You’re at your wits’ end as you can’t seem to figure out as to why your sales force is failing to deliver, despite having a clear-cut and straightforward sales strategy in place. The sales team has come a cropper despite your setting specific sales target for each and every rep and having walked them through on how to go about achieving the same several times. So, where did you go wrong?
Did your salespeople failed to perform because your sales policy was not consistent with the organization’s mission and vision and did not take into the niche customer segments? Bear in mind that a realistic sales funnel that takes into account corporate objectives, USP/UVP (unique selling or unique value proposition), modus-operandi for achieving targets, job roles, and performance yardsticks is likely to be effective. On the other hand, an ambiguous and lop-sided sales program that does not spell out the priorities clearly, leads to miscommunication and misunderstandings, and makes the salespersons demotivated, ultimately affecting performance adversely.
A well-planned sales process should facilitate the salespeople to promote and popularize the company’s product or service, thereby enabling the establishment to boost turnover, and improve the bottom line.
Telltale signs that your sales strategy is going haywire
Just like any grave disease which has some palpable symptoms, there are several telltale signs of an ill-conceived sales plan. Go through the following checklist to evaluate whether your firm’s sales strategy is going haywire or not:-
- Your niche or target segment is undefined-Regardless of whether your firm is large or small, you surely have a product or service that needs to be marketed and sold to a specific category or categories of customers or users. However, if you attempt to devise a sales tactic without first identifying your niche or target segment, the strategy will not enable you to accomplish your business goals or objectives. For instance, if you’re dealing with disposable sanitary pads, you know that you’ve to position the product to women and hence your niche market is defined. So, the approach you’d adopt for selling this product should be developed, keeping menstruating women in mind.
- No accountability-Opportunistic and incompetent sales representatives are most likely to take undue advantage of a poorly structured and tenuous sales policy for playing the blame game and holding others accountable for their poor performance. Moreover, if your strategy does not explicitly specify niche customers, sales methodology, jurisdiction area of sales personnel, and the timeframe in which the target has to be attained, you’d find it difficult to monitor performance.
At the same time, since promoting and selling, for the most part, involves teamwork, a sales executive could get away with lackluster subpar performance putting the onus on your company’s flawed sales method. Conversely, reps who perform would feel that their efforts are not being appreciated and that the management’s decision to hold the entire team responsible is unjustified. A straightforward and concrete sales scheme could go a long way in fostering a company culture where accountability is accorded due significance.
- Poor time management-Poor time management, more often than not implies that sales managers are periodically rescheduling client meets, failing to prioritize tasks, and frequently resorting to procrastination. A robust sales plan would definitely accord priority to the fact that any or every task pertaining to product promotion must be time-bound. In other words, the action plan should be set up in such a way that the same facilitates sales staff to complete their respective responsibilities within deadlines.
- No clear-cut policies on sales priorities-If members of your sales team are not sure about which tasks to complete on a priority basis and which to do later, then it is amply clear that they’re either chasing too many priorities or are unaware what the priorities are.
- Power play and vested interests take precedence over performance-It is very much possible that some members of your sales force will indulge in skullduggery and subterfuge to get their jobs done if the sales objectives are not explicit. The salespersons will be more eager to grease the palms of their seniors in order to remain in their goods books rather than focus on their work and sales target.
- Failure to provide good leadership-On many occasions, the inability of the team leaders and company managers to provide able leadership to their subordinates could cause even a meticulously planned sales process to fall flat.
- Lack of teamwork and cohesiveness-If your sales staff has trouble comprehending their job profiles and sales goals, chances are that they may not be able to function as a close-knit team.
Practical tips on creating and implementing an effective sales policy
When it comes to creating and implementing a flexible, goal-oriented sales strategy make sure the line-of-attack is in sync with the company’s objectives and work culture. Before you embark on the task of formulating a course-of -action that will be deployed for advertising your brand, ensure you integrate your plan with the following aspects:-
- Organizational goals, mission, and vision
- Target customer segment(s)
- Workflow that outlines goal-oriented tasks and responsibilities
- Timeline for achieving targets
- Performance metrics
- Incentives/recompense system for star performers
Once you’ve chalked out your sales approach, your next step would be to implement the same as effectively as possible. Successful implementation would invariably depend upon recognizing customers who are purchasing your product and creating a distinct profile for each and every client. You’d be able to boost sales and increase revenues if you work out a separate promotional plan for every customer based on his or her personality.
Towards this end, using CRM tool like ‘Pipeliner’, ‘PipelineDeals’, ‘ClinchPad, ‘Zoho CRM’, and ‘HubSpot CRM’ for tracking and capturing prospective leads and turning them into customers, would help drive organizational growth. Alternatively, you can exploit numerous free CRM and open-source software including Agile CRM, RAYNET, Bitrix24, and CapsuleCRM for making the most of your sales procedure.
Having a crystal clear idea about your business goals and the niche segment you want to peddle your brand is extremely crucial for you to put together an insightful and sound sales strategy.