One of the most pressing keys to success for an industrial business is a quality sales strategy. Unfortunately, no magic sales tricks or techniques will boost your revenue overnight. Implementing a successful sales strategy takes just that — strategy. In this guide, we're going to take a look at the benefits of creating a strong sales process and explain how you can develop the right sales plan for your business.
What is a Sales Strategy?
- What are the Benefits of Having a Clear Sales Strategy?
- Higher Conversion Rates
- Clear Understanding of Goals and Audience
- Easier Sales Reporting
Common Types of Sales Strategies
- Inbound vs. Outbound Sales Strategies
- Omnibound Marketing and Sales
- B2B vs. B2C Sales Strategies
- Lead Generation Marketing
Steps to Create a Successful Strategy
- Establish Your Target Audience and Define Sales Goals
- Utilize Omnichannel Marketing
- Align Sales, Marketing, and Technology
- Get on the Same Page to Drive Revenue
- Assess and Tweak Your Strategy Over Time
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Sales strategies are the methods that B2B (business-to-business) sales teams use to identify, engage, follow-up, and close potential sales targets. At its core, a sales strategy provides a system for you to determine whom your business is going to sell to and how you're going to go about it. Therefore, a great sales process and strategy is a vital part of any manufacturing or industrial business!
Clear Understanding of Goals and Audience
Having a defined sales strategy can help you market to the right people to achieve your long and short-term sales goals, as it'll help you better understand your target audience and why they should be purchasing your products and service! A quality sales strategy should showcase your company's unique selling points and your value proposition.
An intentional sales strategy has always been an essential component of any sales-oriented company. Having a solid, proven, and reliable lead generation process helps sales teams spend more time selling instead of prospecting and gives marketing teams the opportunity to drive the business forward using their unique strengths. Ultimately, modern lead generation tactics result in a steady flow of work, higher conversions, and a more focused and unified sales funnel, which provides a better experience for the customer and encourages repeated business.
Higher Conversion Rates
Conversion marketing is a technique that marketing departments implement to encourage customers to make purchases. According to a recent study, the average website conversion rate is around 2.35%. So for every 100 people that visit your website, you can expect between two to three people to make purchases. You can boost that conversion rate with strategies like strong CTAs, CRM system integrations, strong social presence development, and funneling visitors into a sales pipeline.
Analyzing your team's performance within the scope of a sales strategy is much easier than analyzing an arbitrary report without any set metric references. This way, you can detect which sales and marketing tactics are working and which ones are not!
It's pretty clear to see that having a tailored sales strategy is majorly beneficial for your business's operation. Once you've determined you're ready to implement a sales strategy in your company, it's time to decide which type of sales strategy might work best for you. Acadia's sales and marketing experts can help you identify the best sales strategy for your business.
The two major types of sales strategies are inbound and outbound sales strategies. Inbound sales strategies focus on new leads in the sales pipeline through website forms, emails, etc. This is more of a modern sales team methodology in which a company will base its sales strategy on buyers' actions. An inbound marketing strategy will capture buyer and seller data, monitor the pipeline, and teach salespeople how to sell while aligning with the company's marketing strategy. An outbound sales strategy is one that focuses on seller actions. These types of strategies rely on data that is entered manually. Salespeople will run these strategies independently of marketing strategies, creating a more disjointed buyer experience.
An omnibound sales strategy is all about encompassing components of both types of strategies. It's about finding the best balance of inbound and outbound sales strategies.
Many modern sales teams like to think of inbound and outbound marketing strategies like tools in a tool shed. Not many of these tools are flashy or new, as many of them have been used for decades, though certain ones are better than others on both sides. Smart sales teams will pick the right ones for the given situation, understanding that utilizing multiple channels can positively add to the buyer experience.
At their foundation, B2B and B2C sales strategies are similar in one way — both are used to sell to a specific customer. The basic concepts remain the same whether that customer is your average consumer purchasing a cup of coffee or a large company buying a range of coffee machines. A customer that feels supported and valued will continue to be a loyal customer. Of course, it's the differences between these two types of strategies that are important to pay attention to.
For example, the B2B customer base is much smaller; you won’t have as many qualified leads to work with. You have millions of potential new customers to sell to in B2C, though the number of businesses available to work with is slimmer. With that said, the B2C sales funnel is often much shorter than the B2B. Customers are independent decision-makers in B2C sales, meaning you don't have to wait around for an entire team to determine whether or not they should purchase your product.
The one thing you won't have to be as concerned about in B2B sales is emotional strategy. B2C clients will likely be more subject to purchasing your products in the spur of the moment or on a whim, while B2B clients will want to make business decisions that are better informed or more logical.
When all is said and done, B2B and B2C lead generation marketing tactics should be made with the goal of an end purchase. However, these strategies often differ in their main goals.
B2B lead generation has the goal of building personal relationships with potential clients based on trust. When a business is ready to make a product or service purchase, your company will be the first one they think of to call. On the other hand, B2C lead generation marketing focuses on a saturated market of emotionally-drive, price-conscious customers.
There are many elements to building an effective sales strategy, though they will all relate to each other when all is said and done. As we go through the crucial steps to creating a successful marketing strategy, remember that every element found within the strategy is deeply connected, creating feedback loops to improve performance and drive efficiency.
One of the first things you must do as a business is identifying your target audience. Your target audience is your ideal customer base. These are the customers that will get the most out of the solutions that you offer.
The best way to establish a target audience and begin creating customer profiles is to look at your current best customers. Consider their pain points, their demographics, and their goals. If you're building a B2C marketing strategy, consider the location, the industry, the size of the company, the company's budget, and its goals.
Interview your potential clients and ask how they discovered the products or services you offer and what kinds of experiences they've had using them. After gathering this data from your customers, compile it and analyze it to find common characteristics and patterns, which you can then use to build a detailed customer profile.
Setting up a winning sales strategy is nearly impossible without having a defined set of goals. It's crucial that you take a step back and look at where you and your business are currently sitting. When defining your sales goals, you might consider asking a few questions about your business to get you started:
• How many sales did you make in the last quarter or year?
• Out of those sales, how much of it was profit?
• Do your products or services attract long-term customers or one-off buyers?
• How did the sales cycles look? Were they long or short?
• Which member of your sales team made the most sales and why?
• Where are you looking to grow?
• Are there any specific sales tactics that your team utilized to achieve these sales goals?
Omnichannel marketing is more important than ever, as it addresses customer experiences on every possible channel, from mobile to desktop to social media to retail and beyond. Brands and companies can cover each one of their bases with an omnichannel solution, as they get a better picture of their advertising campaigns with a more robust analysis.
If you haven't already made steps to do so, it's important that you prioritize the active alignment of your sales and marketing teams. Create a service-level agreement (SLA) between these two teams that details ways in which they can support one another, contribute to a unified goal, and respect the boundaries of each in such a way that conversion is still the main driver.
Driving revenue is one of the main reasons any company might want its sales and marketing teams on the same page. More than 79% of marketing leads never convert due to low-quality lead nurturing. When you align marketing and sales, you get your teams to agree on a single customer profile and an algorithm to qualify leads.
Your marketing team will be able to gather customer knowledge from sales to build higher-quality content to better meet customer needs. When customers make purchases, you'll be able to get a better idea of ROI with the ability of both teams to track and measure aligned results, giving you a more transparent overview of your company's performance! In all, sales and marketing alignment can help increase customer retention rates, and we all know how much you can save by retaining customers versus attempting to sell to new ones. On average, sales and marketing synch helps increase customer retention by up to 36%.
Find time to consistently review your sales and marketing strategies, especially if they are older than 12 months. Any strategy that is over a year old is probably due for a review, especially because there is a lot that can change over the course of a year.
Of course, different types of businesses will take different types of approaches when it comes to their sales and marketing strategies. Some will develop new strategies every year, while some will develop them every five years. The important thing here is to continuously analyze performance to see if you're finding growth and how the external environment is reacting to your strategies. If your business is stagnant or on the decline, it might be time for a new marketing approach.
We hope we've been successful in underlining the importance of building a quality sales strategy and aligning your sales and marketing teams to help your business grow and expand. Of course, we also understand that trying to build a brand-new strategy for your business can be complicated and overwhelming, which is why we're here to help!
Acadia LMS is a leading sales strategy consultant for industrial businesses, with many years of experience in helping organizations optimize their sales and marketing strategies to boost their revenue and reach new markets.
It is our goal to help you develop a sales solution for you that aligns with the unique characteristics of your business. No two companies are alike, and no two sales strategies should be either! Reach out to our professional team today for more information on how your industrial business can grow with tailored sales strategies.
Whether you're an independent business of two or a global enterprise, getting started with your sales strategy is crucial to your success. Allow us to be part of your journey, so we can help you put the best practices in place! Contact us today for a free consultation.