How to build a coherent, profitable and successful business strategy? Where to start? Faced with the difficulty of the task, too many companies give up. Their sales teams progress by trial and error, with no guiding thread or feedback on their actions.
You need to define your objectives as early as possible and the ways to achieve them. It is the key to success for your business. How to do so?
Time to reflect: the exercise must be approached in a methodical way. If the approach seems complex, it is best to proceed step by step to better structure it.
Your customers are a source of information to be exploited in order to adopt the best business strategy and business model.
We will see the best way to use a customer relationship management tool to support your approach. If you set up a relevant commercial action plan, your customers will be the first beneficiaries and ultimately, the guarantors of the success of your commercial development.
What is a company’s business strategy?
The business strategy (also called commercial strategy) formalizes the reflection on all the marketing and commercial actions required to achieve the business goals set over a given period of time.
It sets a course, outlines the path to follow and explains the means to be used to develop your business and make your sales prosper by essentially defining:
- the company’s vision,
- activity objectives,
- human, financial and technical resources
- a certain period of time
When realizing your strategy’s outlines, you need to take into account the economic risks that your actions may imply. You can anticipate them, better control them and reduce their effects. Therefore, you are able to make clear decisions for your company’s growth.
The commercial strategy is written in a clear and synthetic way in a document so that it can be presented. Within the framework of a business plan, this document proves to be very useful.
See also: The 6 steps to scaling a business
Why is a commercial strategy essential?
A commercial strategy which establishes objectives (in terms of growth) and solid actions to achieve them must be part of the genesis of any company.
To create a company without objectives or commercial strategy would be the equivalent of traveling without booking or a fixed destination: it will get you nowhere.
The urgency of your project and the passion that drives you should never distract you from the analysis that will lead to your business strategy. Thanks to it, you will obtain a long-term vision. You will be able to build a successful sales organization. It will allow you to develop relevant sales techniques and equip your sales teams with the right communication and sales tools.
How to define your commercial strategy?
Your commercial strategy step by step
Step 1: know your environment
Market research is a fundamental step to compete successfully, and any commercial strategy must be based on this analysis. Involving this step is crucial if you have just launched your business or simply have not yet gathered enough elements to refine your knowledge of the market.
Research and gather as much information as you need to understand:
- your competitors: their profile, what they offer, the market shares they occupy
- your targets: their characteristics, their expectations, their satisfaction with what already exists
- the geographic area you aim: its specificities, the importance of proximity according to what you can offer
- the trends: the viability of the market (growing or stagnating) and your scope of intervention, from medium to long term
Several software can help you with conducting your market research.
Step 2: set relevant and realistic business objectives
Depending on your sector, set yourself several goals to achieve.
Remember to assess the business context and submit your objectives to the SWOT analysis:
The market study you have previously established is a key element to help you answer some of the questions you may have.
Your objectives should be bound to a strategic planning process. To reach the cap of the 100-day stage is an important first step. The first three months should allow you to refine your vision.
Finally, the objectives ought to take into account the company’s financial capacity to be realistic. They must be quantifiable and based on determined resources.
Step 3: define a suitable offer
Build a coherent offer based on:
- the segmentation of your target
- the choice of your product or service, according to this segment of prospects
- the pricing policy you choose according to market rates
- the areas of differentiation you pick versus the competition
Step 4: build your action plan
Your sales strategy will be translated into the marketing mix. The basis of your marketing plan includes the analysis of your positioning indicating how and where to reach your target. This is McCarthy’s 4 Ps:
- Product (its nature)
- Price (what price)
- Place (where you want to sell it)
- Promotion (the means of communication or promotion)
This step is essential to find and define your competitive advantage.
Step 5: Organize your sales force
Your commercial strategy is almost complete. You must now assign the responsibilities for the various actions to be implemented to the members of your team.
Step 6: Measure the impact of the actions carried out
All strategies have to be reviewed and refined with field data as it evolves. As you move forward and deploy your sales action plan, be sure to always recalibrate your strategy. You also need to measure and plan the efforts of your field sales team, marketing campaigns, press relations.
The benefits of CRM to optimize your sales strategy
If a clear vision of your company’s growth objectives is essential to build an effective business strategy, it is necessary to be equipped with the right tools.
It is important for us to remind you of the benefits of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
By obtaining a complete view of the customer and by using field data, you are better able to offer the best possible customer experience and, ultimately, to build customer loyalty.
Focus on customer loyalty!
Your ultimate goal should not be to acquire new customers but to keep them over the long term. To aim for long term, you should always offer the best value and service to your customers, while differentiating yourself from the competition.
Revise your priorities in light of updated field data and follow the new rules of the game!
From an exhaustive definition to all the steps required for the elaboration, find here all the necessary information to build your business strategy.