How to Build a Winning Sales Strategy for Next Year

Friday Funnel Focus by EPOCH Sales Management Solutions

As we enter Q4, it is time to start thinking and planning your sales strategy for the upcoming year. 


Key Components

Business Results Goals

Business results goals are the high-level objectives you want your organization to achieve in the upcoming year. These could include revenue targets, market share growth, or profit margins. Aligning your sales strategy with these goals ensures that everyone is working towards the same overarching objectives.

Selling Objectives

These are more specific goals related to your sales efforts. Selling objectives typically fall into four categories: Customer Focus, Product Focus, Market Coverage, and Sales Force Enablement. These objectives should directly support your business results goals.

Sales Team Metrics

These are the measurable indicators that track the performance of your sales team. Sales team metrics are tied to the selling objectives, measuring sales results, health of the sales pipeline, and sales activities. By defining and monitoring these metrics, you can assess progress toward your selling objectives and make data-driven adjustments as needed.


Business Results Goals


Aligning your sales strategy with your business goals is crucial for success. The Six Factor SWOT Analysis, as described in "Predictable Prospecting" by Jeremey Donovan and Marylou Tyler, can be a valuable framework for conducting a comprehensive assessment of your sales environment. By conducting a Six Factor SWOT Analysis, you can gain a holistic understanding of your sales landscape and develop a sales strategy that is well-informed and aligned with your broader business goals. The framework incorporates the Four Ps of Marketing and Michael Porter’s Five Forces.

Four Ps of Marketing

The Four Ps—Product, Price, Place, and Promotion—are fundamental elements of marketing strategy. Incorporating them into your SWOT analysis helps you consider how these factors impact your sales strategy. Understanding how your product or service aligns with market needs (Product) or how pricing affects your competitiveness (Price) can be crucial.

Michael Porter's Five Forces

Michael Porter's framework helps you assess the competitive forces in your industry or market. It considers factors like the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of suppliers and buyers, the threat of substitutes, and the intensity of competitive rivalry. Analyzing these forces helps you identify potential challenges and opportunities in your sales environment.

Conducting the Six Factor SWOT Analysis helps you avoid availability bias. Availability bias refers to the tendency to rely on readily available information when making decisions. By incorporating the Four Ps of Marketing and Porter's Five Forces into your SWOT analysis, you can reduce the impact of this bias. It encourages a more comprehensive evaluation of your sales environment.

Understanding your market is crucial for small business owners, and ensuring that your sales team also has a deep understanding of the market is equally important. 

Key Points to Consider

Market Research

Begin by conducting thorough market research. This involves analyzing your target audience and identifying their needs, preferences, and pain points. 

Understand the current trends, competitors, and any gaps in the market that your business can fill.

Customer Personas

Develop detailed customer personas to represent your ideal customers. These personas should include demographic information, behavior patterns, and pain points. This will help guide your marketing and sales efforts.

Competitor Analysis

Study your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Identify opportunities to differentiate your business and offer unique value to your customers.

Targeted Marketing

Tailor your marketing efforts to reach your specific audience effectively. Use the insights from your market research to create marketing campaigns that resonate with your potential customers.

Product/Service Alignment

Ensure that your products or services align with the needs and preferences of your target market. If necessary, make adjustments to meet market demands.

Customer-Centric Approach

Always prioritize the needs and wants of your customers. Your entire business, from product development to sales and customer service, should revolve around delivering value and a positive experience to your customers.


Selling Objectives


The sales manager or the business owner acting as the sales manager owns the selling objectives.  Selling Objectives provide guidance and diagnoses that are specifically useful to the sales team. They support the business owner’s Business Results Goals and are a bridge to the salesperson’s sales activity metrics.

They usually fall into one of four categories:

Customer Focus

Ensure the sales force successfully captures the company’s desired types of customers.

Product Focus

Ensure the salespeople are successfully selling the company’s preferred products and services.

Market Coverage

Ensure the company has enough selling capacity to pursue the desired opportunities in the marketplace.

Sales Force Enablement

Ensure the salespeople are skilled and enabled to effectively execute their sales activities.

Typically, the most important selling objective for a small business is customer focus.  This leads to the importance of mapping selected Prospect Profiles into Ideal Account Profiles to form Ideal Client Profiles and build focused, finite, written, workable target lists for each salesperson.


Sales Team Metrics


Measuring and tracking key metrics is essential for small business owners to effectively manage their sales efforts and drive success. Here are some key metrics to consider when measuring sales team success:

Sales Results Metrics


Track total sales revenue over specific periods (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually) and broken down by product or service.

Profit Margins

Monitor the profitability of each sale to ensure you're not just increasing revenue but also maintaining healthy margins.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Calculate how much it costs to acquire a new customer. 

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Understand how much a customer is worth over their entire relationship with your business. 

Conversion Rate

Measure the percentage of leads or prospects that convert into paying customers. 

Health of the Sales Pipeline Metrics

Number and dollars of New Opportunities

Track the total number and dollars of new opportunities in your pipeline. 

Pipeline Value

Calculate the total value of all deals in your pipeline. 

Conversion Rates at Each Stage

Analyze how many opportunities progress from one stage of the sales funnel to the next. This helps identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.

Sales Cycle Length

Measure the average time it takes for a lead to move through your sales pipeline to a closed deal. This can highlight inefficiencies or delays in your sales process.

Win Rate

Determine the percentage of deals that successfully close compared to the total number of deals in the pipeline. 

Sales Activities Metrics

Calls and Emails

Track the number of calls and emails made by your sales team.

Meetings and Demos

Monitor the number of meetings or product demonstrations conducted with potential customers. 

Lead Response Time

Measure how quickly your team responds to incoming leads or inquiries. 

Follow-up Activity

Keep an eye on the frequency and effectiveness of follow-up interactions with leads.

Provide your sales team with training on your market, including the pain points of your target customers and how your products or services can address those pain points. Equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively communicate value to potential customers.

Establish a feedback loop between your sales team and the rest of the organization. Encourage your salespeople to share customer insights, objections, and feedback with product development, marketing, and operations teams. This feedback can help refine your offerings and improve customer satisfaction.

Knowing your market inside and out and ensuring that your sales team is well-informed can be a key factor in the success of your small business. It allows you to make informed decisions, target the right audience, and deliver products or services that truly meet the needs of your customers.

Remember that ongoing monitoring and adjustment of your strategy are essential to adapt to changing market conditions and ensure continued success. Markets can change rapidly, so stay vigilant. Continuously monitor market trends and customer preferences. Be prepared to adapt your strategies and offerings as needed to stay relevant and competitive.


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September 29th, 2023|Categories: | |

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