Sales strategy: The ultimate guide with examples and templates


In this manual, we will assist you in establishing the core principles of a robust sales plan to achieve your goals and successfully conclude transactions more frequently.

By implementing a plan that incorporates these well-established sales principles, you will foster an environment that prioritizes productivity, enables sales representatives to excel in their roles, and adequately recognizes their efforts. Furthermore, an efficient sales strategy will also ensure that your customers receive optimal value throughout their entire experience with your business.

You’ll also learn the  sales activities and procedures that establish an efficient and smoothly operating system.

Establishing objectives at every step of the sales process

goals for your team. Data provides insights and information that can guide your decisions and help you make more informed choices. This allows you to establish objectives that are realistic and within reach. sales goals  at every stage of the sales pipeline.

Different approaches are needed for each stage, encompassing messaging, content, and, notably, distinctive sales actions. The objections and challenges one encounters will differ as well, which is why establishing objectives for every stage of a deal is crucial.

In the sales process, each stage has a distinct desired result. Let's examine some commonly seen objectives. pipeline sales stages  :



Appointment/meeting/discovery call

Needs defined



Deal won

To illustrate, during a discovery call, the main goal is to recognize a problem and determine if a potential customer is suitable for your solution. However, when it comes to the proposal phase, you need to present yourself as the superior choice, get ready for negotiations, and secure the sale.

Establish goals in two categories:

  1.  Activity-based goals.  These are the inputs required to take a  sales opportunity to proceed to the next phase of the process (such as sending emails, making follow-up calls, etc.).

  2.  Results-based goals. A measurable figure that is necessary in order to achieve your ultimate objective, such as the total number of appointments arranged or the number of follow-up emails dispatched.

Having a clear understanding of your entire sales process is extremely valuable. By knowing exactly what actions are necessary to move a potential customer to the next phase of their relationship with your business, you have the ability to improve and optimize those activities.

One more instance of a sales strategy, suggested by a fractional VP of sales. Susan Tourville One way to approach goal setting is by starting at the bottom and working upwards.

"I have saved numerous sales teams that were pursuing unattainable revenue goals. Examples of these targets include a 50% growth or doubling of sales from the previous year, despite lacking the necessary resources, such as extra sales staff, new products, a proper marketing strategy, or an acquisition to boost growth."
Avoid doing that. When using a bottom-up approach, you begin by not setting your desired revenue target. Instead, you focus on reaching a number that can be tactically accomplished through careful planning and efficient implementation.

Strive to have a neutral perspective on the amount of effort, time, or resources required to achieve your established goals, such as the number of sales or revenue over a specific timeframe. This approach will assist you in your endeavors. sales plan  efforts.

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the customer's experience throughout your entire company.

It is important for your sales team members to collaborate and not work independently, as each company has its own unique path to attracting and retaining customers. Begin by gathering information about how leads and outbound sales are created, the procedures for introducing new customers to your company, and how you fulfill their needs to ensure their satisfaction.

One way a consulting firm could implement their sales strategy is by generating demand or receiving referrals to attract potential customers. These potential customers are then handed over to sales professionals, who are responsible for evaluating and assisting them until an appointment is scheduled.

After identifying the issue, the representatives collaborate with account managers or other consultants to create a proposal that offers a potential resolution.

Ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of all stages of the customer experience and the connection with clients, regardless of the specific appearance of this procedure for you.

Create a process map structure

No matter the tool you choose, whether it be pencil and paper or otherwise,a sales process template that is free of charge or software like  Lucidchart In order to effectively communicate your selling strategy, it is essential to have a clear and structured method of illustrating your process.

By utilizing Lucidchart as a tool, you have the option to select different "shapes" or charts that effectively depict the various stages of the sales process. These shapes vary from hierarchical family trees to circular charts and process diagrams, with each one being more suitable for specific situations.

To effectively improve and modify your sales strategy as you progress, it is crucial to determine the most suitable chart for each stage of the sales process.

Map your existing sales process

In order to enhance and maximize your sales procedure, it is essential to have a thorough knowledge of the tasks and stages currently being employed. Begin by conducting interviews with other representatives and individuals involved in the sales department of your organization.

Below are a few sample queries that you can pose depending on various roles and duties:

  1.  Sales. What methods do you use to create fresh leads? After acquiring a lead, how do you steer them towards making a purchase? Are the sales and marketing strategies in sync?

  2.  Sales Development. approach to organizing the different aspects of sales development? Prior to transferring leads from marketing to sales, how do you determine their priority? sales enablement  process?

  3.  Marketing. different salespeople? Can you provide an overview of your lead generation and distribution process? sales teams  and  sales development reps  (SDRs)?

By inquiring about these questions, you can effectively bridge any missing information in your sales strategies.

Uncover opportunities

Once you have formulated your current sales plan, it is now necessary to conduct a SWOT analysis, which involves identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

For instance, your current workflow effectively guides potential customers to the point of sale, resulting in fewer customers abandoning the process. However, there is room for improvement in the initial stage of generating leads.

Going further into the issue, the main difficulty could be persuading potential customers to participate in a discussion to explore their needs.

Here, your  strength closing techniques come into play. It involves executing strategies and tactics to persuade and convince the potential customer to make a purchasing decision or take the desired action. This crucial step in sales involves effectively addressing objections, highlighting the value proposition, and utilizing persuasive techniques to ultimately secure the deal. opportunity is creating more potential clients and improving the percentage of them who schedule appointments.

Optimize your process map

Once you have a clear visualization of your sales process, you can focus on identifying and addressing any areas of improvement to enhance the performance of your entire company.

To begin, it is important to construct a visual representation of your current process. Here is a potential illustration of a sales strategy as an example:

Using template maps can be truly beneficial in creating an effective sales strategy for both you and your sales team. It is essential to revisit the opportunities you previously identified as they serve as the targets for optimizing your sales process. Below are some goals that can serve as examples for your sales strategy.

  1. Improve the time it takes to respond to incoming leads and begin the first interaction with potential customers.
  2. Improve the process of scheduling appointments to simplify the task for a potential customer in setting up a phone call
  3. To expedite the process of qualifying a new lead, utilize data enrichment techniques such as locating and consolidating publicly accessible information.

At last, it is the moment to establish objectives for each current and forthcoming phase. Once again, it is necessary to define targets based on the activities undertaken and the desired outcomes at every stage of the sales process. To illustrate, some goals for the phase of arranging appointments could include:

  1.  Activities. Contact potential new customers within one hour after they have entered the sales process.
  2.  Outcome.  X% lead-to-appointment rate.

Develop reference points using historical accomplishments.

Sales strategy mapping involves comprehending the necessary tasks to finalize a sale. However, determining the measurement of those tasks and establishing precise performance standards can be challenging.

To begin, it is essential to measure the appropriate metrics. The choice of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure will vary based on the specific activity.

In this instance, we will go over an uncomplicated procedure consisting of three steps to create. sales performance  benchmarks for your sales strategy.

Step 1: Collect the right metrics

Once you have a clear plan for your sales process, selecting and evaluating your sales metrics will become considerably more straightforward.

Let's begin by reviewing some usual sales metric  based on different activity categories:

 Activity   metrics   . These comprise the quantity of emails sent, subsequent contacts and unsolicited phone calls conducted.

 Pipeline   metrics   . These metrics assess the overall status of your pipeline's health. They analyze factors such as the duration of the sales cycle, the overall rate of successfully closed deals, and the number of open sales opportunities during specific periods, for both the team and individual representatives.

 Lead generation   metrics   . Some of the factors that are taken into consideration include the amount of new possibilities, the time it takes to respond to leads, and the number and proportion of leads that are pursued.

 Outreach   metrics   . Some examples of metrics used to track different forms of communication include email metrics (such as the rate at which emails are opened and responded to), phone metrics (such as the number of potential customers who agree to an appointment, call back, or demonstration), and social selling metrics (such as the rate at which InMail messages are responded to and LinkedIn connections are accepted).

 Conversion   metrics   . Opportunities that were not pursued and the ratio of those that were successfully obtained or unsuccessful.

It is crucial to prioritize the evaluation of sales key performance indicators (KPIs) above all else. Although the aforementioned metrics provide a general understanding of activity performance, sales KPIs gauge the overall well-being of your entire company.

The following types of measurements belong to this group:

Total revenue

Revenue from new business and its proportion in relation to total revenue.

Growth year-over-year

Customer average lifetime value (LTV)

The income is divided based on the type of product or service provided.

Ultimately, it is necessary to allocate each metric and benchmark to various positions within your company.

To illustrate, an SDR primarily concentrates on generating leads and reaching out to potential customers. On the other hand, a sales manager requires a broad understanding of these metrics and their impact on the main sales performance indicators.

Step 2: Calculate your benchmarks

As you gather information over a period of time, you will eventually have enough data to determine precise benchmarks. However, the methods used to calculate these benchmarks may differ.

To begin, we should consider sales key performance indicators (KPIs) for each role in your sales team. The measurement of progress for these indicators can be simple or more intricate, depending on how you prefer to group them.

To illustrate, you have the option to establish goals that span a year based on past performance. Additionally, you may consider setting benchmarks for monthly and quarterly revenue to maintain a more assertive approach in sales.

Next, activity-based benchmarks come into play. Since the performance of different representatives can differ, relying on a team-wide average may not always be ideal. Hence, you can consider two alternatives:

  1. Find the average of sales for the whole sales department.

  2. Establish standards for various levels of performance and calculate the average values within each category.

The second option is more intricate, but it will enable you to establish customized objectives depending on the achievements of your representative.

To illustrate, when a high-performing individual consistently outperforms the set targets of the entire team on a monthly or quarterly basis, they may not feel sufficiently challenged. This absence of stimulation can pose a challenge to retaining talented employees and may negatively impact your overall sales strategy.

Dividing performance benchmarks can be beneficial in terms of keeping your top performers motivated and facilitating the ongoing development of your organization. This approach will serve as a motivation for other representatives to concentrate on the areas they can improve upon.

grouping teams, you can incorporate a beneficial amount of rivalry. Employ a resource similar to Pointagram to enhance employee moral by visually acknowledging and incentivizing their accomplishments.

Step 3: Integrate benchmarks into your sales training program.

Once you have established your benchmarks, you need to effectively share them with your team. salespeople , sales development representatives (SDRs) and other individuals who are part of the sales organization's regular activities.

There are two methods you can utilize benchmarks to enhance team performance.

  1. In team meetings and training sessions, share the predetermined benchmarks for sales key performance indicators (such as revenue) to foster effective communication.

  2. Establish performance goals for each specific activity individually.

Sharing revenue targets will enhance team morale and establish a measurable objective that all members can strive to achieve. This approach also converts your sales strategy into a collaborative endeavor, where everyone collaborates towards reaching the desired revenue milestone.

When it comes to activity-based benchmarks, it is best to use them during one-on-one conversations. During these interactions, show representatives what they should strive for based on their percentile and provide an explanation of how you arrived at this conclusion.

The crucial thing is to boost their spirits and demonstrate to them that they possess the capability and skills necessary to reach those targets.

Utilize these standards as a guide to establish higher objectives within your strategy. Combine them with the potential advantages you discovered when outlining your sales process earlier.

In order to boost their organization's growth, sales teams can inquire about strategies to capitalize on opportunities and increase the rate of growth. This approach can lead to significant and rapid expansion.

Gather qualitative perspectives and information about customers.

Sales reps often see this  sales tactic Traditionally, data collection and sharing have been seen as something only for marketing purposes. Nonetheless, gathering and distributing your own data regarding potential customers and existing clients can be instrumental in increasing sales and driving growth and progress for the entire organization.

There are numerous advantages to gathering customer insights:

  1. strengthen your communication efforts by making it more persuasive and convincing. follow-up emails that address the core issues experienced by customers

  2. You will have a clear understanding of when to focus on a specific aspect of your solution or features for each customer group and target audience.

  3. You will have the ability to handle sales objections not only using logic, but by considering the prospect's objectives and motivations.

Considering this, we will now explore some effective methods for gathering customer insights that can support your sales strategy.

Record frequent pain points

Having good listening skills is crucial for any salesperson. Every day, they engage in conversations with their target audience.

Each conversation presents a chance for you to gain knowledge about the issues, difficulties, aspirations, and concerns that are shared among individuals. Understanding these aspects can assist you in customizing your approach and sales strategies to better appeal to your listeners.

Begin utilizing this particular expertise and take note of the typical (and occasional) issues and difficulties that your potential customers bring up during sales conversations.

As a sales leader, it is your responsibility to motivate and facilitate this behavior, and establish a system where your representatives can gather these valuable insights. This system could be designed as:

Please make a note of the time stamp when the pain issue was mentioned during the call.

Use a  call recording system  within your  CRM  to go back to that point

Write down exactly how the customer phrased their problem and the specific words they used to describe it.

Save this observation in a worldwide spreadsheet.

As you gather data based on this understanding, you can assist your representatives in pinpointing the most frequently mentioned items. You can establish a consistent way of presenting them by observing the commonly used terminology and organizing them in terms of significance.

Get clear with your core differentiator

Usually, it is the responsibility of the marketing department to determine what sets you apart from your competitors. However, similar to identifying customer problems, you have the advantage of being able to discover areas where your competitors have overlooked opportunities.

In the process of sales conversations, you have the opportunity to gather information about your competitors and identify areas in the market that are lacking. This can be done at two specific points during the conversation.

  1. The first discussion involves the inquiry regarding the supplier the prospect is presently utilizing.

  2. In the process of handling objections, it is likely that they will compare you to other vendors.

Let's examine both methods thoroughly.

Approach 1: The initial conversation

In the qualifying stage, you will pose inquiries to determine if a potential client is suitable for your solution or product. These inquiries will cover basic aspects such as budget and business structure, as well as delve into more detailed insights regarding their current practices and those of their organization.

Another commonly overlooked matter pertains to the solution, product, or service that the individual is currently utilizing. This particular moment presents an excellent chance to discover what initially drew the prospective customer to your offerings, as well as why they are unsatisfied with their current provider.

To discover areas that your competitors are not addressing, inquire with questions such as:

What was your initial motivation for choosing to collaborate with [competitor]?

What features did you consider to be the most beneficial?

Why are you looking for a new solution?

Explore their answers further by posing additional questions. It is during this initial discussion that you uncover their genuine reasons and sources of annoyance.

Approach 2: Objection handling

You are almost done and believe that you will successfully seal the deal... but then comes the frustrating objection that says "Competitor X does this, and you don't".

Although this may be discouraging for numerous salespeople, it presents a great chance to gain insight and identify any weaknesses in your own strategies and approach.

When faced with such an objection, inquire further by asking: "What makes this significant to you?" or "In what ways do you believe this will provide a better solution to [their problems] compared to [the feature you offer]?"

You will not only enhance your competitive advantage, but the response from the competition will also give you an opportunity to address and overcome these concerns.

If you need more advice on how to handle objections, feel free to browse our resources. sales objections tool  .

Use a consultative sales approach in order to establish trust.

How can one effectively establish enduring business connections that are built on trust? Employing consultative selling techniques is a key aspect of a successful approach towards boosting sales.

Based on our authoritative handbook on the topic, consultative selling  is:

"A mindset based on establishing a connection with potential customers. A sales professional who embraces consultative selling acquires a comprehensive and intricate comprehension of the buyer's requirements, and subsequently aims to meet those requirements with a personalized resolution."

It is important to make an effort to engage with potential customers at each step of their purchasing journey as having poor relationships with customers often leads to them switching to other brands.

Leading causes of churn

Let us examine the significance of embracing a consultative selling approach as a component of your sales growth strategy.

Build your authority

In order to effectively implement a consultative selling method, it is essential for your potential clients to trust in your knowledge and ability to address the specific issue they are seeking to resolve.

In order to establish credibility and establish oneself as a knowledgeable professional, adhere to these recommendations:

  1.  Collect evidence. In order to support your statements, it is necessary to provide evidence. This can include presenting case studies or utilizing statistical and data information from reliable sources, as mentioned before. It is important to demonstrate to potential customers how you have successfully resolved similar issues in the past.

  2.  Create content. Generate content on LinkedIn, host webinars, and publish articles on your company blog to tackle the challenges faced by customers. This approach serves as an effective method for attracting potential clients and increasing inbound sales, as well as nurturing current business prospects.

  3.  Address criticism head-on. This situation is likely to occur, particularly when you produce content that holds conflicting opinions. Rather than avoiding it, confront it by responding to comments, engaging on social media, and wherever your content is accessible.

Lead the conversation

In the field of consultative selling, it is important to recognize that every conversation is unique. A vital skill to develop is the ability to guide your discussions, discovering the challenges and genuine motivations of potential clients and shaping your interactions accordingly.

To achieve this, make sure to ask the appropriate questions at the appropriate moments, all the while ensuring that your potential customers feel heard and comprehended. It is advisable to prepare a set of these questions prior to the first conversation.

Gather information about the organization and the role of your potential client to understand their challenges and concerns. This will help you obtain the necessary information to create a suitable solution.

For instance, you may find out that they are currently utilizing a rival product. In that case, you can inquire about the reasons behind their search for a new solution and the factors that led them to choose the competitor initially (as mentioned previously).

In order to effectively practice consultative selling, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of your prospect's current circumstances. By asking the appropriate questions, you can gather valuable information that will enable you to create the optimal solution for each individual prospect.

Create a bespoke solution

By possessing the necessary knowledge, you are able to create a tailored answer that caters to their individual requirements. This solution can vary in complexity, ranging from linking software features to particular obstacles, to constructing a completely customized service that assists them in attaining a significant project or objective.

When creating a customized solution for your potential client, adhere to the following three-step procedure:

  1. Make sure you have a clear understanding of their requirements.Pay attention to recurring ideas and difficulties that arise during your first discussion. If your conversation partner mentions a specific aspect, aim, or purpose that holds significance to them, make sure to incorporate it into your proposed solution.

  2.  Get into the pain.  According to The CEB Marketing Leadership Council is providing marketing professionals with valuable insights and guidance to improve their marketing strategies.According to the statement, personal value has a greater effect on B2B buyers compared to business value. Regardless of the industry, individuals make purchasing decisions based on their emotions. If you can demonstrate how your solution will provide personal advantages to your potential customer, the overall value it brings will be multiplied.

  3. Show the solution being put into practice.During the sales process, give prospects the opportunity to try out your solution. Instead of simply presenting its features or presenting a detailed proposal, demonstrate the potential outcomes and benefits that your solution can deliver.

Combine this strategy with conventional components, like real-life examples, to seal the deal. Illustrate how you can successfully address their particular issues by showcasing the outcomes you have achieved previously.

Show how you can achieve comparable outcomes while still staying pertinent to their distinct circumstances.

Increase your chances of closing more deals by utilizing the valuable Sales Communication Handbook that we are offering to you at no cost.

Improve your sales discussions effectively by reading this 25-page ebook. Gain valuable insights from professionals to enhance your interpersonal abilities and elevate your success rate in converting sales.

To differentiate yourself, focus on a particular market segment.

Having a strong market position can greatly simplify the job for salespeople. However, not all salespeople are employed by a well-known market leader, and even for those who are, adopting this approach can be challenging – particularly when there is a lack of understanding about the customer.

In today's highly competitive environment, focusing on a particular market segment can be beneficial in grabbing the attention of individuals involved in that segment.

For instance, you might propose a solution that aids SaaS companies in increasing their business leads. However, each segment within the SaaS market possesses its own distinct set of obstacles and objectives.

Therefore, you can delve further into the topic and specifically target marketing technology (MarTech). By conducting a bit of research, you will discover that it is more challenging to sell to marketing decision-makers compared to other positions. That being said, you have the opportunity to portray your product or service as the ultimate solution to this particular issue.

In order to develop an effective sales strategy, it is essential to work together with your marketing team. It is crucial to comprehend your position in the market and its relation to your sales strategy. Let's follow a proven method to assist you in achieving this.

Identify market segments and their needs

To begin, you need to determine the appropriate market segment to focus on. This can be achieved by examining various data points and characteristics, but the most effective starting point is to analyze the market itself.

Consider which market segments are already overcrowded. Reflect on the areas where you have previously gained substantial interest and engagement. Identify markets that have specific challenges that your solution or innovative product can address effectively. Focus on markets where you possess extensive familiarity and established connections.

After identifying a specific market segment, it is important to focus on the shared characteristics of potential customers. This could involve considering factors such as the size of companies, their marketing strategies, or the typical funding amount they raise in Series A fundraising rounds.

After identifying your target market, it is crucial to gain a genuine understanding of the individuals in that market that you are serving. You have the option of gathering qualitative and data-driven insights about these people through various methods.

  1.  Collect customer data. Examine the information you currently possess about your users and customers. Determine the products or services they predominantly allocate their resources to. Identify the specific functionalities of your software that they frequently utilize.

  2.  Survey them. In the English language, send an email survey to this particular group and inquire about their organization as well as their daily responsibilities at work.

  3.  Interviews. In order to gain more high-quality insights, engage in conversation with them over the phone. By speaking with them directly, you can delve into their answers more extensively and gain a genuine understanding of their motives.

Lastly, gather data regarding the typical duration of the purchasing process and the length of time a customer remains engaged with the company. For instance, it is valuable to know if the average transaction requires three months to finalize and involves multiple parties. This data is essential to gather.

Evaluate commercial viability

Now, it is the moment to utilize this understanding to evaluate if it is worthwhile to pursue this specific segment. Ultimately, if it proves to be more challenging to sell compared to other segments, it may be beneficial to redirect your attention elsewhere.

Here are some qualities to look for:

  1.  Market size. To begin with, is your intended audience wide enough to divide into different groups? Is the specific group you have identified significant enough to meet your main business objectives?

  2.  Differences. particular age group may be different from those of another age group. Similarly, the preferences and needs of a specific geographical area may differ from those of another region. Therefore, it is necessary to determine whether the distinctions between each market segment are significant enough to warrant segmenting. SaaS In order to cater to marketers specifically, the product must possess distinct qualities that set it apart from solutions aimed at other professionals.

  3.  Accessibility. Are you able to connect with this specific group of people? Do you possess the means to effectively deliver your message to them?

  4.  Profitability. Can you expect a return on investment from your efforts to expand?

  5.  Unique benefits. Does your selected portion gain unique advantages from your proposed solution?

Establish your position

Now that you have answered these questions, you can proceed to determine your market position. Positioning maps provide a simple method to accomplish this.

For example, here’s what one  positioning map  looks like:

The variables being considered are "price" and "quality". The map presents the positioning of each brand on these two variables, allowing for a better understanding of their market position.

To construct your own map, begin by selecting two variables that are most relevant to your brand and solution. Some commonly used variables for positioning are:

  1. Quality

  2. Price

  3. Market share

  4. Complexity

  5. Market perception

  6. Practicality

After selecting your two terms, utilize the map to position your competitors and assess their market placement.

Employ this technique to enhance your overall standing in the market by utilizing the main distinguishing factors you previously identified as your guiding force. Combine your distinctive features and services with the typical challenges faced by your potential customers in order to demonstrate that you are the optimal solution for the specific group you have chosen to target.

Introduce a strong qualification system to establish priorities for leads.

Sales organizations that have to handle a high number of potential customers find it highly time-consuming to deal with opportunities that are not likely to convert. To maximize effectiveness, it is crucial for them to implement a trustworthy qualification system that accurately identifies and focuses on promising leads.

Place your qualification process at the start of your sales process.

In this guide, we will demonstrate the steps to create a sales plan that prioritizes the most promising opportunities for your business. pipeline  .

Defining what makes a qualified lead

Similar to the aforementioned market segments, not all leads that meet the necessary criteria are identical. It is your responsibility to identify the characteristics of a qualified lead and determine what the most promising sales opportunities entail.

When determining the attributes of a strong lead, it is essential to take into account three levels of qualification.

  1.  Organization. How large is their company? Do they sell products or services to your specific industry? Take a look at their website and LinkedIn page to determine if they align with your preferred profile for an organization.

  2.  Stakeholder. Is their budget sufficient? There are numerous small businesses and startups who may require your solution but are unable to afford it. Who plays a role in the purchasing procedure? It is crucial to inquire about these matters prior to and during the initial sales discussions.

  3.  Opportunity. Is there a challenge or issue that they have and you can help with? This is crucial to address at the start of the sales process.

Knowing when to disqualify

It is challenging for salespeople to relinquish a sales opportunity. They have a strong desire for potential clients, and it feels unfortunate to terminate a conversation when the opportunity does not align well.

Being able to disqualify leads is an essential component of a successful sales strategy. Focusing too much effort on unproductive leads can hinder your progress on more fruitful tasks.

Disqualifying refers to recognizing when an opportunity does not meet the requirements you have established. For instance, if you notice that a company has only been operating for a year and you know that your ideal clients are established businesses with over 100 employees, you can respectfully decline to proceed further without scheduling an initial appointment.

However, it is crucial to not be deceived by indications of a valuable asset. For instance, you may engage in a conversation with a stakeholder who has a substantial amount of money to invest. Nevertheless, if you investigate further and discover that they do not have a problem that you can solve, they will still not be a suitable match.

Ask qualifying questions

Asking the appropriate questions is an essential aspect of the assessment stage. These inquiries will help you gather the necessary information to determine whether pursuing an opportunity is worthwhile or if it is necessary to exclude it from your sales process.

Some qualifying questions include:

What industry are they in?

What is the duration of their business operations and what is the company's current scale?

How did they hear about you?

What are the main obstacles that they and their team are currently dealing with?

What outcomes are they aiming for?

How would these results benefit them?

If they are unable to attain these outcomes, what consequences will follow?

How does their buying process appear?

Are they the key decision maker?

Are they able to dedicate the necessary resources and time to put a short-term solution into action?

Asking these types of questions will aid in determining whether or not the prospect aligns with your desired customer profile. They will assist in determining if the prospect has the necessary requirements such as need, budget, and timeframe, which will enable you to successfully implement a solution.

Using the BANT framework

Although customers and clients vary, successful deals often exhibit similar characteristics. The BANT framework can be used to assess these opportunities.

BANT stands for:

 Budget. Do they possess the necessary means to make a purchase?

 Authority. Are they capable of making the ultimate choice?

 Need.  Can you solve their problem(s)?

 Timeline. When do they have plans to invest in a solution?

By utilizing the aforementioned inquiries, your representatives can evaluate a potential customer using these four standards. For instance, by inquiring about the goals they are striving to accomplish and how they would gain from it, you can promptly determine if they require the product or service.

Lastly, be attentive to indicators that indicate a potential unsuitable candidate. If they respond with brief answers to your inquiries, this could suggest that they lack genuine interest in finding a resolution and are merely casually exploring options.

Streamline your follow-up procedures and cut down on time spent manually managing them.

An effective strategy for sales involves incorporating solutions that effectively save time. Simplifying your processes with automation tools is one of the simplest methods to regain valuable time.

person's time and energy. It is a crucial aspect of any business, as it involves reaching out to potential customers and convincing them to make a purchase or upgrade their current purchase. This process can be time-consuming as it requires thorough research, personalized communication, and persuasive skills. However, it is necessary to prioritize follow-ups and upselling in order to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. salesperson During the course of a day, there are many tasks to complete in order to cultivate a prospective client, including activities such as making phone calls and sending emails to maintain contact.

However, it is not necessary for this to always be true. With the appropriate sales tool, technology, and procedures, you have the ability to automate numerous stages of the follow-up procedure.

According to a McKinsey study , more than 33% of all sales processes have the potential to be performed automatically.

Let us examine how to give your representatives the ability to efficiently complete more sales transactions.

Start with your CRM

CRM, a sales strategy will not be effective, as it serves as the basis for your follow-up system. CRM Every time your representatives attempt to handle a large number of sales opportunities and conversations, they will find themselves overwhelmed with emails and struggling to keep up.

CRM platforms, make sure to look for one that streamlines your workflow and automates repetitive tasks. It should not just shift the burden of administrative work onto you, but rather alleviate your workload by handling those tasks efficiently. CRM vendors  , find one that ticks these boxes:

  1.  Business function. Can it assist in accomplishing objectives and tasks that are common and relevant to your organization?

  2.  Cost. Is it able to offer those features at an affordable price?

  3.  Data quality. Does it enhance your data and assist in customizing your subsequent messaging?

  4.  Brand. Is the provider well-known? Do they have influence in the industry and a demonstrated history of success?

  5.  Scale. Can they manage your plans for growth and expansion in terms of sales strategy?

have a sequence of automated emails sent to prospects after they take a specific action, such as signing up for a free trial or requesting more information. This feature saves time for your sales team and ensures that no leads slip through the cracks. create workflows that handle multiple tasks for you without manual intervention

CRM should, at the minimum, be able to connect with tools that can automate these tasks. Discover the tools that can integrate with Pipedrive in our resource. Marketplace  .

Recommended reading

How to create a CRM strategy that increases earnings (using actual examples)

Know when to automate

Once you have the appropriate technology set up, it is essential to begin automating. However, it is crucial to proceed with caution. Initially, you need to determine the tasks that can be performed without your direct involvement.

Streamline and delegate tasks that do not require your direct involvement, freeing up you and your representatives to concentrate on more significant ones.

Here is a straightforward method to determine which tasks can be automated.

 Can it be eliminated? If it does not provide genuine value to the sales organization (or your potential customers), it might be wise to completely eliminate it from your sales strategy.

 Can it be automated? It is not possible to completely rely on technology to handle all tasks. If we consider an instance like customizing a sales email personally, automating it using technology would be a challenging task.

If it is not possible to automate it, is it possible to assign it to someone else?Could you assign this responsibility to another person to handle?

By having a compilation of typical tasks to be done afterwards, you can initiate the process of automating them. To achieve this effectively, it is essential to understand the specific trigger and action required for each task.

To provide an illustration, in the case of a proposal's follow-up, the trigger and subsequent action could be demonstrated as follows:

 Trigger – an email with a proposal was sent five days ago.

 Action  – send email template

Get the timing right

Occasionally, your emails may go unnoticed when the recipient is occupied with important matters or facing personal challenges. Lack of response does not necessarily indicate rejection.

As a result, it is important to have multiple points of contact in your follow-up sequence. Keep in mind various possibilities. They might be occupied or lack sufficient trust in you, requiring further persuasion.

Consider these factors when creating your follow-up emails. To illustrate, a basic four-step series could appear as follows:

 Follow-up   1. A brief inquiry regarding their opinion on your proposal.

 Follow-up   2. Just like the previous example, the offer is to provide answers to any inquiries.

 Follow-up   3. Can you share any insights or outcomes that you helped a previous customer achieve?

 Follow-up   4. Please share a piece of information or content that offers a deeper understanding of a particular issue or problem.

Distributing this series across a longer period of time can significantly boost the rate at which people respond.

It is important not to exceed a certain limit. After sending approximately five additional emails, if there is no response, it is safe to assume that the answer is likely to be negative. At this stage, it is advisable to redirect your efforts towards potential leads that have a higher chance of turning into conversions.

To maintain communication, it is suggested to send follow-up emails only once a month. It is important to include valuable content that would interest the potential recipient. All these tasks can be easily handled through automation.

Utilize reminders and incorporate personalization.

In the English language, the paragraph can be paraphrased as follows: Your customer relationship management (CRM) system should offer the feature of setting reminders for tasks on particular dates. Occasionally, when personalization is crucial, these reminders can be used to send timely emails. The use of a CRM to automate this process can streamline and enhance your overall sales strategy.

For instance, in Pipedrive, it is possible to plan different tasks on particular dates.

After setting a specific date and time for a task, Pipedrive will send you a reminder to complete it.

Automation has a dual purpose: it involves utilizing technology to carry out straightforward tasks and also enables you to streamline activities that require your involvement. Understanding when to apply each method will result in a flawless follow-up process that operates automatically.

Speed up the process with cold calling

Email The focus of modern communication is often on the internet, but we shouldn't overlook the reliable telephone. In fact, there is no superior method to establish a connection with someone and truly understand their motives than speaking to them directly.

Every sales plan or sales strategy template includes scripts for calling, which can assist representatives in engaging potential customers. In this case, we will explore successful methods of implementing cold calling into your sales strategy, as well as ways in which your sales representatives can establish deeper connections with potential clients.

Research your prospect

Gain knowledge about the category in which your potential customer belongs through extensive investigation. Obtain valuable information that will greatly influence your initial discussion.

LinkedIn is a valuable source of information for gaining this kind of knowledge. By visiting the profile of your potential client, you can see what their professional experience has been like. For instance, if they have recently taken on a new job, it is probable that they are seeking fresh strategies and suppliers to leave a favorable impact.

Here are some methods you can use to gather information about your potential customers.

  1.  LinkedIn   . In which groups are they engaged? Whom do they support? Do they generate their own material?

  2.  Twitter. What type of information are they distributing? With whom are they establishing connections?

  3.  Google. What appears in the search results when you look up their name? Is there a blog that they personally maintain? Do they produce content for their company?

Having these insights will give you a great start to your cold calls. It makes a huge difference between this:

"Hello Mark, I am James from Pipedrive. Our company specializes in assisting sales managers like yourself to enhance their sales procedures by.."

And this:

"Hello Mark, I came across your cold calling article (which I really enjoyed) and wanted to share something that I think you might find interesting. I'm James and..."

The second sales illustration has evidently been carefully considered. Prior to launching into your pitch to make a powerful initial impact, ensure that your potential customers feel as if you have already grasped their needs and desires.

Build an outline

While we have plenty of  cold calling scripts To find inspiration, it is helpful to utilize a tried-and-true framework when constructing your own.

Here's a suggestion that we support at Pipedrive:

  1.  Introduction. Identify yourself and provide a brief explanation of the reason for your call, keeping it concise and to the point.

  2.  Opener. Utilize personalization, as demonstrated in the previous example, to establish an early connection with them. If relevant, discuss something that you have in common.

  3.  Reason. What is the purpose of your call? Why should they give consideration, and in what ways can you be of assistance to them?

  4.  Offer. What is your unique selling point? Which individuals or companies do you collaborate with, and what are the outcomes you have facilitated for them? What makes you stand out from your competitors?

  5.  Questions. Assess their level of interest and ask specific questions to determine if they are suitable.

  6.  Close. Give a clear instruction for action and guide the conversation towards the subsequent phase of the sales cycle.

You can enhance your messaging by utilizing established frameworks and incorporating relevant anecdotes appropriately.

Collect early-stage objections

You should be prepared for different objections when making a cold call compared to later in the sales cycle. So, ensure that you are well-prepared for any objections you may encounter.

For instance, the phrase "I need to ponder on it" is a frequently encountered resistance on cold calls. This is a response often heard by renowned sales experts and writers in the field. Brian Tracy has an excellent way of addressing arguments of this nature.

To simplify the process of handling common objections, begin by compiling a knowledge base that contains various responses.

Understanding the right time to make a phone call is just as vital as the content of your conversation once you are connected. According to InsightSquared The optimal period for making a phone call is from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.

Nevertheless, every sector varies. Test various timings and determine which ones yield the most positive response from your customer profiles. For instance, you may discover that it is typical for potential clients in your field to be engaged as early as 8 AM, in order to begin their workday ahead. Observe the outcome when you make calls during this period.

In addition to considering the time of day, there are specific circumstances that make cold calling suitable, known as "trigger events." These trigger events can include receiving a round of funding, adding new members to their team, or making an acquisition.

Lastly, acquire the skill of genuine attentiveness. Pose inquiries that invite elaborate responses and thoroughly explore their answers. Pay heed to their words and establish connections between their concerns and aspirations with the distinct qualities of your offering.

sales strategies, and enhance your customer experience. By understanding your target market, you can tailor your sales approach to better meet their needs and preferences. This includes identifying their demographics, interests, and pain points. Optimizing your sales strategies involves analyzing and improving your sales process, such as setting clear goals, refining your pricing strategy, and leveraging technology to streamline the sales pipeline. Lastly, enhancing the customer experience involves providing exceptional service, addressing customer concerns promptly, and continuously seeking feedback to make improvements. By implementing these strategies, you can effectively boost sales and strengthen your relationship with customers. sales process staff to use it effectively. Additionally, maximize the potential of technology in your business operations. sales team to offer outstanding customer interactions.

performance indicators, and outlining specific actions to achieve sales objectives. sales activities Creating measurable benchmarks for success and consistently evaluating and modifying your strategies.

Final thoughts

In order to develop successful sales strategies, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of your intended audience.

What obstacles do they typically face? What are their goals and how can you assist them in accomplishing them?

Throughout the entire guide, we have consistently emphasized a common idea. By gathering information and data about your customers, you have the ability to develop a sales strategy template that harmonizes their needs with your objectives. Once you have successfully accomplished this, the actions you take will have a more significant effect.

sales plan. It provides helpful tips and advice for developing a successful sales strategy. sales playbook  .