Planning Your Sales Strategy
Sales and marketing need to work in concert to optimize product rollout, adoption rates, and lead generation to achieve early revenue. A thorough examination of competitors will allow you to see how they are managing sales and sales information to inform your sales strategy. In addition, consumer research will enable development efforts to focus on required product features that are meaningful to the early and late majority, not on features that only excite early adopters and technology enthusiasts.
The sales aim is to achieve the targets that will be predicted at the budgeted costs. This requires organization of the sales areas and the sales personnel. Sales goals are set for the sales areas, and the individuals and the sales people are organized to achieve these.
The questions you are looking to answer with your research and analysis are:
- Who are the most influential customers in the target market?
- What are the tactical problems that are created?
- How might the value proposition address these problems and what impact would it have?
- How motivated might they be to buy, given the value proposition?
- Who would they consider the competition to be?
- How would the customers perceive the difference between the startup and its competition?
- Who would they tell?
A sales strategy and training must be provided before the market launch, so sales people have knowledge of the product and service, the market research, pricing and promotion, and know how to sell the product and service. Sales activities before and during the launch are needed to achieve the necessary awareness, excitement, and demand for the new product and service. In the marketing plan, the number of such special activities must be detailed to allow adequate planning by the sales team.
In support of this, your research should also focus on identifying the direct and indirect sales methods that will optimize product rollout, adoption rates, and lead generation including:
- Trade Shows
- Online Forums
- Consumer Reports And User Information Sites
- Email Newsletters
- Sales Collateral