No matter how prolific or successful, any company will tell you that 'making the sale' is an ongoing challenge. Interestingly, no one-size-fits-all sales strategy consistently outperforms the rest; Apple sets itself apart by creating a movement, for instance, while Starbucks leverages social media to generate excitement.
So, what's the key to building your own effective sales strategy? Often, the winning approach is to construct a complete sales cycle that incorporates the various stages of the buyer's journey—from building awareness and interest to fostering desire and, finally, driving conversions. Setting yourself apart from the rest depends on how well you execute each stage and the tools you use to automate your sales strategy.
Let's delve a little deeper into each stage and see what it takes to build an effective sales strategy that hits the mark.
Understanding the sales business cycle
As a CEO, manager, or salesperson yourself, you are likely aware of the sales cycle; it's the stages that both the customer and your company traverse while moving toward a final purchase decision.
A sales business cycle focuses specifically on your company's steps to identify and qualify potential customers, build relationships, and close deals. The 7 stages are:
- Prospecting – Looking for potential clients.
- Making Contact – Reaching out to those clients.
- Prospect Qualification – Understanding your target.
- Nurturing Prospects – Presenting your offer and proving relevance.
- Making An Offer – Providing clients with a solution and price.
- Quieting Objections – Answering questions and quelling doubts.
- Closing the Sale – Cha-ching!
So, where do the strategies come into play? If this is the cycle that all businesses follow, why do some succeed while others fail to make a sale?
Effective sales strategies and processes
Remember, success is not just about going through the motions—it's about the processes you put in place for each stage of the cycle. That's what differentiates the best sales strategies from the rest. (Of course, it also helps to learn how buyers tick).
Ready to level up your sales game? Here are some process tips to get you started.
Tip 1: improve outreach with better leads
In the very first stage of the sales cycle—prospecting for new clients—you have the potential to make or break your entire strategy. That's why it's critical that you focus on generating high-quality leads that are a good match for your products or services.
You can implement any number of lead generation strategies, like advertising, targeted marketing campaigns, or content marketing. But if you don't have an enriched database behind your list of prospects, your lead generation process has been futile.
Business automation is more advanced than ever in 2022, and with our Lead Enrichment Wrkflow, you can efficiently populate your CRM with the data you need to close deals.
It doesn't just scrape the surface; this unique Wrkflow finds press releases, Crunchbase data, reports, and other sources that would normally require hours of effort to track down manually.
With a Wrkflow like this, you'll be equipped with the data you need to track down leads and target their specific pain points. But don't stop there! Use our Deduplication Wrkflow to eliminate redundant or unhelpful data from your CRM, so that no space is wasted and no time is spent on useless data points.
We’ve also got Wrkflows to keep your information updated without constant intervention, as well as solutions for the automation of reporting.
Tip 2: don't neglect the qualification stage
Because lead management is one of the most time-consuming and energy-draining aspects of sales, we often neglect lead qualification in the name of efficiency. But if you want to close more deals and improve your win rate, you need to put in the effort to qualify your leads thoroughly.
The goal of qualifying a lead is twofold: first, to determine whether they're a good match for your products or services, and second, to gauge their level of interest. You can use a variety of methods to qualify leads, but some common indicators include:
Need: Does the prospect have a genuine need for your product?
Budget: Can they afford your solution?
Authority: Do they have the power to make decisions within their organization?
Timeline: When do they need a solution, and how quickly are they expecting results?
Knowing this information, you'll be able to decide which leads are worth pursuing and how to best approach each one.
Automate your lead qualification
Don't spend hours on this stage when you could be calling or meeting with prospects. Using sales automation is your ticket to efficiency—and these days, there are plenty of tools to choose from.
Hubspot, for instance, lets you create a custom set of criteria to qualify and prioritize leads automatically when they're added to your CRM. Our Lead Nurturing Wrkflow uses Hubspot combined with other useful tools to completely automate this process, granting you more time to focus on high-priority prospects.
Tip 3: reinforce trust and build relationships
Trust is the single most crucial element of any sales relationship. If your prospect doesn't trust you, they'll not do business with you, plain and simple.
But again, this takes time—so you'll need to find ways of speeding up the process without losing your human touch, like:
- Sending automated emails and DMs that are worded conversationally and are programmed to include the recipient's name.
- Automatically setting up calls and arranging meetings via accurately sourced contact details.
- Automation of reporting to see bounce rates, open and click metrics, and adjust strategies on the fly.
- Integrating your sales process with your CRM so you can keep track of every interaction in one place.
Our Customer Growth & Retention Wrkflow can even help to build and maintain trust after you've made the sale; you can automate follow-up messages, product updates, and customer satisfaction surveys to keep your business top-of-mind.
Tip 4: know when to walk
While more strategies than not require tools or extensive time investment, others simply call for sound judgment.
Know when to walk away if your lead qualification tools and interactions with a client indicate that a sale is unlikely. It sounds counter-intuitive, but you're better off spending your time and energy on prospects that are more likely to result in a sale.
Believe it or not, walking away from a client also heightens your chances of winning them over in the future. No one wants to be begged or cajoled into doing business—they want a good experience! Walk away without nagging. Show the client that if they require your services in the future, you're the company to call.
Stack the odds in your favor: use sales strategy tools
Any salesperson will tell you that the key to closing more deals is building and maintaining relationships, qualifying leads, and knowing when to walk away. But with a little bit of help from technology, you can stack the odds even further in your favor.
Tools like ours can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks so you can focus on the human element of selling, like building relationships and reinforcing trust. We've got an entire suite of Wrkflows that string together top-tier programs. Get an edge over the competition with a truly effective sales strategy.
Don't spend time entering data when you could be meeting with clients. Check out our Hybrid Automation Platform, and see how easy it is to take your sales game to the next level (without eliminating the human touch!)