Strategy and tactics are interrelated, but they are not the same.


You might be wondering, which is most important to focus on first? Read on to find out.


Doing the Right Things First.

Companies that utilize efficient tactics will thrive when they also have an effective strategy. Without an effective strategy, however, those companies will die quickly.


Strategy and tactics are interrelated — but one is more important than the other.

Conversely, companies that have an effective strategy will survive even without efficient tactics.


There’s no doubt about it. Having an effective strategy is actually more important than having efficient tactics.


Take a look at the figure below to see this illustrated.


Avoid This Mistake When Creating Your Strategy.

A collection of tactics will not make an effective strategy. Mistaking tactics for strategy is where many companies go wrong. When this happens, an organization becomes reactive instead of proactive.


Ideally your company will create an effective strategy and support it with efficient tactics. This will land you squarely in the upper right quadrant of the figure above.


This may surprise you. SBI’s 8th Annual Research Report revealed that 78% of sales teams were missing strategy. Without it, tactics are aimless.


The following are three ways to create and execute a winning strategy.


Where is your company different than competitors? Are they failing in an area you’ve had success in? Are they succeeding with something you haven’t tried yet?


Be Different from Your Competitors

Develop a strategy that is different from your competitors. But also don’t be afraid to analyze their activity for new ideas. Look for gaps and consider the differences between you and similar companies. For example, you may have had success with social selling while competitors didn’t. This could be an opportunity to consider for your sales and marketing plan.


Tactics Have Their Place.

A winning strategy supported with the right tactics is crucial to hitting your number. But strategy is by far the more important of the two.


Strategy is the foundation of successful strategic alignment.

And strategic alignment is the only way to systematize revenue growth. We go into detail about this in our 9th annual SBI report. Download it now for more comprehensive guidance: How to Make Your Number in 2016.


Aaron Bartels

Helps clients solve the most difficult challenges standing in the way of making their number.
Learn more about Aaron Bartels >

He founded Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) with Greg Alexander and Mike Drapeau to help business to business (B2B) leaders make the number. The world’s most respected companies have put their trust in and hired SBI. SBI uses the benchmarking method to accelerate their rate of revenue growth. As an execution based firm, SBI drives field adoption and business results.


His clients describe him as a consultant who:


“Makes transformational impacts on me, my people and my business”


“Solves my most difficult problems that to date we have been unable to solve ourselves”


“Brings clarity to an environment of chaos”


“Has real world sales operations experience making him qualified to advise us on a variety of sales and marketing challenges”


“Is able to spot proven best practices that once implemented will make a material impact on my business”


“Constantly challenges status quo and compels us to act”


“Focuses on execution and driving change to stick in our environment”


“Makes good on his promises while enabling our business to realize his projected results”

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