Ooh that sounds like a large, expensive project. It is probably just for larger businesses, not my business.
STOP right there!
Let’s us just backup a little, before you dismiss a sales strategy / plan and the need for them.
Every business has a financial plan, usually, in the form of its P&L. It provides the measure of ‘are we doing well financially’, but what drives that financial plan is the business’s income and expenditure. Income driven by sales revenue to be specific. So, if you have a plan to measure the financial health of your business, surely it makes sense to have a plan to feed that beast as best as you can, anything else is just left to chance?
To feed this beast as best as you can, you need a vision, a direction of travel and commitment, that the whole business can understand, get behind and drive forward as one entity, whatever your size of business. Businesses that employ a sales strategy & plan, can plot their growth and success much faster and with significantly more cost effective when these are in place and deployed effectively than those that do not have them or worse if they are poorly executed.
In short, if your desire is to be #1 in your chosen market / sector and your driver / vehicle is your UX (user experience) of your product or service for example, then this Is the most basic form of a strategy. It underpins your ‘why’ of why you exist as a business – The UX experience your clients receive, is your passion. Your entire business gets behind the UX experience as the number 1 driver, this should remain central to everything you do.
How you get to this utopia Is driven by, customers, routes to market, pricing, lead generation activities etc. These all form the tactical level of an active sales plan which underpins the strategy, although if they are key enough to the strategy, they could become a key pillar in the strategy. Think of Apple Inc’s product development programme, it is and remains a central pillar of their strategy to increase the UX experience and therefore their revenue streams.
Essentially a sales plan and strategy are two different activities but are very closely linked as one serves to support the other and intern supports the feeding of the revenue line on the P&L.
In our experience, many businesses confuse a strategy, with more short-term tactical activities, which become less targeted, ultimately more expensive, with a let us throw everything at the wall approach.
Defining your strategy and an active sales plan, linked to your financial aspirations as a business, might sound like a huge piece of work, only for those with deep pockets, with large revenues and a large workforce, but consider this, many of the house names that have sprung up in the last decade or so, did not just start with a P&L, they have to this day a core strategy, central to the core of what they want to achieve, yes they alter course a little from time to time, but that’s the thing about an active strategy plan, it should remain flexible.