business development & sales strategy
Today’s economic environment demands that companies approach business development and sales with focus, discipline and patience. In a difficult sales environment it is imperative that one see fertile ground as opposed to a wasteland. There are methods that have withstood the test of time to developing, increasing, and maintaining a satisfied and loyal customer base, such as the Twelve-Point business development strategy for new and existing business. Another example is the Seven Steps to conduct an effective sales strategy to be used to increase business.
12 STEPS TO MARKET DEVELOPMENT:
1. Establish market development aims and targets
2. Identify target markets, sectors and niches
3. Assess existing sales organization and develop it as necessary
4. Source, Utilize a targeted prospect database – make sure data is scrubbed, current, and that strategic decision-makers are identified
5. Develop and agree with strategic propositions - with reference to competitors, positioning, product mix, margins, etc.
6. Design communications and methods to generate inquiries
7. Design response and sales processes and establish or provide required capabilities
8. Design and provide monitoring, measurement and reporting systems as required
9. Implement sales development activities, and reinforce them through coaching, training, meetings, executive endorsement, etc.
10. Follow-up activities: coach as required, review, monitor, seek customer and prospect positive and negative feedback and review performance
11. Make changes, adjustments, and improvements while continuing appropriate activities
12. Investigate and discuss strategies to overcome the effect of Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. on B2B sales
SEVEN STEPS OF THE SALE:
In recent years more sophisticated interpretations and application of the Seven-Step selling process requires the model to be expanded and interpreted with more subtlety and flexibility, as follows:
1. Preparation/planning/research/approach (using facilitative methods).
2. Introduction/opening/approach/establish initial credibility.
3. Questioning/identify needs/ask how and what, etc./establish rapport and trust.
4. Presentation/explanation/demonstration/address specific needs.
5. Overcoming objections/negotiating/fine-tuning.
Establishing relationships with business associations is a powerful tool to grow business. In today’s environment cold calling/canvassing is limited due to security concerns. I develop prospects and increase sales through maintaining relationships with organizations such as Commerce & Industry Association of Northern New Jersey, Newark Regional Business Association and any Local Business Associations.
The first three months establishes the stage for success in a new sales position.
By mapping out a strategy that encompasses important tasks in four major areas, one can get a healthy start on building relationships with prospects and, ultimately, closing sales.
IN B2B SALES THEY’RE NEEDS TO BE CONSTANT REFINEMENT ON SALES AND PRESENTATION FUNDAMENTALS.
FOCUS SHOULD BE PLACED ON THE FOLLOWING KEY AREA:
The company’s sales process and sales tools, including technical training on CRM software
The overall state of the industry
The product, including the solutions it provides to the customer
The ideal buyer / most difficult buyer
The company’s value proposition and how it can be customized for specific target markets
How to deal with common objections in the designated industry
Competitors. What specifically differentiates the product or service being sold from the competition?
What are the differentiators?
Content review and streamlining the presentation
CREATE AN EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
When you start contacting prospects, expect them to check for social media presence. LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter profiles represent an online reputation. Social media presence needs to convey value. Posting a few relevant pieces of engaging content frequently will help establish industry expertise and thought leadership.
SET CLEAR OBJECTIVES:
Your first week should be working with your manager to create a sales plan with clear goals and expectations. Along with sales, which other activity metrics will the company use to evaluate your performance?
Common Benchmarks Include:
Daily calls, emails and other activity
Average sale size and time needed to close
Number of contacts leading to successful connections
Opportunities lost to competitors
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
By the end of your first three months, you should be in the position to start serving as a partner, advice and problem-solver for your prospects and customers. Once you have a firm grasp on the products, service and market, you can start integrating your personality into the sales process.