If Your Sales Strategies Don’t Include at Least One of These, You’re in Trouble | A Sales Guy's Sales Blog Copy & Close
December 5, 2012 Keenan

If Your Sales Strategies Don’t Include at Least One of These, You’re in Trouble

2013 is just around the corner. We are rapidly closing the books on 2012 and if we haven’t already, we are starting to look towards executing on 2013.

For sales leaders, this means identifying and executing on a new set of sales strategies to make our new number. Unfortunately, for most sales organizations there is very little strategy and a whole lot of goals. And most of the goals surround growth.

If you’re head of sales and you’re responsible for growth goals you need strategies NOT just goals. Goals are not strategies. A strategy is:

strategy: a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result

I like the “series of maneuvers or stratagems” part of this definition best.

The probability you meet your goals in 2013 is directly related to the quality and strength of your strategies (your series of maneuvers or stratagems).

At the end of the day growth strategies are going to be different based on the industry, the company, the sales organization, the products and more. However, if your 2013 sales plan doesn’t include at least one of these “maneuvers or stratagems”, there is a strong probability you’re screwed.

Potential 2013 sales growth “maneuvers and stratagems:”

  1. Mine the base
  2. Grow the sales organization (hire more people)
  3. Establish a channel
  4. Establish an inbound lead function (Content Marketing)
  5. Establish new sales processess and procedures (Tighten the ship)
  6. Realign territories
  7. Incorporate predicative analytics
  8. Implement sales operations function
  9. Go Social
  10. Embrace Challenger Selling (or any other selling methodology)
  11. Redefine the culture
  12. Restructure sales team
  13. Implement an insides sales team
  14. Retool the sales team
  15. Reduce churn
  16. Increase services attach rate
  17. Establish partner network
  18. Add new logo’s

It’s not enough to say you’re going to focus on working harder, making more calls, doing more research. That’s just more busy work. To grow beyond dumb luck requires specific, targeted strategies that increase your ability to overcome the challenges. The strategy(s) you choose should be creative solutions to difficult or challenging problems. If 80% of your revenue and new sales is coming from the customer base, then new logo’s might be a strategy for growth in 2013. If your sales people are maxed and the cost of sales is high, a channel might be a good growth strategy. If you have poor product penetration rate in your existing base, then mine the base might be a key strategy for 2013. There might be a new industry trend just starting to emerge you can capitalize on, that may be a key strategy. The point is simply this, look for changes, nuances, problems, or opportunities that can affect revenue then identify a strategy or strategies to capitalize on them.

Once you’ve identified your strategies, because in most cases there should be more than one, quantify them. Declare how much of the goal the strategy is expected to get. This helps outline the value and priority of the strategy. Also and FYI, you’re not done until all of your goals can be accounted for by a strategy or strategies.

If you’re 2013 doesn’t include one of the strategies listed here you’re prolly screwed. But, it’s not too late to find your own or leverage a few from this list. If you have a good one that’s not on this list share it in the comments. I’d love to hear what “series of maneuvers or stratagems” you are going to implement to make your number next year.




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  • Dave Brock

    Great list Jim! A few thoughts:

    1. With the exception of Get Social, the suggestions are very internally focused. There should be initiatives that start with the customer. I’ve listed some below:
    2. Redefine and commit to a world class customer experience model for the life cycle of the customer (Prospect/Opportunity/Implementation/Maintenance/Growth.
    3. Implement something like NPS action on the results.
    4. Refocus your value proposition to value creation — creating value in the process.
    5. Declare 2013 the year of the customer and make sure everyone in the organization is focused on the customer (not just the sales organization).

    Finally, it’s an ambitious list. These should be prioritized and implement no more than 1 at a time. Typically, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. We implement too many things simultaneously, fail, abandon them and go back to the same old same old.

  • Great additions Dave and great point. Customer focused strategies are key. I really like #2.
    Great input my man!

  • RBC

    Love #2! Any suggestions for how a biz dev or head of sales can impact that?

  • I was preparing to comment and saw that Dave Brock covered it in #2! So much more efficient to keep a customer than to replace one. In yellow pages sales we went out each year to our loyal customers and raised their rates, effectively irritating them and opening the door for our competitor to walk through the door and steal them with a new customer “deal”. We should have been giving them a “loyal customer deal”!

  • On that note – anyone looking for a smile today (especially anyone who has ever sold yellow pages or print advertising!) take a peek at this funny cartoon comic strip that I created –> http://www.flickr.com/photos/pipelineproapp/8221446243/ Hope you like 🙂