Sales Strategy Development


Harvard Business Review research suggests that companies on average deliver only 63% of the financial performance their strategies promise.


Can you live on or keep your job meeting only 63% of your goals? Compare this with world class performance of exceeding your Sales Strategy goals.


Old school approach would be: you spread your quota and investment dollars across all programs evenly. You continue funding the programs you started last year with little consideration for time-to-return, resource requirements or revalidating the market demand for your sales initiatives.


Get a copy of my 5 Step Sales Strategy Decision Tool here to give you the answers you’re looking for in the shortest amount of time. This tool provides you with the ability to rate each of your key initiatives across the 5 variables that are critical to hitting the number.


Before you attempt to complete the Sales Strategy Decision matrix, you need the 4 core data points below. If you don’t have this data, stop and get it. Developing a sales strategy without these data points is a waste of you and your team’s time.


    1. Win/loss/no decisions analysis (detailed third party analysis, not the rep; “we lost on price” type)
    2. Gaps analysis from the sales team: What’s preventing them from exceeding the number
    3. 4 lens review for completeness:
      • Customer – you validated the gaps with your customers
      • Executives  – you understand the corporate position on the gaps
      • Competitors – the gaps are putting you at a specific disadvantage verse your competitors
      • Sales reps – the gaps are the ones sales reps feel are preventing them from exceeding the goals

4. Potential analysis for each initiative


The questions you need to answer regarding each initiative in order to complete your sales strategy development and hit your 2014 number are:


  1. Can I do this myself or do I need outside help?
  2. What will it cost me to execute?
  3. How long will it take to get the result?
  4. Do I have enough resources to execute?
  5. Can I measure the result?


Can I do this myself or do I need outside help?

This is always a difficult question but two of primary reasons to seek outside support are:


  1. Speed to deliver results
  2. Leveraging best practices / lessons learned to do it right the first time


Do you have the expertise inside the company to execute the Strategic Sales objectives quickly? If not, seek outside support to help you deliver the best result in the shortest amount of time.


What will it cost me to execute?

The answer to this question is based on the size of the gap you’re dealing with. As an example, is it a sales rep talent gap with selling the new product or a product portfolio gap?  Jump starting a sales training program typically has a lower cost point than plugging a product portfolio gap.


How long will it take to get the result?

We’re focused on the sales strategy and hitting the quota next year. If the initiative takes 6 months to develop and 6 months to see a result, you’re not seeing much in the way of a 2014 impact.


Do I have enough resources to execute?

The issue of having enough resources is often over looked. The realization of a gap comes when you try and assign the initiative to a set of resources. These resources are typically your “A” players, and you find out that they’re buried already. The need for outside support becomes even more critical.


Can I measure the result?

If you lack the ability to measure the return on the sales strategy investment, getting funding will be nearly impossible. It also makes keeping your job next year even more difficult. The two gentlemen below do a nice job explaining the importance of measuring results.


In God we trust, all others bring data.”
– W. Edwards Deming


Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”
– H. James Harrington


Next steps:


  1. If you don’t have the 4 core data points above or lack details, get them.  You still have time
  2. Download the tool and work through the steps to determine which initiatives to focus on for next year


Offer: If you want to walk through the Sales Strategy Tool, email me ( and I’ll set up 30 minutes to walk you through it and answer any questions you may have.


The Sales Strategy Decision tool is just one of the many tools to consider. Let me know if you feel I’ve missed a major consideration when determining which projects to allocate people, time, and money to in the new year. Please provide your comments below so your peers will benefit from your insight.



John Staples

Leads teams of highly qualified experts, all relentless in their pursuit of helping you make your number.

John is the global leader of SBI’s account management business unit. As such, he and his team help clients across 19 verticals drive top line growth and operational efficiency in sales and marketing.


John’s marketing, sales and product expertise span a multichannel strategic approach. He has an unyielding focus on strategic and key account development, which enables strategic alignment between all functional team members in order to reduce acquisition cost and increase lifetime value.


His broad experience in sales, marketing, product and engineering allows him to bring a unique problem solving approach to his team and clients. As he has discovered through decades of experience, clients are often distracted by the symptoms of a larger problem and overlook the root cause of it.


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