The content for this post was first published on Forbes.com in the article “The 7 Factors of a Successful Sales Strategy – No Bull” on April 1, 2022.
Sales Leaders, Are You in Control or Are You Chasing the Cape?
Here’s a question I usually ask in my training and consulting sessions when discussing sales strategy: As a sales leader, are you the bull or the matador? I ask this to get my participants to begin thinking in terms of being reactive versus being responsive.
When you think about the bullfight, typically the matador wins, despite the bull having an overwhelming advantage in size, speed, and natural defenses. And the reason for that is because the matador has a superior strategy and responds to the environment while the bull reacts to whatever is happening in the ring.
And what is the matador’s superior strategy? Stand still, stick the red cape to one side, wave it furiously in front of the bull, and wear down the bull to exhaustion. The bull’s strategy? “Charge the thing that’s waving in front of me and trample it into the ground.”
Now, as an aside, many people think red excites and distracts the bull. But it’s the waving that attracts the bull’s attention, not the color. The red coloring is to attract the audience’s attention. Bulls can’t see the same color range as people. And they have notoriously poor eyesight, which is why sometimes the bull manages to win these matches.
So again, I ask you sales leaders: do you consider yourself to be the matador or the bull? Are you responding to the situation or are you reacting to whatever shiny object is waving around vying for your attention? Do you have a training and coaching plan for your team or are you chasing down whatever problems they bring you during the day? Is your environment designed to support your sales team’s effort? Or is everything just sort of thrown together to address whatever challenge seemed to be the most urgent at the time?
7 Factors for a Winning Sales Strategy
To succeed in achieving our sales goals, sales leaders need to start thinking like matadors. And that means relying on and sticking to a winning sales strategy. What are some of the elements in a comprehensive sales strategy that will boost your team and increase your sales production? We like to focus on the following 7 factors:
The elements involved in directing your team to professional and personal growth and success
How you and your team handle hard resources to facilitate selling
Your people and the infrastructure in place to acquire and grow them
All the organized activities your sales team takes to move the sale to close
The overall measure of you and your team’s productivity, efficiency, and achievement
The overall framework and infrastructure from which your sales reps execute your sales process
The resources, tools, and activities used by you and your team to get the job done
Remember, you need to be responsive, agile, and have a sound sales strategy if you and your sales team are going compete in today’s complex marketplace. You and your team need to be the equivalent of the matador—expertly trained, excellent strategists, intensely targeted, able to excel under any conditions, and unparalleled in execution of duties.