7 months ago
February 21, 2017

5 Strategic Steps in the Selling Model

Strategic selling makes the sales process more predictable and you can apply strategic thinking to these five important steps in the selling model.

Claire McConnachie

Strategic selling works because it helps make the sales process more predictable, as opposed to non-strategic selling which can become stressful when sales do not go as planned. Sales people who follow a more strategic selling model are able to adapt more quickly to prospect needs and demands because strategy allows sales people to plan ahead in the sales process. Here is how you can apply strategic thinking to five important steps in the selling model.

1. Defining the Ideal Customer

A strategic approach to the selling model is based on finding the ideal customers, those who are positioned, ready, and eager to buy. Working strategically through the selling model requires that sales people give thought to who the ideal customers are and pursue these individuals through lead generation. Define the ideal customer by considering:

  • What is the ‘sweet spot’ for the budgets you realistically expect customers to have?
  • Are your ideal customers located in a specific geographic area, or can you stretch?
  • What needs and desires do your ideal customers have in common that your offering can answer?

2. Defining the Sales Objective

In the strategic selling model, sales people must think of sales in terms of specific objectives. An objective to convince the prospect to buy is not specific enough to suffice. Instead, objectives for each prospect should be viewed in a strategic model similar to the strategic models used in generating leads. Define sales objectives strategically by:

  • Approaching the prospect with a specific value proposition tied to a specific range within your products and services that might be a match.
  • Outlining your timeline to incorporate a well paced sale as part of your objective.
  • Targeting a defined outcome that you want to see out of the sale, such as meeting the prospect’s needs with X type of offering while leaving the door open to X add ons.

3. Inviting the Prospect to the Next Steps in the Sales Pipeline

No sales can happen if prospects do not move further down the sales pipeline after initial contact, so your first contacts with your targeted customers should be focused on moving prospects to the next steps to achieve your objectives. Be sure that your prospects move down the sales pipeline by:

  • Gaining a commitment at each point of contact for a future contact, such as a follow up, presentation, or proposal.
  • Maximizing your time so that you are consistently following up with the most promising leads and prospects to keep them in the sales pipeline.
  • Remaining aware of the next step for each of the prospects you are working with so that each contact can move the process forward.

4. Asking For the Sale

Asking for the sale is always part of a strategic selling model; after all, prospects will rarely initiate a close on their own. When taking the strategic approach to sales, it is important to analyze the situation when determining whether the time is right to move forward in closing. Consider the following:

  • Are all the right influencers for this deal showing buy-in, or does further work need to be done achieving consensus?
  • Is there an acceptable level of understanding for the offering and its application to the prospect’s needs?
  • Are the price factors – budget, authority, readiness – in place for the prospect to make a decision?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you can move forward and ask for the sale.

5. Overcoming Objections

If you are approaching the selling model strategically, you should plan responses to buying objections well before those objections arise. If you are working strategically with objectives that dovetail with your prospects’ own objectives, you will find that many prospects willingly become part of your selling model. Anticipate prospects’ objections by paying close attention to their personalities, buying styles, and budgets so that you have responses ready and can assure the likelihood of a close.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.