More often than not, the teams with a strong, well-defined plan have a higher chance of success.
Sales talent matters. Your team plays a big part in success. But if you want the best results possible, you need a map to follow—a winning sales strategy.
When you’ve defined the right sales strategy for your sales goals, you can improve your process, create new opportunities, and increase revenue.
First, we’ll define sales strategy and the different types we need to plan for. Then, we’ll review best practices and tools to get started.
After you finish this article, you’ll have the opportunity to communicate with your prospects through a more personalized and effective method, no matter your company size (for free).
What is a sales strategy?
A sales strategy is a plan that outlines how a business or professional will sell their products to their target market.
You can get better, consistent results by defining a strong game plan.
Types of sales strategies
There are two main types of sales: inbound and outbound.
A blend of outbound (you go to them) and inbound sales (they come to you) provides the appropriate sales pipeline to nurture leads and close deals.
Each sales strategy looks different for a salesperson. For example, with outbound sales, sales professionals may focus more on proving their value proposition to draw prospects in and get buy-ins.
An inbound salesperson would place more effort into providing information, answering questions, and guiding the already-curious prospect through the decision.
A healthy sales plan should include both types.
To sum up:
Outbound sales strategy: you reach out to the prospect.
Inbound sales strategy: the prospect reaches out to you.
You can plan your approach and tactics once you’ve identified your two broad strategies.
Type of selling tactics
There are many directions you can take for sales, depending on your industry and target audience market. Here are a few you can do today to get started:
1. Value-based sales
Value-based selling should be implemented throughout your overall sales strategy, but it’s especially effective for outbound sales. The approach focuses on the measurable value and benefits the product brings to the customer.
When you connect with a prospect, you highlight how your product can provide specific benefits to that person.
In the image above, Slack does a great job directly tying its product to results. Statistics are a great way to communicate value. Slack can easily provide value-based positioning when an enterprise client speaks to a salesperson.
2. Consultative sales
Consultative sales is excellent for outbound sales but serves as the core of inbound strategies.
Consultative sales focuses on prospect needs and their goals throughout their customer journey. The salesperson investigates and listens to their unique desires in hopes of helping position the product as a possible solution.
3. Cross-selling and up-selling
You can make some of the best sales with the customers you already have. If your product or service provides upgrades and enhanced tiers, you can contact your current customer base to land additional sales.
Cross-selling is when you sell complimentary products. Up-selling is when you sell an upgrade or premium version.
You can contact your customers with a personalized video, email, or phone call and present the opportunity.
4. Direct email sales
Emails are a great way to sell your product. Prospects can read it at any time and have a straightforward way to respond.
Direct email sales focuses on cold emailing, offering solutions, and nurturing relationships to close the deal. It’s used in both inbound and outbound sales and is a great way to answer detailed questions, provide resources, and lay out your offering.
Like the example above, you can present your product or offering through email. You can add a link to a personalized video walkthrough to add value and credibility to your sales proposal.
5. Personalized, async video sales
Personalized asynchronous videos are among the best formats of all the previous examples. Why? It encompasses all of the benefits of these tactics combined.
You can easily present the value of your product through a presentation, walkthrough, and demo.
Salespeople can answer questions and help lead prospects to the sale with consultative, personalized communication.
Teams can present new features, product upgrades, and more by sending cross-selling and up-selling videos.
Sales representatives can email videos to communicate like they would in person, providing better results.
Async prospecting and sales videos make it easy to simultaneously share your screen and yourself as you communicate your product and lead your prospect to make a purchase.
Why is it important to have an effective sales strategy?
Maybe you’re doing O.K. You are growing your revenue every year, and everyone is happy. But even in the best-case scenario, you’re missing out on sales without a plan.
You might close some great deals, but you’re missing out on other potential different sales channels, ideal customer profiles, audience communication preferences, and more.
In the worst-case scenario, you may generate sales today, but what about tomorrow? What happens when the economy isn’t in your favor? You need a game plan to get you through economic volatility.
Sales strategies also help with organization. You can increase sales by adopting the right CRM and creating a process for contacting qualified leads and prospects. When 60% of customers say “no” four times before they say “yes,” it takes an intentional plan to follow through on your sales cycle—it’s especially important, considering 48% of sales reps don’t send a follow-up message after initial contact.
Creating a sales strategy playbook that works
You know a sales strategy plan is essential. And now you know the types to embrace. But how do you get started? Here’s how you can start laying out your plan today:
Define your goals
Review your current sales tactics, strategy, and overall processes that close your sales. It’s important to organize every action to get a clear understanding of your sales pipeline as it stands today.
Then, find areas of opportunity.
Maybe your inbound sales feel almost non-existent. That’s an entire new strategy to implement, filled with additional sales channels that can multiply your revenue potential.
Or, maybe your outbound sales team only does one or two follow-ups instead of five, which could lead to better statistical results and sales performance.
You can start setting goals for what you want to achieve. Also, review your KPIs and relevant sales metrics. Figure out which ones you want to improve and focus on.
Build your team and sales pipeline
You need a winning sales team. No matter your business, you’re in the business of dealing with people. It’s all about relationships, and your sales depend on the professionals leading the way.
As you evaluate your current team or look to improve or build one, find experienced professionals who can facilitate incoming leads via outbound and inbound channels.
Decision makers should also invest and plan out the sales funnel. What does the end-to-end lead experience look like, and what tools do you need to accomplish the full sales journey?
Draw a diagram of every point of contact your ideal customer will go through along their journey. Create a clear approach (like video prospecting) to nurturing and leading your potential customer to the sale.
Choose your sales channels
Plans are helpful, but they don’t mean much without action. After you have a strategy for closing a sale, you need to find out how you will reach your target customers.
For your outbound strategy, you might record a video message and email key prospects. You do a walkthrough of your product and service and directly tie it to the brand you are talking to.
For inbound strategies, after a lead learns about your brand by receiving value, they reach out to you. The leads trust you more since your team has earned it. You help them along the journey and guide them to make a decision.
Decide where you will communicate with your audience and how it fits into your pipeline for closing the sale.
Identify your tools
Whether it’s a CRM, a screen recording tool, or an online ad platform, decide which platforms work for your needs, budget, and sales team.
Your tech stack is pivotal in equipping your sales team and communicating with your potential customers. Soon, we’ll go over some tools you can start using today for a successful sales strategy.
How to sustain an impactful sales strategy
Sales should be consistent, effective, and scalable.
Outbound sales, while often including investments in ads or long labor hours in cold outreach, can get fast results. This is helpful when you need to meet your sales goals in the short term, and it’s a vital part of sales.
Inbound sales, on the other hand, is a great strategy for long-term results. After your brand has invested in its audience through digital assets and audience nurturing, leads begin to trickle into the sales pipeline.
Inbound sales professionals then work with those leads as they complete the buyers' journey. The reps help answer questions and nurture the lead to make the best-informed decision.
Sales team members should work with a well-defined sales pipeline to meet business goals in the buying process. When their goals are clear and areas for improvement are measurable, growth is more efficient and sustainable.
Sales strategy common mistakes
Sales leaders can also learn from common pitfalls to avoid. Teams can improve their sales strategies by correcting the following:
When the salesperson should listen more and talk less
The classic sales problem is when the representative thinks they know more about the customer than the customer.
Sales representatives who listen can provide a better, more relevant sales pitch. Sales managers can use what they learned to inform the marketing team and sales teams about new hesitations, concerns, and motivations their leads have. It creates a tighter feedback loop for better sales strategies and communication.
If salespeople never follow up
Sales isn’t a one-hit wonder. You don’t make the case and then win or lose. It’s about relationships. You need to nurture leads and guide them through the buying process.
Sales training should include following up, providing relevant information, and building meaningful customer relationships. Something as simple as answering a prospect’s question by emailing a Loom video walkthrough can win the sale—you answer their concern clearly, winning their trust and demonstrating credibility with the care you invested in your message.
When you focus on features and not benefits
As fans of our products, it’s easy to obsess over the bells and whistles. Did you know our app can do that? Did you know our service provides a 10% longer-lasting result than competitors? All that sounds great, but you’re forcing your leads to do the math. They don’t care about the technical advantages of your product (at least not at first). Customers want to know how you can improve their business, life, and jobs.
Focus on the emotional benefit of your features and products.
Instead of “Our CRM provides reminders for prospect follow-ups,” you can say, “Stop stressing about remembering when to follow-up. Put it on autopilot and increase your conversion rate by 12%.” That paints a much better picture (just make sure to back up your claims).
Another product example: Instead of saying “2x more memory,” you can say, “Never get stuck panicking mid-project with ‘full memory’ notifications. You get unlimited memory, so you never have to worry again.”
When sales leadership chooses the wrong sales tools and communication channels
Finally, ensure you’re picking the right sales and prospecting tools. It’s common to pick the most popular or cheapest platforms, but that can hurt your sales revenue. You must pick the right scalable tool that works for your business and leads.
Additionally, where you contact your prospects (or invest in inbound) matters. If your audience is older and prefers a cold phone call instead of an email, ensure you’re calling them. If your audience uses LinkedIn, don’t try to make Pinterest work. Meet them where they are.
The good news is that video messages offer a great option for most audiences that prefer personalized communication, accommodating preferences across various mediums.
Sales strategy tools: Getting started
It can be frustrating when you think of all the moving pieces involved in executing a sales strategy. Thankfully, you can start small and scale as you get comfortable with your plan.
As you begin, you want the following:
A primary medium to communicate with leads
A way to find your audience online
A system to organize your information and workflow
The following tools should help meet those needs.
1. Loom for nurturing and closing the sale
Loom is a video messaging app for asynchronous (not live) communication. It gives sales teams a significant advantage by evading the biggest traditional barriers.
You don’t have to worry about aligning busy schedules or time zones. You don’t even have to worry if the prospect will give you the time of day. Instead, you can play the offensive. You can email, DM, or send a link to your video outlining your relevant value proposition to the prospect. They can see first-hand how you can help solve their challenges, and you can nurture them after they view the video.
Or, you can create demos, walkthroughs, and helpful videos to post on social media platforms. Users see what your solution can do and can contact you for more information.
Loom records your screen and yourself, making it easy to communicate your message. You can draw while presenting, and you can even add notes and more information post-recording. You hit record on your Chrome extension or desktop app, and in a few minutes, you’re ready to send.
The best part? There’s a free version. You can kick off your sales strategy for free!
2. Outreach tools
Choose the right tools for your outbound strategy. Sales professionals should find platforms and strategies that best connect and reach their target audience.
Mailshake, the sales prospecting mail tool, might be an excellent option for sending cold emails. You can introduce yourself and link to an async video with Loom so the prospect can dive deeper (and you can showcase your value offering).
3. HubSpot or Salesforce for CRMs
The best sales strategies are impossible without the proper organization and optimization features. CRMs help us create a better, more efficient sales process.
Salesforce and HubSpot are both top CRMs for your sales teams. They are the number one market choice and a great way to get started if you don’t have a CRM already.
Loom: Record for free today and kickstart your sales strategy
What’s the most critical part of sales? It’s the first conversation. There is no sale without that first impression and the opportunity to present your case.
That’s why starting with a video messaging tool like Loom is the way to go.
Loom empowers your sales team to contact prospects and reach out to audiences quickly, efficiently, and through the best form of communication. Loom offers a familiar experience: the face-to-face, in-person connection every customer wants. When they get highly relevant videos from you, they get a more personalized sales experience and are more likely to say “yes.”