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Sales strategy

What is a sales strategy?

Sales strategy is the method you choose to identify customers and get them to buy your product or service. Your strategy should be documented, so it can guide your sales team as they navigate the marketplace.

All B2B sales teams need a sales strategy – there are so many ways to sell; you need to know what paths you are going to follow. Your sales strategy is your opportunity to work out who you are going to sell to and how you are going to do it. 

Sales metrics

The bedrock of your sales strategy is your metrics. B2B sales metrics are the numbers you monitor to make sure you are on the right course. Your sales tech will produce an avalanche of figures – too many to stay on top of. Your task is to identify the metrics that matter. These could include:

  • Revenue
  • Conversion rates at each stage of your sales process
  • The average lifetime value of your customer

Focus on your chosen metrics and point your efforts at improving them. If you see the numbers dropping, you need to take action. 

Sales process

You will also have to choose whether you will do inbound sales – B2B lead generation using content that attracts prospects to your company – or outbound, where your salespeople identify opportunities and go directly to them.

It’s unlikely that every prospect you call will buy at the exact moment you call them. Mostly, they will not be ready, or they will want to know more about your product before they commit. For this reason, you need to design a sales process that supports your sales strategy. You must work out how to turn a prospect who knows nothing about you, into a raving fan who wants to tell their friends how great you are. 

For example, you might start with a cold call, with a view to book a demo. From the demo, you might go to a negotiation stage, then close the deal. 

Sales tactics

Tactics are the practical application of your sales strategy. You know how you want to sell – now you must make sure every part of the process runs effectively. 

Once you have identified your target audience, you need to think about how you are going to reach them, and with what messaging. Create buyer personas to help you work out what channels to use, then create a sales strategy playbook to help you get the best results.

For example, if you believe cold calling is the best way to reach your prospects, create messaging that your salespeople can use that relates to their pain points and positions your product as the solution.

Sales performance

Not all B2B salespeople are the same. Part of your sales strategy must include building a SaaS sales team and working out the number of people you need for each stage of the process.

Your team could consist of:

  • SDRs (Sales Development Reps) – SDRs work at the top of the sales funnel, cold calling or emailing prospects, introducing them to your company and guiding them to the next stage.
  • AEs (Account Execs) – Reps who solidify the relationship that the SDR has started, conducting sales demos and eventually closing the deals.
  • Customer Success – Reps who keep the customer happy after they have signed on the dotted line, helping with onboarding and dealing with queries. Their goal is to make sure the customer is delighted to renew when their contract expires.

You may need managers for each of these groups of reps. You may also want to create separate teams to look after inbound and outbound leads, if this is part of your sales strategy.

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Sales tech

Finally, you will also need to decide which of the thousands of sales tech solutions on the market you are going to use to power your sales strategy. Here are three types of software you will need:

  • CRM – Your CRM is the bedrock of your tech stack. It records all your interactions with prospects and customers, making sure salespeople and managers have all the data they need at their fingertips. Salesforce is the market-leading CRM.
  • Sales intelligence – Sales intelligence software helps you identify potential customers. It also enables you to locate the details you need to reach them, such as email addresses and direct-dial phone numbers.
  • Email tools – If you choose email as a channel to reach your prospects, implement specialist software to automate emails, log responses and more.

This is just scratching the surface of what is available, however. Research the market to find what tech is right for your sales strategy.

Develop a sales strategy with Cognism

Cognism helps you formulate an effective sales strategy by providing you with all the B2B data you need to succeed:

  • With up-to-the-minute data, Cognism helps you identify your ideal potential customers. 
  • Using sales triggers, Cognism helps you reach them at a time when they are most likely to buy. 
  • Plus, it integrates seamlessly with your preferred CRM.

Let Cognism help you boost pipeline, prospect more efficiently and target smarter. To find out more, register for a demo with us.

Request your demo now