Five steps to developing an effective sales strategy

Five steps to developing an effective sales strategy

How do you come up with a sales focus which drives the most amount of growth to your business and profit to your bottom line?


What is the single most important strategic sales activity that if applied consistently by your business as a whole for the next 90 days would have the greatest impact on your growth?

I’ve just finished delivering a great Sales Secrets Academy, my sales training programme, to a cracking customer of ours and once again the outcome from one of the group exercises highlighted this need – to ruthlessly focus solely on the singularly most important sales activity to accelerate growth.

As a growth business you should develop a singular focus on the key sales and business development activity – or at most two or three activities – that have the potential to drive the most amount of growth to your business and profit to your bottom line.

In order to achieve this you must also be prepared to stop faffing around with other business development things that you think you should be doing, that actually add little or no value.

For example, the business I was working with recently, as part of an exercise to map the entire client journey, a massive discussion developed in the pre-sales group around the marketing activities they currently do, or think that they should do better, or more of.

Meanwhile the group mapping the post-sale journey realised just how many opportunities they were missing to further penetrate other areas of their blue-chip clients through better long-term relationship building and structured account management.

The outcome was they identified the 12 key game-changing clients, all of which they already have some form of relationship with, that they should solely focus on to generate new work and higher sales order value.

This single activity completely outranked some of the other lead generation activities, which in this case was pre-sale, such as building a greater presence on social media or some of the advertising campaigns and exhibitions they had previously attended.

With this in mind, here are five steps to developing a company-wide ruthless sales focus:

  1. Map out your client journey, pre and post-sale. Understand what you do currently.
  2. Brainstorm how that could be refined to reduce cost of sale and increase client satisfaction
  3. Once you have identified your most profitable sales process, think about how this integrates with your marketing to attract and gain return sales value of your ideal client (something we call your client avatar). Think about your target customer.
  4. Decide on the singularly key sales activity that if consistently applied in your business for the next 90 days, would lead to a step change your organisation’s growth
  5. Assign resource and refine your process to include this activity and monitor it on an ongoing basis. For example, add it as a recurring agenda point to your regular sales meetings.

Ensure everyone understands the importance this activity has over others. If needs be, encourage them to complete a time and motion study where they record their exact activity at short intervals throughout their working week so they clearly see where they spend their time, what is stealing their time and what should gain more of their attention to ensure they are giving this priority the proper amount of attention.

Business success doesn’t come about in one day following one ‘right’ action, it comes from a group of highly focused, highly committed people doing a lot of smaller growth building activities on a consistent basis over a sustained period of time.

Lara Morgan is the founder of business growth and sales leadership consultancy Company Shortcuts

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