Creating a Can’t-Lose Game Plan for Sales

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A strong team that is well-practiced and has mastered the fundamentals is key to sales success – but even the best team can fumble out in the field without a solid game plan. So, what's the best way to set your team up for a win?

Iain Banks, regional vice president of international markets for TTEC, recently spoke with Customer Strategist Journal Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Glagowski about the crucial role a strong game plan plays in setting your team on the path to victory. Here are some highlights from their conversation.

Know your sales targets

Team leaders and members need to know their end-game goal if they’re going to devise a winning strategy to attain it.

“Ultimately, in the sales industry, we are here to deliver on target,” said Banks.

A good place to start, he added, is by setting clearly defined and measurable targets. Each team member will bring a different level and type of experience to a team, and it’s the leaders’ job to identify the strengths of each member and assign them the tactics that will capitalize on their skills and set them on the path to success.

Sales is a tough – often ruthless – game, and the best way to prepare a team is ensure members are motivated and focused around target objectives. Those need to be clearly communicated, and reiterated as needed, to keep everyone moving toward the end zone.

It’s also important, Banks noted, to set a clear budget and communicate how team members will achieve key milestones. For a team to win, everyone needs to have their eyes on the same prize. That’s why it’s also important to periodically review the team’s sales approach, making improvements as needed.

Having a solid game plan from the outset brings an added bonus: it makes it much easier for teams to make quick adjustments if the unexpected happens.

Be flexible with your sales gameplan

Just as a football team might call an audible on the field, switching to a different play at the last minute, sales teams need to be quick on their feet and ready to adapt if things don’t go according to plan. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to prepare for the unforeseen.

It’s important to have a solid game plan, but equally critical to be able to pivot quickly when needed, Banks said. Agility is a major asset to any team and will help make any last-minute transitions as seamless as possible.

When something goes awry and adjustments need to be made, the first thing to do is take a brief timeout to consider the situation from all angles. Then, adjust accordingly.

“What’s really critical is that you take a step back and really observe what’s going on – make those changes, look at what’s happening in the market, look at what’s happening in the verticals that you’ve prioritized, and really understand how to switch from defensive to offensive schemes,” said Banks.

He added, “You have to be able to be flexible and adapt; and be able to switch in and switch out, substitute, and move as those strategic themes pan out through the course of your sales cycle.”

Watch the full discussion and learn more sales strategies and tactics in the TTEC web series, “The Ultimate Sales Conversion Highlight Reel.”