Although sales are one of the most important aspects of business, it’s often neglected in terms of strategy – or rather, in developing an effective sales strategy for your specific business.
While you can apply all the ‘good’ or ‘best’ business practices available, no ‘best practice’ will truly be the best practice for your business if it doesn’t take into account your industry, cash flow, and other insights through financial analysis and forecasting.
For example, no marketing strategy will carry you through your slow months if you have no insight into when your periods of slow cash flow are and if you’re mitigating chances of financial risk before investing.
Before you even invest in a sales team or run your high-value ad campaign, there are a few things you should consider when creating your sales strategy:
A sales strategy is a strategy implemented to help improve cash flow. A successful and effective sales strategy can shorten the sales cycle and lead to quicker cash inflows and more timely payments.
When creating a sales strategy or working with a team to create a sales strategy, there are three things you need to know to ensure the best short-term and long-term success –
You should know exactly where you’re at before investing in or setting up a sales strategy. You should have all the data you need to create an accurate cash flow projection before moving forward.
Knowing your cash flow before you start will allow you to know where you started, giving you a point of comparison to mark improvement. It will also help you set a budget for your investments and prevent a period of negative cash flow.
Cash flow projections and insights into your overall financial health can be determined by an experienced accountant or accounting team..
Industry insights and competitor analysis provide you insight into your industry including any trends, upcoming opportunities, competitor threats, and upcoming challenges. Industry insights provide an opportunity to thoroughly investigate and prepare for the upcoming quarter, or year.
Knowing your industry is a key element in creating an effective sales strategy as it can prevent you from focusing on a product or service that is not performing well and lead you to an option that is up-and-coming, allowing you to get ahead of the curve.
A sales strategy or sales plan is put in place to help you reach your business goals – but, what are your goals? And, are they actually achievable in the allotted time frame?
Both financial insights and industry insights and a simple understanding of your businesses’ operations and performance can help you create realistic business goals. These goals should include a timeline and account for any possible challenges coming your way – like industry changes or an expected period of low cash flow.
As goals tend to mark how successful a campaign is, they are extremely important and should not be taken lightly within your sales plan.
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the data is provided and research are performed before big decisions are made. Your team will be able to make better, more efficient decisions regarding your marketing, planning, and sales when they’re given the necessary information to truly perform and exceed your expectations.
To maintain your cashflow all year long and have an up-to-date sales strategy throughout, you should be regularly reviewing your business – both financially and how it performs and interacts with your clients and competitors.