A sales strategy template will speed up the creation of a full sales strategy plan. Sales leaders who are most successful at driving sales growth are deliberate, persistent and disciplined in their sales plans.
So when planning a sales strategy they ask themselves three important questions:
1. Where is my growth going to come from?
2. How do I get sales growth now and tomorrow
3. How do I set up my growth sales engine
The core considerations of any sales strategy include understanding what is the appeal of your products plus where or who is the target market (including ideal customer profiles). The sales strategy also maps out how the sales engine activities will be directed to ensure it captures profitable growth selling to customers. The sales strategy template will outline market and customer coverage alongside detailed plans to ensure the best possible outcomes for the business to gain profitable growth. Then, in greater detail, the sales strategy defines the customer segments to be targeted which will be accompanied with clear value propositions for each segment. A sales strategy template will also outline how the sales team(s) will be structured along with a documented sales processes.
A six point sales strategy template outline;
Identify the Key Aims of the Sales Strategy.
Identifying the key aims of the sales strategy will bring clarity on questions such as; Is the strategy to sell more to the same customer base? or Is it more about market penetration or market development?. It also answers questions such as - which target markets the business is aiming for and the time, money and resources required to execute. These questions can be answered by researching when, where, how and why the existing customer base buys.
et A Clear Go-To- Market Sales Strategy.
The sales strategy template needs to account for questions such as;
Growth in existing accounts?
Revenue from existing products?
Revenue from new products?
New revenue streams with existing products?
Plans for up and cross-selling?
Customer retention plans?
Prospect acquisition plans?
Planned customer mix?
Ideal product mix?
Seasonal sales cycles adjustments?
Sales growth depends on acquiring new, profitable business with different customers. The sales strategy will plan out how to approach every new customer. The detail should include tactics, for example, to win the business of a key customer, sales people could be authorized to offer acquisition pricing or maybe give the product on a trial basis. The plan then needs to outline how to move prices and margins back up to a profitable level, or else live with reduced margins from these customers.
Reaching the Customer and Target Market.
Sales Plans, Forecasting and the Annual Sales Budget.
A sales strategy template should include a detailed breakdown of the sales to be achieved by month, by customer and by product. Sales forecasts should be based on previous sales levels, or if a new business then the sales targets should be based on the business plan. The template also takes into account information about customers’ buying habits, the sales cycle and other factors such as pricing and marketing activities.
The Sales Resources Required to Meet the Plan.
A sales strategy is not just about sales, it also covers the resources and assets that are required to meet the plan. So it should document topics including;
What is the sales training plan
Plan plan to improve the customer experience for retention,
What (if any) specialist support is needed,
What resources or assets needed to make the sales force more productive, and,
What will the cost be of providing support so sales people spend more time on selling.
Then the plan needs to document all the marketing and sales assets in play and what needs to be created prior to launching the sales strategy.
Sales Strategy Template – Measuring Sales Performance.
Finally, the sales strategy template will provide clarity on how the sales performance will be measured against the plan. Areas to be included are;
Sales forecasting accuracy.
Cost of sale analysis.
Time and money spent on different customers.
Analysis of customer segments.
Insights into the win/loss ratio.
Lead to conversion ratio.
Cost per customer sale.
The return on sales costs.
In sales there can be many factors that determine success which are outside of managements control. Even more of a reason for a business and sales leadership to define their goals and tactics for meeting (and exceeding) the sales targets. The reality is that documenting a sales strategy template will help everyone in the sales engine to take a more control in the fast paced world of sales.
A point worth remembering is that the success of the sales strategy is the engine for growth for the whole company. It may sound obvious but without acquiring and developing profitable customers, a business will fail. To wrap up, it is critical to ensure the sales strategy template is clear, purposeful, goal driven on what to achieve, and how the business will serve all their customers - both new and existing.