Table of Contents

Introduction

Introduction: You’ve got a million great ideas, and you want them all to be perfect. But over complicating things and trying to do too much ultimately prevents progress.

Respecting the mediocrity of the game means you have to simplify.

Understand that most people will not catch on to your complex solutions.

Most people think more or less the same way.

You need pointed messaging and a direct approach.

You can’t be all things to everyone. If you market to everybody, you sell to nobody.

Let me walk you through exactly what I mean. I will use a recent client of mine in the video production industry to demonstrate how I uncomplicated or simplified their sales strategy.

The result saw a 12.5% increase in annual revenue growth and a 500% increase in the organization’s average deal size.

 

Read: Why sales teams miss quota | Top sales leader's insights

What is a sales strategy?

Firstly, let me define a sales strategy. A sales strategy is your plan or message for positioning and selling your product or services to a defined audience that uniquely differentiates you from your competition.

 

high functioning sales team

 

Essentially, it is your company’s game plan and typically includes

  • Objectives
  • Sales goals & KPIs
  • Growth goals
  • Buyer personas
  • Sales process
  • Team structure competitive analysis
  • Product/service value proposition
  • Sales funnel
  • Detailed management practices and procedures
  • Selling methodologies and tools
  • Sales tech stack

The guidelines inform your messaging to your prospects and clients, and sales teams.

A good sales plan positions your customer or client at the center of your organization’s success.

And as each sales organization caters to very different clients in different situations, you should plan differently.

Read: Why sales teams fail? And ensuring its success

Why companies over-complicate their strategy

“Stop over-complicating your sales strategy.” Everyone says it – yet few practice it.

I can’t count the number of times CEOs expect me to develop an elaborate plan and strategy pages and pages long. They expect me to bring them a novel.

So, why do companies over-complicate sales strategies? Many CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs believe that sales success is complicated because if it wasn’t, why has it eluded them for so long.

The reasons usually fall into either category:

  • Seeking perfectionism
  • Fear of failure
  • Procrastination

A business that overthinks its sales strategy doesn’t succeed. That is a fact.

Recently, we developed a client sales strategy to differentiate them from other video production companies.

Sales team meeting with sales leader

Many CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs believe that sales success is complicated because if it wasn’t, why has it eluded them for so long… A business that overthinks its sales strategy doesn’t succeed. That is a fact.

There here six major areas we focused on to ensure a simplified strategy and process.

Some areas already existed; others needed tightening and complete uphaul, but success followed quickly.

The six areas for simplifying your sales strategy are:

  1. Defining the audience
  2. Product or service differentiation
  3. Simplify the messaging
  4. Managing company growth
  5. Creating a winning mindset

Read: How to evaluate your sales leader

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Simplifying Sales Strategies | 6 Key Areas

Define the audience

The client already had a specific sales force in mind having excelled at leveraging video marketing for ambitious law firm owners generating massive growth.

The video production company provides clients with world-class legal videos, unmatched digital marketing advice, and the best coaching in the legal industry.

My approach is based on behavioral economics—understanding what motivates buyers and sellers.

 

sales leader hiring process

 

My main focus was not closing sales or making more money—I learned about each prospect, understanding their needs, and ensuring their best experience.

I hate when people focus on product pricing, social media placement, or scripting sales calls. That does not bring substantial success in selling.

Focus on determining the value and needs of your clients – that is the critical factor for growth.

But you can only find this information once you know who your audience is.

If you find yourself using phrases like “anyone who,” you don’t know.

Ask yourself:

  • If you could sell to just one customer, who would it be?
  • What is the sales force or industry?
  • What do they value or need?

Read: Give your sales leader feedback to grow

Product or service differentiation

The most difficult part of establishing sales plans for companies can be creating differentiation.

 

sales strategy

 

You may believe that business in the same industry is just like the next.

The video production company’s competitors made the same videos and used the same cameras and lenses. Their competitors all have talented cinematographers.

However, differentiation is vital.

All competition used the same equipment, but we had to take a different approach.

The purpose of our clients’ videos was they were specially designed for conversion.

So, we paid specific attention to the story arc and created it from an explicit purpose of conversion.

You’ve got to create separation between you and the rest of the market without insulting your competition.

Simplify the message

So if you have been following along with my case study, I already know your next questions:

  • What if someone’s desire is not conversion?
  • What if their desire is something else?
  • What would you say as the salesperson or team?

I could say that that would only work for people that wanted to convert and increase conversions.

But that would be stupid.

It’s not going to work for everybody.

So, why don’t we create a different version of the script that does exactly that from a differentiation standpoint?

sales leader in office make a call to client

Say this:

Some people say: “Well, I want to do X, or I want to do Y.”

And your response: “You can be like them, or you can be like us. Being like them is like being like everybody else. But being like us is very specialized; it’s unique.”

Sometimes, it’s better to leave it up to interpretation and give yourself flexibility in the grey area.

That’s where respecting the game’s mediocrity comes in because it’s easy to overcomplicate things.

You can take a straightforward idea and overcomplicate it very quickly.

 

Sales team meeting with sales leader

 

The reality is when you respect the mediocrity of a game, and you look at people’s basic animalistic instincts; you create something that doesn’t fit the overall mold.

They may or may not want what we have; however, they still don’t want to be left out of the crowd. And the reason: that was the way we crafted the messaging.

It pulls people in. So, when you respect the game’s mediocrity, you give minimal options, make it simple, and it allows you to launch and avoid analysis paralysis.

People always want what they can’t have; they always want what somebody else has.

And when we simplify down to that. We’re forcing people’s hands.

It’s no different than in blackjack; you can sit there and try and count cards and figure out when to hit 16 and when to stay on a 16.

But the reality is that unless you’re Rainman and understand the nuance perfectly, you’re going to be all over the place.

And then there will be no consistency.

Read: Best North Star Metrics For Startups

Managing company’s growth

Here’s where CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs fall into a trap then struggle to dig themselves out.

If they have simplified their plan and message, they will have success and growth.

However, at this pivotal point of growth, CEOs take on a sales leadership role and the other six or seven roles necessary to run their business.

And this is the problem. When you’re entrenched in growing the business’ sales, you won’t have time or energy to grow the business.

 

sales team meeting with VP of sales

Just as over-complicating your sales plans will lead your business to fail, if you take on too many roles in your organization, you will also hinder success. It’s that simple.

So, back to our clients, I needed to establish a sales leader who was solely responsible for executing the sales strategy and growing the sales team.

The founder had too much on his plate trying to scale the sales team while also largely dependent on himself for day-to-day sales to close deals.

He had minimal success with sales leaders becoming his biggest frustration.

I stepped in as interim sales leader, traveling across the country to meet with prospective clients every other day.

I would bring the proposal to the clients and take them out to dinner—the whole thing.

I established the benchmark for a good sales leader, committed to customers, and building support teams and sales reps under the one sales plan to unite the entire company.

Rose Garden Team Assessment

Rose Garden Consulting’s Team Assessment assists CEOs and sales leaders improve and optimize sales performance.

Just as over-complicating your sales plans will lead your business to fail, if you take on too many roles in your organization, you will also hinder success. It’s that simple.

Create a winning mindset

If you overcomplicate things, not only with your clients and your prospects but your team themselves, they won’t understand any of it.

If they don’t understand the messaging, the strategy, or execution of what you’ve given them; it’s all because you’re just trying to make it perfect. Let me be clear: you will effectively miss the mark on all of it.

When Covid-19 hit, the client was trying to figure out how to evolve and continue to move its business forward.

Establishing a tighter team structure empowered the sales reps to stay proactive, focus on the goals, their sales process, and be more accountable.

Having a simple message and goal fosters clarity and focus for sales teams.

sales leader and sales rep meeting

Tightening the team structure reinforced tight sales processes and accountable sales culture.

This is ultimately your sales leader’s role and is the most critical job as the head of your sales organization.

Sales leaders are the easiest and most costly thing to get wrong. Ensure you hire the right sales leader that ignites growth and increases sales performance.

I am big on culture. If your sales department puts little effort into building company culture, it will make itself – and I guarantee it won’t produce growth or results.

Read: Why sales teams miss quota | Top sales leader’s insights

Getting Sales Results

 

sales team with sales leader

If you can’t count cards, the best strategy is to pick the one decision early on.

You either hit on a 16, or you stand a 16. And that level of consistency, over time, allows you to see results.

Otherwise, you’re not focused on making a solid decision, you’re going to be all over the place, and you won’t be able to ride the odds because it’s a resetting of the permutation every time.

People want so much targeted segmentation. And that’s the problem right now.

So when we simplify the sales strategy, the process and tighten the team, we see results. My client’s company during the COVID pandemic hit 8-figures in revenue—a 12.5% increase.

After only four months, the organization’s average deal size increased by 500%.

It reinforces confidence for CEOs to invest in hiring, sales tech stack, infrastructure, sales CRM, marketing, and other things that foster growth.

There is a fine line when you can become hyper-personalized and over-personalized, and it simply won’t work.

If you over-complicate something, and if you’re off, even just by a little bit, you’re going to end up being wildly incorrect.

Read: Four Sales Leader Styles But Only One Yields Success

Actual change comes from anticipating your market needs before the data supports them.

Do you know how to find creative solutions to these issues in future growth?

Let me be clear, if the solution were in front of you, you would have solved it already.

It’s likely something that you cannot solve without support and help.

Rose Garden Consulting is solutions-focused, so if you want me and my team to ignite your revenue, we will do so with our Team Assessment and Sales Accelerator Process.

Read: Give your sales leader feedback | CEO Talk Track

Read: How to hire the best sales leader

Are you ready?

We only work with the most determined and passionate leaders. If you want to close more deals, multiply your revenue, and scale your business, we’re ready to take action.