5 Signs Your Sales Strategy Is Outdated and Irrelevant
An efficient salesforce can mean the difference between a successful or failed venture. While a dedicated sales team is vital to the growth of a business, an outdated and irrelevant sales strategy can cause the ship to sink. Companies often overlook the importance of a sound sales strategy, and that’s where the sales drop.
A well-designed sales strategy answers all the questions related to sales. It outlines the 5Ws+1H of your sales process, including “What, why, who, where, when, and how” you’re going to approach your sales. Your sales strategy defines the potential leads, target audience, and the sales pitch of your company.
However, sometimes, the company will discover a drop-in leads and sales. This in turn causes the sales team to veer off the path in an attempt to increase sales. When this happens management should intervene and reconsider their sales strategy to get things back in order. Here are some of the signs that your sales strategy is outdated and irrelevant.
1. Misaligned Sales Messages Between Sales and Marketing
First of all, it is important to take the input of different departments before formulating a sales strategy. Your sales and marketing teams should be well-coordinated and have an aligned message to potential customers. However, things do not always happen the way one wants. This could be caused by outdate research or new discoveries from the front line.
A rift in the sales and marketing department is no less than a nightmare. Sometimes, marketing teams make promises that the sales team finds difficult to meet, which results in frustration at both ends. The lack of communication may lead to chaos, mismanagement, and ambiguity in the sales plan.
For instance, while the marketing team is boasting about the company’s technical expertise, the sales team may be promoting efficient product delivery. So, it is important to have both teams on the same page and sending out a consistent sales message.
2. An Increase in Time Spent on “Unqualified” Leads
While it is important to have faith in your product quality, believing it to be the “one size fits all” strategy is a big mistake. It does not matter how good your product is; there will still be a segment that won’t need it or find it unsuitable for their needs (i.e. selling steaks at a vegan convention).
Reaching out to buyers is must, but you have to make sure that your salesforce is targeting “qualified leads.” While you may want to target all markets, the attempt is likely to be futile and will hurt your market position and credibility.
If your sales canvas is too broad, it’s time to reposition and add value to a specific niche. Once you focus on one particular market segment, you will see an increase in the consumer base. A focused sales strategy will lead you in the right direction.
3. Changes in Competition and Market
A sales strategy becomes irrelevant when you target a market that is gradually diminishing. Perhaps, you have done everything right and carved out the right niche. However, you may have overlooked the market need and your competition. In the era of technological advancement, new companies are consistently entering the market and taking over the traditional ones. An example of this is the effect that Amazon had on traditional retail.
While your sales strategy may be on point, you may be investing your time and efforts on a sinking ship. You have to update your sales strategy and make sure that your product has a market and the potential to grow and expand. For this purpose, you have to be flexible and ready to shift your strategy towards a new market segment.
4. Imbalance Between Supply and Demand
The advent of technology has paved the way for many markets to grow rapidly. The amazing growth rate attracts many companies to go after a new market. While some become successful, lack of preparedness lands many sales teams in hot waters.
In worse situations, the imbalance between supply and demand can hurt the sales numbers. For instance, if your company launches a new product, a shortage in supply can be devastating. Nothing is worse than when there is a delay in fulfilling an order after the sales. Such situations cause a set back to the sales team, thereby injuring their confidence and your reputation.
Absence of a strong support system in the back office can be disruptive to your organization. So, it is important to analyze your position and make sure that your teams can meet the market needs and provide the right quantity of product at the right time.
5. Drop in Access to Decision-Makers
For sales reps to be successful they have to make contact with decision-makers. However, sometimes they are unable to gain access to policymakers and get blocked by a gatekeeper. You cannot get mad at the gatekeeper as they are only doing their job, instead revamp your sales strategy.
The old days of using ‘Ms. Black is expecting my call’ when she isn’t does not work. Instead incorporate ways to gain access to these positions into your strategy. The shift in your strategy could be to evaluate the skills of your sales reps, change your outreach process, or marketing campaigns.
To succeed in today’s business world, you have to keep your sales strategy updated, or you will be left behind. To insure this does not happen continually evaluate your sales message, time spent on ‘unqualified’ leads, competition entering your market, supply chain, and access to decision makers.
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