they try to sell it to anyone) thus reducing the number of people you accept or by creating limited editions.

This logic is well known in the luxury industry, where empires that incorporate luxury brands like LVMH and Kering have mastered the art of manufacturing desire.

However, for how large those companies might get, a luxury giant like Prada made about three billion euros in revenues in 2017 (about $3.3 billion),  H&M in 2018 made twenty-one billion, so almost ten times that.

If you want to build a brand which is closer to a luxury company, you want to look at limiting options.

But if you want to build a business that scales, you need to create options.

Product variety

One way to enhance your sales is to have more products. Just like on Amazon, you can find any item you might desire, making sure to have a variety of products can help you bring in different types of customers.

Beware, it doesn’t mean a lack of focus. If you have a specific niche, you want to make sure you’re among the shops in the world where people can find the greatest variety of products around that niche.

That will work not only as a sales hack that will bring more customers.

But it will also work as a brand enhancer, as you might be seen as the top and most comprehensive shop on that vertical.

That also applies to digital businesses.

Pricing models and tiers

People have different priorities.

Some like to spend more but also want to be sure to get the best and all the features and characteristics that a product and service might offer.

Some others like having things which are less expensive even if that implies missing out on other aspects of your product.

Think of the case of software, where a customer is willing to buy it without any support.

And think in the opposite case where a customer wants to buy only if continuous support is provided.

Having pricing tiers that differentiate the product and service can make a big difference.

The most important thing is to make the pricing tier as clear as possible. And make sure that your product and service basic functionalities can be worked on also without any support.

In case they don’t this strategy might backlash, as those customers purchasing at a lower pricing tier, but without support, might be disappointed about the service.

In that scenario, limiting the pricing tiers make more sense.

Repackaging

Coca-Cola and Pepsi might be sugary waters (that is what presumably Steve Jobs called Pepsi when speaking to former Pepsi CEO, Sculley to convince him to join Apple) but they know how to distribute their products.

And distribution is a crucial element for any company’s success. And when it comes to distribution, there is a simple hack that can enhance it: repackaging.

In the last decade, you might have noticed that in the markets around the world, you might have noticed how Coca-Cola and Pepsi cans got smaller and smaller.

That is not by chance; they make more money by doing that.

Not only they can reduce the serving, thus attracting more customers, especially those with dietary concerns. But they can charge more for the same volume of the drink.

You can apply this principle to any product or service, be it physical or digital.

Going back to software offered as a service, make sure to create several tiers that break down the essential components of your service.

Tip: Whether you have a physical or digital product, make sure to repackage it and test what tiers and package types work best. That works with anything, also content. Don’t assume that people like to read shorter or longer form of content. Test them out and give them options.

Key takeaways

Selling is hard, and it is mostly a mixture of push and pull strategies.

For those that are trying to teach you how to become the master closer or the next Wolf of Wall Street, I’ll leave it up to Martin Scorsese.

Sales require a lot of repetition, consistency, and organization.

All things which might sound boring (they are) but are the bare minimum to succeed at sales.

The rest is about amplifying your brand and creating options.

Of course, there are many sales strategies you can implement.

In this article, we’ve seen my perspective on the topic.

Key Highlights

Work on Volume:

  • Maintaining a full pipeline is crucial for successful sales. The sales process can be unpredictable, especially with complex deals and higher budgets. Closing deals may take weeks or months, and timing can be critical. Therefore, sales professionals must continuously work through their pipeline, ensuring a steady flow of potential leads at various stages of the sales cycle.
  • While focusing on closing critical contracts is essential, it should not be at the expense of neglecting the top of the funnel. Having a consistent stream of leads allows salespeople to increase their chances of closing deals when the right opportunity arises.

Follow-Up:

  • Following up with potential customers is a key aspect of successful sales. The sales cycle can be lengthy, and clients’ needs or circumstances may change over time. By maintaining regular communication and follow-up, salespeople can build relationships and stay on top of their prospects’ evolving requirements.
  • Keeping contacts organized is crucial for effective follow-up. Utilizing tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software or simple agendas can help ensure that no potential opportunity slips through the cracks.

Let Your Name Resonate:

  • Building brand awareness and recognition is an essential part of a successful sales strategy. Marketing efforts should work hand in hand with sales to ensure that potential customers are aware of the company’s products and services.
  • When prospects already know and appreciate the brand, the sales process becomes more straightforward. Building a strong brand presence helps establish trust and credibility, reducing the need for extensive pitching and making closing deals easier.

Give Options:

  • Sales strategies can be shaped around offering various options to customers. Depending on the business model and target audience, salespeople can choose between two approaches:
    • Positioning the product or service as exclusive or limited-edition, creating real scarcity and attracting a specific niche of customers willing to pay a premium price.
    • Creating pricing tiers or offering product variety to cater to a broader customer base with diverse preferences and budgets. Providing multiple options increases the chances of appealing to different segments of the market.

Repackaging:

  • Repackaging products or services can be a smart strategy to enhance sales and distribution. Companies can redesign their offerings to appeal to different customer segments or needs without significantly changing the core product.
  • For instance, software offered as a service can have different tiers, breaking down essential functionalities to cater to different customer needs. This approach allows customers to choose the package that best suits their requirements and budget.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sales is a challenging process that requires consistent effort, organization, and repetition.
  • Successful sales strategies involve a balance of push and pull approaches.
  • Building brand awareness and recognition is critical to gain trust and attract customers.
  • Offering options and repackaging products or services can appeal to a broader customer base and enhance revenue streams.

Other business resources:

Related Business Concepts

Business Development

business-development
Business development comprises a set of strategies and actions to grow a business via a mixture of sales, marketing, and distribution. While marketing usually relies on automation to reach a wider audience, and sales typically leverage a one-to-one approach. The business development’s role is that of generating distribution.

Sales vs. Marketing

marketing-vs-sales
The more you move from consumers to enterprise clients, the more you’ll need a sales force able to manage complex sales. As a rule of thumb, a more expensive product, in B2B or Enterprise, will require an organizational structure around sales. An inexpensive product to be offered to consumers will leverage on marketing.

Sales Cycle

sales-cycle
A sales cycle is the process that your company takes to sell your services and products. In simple words, it’s a series of steps that your sales reps need to go through with prospects that lead up to a closed sale.

RevOps

revops
RevOps – short for Revenue Operations – is a framework that aims to maximize the revenue potential of an organization. RevOps seeks to align these departments by giving them access to the same data and tools. With shared information, each then understands their role in the sales funnel and can work collaboratively to increase revenue.

BATNA

batna
In negotiation theory, BATNA stands for “Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement,” and it’s one of the key tenets of negotiation theory. Indeed, it describes the best course of action a party can take if negotiations fail to reach an agreement. This simple strategy can help improve the negotiation as each party is (in theory) willing to take the best course of action, as otherwise, an agreement won’t be reached.

WATNA

watna
In negotiation, WATNA stands for “worst alternative to a negotiated agreement,” representing one of several alternative options if a resolution cannot be reached. This is a useful technique to help understand what might be a negotiation outcome, that even if negative is still better than a WATNA, making the deal still feasible.

ZOPA

zopa
The ZOPA (zone of possible agreement) describes an area in which two negotiation parties may find common ground. Indeed, ZOPA is critical to explore the deals where the parties get a mutually beneficial outcome to prevent the risk of a win-lose, or lose-win scenario. And therefore get to the point of a win-win negotiation outcome.

Revenue Modeling

revenue-modeling
Revenue modeling is a process of incorporating a sustainable financial model for revenue generation within a business model design. Revenue modeling can help to understand what options make more sense in creating a digital business from scratch; alternatively, it can help in analyzing existing digital businesses and reverse engineer them.

Customer Experience Map

customer-experience-map
Customer experience maps are visual representations of every encounter a customer has with a brand. On a customer experience map, interactions called touchpoints visually denote each interaction that a business has with its consumers. Typically, these include every interaction from the first contact to marketing, branding, sales, and customer support.

AIDA Model

aida-model
AIDA stands for attention, interest, desire, and action. That is a model that is used in marketing to describe the potential journey a customer might go through before purchasing a product or service. The AIDA model helps organizations focus their efforts when optimizing their marketing activities based on the customers’ journeys.

Social Selling

social-selling
Social selling is a process of developing trust, rapport, and a relationship with a prospect to enhance the sales cycle. It usually happens through tech platforms (like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more), which enable salespeople to engage with potential prospects before closing the sale, thus becoming more effective.

CHAMP Methodology

champ-methodology
The CHAMP methodology is an iteration of the BANT sales process for modern B2B applications. While budget, authority, need, and timing are important aspects of qualifying sales leads, the CHAMP methodology was developed after sales reps questioned the order in which the BANT process is followed.

BANT Sales Process

bant-sales-process
The BANT process was conceived at IBM in the 1950s as a way to quickly identify prospects most likely to make a purchase. Despite its introduction around 70 years ago, the BANT process remains relevant today and was formally adopted into IBM’s Business Agility Solution Identification Guide.

MEDDIC Sales Process

meddic-sales-process
The MEDDIC sales process was developed in 1996 by Dick Dunkel at software company Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC). The MEDDIC sales process is a framework used by B2B sales teams to foster predictable and efficient growth.

STP Marketing

stp-marketing
STP marketing simplifies the market segmentation process and is one of the most commonly used approaches in modern marketing. The core focus of STP marketing is commercial effectiveness. Marketers use the approach to select the most valuable segments from a target audience and develop a product positioning strategy and marketing mix for each.

Sales Funnels vs. Flywheels

sales-funnel
The sales funnel is a model used in marketing to represent an ideal, potential journey that potential customers go through before becoming actual customers. As a representation, it is also often an approximation, that helps marketing and sales teams structure their processes at scale, thus building repeatable sales and marketing tactics to convert customers.

Pirate Metrics

pirate-metrics
Venture capitalist, Dave McClure, coined the acronym AARRR which is a simplified model that enables to understand what metrics and channels to look at, at each stage for the users’ path toward becoming customers and referrers of a brand.

Bootstrapping

bootstrapping-business
The general concept of Bootstrapping connects to “a self-starting process that is supposed to proceed without external input.” In business, Bootstrapping means financing the growth of the company from the available cash flows produced by a viable business model. Bootstrapping requires the mastery of the key customers driving growth.

Virtuous Cycles

virtuous-cycle
The virtuous cycle is a positive loop or a set of positive loops that trigger a non-linear growth. Indeed, in the context of digital platforms, virtuous cycles – also defined as flywheel models – help companies capture more market shares by accelerating growth. The classic example is Amazon’s lower prices driving more consumers, driving more sellers, thus improving variety and convenience, thus accelerating growth.

Sales Storytelling

business-storytelling
Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Enterprise Sales

enterprise-sales
Enterprise sales describes the procurement of large contracts that tend to be characterized by multiple decision-makers, complicated implementation, higher risk levels, or longer sales cycles.

Outside Sales

outside-sales
Outside sales occur when a salesperson meets with prospects or customers in the field. This sort of sales function is critical to acquire larger accounts, like enterprise customers, for which the acquisition process is usually longer, more complex and it requires the understanding of the target organization. Thus the outside sales will cut through the noise to acquire a large enterprise account for the organization.

Freeterprise

freeterprise-business-model
A freeterprise is a combination of free and enterprise where free professional accounts are driven into the funnel through the free product. As the opportunity is identified the company assigns the free account to a salesperson within the organization (inside sales or fields sales) to convert that into a B2B/enterprise account.

Sales Distribution Framework

sales-distribution-peter-thiel
Zero to One is a book by Peter Thiel. But it also represents a business mindset, more typical of tech, where building something wholly new is the default mode, rather than building something incrementally better. The core premise of Zero to One then is that it’s much more valuable to create a whole new market/product rather than starting from existing markets.

Palantir Acquire, Expand, Scale Framework

palantir-business-model
Palantir is a software company offering intelligence services from governments and institutions to large commercial organizations. The company’s two main platforms Gotham and Foundry, are integrated at enterprise-level. Its business model follows three phases: Acquire, Expand, and Scale. The company bears the pilot costs in the acquire and expand phases, and it runs at a loss. Where in the scale phase, the customers’ contribution margins become positive.

Consultative Selling

consultative-selling
Consultative selling is a sales approach favoring relationship building and open dialogue to adequately meet the needs of a prospective customer. By building trust quickly a consultative selling approach can help the customer better meet her/his expectations and the salesperson hit her/his targets more effectively.

Unique Selling Proposition

unique-selling-proposition
A unique selling proposition (USP) enables a business to differentiate itself from its competitors. Importantly, a USP enables a business to stand for something that they, in turn, become known among consumers. A strong and recognizable USP is crucial to operating successfully in competitive markets.

Read: product development frameworks here.

Read Next: SWOT AnalysisPersonal SWOT AnalysisTOWS MatrixPESTEL AnalysisPorter’s Five ForcesTOWS MatrixSOAR Analysis.

FourWeekMBA Business Toolbox

Business Engineering

business-engineering-manifesto

Tech Business Model Template

business-model-template
A tech business model is made of four main components: value model (value propositions, missionvision), technological model (R&D management), distribution model (sales and marketing organizational structure), and financial model (revenue modeling, cost structure, profitability and cash generation/management). Those elements coming together can serve as the basis to build a solid tech business model.

Web3 Business Model Template

vbde-framework
A Blockchain Business Model according to the FourWeekMBA framework is made of four main components: Value Model (Core Philosophy, Core Values and Value Propositions for the key stakeholders), Blockchain Model (Protocol Rules, Network Shape and Applications Layer/Ecosystem), Distribution Model (the key channels amplifying the protocol and its communities), and the Economic Model (the dynamics/incentives through which protocol players make money). Those elements coming together can serve as the basis to build and analyze a solid Blockchain Business Model.

Asymmetric Business Models

asymmetric-business-models
In an asymmetric business model, the organization doesn’t monetize the user directly, but it leverages the data users provide coupled with technology, thus have a key customer pay to sustain the core asset. For example, Google makes money by leveraging users’ data, combined with its algorithms sold to advertisers for visibility.

Business Competition

business-competition
In a business world driven by technology and digitalization, competition is much more fluid, as innovation becomes a bottom-up approach that can come from anywhere. Thus, making it much harder to define the boundaries of existing markets. Therefore, a proper business competition analysis looks at customer, technology, distribution, and financial model overlaps. While at the same time looking at future potential intersections among industries that, in the short-term, seem unrelated.

Technological Modeling

technological-modeling
Technological modeling is a discipline to provide the basis for companies to sustain innovation, thus developing incremental products. While also looking at breakthrough innovative products that can pave the way for long-term success. In a sort of Barbell Strategy, technological modeling suggests having a two-sided approach, on the one hand, to keep sustaining continuous innovation as a core part of the business model. On the other hand, it places bets on future developments that have the potential to break through and take a leap forward.

Transitional Business Models

transitional-business-models
A transitional business model is used by companies to enter a market (usually a niche) to gain initial traction and prove the idea is sound. The transitional business model helps the company secure the needed capital while having a reality check. It helps shape the long-term vision and a scalable business model.

Minimum Viable Audience

minimum-viable-audience
The minimum viable audience (MVA) represents the smallest possible audience that can sustain your business as you get it started from a microniche (the smallest subset of a market). The main aspect of the MVA is to zoom into existing markets to find those people which needs are unmet by existing players.

Business Scaling

business-scaling
Business scaling is the process of transformation of a business as the product is validated by wider and wider market segments. Business scaling is about creating traction for a product that fits a small market segment. As the product is validated it becomes critical to build a viable business model. And as the product is offered at wider and wider market segments, it’s important to align product, business model, and organizational design, to enable wider and wider scale.

Market Expansion Theory

market-expansion
The market expansion consists in providing a product or service to a broader portion of an existing market or perhaps expanding that market. Or yet, market expansions can be about creating a whole new market. At each step, as a result, a company scales together with the market covered.

Speed-Reversibility

decision-making-matrix

Asymmetric Betting

asymmetric-bets

Growth Matrix

growth-strategies
In the FourWeekMBA growth matrix, you can apply growth for existing customers by tackling the same problems (gain mode). Or by tackling existing problems, for new customers (expand mode). Or by tackling new problems for existing customers (extend mode). Or perhaps by tackling whole new problems for new customers (reinvent mode).

Revenue Streams Matrix

revenue-streams-model-matrix
In the FourWeekMBA Revenue Streams Matrix, revenue streams are classified according to the kind of interactions the business has with its key customers. The first dimension is the “Frequency” of interaction with the key customer. As the second dimension, there is the “Ownership” of the interaction with the key customer.

Revenue Modeling

revenue-model-patterns
Revenue model patterns are a way for companies to monetize their business models. A revenue model pattern is a crucial building block of a business model because it informs how the company will generate short-term financial resources to invest back into the business. Thus, the way a company makes money will also influence its overall business model.

Pricing Strategies

pricing-strategies
A pricing strategy or model helps companies find the pricing formula in fit with their business models. Thus aligning the customer needs with the product type while trying to enable profitability for the company. A good pricing strategy aligns the customer with the company’s long term financial sustainability to build a solid business model.

Main Free Guides:

Other handpicked related resources:

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
FourWeekMBA