Cognism
Login
Request demo

What is a sales strategy?

A sales strategy is a series of steps for B2B sales teams to follow. It covers everything from goal setting and customer identification all the way to outbound prospecting, pipeline management, forecasting and analytics.

The major benefits of implementing a sales strategy are improved team performance, more effective targeting and a higher ratio of closed-won deals.

This knowledge hub contains a number of resources that explain the importance of a well-constructed sales strategy. It also provides practical advice for implementing a winning strategy for B2B SaaS sales. Use the links below to navigate around this page.

Get started

In 90 seconds: what is a sales strategy? | Why should you follow a sales strategy? | Who manages a successful sales strategy? | What are the different elements of a successful sales strategy? | How important is data in managing a successful sales strategy? | Cognism’s sales strategy resources | Further reading, links and resources | Contact Cognism today

sales-intelligence-CTA-4

In 90 seconds: the sales strategy explained

Everything you need to know about sales strategy in 90 seconds 👇


Why should you follow a sales strategy?

The future of B2B sales is strategic. We have identified several reasons to commit to a sales strategy in your business. We have laid them out in the infographic below 👇

sales-strategy-infographic

Who manages a successful sales strategy?

The sales strategy is managed by several different groups of B2B sales professionals. They are:

  • Sales directors - responsible for planning, goal setting and communicating the overall strategy to their team.
  • Sales leaders - responsible for the day-to-day management and training of the sales team.
  • Business development managers (BDMs) - responsible for conducting demos, negotiating contracts and closing business with prospects.
  • Sales development representatives (SDRs) - responsible for generating fresh leads, making the initial contact with them and then booking meetings.
  • Marketing development representatives (MDRs) - responsible for following up with leads generated by the marketing team and the content they produce.
  • Sales operations - responsible for the technical implementation of new solutions, products or processes.

Sales team resources

How to structure a winning B2B sales team | What is a Marketing Development Representative (MDR)? | How to become an MDR that crushes target | 8 skills that make a successful sales rep | Top SDR tips for winning sales | 6 tips for motivating your outbound prospecting team

What are the different elements of a successful sales strategy?

An effective sales strategy is made up of many different elements, though they all relate to one another. Each part of the strategy is connected, thereby creating a feedback loop that drives efficiencies and improved performance.

These are the 5 elements that comprise a successful sales strategy:

1 - Sales process

The initial phase of the strategy. This is where goals are set, metrics are selected and the rest of the strategy is planned out. It includes:

Setting B2B sales goals

Start with the revenue you want to generate and then build your strategy around that number.

Creating a sales model that drives growth

Break your strategy down into constituent parts and apply metrics to track across every area.

Identifying your ideal customers

Develop a profile of the type of customer who will get the most value out of your solution.

Defining your Total Addressable Market

How many of your ideal customers are available for your pitch, right now? A TAM calculation will give you this knowledge.

Building and maintaining a sales pipeline

The process of qualifying potential customers, initiating engagement with them and guiding them to the next phase of the strategy.

Sales process resources

The secret formula for setting B2B sales goals | The 8 stages of the B2B sales process | A beginner's guide to the B2B sales cycle | How to build a B2B sales pipeline in zero time | Sales pipeline management 101 | The ultimate guide to the B2B buyer’s journey | How to build a SaaS sales funnel

2 - Sales tactics 

The practical phase. Here, the strategy is executed via a number of different sales activities. They are:

Lead qualification

The process of understanding more about your ideal customers and evaluating if they are a good fit for your product.

Cold calling

The core sales activity for SDRs. Cold calling is the process of conversing with prospects over the phone and persuading them to schedule a meeting.

Outbound email

The digital companion to the cold call. With outbound email, SDRs contact prospects by sending them electronic messages.

Social selling

A relatively new outbound sales discipline. Here, SDRs leverage the power of social media platforms and the networks contained therein.

Sales cadences

The combination of cold calls, outbound emails and social sales in daily or weekly sequences. SDRs often deploy video and audio messages in this activity.

Negotiating and closing

The core sales activity for BDMs. After conducting a product demo, they will liaise with external stakeholders until the deal is confirmed.

Sales tactics resources

The no BS guide to identifying sales-qualified leads (SQLs) | How to build a killer cold calling strategy | The ultimate cold calling script for SaaS sales | 2 cadences for content leads | 8 common B2B customer pain points - and how to resolve them

3 - Sales performance

The optimisation phase. Here, sales leaders and representatives analyse results and develop strategies to improve their work. It includes:

Team structure

How the sales team is arranged and organised for peak performance. A typical structure would be to have separate outbound and closing teams.

Time management

How to maximise time and improve productivity. It’s important to note that managing time well is crucial for both sales leaders and reps.

Sales skills

The best sales teams improve performance by sharing winning tactics and knowledge. Learning and development can be outsourced but is best managed in-house.

Sales performance resources

How to structure a winning B2B sales team | 4 time management hacks for B2B sales leaders | The no BS guide to booking the right sales meetings | 8 skills that make a successful sales rep | Top SDR tips for winning sales | Time management hacks for B2B sales reps | 10 sales prospecting mistakes - and how to avoid them | 10 things to avoid in B2B cold calling

4 - Sales metrics

The analytical phase. Sales leaders set goals and KPIs for their employees to work towards. For best results, individual and team goals should be linked to the wider company goals.

SDR metrics

These include productivity and success rates, such as numbers of calls made/emails sent, number of meetings booked and meetings attended.

BDM metrics

These include individual, MRR, demo and pipeline metrics, such as average deal value, demo attended to closed-won rate and total number of closed-won deals.

Team metrics

The overarching KPIs behind every sales team. These include inbound and outbound conversion rates and total amount of revenue won.

Sales metrics resources

B2B sales KPIs: what you need to track | What is lead conversion rate and how do you calculate it? | How to improve your sales conversion rate

5 - Sales tech

The technical phase. Here, tools are adopted for team or company-wide use. The number one question to ask before implementing new tech is: does this make sales easier?

Tech audit

Sales leaders should carry out a thorough audit of their tech stack before buying a new tool. Always aim for full utilisation of your current tech.

Tech selection

The process of reviewing and choosing the best tech for your business. There are thousands of tools available on the market at any given time; it’s essential to perform due diligence.

Tech adoption

The onboarding stage. Here, the sales leader will sign up for the tool and arrange training for the rest of the team, if necessary.

Tech evaluation

A B2B sales tech stack is never static; it should constantly be evolving and improving. Conduct regular reviews of the tech you use. If something isn’t working as well as hoped, remove it.

Sales tech resources

What are the benefits of a B2B technology stack? | How to buy B2B tech the right way | The ultimate B2B sales tech stack | 15 awesome B2B sales tools | The best sales prospecting tools | The best B2B prospecting tools | How to drive growth using CRM software | Why Cognism Prospector is an awesome outbound sales tool | Sales diallers: turning art into science

How important is data in managing a successful sales strategy?

Data is vital for implementing and managing a sales strategy. A sales team that doesn’t have access to good, accurate data will encounter the following problems:

Inaccurate customer identification

You will be targeting the wrong individuals or decision-makers; people who aren’t ready to buy your product or service.

Wasted time

Your sales reps will spend their time calling or emailing the wrong individuals; their prospecting efforts will go to waste.

Potential compliance issues

The penalties for using non-compliant business data can be severe; make sure your company is utilising the best data on the market.

Weaker sales pipeline

Your company won’t be seeing a steady stream of fresh, qualified leads entering the funnel; without that, the rest of your sales strategy will suffer.

Loss of revenue

The cumulative effect of all these issues will be most acutely seen in a reduced balance sheet; your business will not generate the revenue it needs to survive.

The solution

However, these problems are not insurmountable. Power your sales strategy with the world’s best B2B data. Investigate providers thoroughly and choose one that fits your business goals and values.

Sales data resources

How poor quality data can impact your sales team | Why you should never buy lead lists | 10 sales triggers to track in 2021

Cognism’s sales strategy resources

We have collected our sales strategy webinars, playbooks and eBooks. Scroll 👇 for more great sales content.

Webinars

The secret formula to a winning cadence

A winning cadence addresses pain points and generates revenue. Learn from a panel of sales experts and start creating great messages.

Webinar-recap- the-secret formula-to-a-winning-cadence-social-media-1

How social selling can fuel your pipeline

Discover how you can add social selling to your sales strategy. Our sales training webinar includes practical examples and 5 key takeaways on LinkedIn prospecting.

webinar-recap-social-selling-fuel-pipeline-social-media-1

Cold calling masterclass

2020 was the year where cold calling underwent a revolution. 4 expert cold callers discuss the best tips and tricks they learned.

Webinar Recap cold calling master class social media

Playbooks

5 top metrics for B2B SaaS sales

5 top sales leaders selected their 5 top metrics for B2B SaaS. Uncover all the knowledge you’ll need to monitor and interpret the numbers.

5-top-metrics-b2b-saas-sales-social-media-2

How to sell SaaS

3 simple techniques that’ll help your SaaS sales team sell more effectively. Includes infographics, charts and checklists that you can start using today.

how-to-sell-saas-social-media-May-19-2021-01-28-26-59-PM

8 ways to improve your cold calling strategy

Our most-downloaded sales playbook to date! Help your SDRs fire up their cold calling with actionable insights from the sales frontline.

cold-calling-playbook

eBooks

B2B outbound: Building predictable growth

Cognism’s sales team shares the processes, tactics and resources they used to predictably grow revenue from $2.5M to $7M ARR in a single year.

B2B Outbound Building Predictable Growth LI 2-4

The outbound prospecting playbook

A deep dive into prospecting and outbound sales. From defining your ideal customer to the art of cold calling and motivating your team, it’s all here.

outbound-prospecting-playbook-1-2

The no stone unturned guide to sales strategy

Our latest and greatest sales resource. The B2B sales landscape is ever-changing; this definitive guide will help you navigate it.

sales-strategy-ebook-2

Further reading, links and resources

Blogs

Leadfeeder | SalesScreen | Sandler Training | SalesLoft Content Hub | Gong

Podcasts

Revenue Champions | 30 Minutes to President’s Club | Sam’s Business Growth Show | Sales Hacker Podcast | B2B Growth Show

Contact Cognism today

If you would like to see how Cognism can power your strategy with our globally compliant data and pioneering sales intelligence solution, get in touch with us today. Simply register your interest at the link below 👇

sales-intelligence-CTA-4