Sales strategy is the action plan to hit the numbers and achieve sales targets. What is a methodical plan which is devised in order to accomplish more sales marketing needed resources. Many businesses believe that the key to achieving more numbers and sales is obviously having good marketing strategies, but marketing can be successful only if the implementation of the strategies is done properly by the sales department.
Marketing strategies are essential for building the brand and getting reach to more and more customers, but marketing strategies do not generate revenue. Ultimately it comes to sales strategies in order to effectively implement a marketing plan and generate revenue to hit the numbers.
What is very important of the organizations understand the nature of their business and craft to customize a strategy accordingly. A sales strategy that fits the organization can bring in a lot of customers and successful business but a sales strategy that does not fit to the business will not only bring negativity in the market but also act as a demotivating factor for internal stakeholders or the employees.
Strategies are divided into different types depending on the nature of the business. Following are a few of the types of sales strategies that are implemented in many industries :
Table of Contents
1) Know the Product :
It is very important that the person who is selling a product you know his product entirely. It may be in an industry or any market but it is very crucial that the salesperson has to know about his product thoroughly. One is aware of the product features and benefits then he won’t be able to answer the queries and handle objections of the customers. A thorough product training is essential for excellent product knowledge.
It is essential that the salespersons and spend some time with the product study it and get all the doubts solved. To convince other people about the product sales person himself as to be convinced about the product which is your product training comes into the picture. One has to familiarize oneself about the product and services by reading the brochures. Knowing the product is winning half the battle in the process of sales.
2) Knowing the customer :
The next crucial part of Sales strategies to know the customer. Every industry will have different types of customers and it is important that the salesperson knows about his customer thoroughly. Knowing about the likes and dislikes of the customer in the current products that he is using the reason of using the current products the way this is a person can substitute his product into the current product is all the information that he should be having.
It is also very important that this person understand the existing customer base and develops or creates his own strategies in order to retain them while developing a simultaneous strategy to get required new customers and grow them. Things like that meeting times of customer divisibility of the customer are few of the details that the salesperson should know while planning the Sales call.
For example, the end customer of Apple phones is businessman owing to the high pricing of their products. That is why a picture for an advertisement of an iPhone would not make much use if it is placed in a Subway which is taken by daily commuters. Any other hand this picture of an iPhone would do wonders if the advertisement is placed in a business magazine or is the picture is placed on the road near a business park.
Similarity an advertisement for a new bike can be placed in a subway train in order to target the customers that he was a metro or train instead of driving to work.
3) Translate the features into benefits :
It is very important that the customer understands the product when she is the use of that product in his life. For that to happen it is also essential to understand the benefits of the product to the customer. Every product has features which distinguish that product from the other competitor product. Features of the product may not necessarily translate the customer into benefits and it is very important that the customer understands the benefit of a particular feature. For example, a computer may have the latest processor of i7.
Now the customer has to know the importance of i7 in his daily usage. It is important that the salesperson explains to him the benefits of i7 like faster processing speed fast running of higher version applications amongst other things. Once the customer understands those benefits the product speaks for itself and a customer will understand when the salesperson says the i5 processor has fewer benefits compared to that of i7. It is the benefits that sell and not the features.
4) Get visual :
Although is the job of the Salesperson to make the customer understand the features and benefits of the product it is important that the customers is those features and benefits in action. To begin with, the salesperson has to ensure that the demonstration of the product has been carried out to the customer in full action. A product demo is very important for customer conversion since not every customer is understand the communication of the product verbally.
It is for the same reason that even in today’s digitized world Apple has still kept the brick and mortar type stores for Apple stores available for the customers to interact with the latest products. This strategy of Apple has secured maximum customer conversion. Thus showing and not only talking with helping inversion of the customers for the product. Getting visual images during presentation helps in the conversion of the customer.
5) Referral :
Customer referral is perhaps one of the oldest methods of proven sales strategy. More than 50% of the customers still work on the referral basis or on word of mouth. Reference can be obtained from existing customers. This is the reason by serving and fulfill the needs and demands of the existing customer is very important since their customer satisfaction will lead to referring of new customers which in turn will bring new business for the organization.
Many companies also run reward schemes for referrals. Customer openings for new customer onboard get an immediate discount over the next product. Apps like Google pay has started using the same strategy. Incentivizing the referral program with encouraging the existing customers to suggest that business friends and partners which can be new potential customers for the company.
6) Bring the new but maintain existing :
It is very important that there are new customers are added to the business in order for it to grow. Either new customers or new products will generate maximum revenue and increased revenue for the organization. Whether it is important to get new customers for the organization it is also equally important to maintain the existing customers in order to get repeat orders from the businesses.
Most of the organizations these days focus only on new customers by rewarding them with the first time order discount but you organizations have to change strategies for all customers by rewarding them with certain incentives to encourage them to keep on buying. Although there are reward points and schemes started by different credit card companies the reports games are not substances enough to delight the existing customers.
7) Engaging communication :
Communication is perhaps the most important thing in any form of sales. Having an engaging communication with prospective customers helps to close the deal. If the salesperson goes in front of a customer and recites the features and benefits like a poem, the customer will listen to it patiently and then dismiss the prospect. It would not be engaging to the customer and whatever is not engaging will not sell.
It is very important that the salesperson does not talk only one way but asks relevant questions and encourages the prospective buyer to speak up. Asking open-ended questions is the best way to engage the customer. Questions can be designed based on the product and the industry that the sales is being made into.
8) Listen, Understand and Check :
The other part of the communication is to listen to what the customer is saying. Sometimes it so happens that the customer talks more than the salesman and in such cases, it is very important for the salesperson to remove the unnecessary talk and focus on the deal. There is a difference between hearing and listening. Hearing assembly when the words fall on your ears and you may or may not comprehend what the other person is saying.
Listening, on the other hand, is understanding what the customer is saying. A simple strategy can be used in sales deal, which is listen to the customer when he is speaking understand it properly with full attention and repeat the same thing to the customer in the terms that you have understood. This brings reiteration and confirmation of the fact that has been passed on by the customer to the salesperson. This also ensures that both the customer and the salesperson are on the same page. For example here is a situation:
A customer who is about to purchase an insurance from an insurance agent says that since it is the closing of financial year he has lot of accounts to settle and it would be very difficult for him to focus on the terms and conditions of the insurance which is why that has to be postponed in the next month. In this case, the hearing would be that the salesman understood that the customer is busy which is why that does not happen. But listening is when the salesperson offers assistance to settle the accounts of the customer so that the customer fines to time in order to look through the terms and conditions of the insurance papers and close the deal.
The customer may not approve the assistance from the salesman but the factory means that the salesman has listened understood correctly for the customer is trying to say. Every sales deal will have such situations where the customer says one thing but the salesperson understands and interprets another. That is why the salesperson should once again repeat the same thing that the customer has said and ask if he has understood correctly.
9) Follow up :
The other important type of sales strategies is constant follow-ups with the customer. That maybe numerous times when the sales call might get rejected due to unavoidable conditions from either side. Those are the times when the salesperson has to continuously follow up with the prospect without making it seem like an intrusion or being annoying. The salesperson can ask for a particular date and time when the customer is to be followed up and yes to ensure that the follow up was done on the given day and time.
It might be possible that a customer gets stuck in something important and urgent more than once and the salesperson has to patiently wait and follow up with the prospect in order to close the deal. Constant and regular follow-ups, not only develop consistency in the salesperson but also gets trust from the customer.
10) Being a solution provider :
The need for a buyer arises when there is a problem in his life. This is when the salesperson comes into the picture and provides the right equipment or the product or the service to the customer for his need. Here the salesperson should not be doing box setting when instead should provide solutions to the needs and wants of the customer. For example, a person needs a laptop.
There could be numerous varieties of laptops depending on the processor like i3, i5, and i7. Instead of pushing for an i7 in order to complete the target of the salesperson he should inquire about the needs of the customer exactly and then place his product accordingly. The customer might want the laptop for office use which would include working on Microsoft office and few other applications and in such a case it would be waste of money to offer him and i7 which is the high usage laptop.
Thus, the salesperson should suggest to go ahead with an i3 rather than i7 and explain to him that how i7 would not be suitable for him and the salesperson is providing a solution as well as saving the money of the customer. Here the salesperson positions himself as a solution provider and gains the trust of the customer. Hands next time whenever the customer needs anything he would contact the same salesperson only and go ahead with any suggestion that the salesperson makes.
Sales Strategy Video
Here is a video on different strategies of selling which an organization can use
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