Last week, we talked about having a defined sales strategy. However, best practices for creating sales strategies change over time. But today, we want to focus on what a great sales strategy will look like in 2021. It’s time to plan for the future. And this is especially true if your business had a challenging year.
It makes sense – we’re not selling like they were in the 1960s anymore, and the sales industry will continue to experience change. Factor in the swift changes in the world as we knew it in 2020 and the one certainty left is that it’s time for a shift in sales strategy.
This blog post covers ideas to create a working sales strategy for 2021 so you’re on the road to success even before ringing in the New Year.
Steps to Take for Planning Your Sales Strategy in 2021
If you already have a sales strategy – maybe it’s pretty recent, or perhaps it’s been sitting in a file somewhere for a few years – you don’t need to throw everything out to start fresh for 2021. There might be important insights in there you can use to inform your approach.
Update Your Buyer Personas
Refreshing your buyer profiles frequently is a good practice to ensure they stay up to date. Markets shift, your sales and marketing teams change approaches, and your profiles can quickly become out of date and unhelpful.
Update them before 2021 starts in earnest. And don’t forget to set a regular cadence for updating them to ensure you’re always dialed into your ideal customer and their needs, desires, and pain points.
Dial in the Digital Customer Journey
One of the biggest developments of 2020 was the sudden shift to online everything – education, work, and even sales. This shift goes far beyond the shift to ecommerce, though that’s certainly part of it.
But with the sharp decrease in business travel and your prospects and sales teams likely working from home more in 2021, how has your organization adjusted your sales strategy?
Buyers might now be entering your sales funnel at any stage, and they aren’t tied to a single channel. They’re spending more time on social media and digital marketing strategies are increasingly vital.
Therefore, a few suggestions on making adjustments to your digital customer journey are:
- Personalizing email marketing to build customer relationships (the way that prospects and customers respond or act on your emails will give data on the stage of their journey)
- Making your website as user-friendly as possible
- Gathering enough positive online reviews to build authority so that prospects trust you before closing the sale
- Using automation and CRM systems to follow your customer on their digital journey
- Use these same systems to keep existing clients; after all – happy and repeat customers are the ones who will give you leads for less cost!
Realign with Marketing
Your marketing organization has probably also seen huge shifts in how they are operating in 2020, specifically the increase in digital marketing plans, changing budgets for advertising, and customers who are looking for a different tone in their marketing right now.
Your sales team should check in with your marketing team to make your both sides are aware of each other’s strategy and priorities for the upcoming year.
Are you targeting the same types of prospects, using the same tone, and aligning your messages?
This is especially important with the work in the digital customer journey above as well.
Check in on Team Training Needs
With many sales teams spending significantly less time together in the office in 2020, newer sales reps have probably missed out on the informal learning opportunities that come naturally from being in an office environment.
They don’t get as many chances to see how more senior sales pros work, and they might be feeling left behind. This is a good time to check in on any upcoming training, sales coaching, or development opportunities so those less-experienced reps are set up to succeed too.
Keep Sales Forecasts Flexible
It’s a challenging time to be forecasting sales right now – the economy and customer behavior are both in a pretty variable place. You might want to keep expectations less expansive than you would in a typical year – this is a year to be flexible instead of aiming for the highest heights.
But staying on top of current sales trends is more important than ever to help you gain insight into the fast-changing customer behavior we’re seeing right now. You might also need to keep a closer eye on your sales pipeline than normal to make any needed shifts fast.
Bring in the Sales Strategy Experts for 2021
Planning for a successful sales strategy in 2021 is no small task. You need to be flexible, adaptable, and very strategic to succeed. And how customers are buying is changing quickly. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, let 360 Consulting do what we do best – develop a comprehensive, custom sales strategy that will lead you to lasting success in 2021 and beyond.
We stay on top of all the latest sales trends that your sales team needs to know, provide sales training and coaching for leaders, and help you build a winning sales culture from the ground up. If that’s what you need right now, schedule your free consultation to find out how we can help you shatter sales records.