Will Your Sales Strategy Work?

Last Updated Apr 18, 2008 8:34 AM EDT

Chinese Chess
There are as many sales strategies in the world as there are companies that have sales forces. Even so, it's extremely easy to find out whether a company has a sales strategy that's going to fail, regardless of the details. Just ask the following six questions:
  1. Is the strategy clearly articulated, measurable and actionable?
  2. Does it includes a sales compensation plan reinforces the strategy?
  3. Does it retrain existing or hire new personnel to support the strategy?
  4. Is marketing producing leads and sales materials that support the strategy?
  5. Does if have the sales support necessary to execute the strategy?
  6. Is there a CRM system that measures the right metrics for the strategy?
If the answer to any of these questions is "no", then the strategy is going to fail. If all the answers are "yes", then the strategy might very well succeed -- if it's the right strategy.

The most important element is question 1. Let me put it bluntly. If your firm doesn't have a clearly articulated sales strategy, your managers are idiots, and your firm is probably floundering. But even if your firm is successful without such a strategy, it would be far more successful if everyone were working towards the same goals.

The above list is adapted, by the way, from a conversation I had a couple of years ago with Sharon Daniels, CEO of AchieveGlobal, a top sales training firm. In a future post, I'll explain what sales professionals must do to make a sales strategy actually deliver the big bucks (as in revenue and commissions.)