“You don’t need to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.” Our Dimensions of Professional Selling facilitator told our group this while comparing it to the context of creating Strategic Selling Plans – “You don’t need to have Strategic Selling Plans for all of your accounts, just the ones you want to keep.”
Yes, in a perfect world, you would have Strategic Selling Plans for each of your accounts. That’s not practical if you are responsible for dozens of accounts. But, the more important an account is, the more you should have a Strategic Selling Plan for it.
Planning – Not always a favorite word in sales. In a job that relies on closing business, planning can sometimes get put on the back burner. Planning may not be all that significant for the type of selling typically done in one call. But, for most sales professionals, when the sales process involves multiple calls and numerous decision-makers and influencers, you must get organized and develop a plan.
In all likelihood, your organization probably uses some approach to general planning in which you and others develop goals for the upcoming sales period. Strategic Selling Plans are different. Carew’s point of view is if we’re going to call on an account, we should have an objective for that account. Otherwise, we have no basis for evaluating our progress with the account. Did we achieve what we wanted to or not?
LinkedIn’s 2022 Global State of Sales Report reported that reaching out to strategic accounts with irrelevant information can be a deal killer because 68% of buyers say they’re unlikely to engage with a seller who reaches out with irrelevant information. The survey data indicates that buyers are more likely to consider brands if sellers engage in behaviors that require research:
- Understands my business needs: 51%
- Understands my role in the buying process: 47%
- Provides personalized communications: 47%
So, what is a Strategic Selling Plan?
A Strategic Selling Plan is a disciplined system of selling that takes into account all of the dynamics in the total customer-sales professional relationship. Strategic planning includes WHAT we want to do – our Objective, HOW we’re going to do it – our Strategy and the tactical elements – Action Steps.
Let’s break it down:
Objective – A concrete, measurable result to be achieved by a specific point in time.
Strategy – A general course of action to be pursued in order to achieve a particular objective.
Action Step(s) – A specific event, activity, or step to be taken in order to implement the strategy. It often results in a sales call.
Here’s an example:
My objective is to expand Carew’s position in XYZ Company and gain a commitment for $100,000 in additional business by February 1.
My strategy over the next three months will be to obtain the support and endorsements of the Chief Revenue Officer and the VP of Sales Enablement for our dynamic Dimensions of Professional Selling® sales training program to revitalize XYZ Company’s sales management processes and procedures completely.
My next action step will be to set up a meeting with the Chief Revenue Officer and the VP of Sales Enablement on November 5 to establish a more friendly working relationship and identify what is important to them as it relates to sales management (I want to find their Gaps!).
Strategic Selling Plan questions to consider:
- What is your current position with this account as it relates to the Position Progression Model?
- What is the customer’s orientation that most closely aligns with your customer’s style?
- What is the target objective of this account/person?
- What is your unique strategy?
- Is this call/meeting an Action Step on your Strategic Selling Plan?
- Are your Action Steps driving you strategically toward your Objective?
- How can you prepare for any objections that might arise during the call/meeting?
- Did you accomplish your Action Step?
- How did this call/meeting strategically drive towards your overall objective?
- Has anything changed that would cause you to adjust your objective and/or strategy? What and why?
- In looking at your Strategic Seling Plan, what is your next action step?
Strategic Selling Plans provide direction, focus, and the ability to truly understand customer needs. Get that planning session off the back burner! Make time, get organized, develop a strategic plan, and earn more business. Complete the form below to get your Strategic Selling Plan template today:
Carew’s sales training program, Mastering Strategic Selling Plans for Growth, allows you to increase the impact of business development initiatives with a deep dive into our proven Dimensions of Professional Selling Strategic Selling Plan system. Identify real-world opportunities, craft strategic selling plans, and activate step-by-step actions to realize growth at current customers and through new customer acquisition. In this dynamic, hands-on program, participants come prepared with real customer targets, goals, and background information; they leave with a comprehensive strategic and tactical plan for in-market success.