Organizations have a formal process for evaluating their corporate strategy on a frequent basis.  Quarterly Board meetings, earning’s calls, and investors meetings usually drive this on-going review. Having a strategy, sticking to it, and executing it are critical to an organization’s focus and health.  When was the last time you took a dive into aligning your customers’ buying cycle with the appropriate overall sales strategy? 


More often than not, tweaks, adjustments, and minor modifications are made, versus a comprehensive review of your sales strategy.  The maturity of the industry you compete in has an influence.  Customers have changed the way in which they access resources and consume information about services and organizations.  Your offerings have evolved as well- why not your sales strategy? 


What questions might you ask yourself to see if you have the right sales strategy?


  1. Has my customer (Ideal Customer Profile) changed in the last 12 months?
  2. Is the flow and quality of leads on the decline?
  3. Are my reps consistently deviating from our sales process?
  4. Has our sales cycle increased dramatically?
  5. Have my competitors made dramatic shifts in how they sell?
  6. Is our Win/Loss ratio is trending the wrong way?
  7. Do I have a greater percentage of reps not achieving quota?


If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then it might be time to make sure that your broad sales strategy is aligned correctly. 


There are three types of broad sales strategies:


  1. Product Based-focuses on the promotion of a specific or existing product. The emphasis is placed on features, functionality and benefits.  Many times the key focus being cost, value, and ease of purchase.
  2. Solution Based– Rather than just promoting an existing product, the salesperson focuses on the customer’s pain(s) and addresses the issue with his or her offerings (product and services). The resolution of the pain is what constitutes a true “solution”. A limitation of this approach is that not all customers buy to address a “pain”. Not every need is a problem needing a solution.
  3. Provocation Based-Provocation-based selling helps customers see their competitive challenges in a new light that makes addressing specific painful problems unmistakably urgent. The sales organization identifies a process or situation that was critical for customers in the current business environment.  They then develop a compelling point of view on how it was broken and what that means in terms of cost to connect the problem to a solution that the vendor is offering.


Is your sales strategy deployed, aligned, and maximized today? 


Next in this series will be a deeper dive into the Product Based sales strategy:

  • Factors to consider when choosing a product based strategy.
  • When is it best to have a product based strategy?
  • How to get maximum return from this strategy.


Having the right sales strategy allows for the alignment and optimization of your sales organization. 


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Sales Strategy Tour