What should you include in a sales strategy?

by James Ker-Reid - February 2, 2022

Too often, startups can go hunting for glory without having a proper sales strategy in place. It’s not negligence as much as it is the eagerness to get going. And while the desire to get things moving is commendable, sometimes it’s necessary to take stock and put a plan of action together, especially when it comes to sales. With that in mind, we’ve created this guide with what you should include in a sales strategy. 

Why do you need a sales strategy?

Finding sustainable traction in the market is vital, and it’s something you’ll only achieve with a sales strategy. A well-executed strategy gives your sales team structure and something to focus on so they can zero in on the core objectives of the business from a sales perspective. 

It needs to align your target demographic, buyer personas, market positioning, methodology and key channels. The strategy should be clear on customer pain points and demonstrate how your offering solves the problems they face. It’s also important to remember that your strategy will evolve as the business matures. But for now, here’s what you need to include in your sales strategy. 

What should you include in a sales strategy?

  • Target customers
  • Revenue targets
  • Tactics
  • Team structure
  • Market conditions

Target customers

You need to know your target market, especially if this is your first sales plan. The exact details of the target demographic might not be fully fleshed out yet, but a sales strategy is where you can start making gains by identifying your market and customers. Ask questions like ‘do they all belong in the same industry?’, ‘what is the perfect customer?’, ‘what are their struggles and challenges?’. Answering these questions will start to give your strategy some depth and help you on your way to creating a solid plan. 

Revenue targets

Sales targets are necessary to help your sales team achieve their goals. It provides everyone with a clear outline of expectations and what’s possible. Realism is required when creating revenue targets – you need to aim for figures within reach. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, but it should be grounded with tangible targets that identify how much revenue your team can bring into the business realistically. 

Tactics

Tactics hold plenty of weight in a sales strategy. They essentially set out how you and your team will achieve business goals. Tactics include elements like the methods you plan on using to convert leads into sales and where you plan on finding customers. 

Team structure

What does your team look like? Is there a sales team, or are you still in the early stages where employees have hybrid roles? Whatever your approach to the overall structure of your team, everyone needs to know their role and work in the same direction to achieve results. Transparency is essential in a team structure, and this should be reflected in the sales strategy. 

Market conditions

Thorough research into your market will help everyone on the team better understand what they’re dealing with. You want to include vital information about your industry as well as the competitive landscape. Look at competitors, detail the current state of play in the market and work out your standing in the ecosystem of the industry you operate  – both where you are right now and where you want to get to by reaching revenue targets. 

Summary: A winning sales strategy for success

Every business benefits from a sales strategy, whether it’s a startup or blue-chip company. You need to know where you’re going before you can reach targets, and a sales strategy will give your business more direction and clarity to achieve your sales targets. 



Further Reading

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January 31, 2022

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How to create a sales forecast for your startup

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