Is your sales strategy a problem?
If you can exceed your revenue growth objectives each year, the answer is no. But if you are on the expectations treadmill, you may need to modify your sales strategy.
Here are some signs to look out for that might indicate it is time to take a fresh look at your sales strategy:
- Your industry and your competitors are growing revenues faster than you are.
- You recently missed your revenue growth objective.
- You recently received a sizeable increase in your annual revenue objective.
- The revenue growth increase did not come with a head count increase.
- The traditional routes to market are not as effective as they used to be.
- New innovative routes to market have recently become available.
- Your customer acquisition cost is too high and your customer lifetime value is too low.
- Your buyers have changed the way they make buying decisions.
- There are not enough opportunities in the pipeline.
- Your win rates are too low.
- Your deal sizes are not increasing.
- The sales cycle is too long.
- The revenue performance varies greatly from rep to rep and from region to region.
- It is difficult to sell for and buy from your company.
If the above accurately describes your business, in part or in total, your sales strategy might need to be modified.
What is the solution to a sales strategy problem?
Let’s start with how to approach the problem. First, it is important to frame the problem correctly. It is important to distinguish between the need for a strategy modification and the need for better execution of the current sales strategy. The sales strategy framework in the following pages will help you make that distinction.
Second, it is important to challenge your current assumptions. The top growth executives never assume they have all the answers. Meanwhile the average growth executives say, “We are already doing that” a lot. The exercise questions in this section will force you to challenge everything.
Third, don’t rely on your past experiences. The business world is changing too quickly, rendering past experience less and less valuable. This workbook is based on the practices used by the top growth executives in the world. Comparing yourself to what they are doing will be enlightening.
Fourth, break down the big problem of sales strategy into smaller problems. The approach used by sales leaders who never miss their numbers is to separate strategy from execution. Ask yourself, “Am I doing the right things?” Your answer will tell you if you need a strategy modification. Then ask yourself, “Am I doing things right?” This answer will tell you if you need to improve execution. Sales strategy is too big to look at in total. This is why we broke it down into multiple steps, phases and questions.
Fifth, get an outsider’s perspective, particularly someone from outside your industry. You are too close to the sales strategy to analyze it objectively. This is why we recommend doing this with one of our consultants.
Lastly, when working, use a common language. This will make complex concepts more simple.
Proceed through this sales strategy section of the Revenue Growth Methodology. Complete the exercises and determine if your revenue growth would increase with a modification to your sales strategy.
Now that you understand the meaning of a sales strategy, it is time to move on to understanding how they work in our Three Step Sales Strategy Methodology.