How to Follow the Sales Game Plan
What is Your Sales Game Plan?
High performing sales leaders and solution selling training experts work hard to create a clear and compelling sales strategy for success. It is the job of sales managers to see that salespeople understand the sales game plan, support it, and follow it!
The Importance of a Sales Game Plan?
Many sales reps define their solution selling success simply by reaching quota. Often they have the latitude to reach targets however they choose. Each sales rep decides who to sell to, what to sell, and how to create a unique value proposition. But is this loose approach the best fit for the overall game plan?
A recent McKinsey report claims that one-quarter of buyers base their buying decision upon their interaction with their sales contact. This is also confirmed by our solution selling training participants. If you want there to be more structure to where and how your salespeople sell, you need to be more involved in their sales process.
3 Key Ingredients to an Effective Sales Game Plan
Translating the overall business and sales strategies into a sales playbook should, at a minimum, involve:
#1. Selecting the Right Target Clients
A sound solution selling strategy should clearly define your best target clients… – whether by size, industry, location, title, or need. Ideal target clients are the prospects and opportunities that sales reps should spend the majority of their time pursuing because they have the highest likelihood of success. Target clients are most likely to buy, become profitable, and act as brand advocates in the long-term.
It is far wiser to spend time with clients who most appreciate what you have to offer, will stick around and where there is potential for account growth. Establish an ideal target client profile and see that your reps stick to it unless they have a darn good reason for selling outside the profile that makes sense to you and the team.
#2. Solving Significant Client Priorities
Once you have identified your ideal target clients, it is time to codify your unique value proposition that will truly resonate with your current and prospective client base. Coach your sales reps to focus on what makes your offering stand apart from the pack in the eyes of their target clients. True solution selling training creates value for the customer beyond the features and benefits of your products and services.
Done right, solution selling creates a powerful partnership between the buyer and seller that focuses on solving the customer’s most pressing problems and builds a trusting relationship that goes deeper than a one-time sale. The goal is not just to transfer dollars from one account to another but to support the customer in a way that helps them succeed and increases your position as a trusted advisor. Help your customer by fully understanding their needs, providing insights into the problems they face, and showing how your solution makes good sense for their unique situation.
#3. Shifting Focus as Needed
Change is difficult but, if the business or sales strategy has shifted, so must the way your sales reps operate. If, for instance, you are looking at adding maintenance contracts to each sale to grow the business, sales reps may need to include different stakeholders in the buying decision. They need to understand how service and repairs are currently handled and know how to differentiate your additional service so that it becomes a welcome part of the deal.
Be sure your sales reps know how to support a change in strategy or they will continue to work the way that worked before.
The Bottom Line
Sales strategy creation is easier than sales strategy implementation. Make sure your sales reps don’t just understand the strategy but that they live and breathe it in all their sales activities.
To learn more about how to design effective sales strategies, download 7 Ways to Stress Test Your Sales Strategy