If you run or lead a sales team, there are a bazillion things your 2013 sales strategy can and should contain. A good sales strategy and plan should target and address all the micro challenges and opportunities your business is facing. It should be keenly focused on unique business nuances. That being said, there are three general or macro things your 2013 sales strategy MUST have to be complete; a social selling strategy, a content marketing strategy and deliberate learning plan.
Social Selling - Social media has created a new approach for sales people to connect and engage with customers and prospects. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, GooglePlus and other sites are changing the selling game. Social media provides sales people with insight and connectivity to their target market in ways that didn’t exist just a couple of years ago. Social selling is a legitimate selling methodology that demands attention. Ignoring social selling and not proactively integrating it into your sales organization via training and tools is failing the sales organization.
Content Marketing (Lead Generation) - Cold calling is NOT dead, but if you’re not augmenting it with content driven leads, you’re leaving money on the table. Every sales and marketing organization’s 2013 strategy needs to contain a content driven lead generation campaign. It must have a way to engage prospects with quality and depth of content.
I’m specifically partial to content marketing. Not because it’s the “next big thing” but because the best sales people have always been those with the greatest command of information and insight. Long before social media, content marketing, or the Internet, the most successful sales people wielded the best and most compelling insights and information. Content marketing is perfectly built to catapult those with sophisticated insight and knowledge. If your sales organization knows its shit and has more relevant, game changing insight and information, there is no better platform to differentiate your organization than content marketing.
Deliberate Learning - I wrote about this just a few days ago. I’m constantly floored by how little emphasis sales organizations put on deliberate learning. Deliberate learning is when a person or an organization recognize a gap in their knowledge or the development of a trend they don’t understand and commit to increasing their knowledge in that space. The companies who have been benefitting for the past few years from; social media, content marketing, blogging, challenger selling etc. are in most cases deliberate learners. They build into their sales strategy acquisiton of specific knowledge and understanding.
If your 2013 lacks deliberate learning, you will find yourself behind the curve. Innovation and creativity will be at a severe disadvantage. Find a specific topic or topics you and your organization want to become expert in during 2013.
Take a look at your 2013 plan. Does it include these three things? Are you embracing social selling? Do you have a plan to drive new leads to your sale team via content marketing? Do you have a deliberate learning plan? If not, the plan has holes, holes that will cost you.
Fill the holes, it’s not too late.
If you haven’t started your 2013 sales planning, check out the 2013 Sales Plan Development Tool Kit. It will help you build a winning plan for 2013.