Do You Need a Different Sales Strategy?
Don’t Just Go with the Flow for Your Sales Strategy
You probably do need a different sales strategy. What’s funny is most sales organizations don’t even have one. Instead, they work very tactically and don’t have a clear strategy. As things change, they’re just “going with the flow.” This often leads to trouble.
A Strategy for Death
Let me give you an example. We worked with an accounting software company. They’re a well-known firm that I’m not going to name. They had a small division that sold checks. At one time, selling checks was a great offering for an accounting software company. But in today’s world, online banking is standard and everything’s going electronic. They’re selling checks in a world where their ocean is shrinking. It’s not because of competition from others check producers, but online banking is their competition.
They wanted to grow their check business, so we started doing some research. We convinced them that their strategy was flawed. Since the check business was a shrinking ocean, it was not a long-term strategy. We could increase their sales for a short time to buy a little bit of breathing room, but this strategy was a strategy for death. They understood that.
Reviving the Strategy
We took a look at what was happening. We researched “business checks” on the Internet. Everybody selling checks said the same thing: “We can give you business checks printed quickly and cheaply.” We also noticed that identity theft was quickly becoming a major concern. We uncovered a statistic that stated 25% of all small businesses will experience $50,000 in fraud. Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money to a small business. As we did further research, we discovered that banks, depending on the circumstances, are under no obligation to reimburse you. We began to wonder, “How can a small business afford $50,000 in check fraud and not know if they are going to be reimbursed by the bank? How many days can a small business last with that uncertainty?”
We changed the software company’s strategy for their check division. The message shifted from, “business checks printed quickly and cheaply” to “25% of all businesses will experience $50,000 in check fraud. Find out how to prevent this from happening to you!” This is what we wanted folks to see when they searched for “business checks.”
The New Strategy Pays Off
After six months, sales increased by 20%. This was a result of the new strategy.
They could charge more for their checks because of the fraud protection they built in. They could now bundle their fraud insurance with check orders for extra revenue. If a criminal victimized their customers via check fraud, our client could reimburse their customers in three days to cover that fraud.
How a Different Strategy Can Help You
So you need to consider your business strategy. Determine if you need a different strategy by understanding what your strategy is now and determining if it is serving you for the long term.
We love conversing with our customers about strategy because it is like a sport to us. Strategy is fun! Sun Tsu, the originator of the popular business book, The Art of War, said, “Strategy without tactics is the long road to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat.” Our experience is that this is absolutely true.