Sales Strategy

What’s in a strategy: business, sales and marketing strategies

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There’s usually confusion between sales and marketing strategies. So to avoid mix-ups, it’s always good to look at definitions.

Michael Porter defines strategy as the set of choices that define a company’s distinctive approach to competing, and the competitive advantages on which it will be based. There are two different levels: corporate strategy, which is the strategy for the business overall (the portfolio of businesses); and business strategy, which determines how each business will compete. Business strategy is a ...

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What are the biggest sales issues & opportunities for CEOs & Sales Leaders?

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Research done by our parent company, Barrett, on Sales Strategy and Operations shows several emerging trends across businesses in the public, private and Not for Profit sectors.

Here are some of the findings:

The biggest sales issues facing CEOs & Sales Leaders today:

  1. No clarity, communication or consistency: regardless of industry, every business lacked clarity of purpose, strategy and roles; had very inconsistent or poor communication practices; and no consistency of sales processes, standards, tools or resources across their sales teams
  2. Complete ...
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Ditch short-termism for robust sales strategies

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‘If you don’t know where you’re going, every road will lead you nowhere’. This famous quote is usually attributed to the master strategist and politician, Winston Churchill.

Sadly, in today’s busy, noisy and complex world, this quote represents a common state of affairs for many organisations’ CEOs, Executive Leaderships Teams, Sales Leaders and their sales teams who are struggling to make sales, retain their relevance with clients, and generate profit.

Many are finding themselves in a race to the bottom ...

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HOPE is not a Sales Strategy

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Hope isn’t a sales strategy and without the right ingredients failure is certain

The protocol for developing a sales strategy is fundamentally different to that used for other business strategies. Even the thinking that drives a sales strategy is somewhat different to that which drives marketing strategies. Here are a few guidelines:

  1. The golden rule that underpins any sales strategy is knowledge. By learning as much as one can about the market, buyers and the alternatives buyers have, sales is ...
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The difference between Sales and Marketing Segmentation

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To segment or not to segment that is the question.

Traditionally, marketing has almost always dictated what a segment was. But sales segmentation and marketing segmentation are substantially different. In fact, it is these very differences that make sales strategy so different from marketing strategy.

Marketing defines segments as “A group of people that share one or more demographic and / or psychographic characteristics”.

However, salespeople deal with people, not groups.

Traditional segmentation usually takes into account how attractive a segment is ...

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Better sales outcomes through discernment

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What is discernment?

Discernment is the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure[1]. It comes from from Old French discerner (13c.) “distinguish (between), separate” (by sifting), and directly from Latin discernere “to separate, set apart, divide, distribute; distinguish, perceive,” from dis- “off, away” (see dis-) + cernere “distinguish, separate, sift” (see crisis)[2]. According to the Cambridge dictionary, it is the ability to judge people and things well.

In this busy, cluttered and ...

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Sell and Deliver Value or Commoditise

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With business becoming much more complex and value harder to discern in product sales alone, business leaders have to make serious decisions about how to do business. In essence, they have two choices in terms of the way to run legitimate operations:

  1. Run a business that sells unique solutions or customised products/services and generates reasonable margins and delivers real value beyond product. This means stepping up their game, building out their sales team’s business acumen and solution selling capabilities ...
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Are your sales conferences pumping or slumping?

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*** Trigger Warning: May contain traces of sarcasm ***

We’ve all been there: a sea of people, pulled together from across the country or region, locked in a windowless room with artificial light, seated at round tables with mints and water, patiently waiting for the parade of presenters to finish their ‘Death by PowerPoint’ presentations so we can get to the coffee station during the day and then the bar at night to start really engaging with our colleagues. ...

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Salespeople beware tire kickers, IP thieves & time wasters

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Selling is a very time consuming set of activities at the best of times. Now with so much choice and complexity, sales cycles are taking even longer –like 20% longer– especially with multiple stakeholders in larger businesses.

So it only makes sense that we want to be sure as salespeople that a real deal is in the offering, that it is properly budgeted for, and we are in good position to win it.

Salespeople can often bend over backwards to ...

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Sales Trend 2 – The case for long-term focus

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Sales Trend 2 of the Barrett 12 Sales Trends for 2018 Report is the case for long-term focus and strategy.

It’s no news that most businesses are focused on the short-term, living from quarter to quarter, and that although there’s ongoing argument about whether there’s enough evidence or not to say that long-term businesses perform better, most of the arguments against it (pro short-term) focus only on profits.

However, this sales trend reports that there are increasingly louder calls ...

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