A clear Sales Strategy is one of the best investments your business can make. Not only is it a key input to your budgeting, it is a way to motivate and empower your sales team to ensure they meet and beat their targets.
An STP (Strategic Territory Plan – the full working title) works on many levels; helping your sales team to formalise their approach, giving them a point of reference throughout the year (every sales person experiences a lull… or two) and providing you with reassurance that your team are on the right track and that you have the right people in place.
Ensure your sales people are aware of their targets before tasking them with an STP, this way they know and are broadly in agreement with what they are working towards. And then assuming your teams or individuals have clarity on the product/service and their territory, asking them to map out how they will achieve their targets is a logical next step.
It’s a timely exercise but one that is only carried out annually and it should result in a meaty document that ensures all sales efforts are strategized and methodical. It should also eliminate the scattergun approach that some sales people adopt, particularly if new to the role. Both experienced and junior sales people should be involved in the project and depending on the size of your company and how you distribute the different territories, will depend on whether a team, multiple teams or individual(s) create the plan. No one is too experienced or senior to create an STP, even the most accomplished sales people need to have a well thought through strategy and to occasionally refresh their approach. This is especially key when selling to a specific or HNW audience.
Each document should outline how individuals/teams are going to meet prospects, convert them to clients and hit their target. An idea of what this document could contain is as follows:
- Previous Year Sales Overview
- Previous Year Sales Breakdown
- 2018 Target & KPIs
- Vertical Focus
- Key People
- New Leads
- Customer Journey
- DM Calendar
- Events & Sponsorships
- Sales Collateral needed
When reviewing this document with the individual or team, it’s important to remember that these are their thoughts and ideas. For example, within Obstacles they may detail any problems they foresee in hitting their target. These problems may arise from internal infrastructure or simply because their territory isn’t mature or fruitful enough to meet the target given. It is important for you to talk through any concerns they have and to be honest with yourself if your targets are perhaps higher than they realistically should be.
Defining roles, setting goals, supporting and empowering your employees are all key to success in business but potentially even more so within sales. Sales can be one of the hardest jobs; dealing with rejection on a daily basis, keeping momentum despite losing a prospect at the last hurdle. Supporting your sales team outside of simply giving them a target is what will set you apart from your competitors.