Powerful sales strategy examples that are guaranteed to work
Sales strategy #1: Get your sales and marketing people to work as a team
The #1 strategy for a sales team to break into newer audiences and get a stream of quality leads, is to work in tandem with the marketing team. When your sales and marketing teams align their goals and are properly led, they will result in better leads and sales. At UpLead, we suggest to all our clients that they get their sales and marketing teams to collaborate on these three key areas:
#1: Social Media – While social media might look like a marketing discipline, it can be a very effective tool for sales teams to find and engage with fresh prospects.
In fact, social selling is already a common practice with sales teams. About 84% of senior executives who make the buying decisions use social media to support their choices, and 75% of them are significantly influenced by social media.
So you can either get your social media team to work with your sales team to identify the ideal prospects and build engagement, or you can recruit a social seller whose key responsibility could be solely to drive sales using social media.
#2: SEO – Using SEO tactics that target your ideal buyers — more specifically the decision-makers of your target companies — is a great way to generate consistent SEO leads to fill your sales pipeline.
For example, the social media software SocialPilot ranks for the keyword “buffer alternative” and provides a comprehensive comparison on its landing page that should convince people who are searching for alternative solutions to Buffer.
Sure, this needs collaboration between your sales and marketing (or SEO team), but it has big payoffs in the form of a consistent stream of high-quality organic leads.
SEO also makes your website more visible online and this higher visibility gets more of your target audiences to discover you for your most-profitable keywords.
#3: Content Marketing – Did you know that about 95% of buyers choose a solution provider that can give some content to navigate through each stage of the buying process?
And that 82% of buyers read at least five or more content pieces from a vendor before making a purchase decision?
So if your sales team doesn’t have the right content to assist your leads to make the purchase or help them reach the more advanced stages of the sales funnel, the prospective customer will leave.
It’s important, therefore, to get your content and salespeople to work together so they can create content that doesn’t just generate leads but will also help to sell more.
For example, Zapier created a successful post around productivity apps and, now, attracts a lot of productivity lovers on an ongoing basis:
If you’ve got the budget, you might also try generating leads via PPC – although, it tends to work better for local or online B2C service-based businesses compared to software B2B businesses.
While it’s true that helping a company break into fresh audiences falls more into the portfolio of a marketing team, it’s clear that a sales team must also get involved.
A simple way to boost the sales-marketing team collaboration is to create a few Slack channels. With these channels, you can connect the marketing and sales resources and both can align their goals.
Sales strategy #2: Generate your own leads
Although it’s agreed that the responsibility of lead-generation falls under the portfolio of the marketing team, you must encourage your salespeople to generate their own leads as well. It never hurts to have a pool of personally-vetted contacts to sell to.
There are many ways to go about this, and by just maintaining a great LinkedIn profile, a salesperson can connect with many quality leads. They can also simply reach out to their contacts from time to time with valuable information. For example, you could just use the latest content produced by your marketing team (e. g. eBooks or blog articles) to share it with suitable prospects in your network.
Seeking referrals (which we’ll look at independently as well) is another way for a salesperson to generate their own leads, as is staying engaged with existing customers. In this way, they’re warmed up for any upsell or cross-sell offers.
When practicing this strategy, make sure that you don’t put the focus of your salespeople on lead generation. Just encourage it.
Sales strategy #3: Be prepared for objections
Before you invite a client for a presentation, a demo, or call them, try to learn about their possible objections. And with a little preparation, you can actually anticipate what your leads’ most common rebuttals and queries may be.
Once you what to expect, you can learn ways to overcome possible objections (we’ll learn more about this in the next section).
Sales strategy #4: If you can, gather your prospects’ most desired product features before reaching out
If possible, use the time leading up to the presentation to discover and understand the exact features or services that a lead is looking for when considering a solution.
You can evaluate your prospect’s social media profiles, check their behaviour data in your business analytics software (if available). If you’re selling software, you could even check their reviews on platforms such as G2 Crowd (by simply searching for “[prospect name] + G2 Crowd” to get a better understanding of their current needs.
Once you have this, you can spend a considerable part of your presentation time focussing on just that.
This hack alone can dramatically increase your chances of closing a deal.
Sales strategy #5: Take feedback from the leads you couldn’t convert
Every deal that you’re unable to close is an opportunity for improvement, but many salespeople don’t follow up with the leads that don’t convert. As a result, they miss the opportunity to identify gaps in their sales processes.
Sure, there are times when it’s just not a good fit – but very often, there are good reasons why leads don’t convert.
Ideally, once a lead turns you down, follow up. Send them a survey to ask which service provider they went with and why, and what about your sales process can be improved.
In this way, you’ll learn about all the leaks in your sales process.
It may be that they opted with a solution provider that offered more competitive pricing, or that they weren’t convinced about a certain objection they’d raised.
You can also add surveys to your website and ask questions like, “What is stopping you from contacting our sales team today?” or “What other options are you considering?“. These open-ended questions can unlock a wealth of data for your sales team to work on.
All the insights you gather via such surveys can help you optimize your conversion rate for your future leads.
Sales strategy #6: Know what your competitors offer
The most common objections raised by prospects involve competitors. It may be that they’re already working with a competitor or that they’re considering a competing solution. In this case, you need to present a better case for buying your solution over your competitor’s, in order to sway them.
But to take care of such objections and to close more deals, you must understand your solution’s USP.
To work on this, look at your successful deals and all your deals in general and identify the top competitors that kept resurfacing all through the discussions.
Once you have them, create a comparison chart that you can keep handy during your presentations or other client interactions. In this way alone you can win the contract over from your competitor(s).
You can use a template like the following one by Smartsheet to create powerful competitive analyses:
Sales strategy #7: Create a follow-up plan
Now this might sound like another basic sales strategy, but half of all salespeople don’t follow up with the lead after the first contact.
Imagine the amount of business that’s lost in this way: About 80% of sales need a salesperson to make about 5 follow-ups. Not just that, many salespeople maintain that it takes about 8 follow-ups to reach a prospect.
Following up with a lead after the first contact is generally a good idea because being persistent shows the lead that they’re viewed as a valuable client. Besides, because decision-makers are such busy people, a simple and short follow-up email is a good way to get their attention.
The best part is that any good CRM lets you automate your follow up-emails so you can easily set them up to deliver at set intervals. Do this until the prospect reverts or after you’ve followed up about 8 times.
Here’s an excellent follow-up email sequence you can use. And these are four email follow-up mistakes you certainly don’t want to make.
Prospect.io recommends the following sequence:
Sales strategy #8: Check-in on your current customers from time to time
Although a company’s existing customers are responsible for a lot of its business, many companies take them for granted. Instead of continuing to build upon and nurture the company-client relationship with the current customers, many salespeople chase newer leads who are much more difficult to sell to.
To boost sales from existing customers, it’s important to cultivate and earn their loyalty.
A good way to do this is for salespeople is to keep checking in with them to find out if they need help with anything. In many companies, this responsibility lies mainly with the customer success team. But because a salesperson is often one of the first contacts a client has with a company, they always feel good to hear “non-salesy” stuff from them.
By staying in touch in unselfish ways like just sharing a good article or sending a simple personalized message, salespeople can keep them warmed up for hearing about additional offers or plans.