Successful salespeople craft a sales strategy and then periodically pause and reassess – modifying as need be.

Recently I was talking with a sales manager who shared an interesting story about sales strategy reviews. She had just finished conducting sales strategy reviews for the top 20 accounts in her geography.

Her observation was interesting.

“Let’s not talk about the quality of the sales strategy reviews – some were great and some left much to be desired. I expected that. What I didn’t expect was how the sales reps executed their sales strategies.”

I wasn’t quite sure what she meant – and asked her to tell me more. She said that during some of the strategy review sessions it felt like some sales reps just kept pounding a hammer on the pegs, like that old, familiar child’s toy.

“In other words, she said, the sales reps kept pursuing their sales strategy – whether it fit or not – like a hammer pounding down on pegs. They never stopped, paused, and reassessed.”

That got us thinking. How often do sales managers sit through strategy review sessions like these? Our guess is way too often! Yet, it’s so important salespeople take the time – especially in larger accounts – to stop, pause, and reassess.

Not only will it ensure that salespeople don’t continue pursuing the wrong account strategy. It also provides the opportunity to modify their sales strategy … increasing the probability of closing a sale since the modified sales strategy should be a far better fit.

In addition it provides the opportunity to consider the fundamental point that this may just be a chase after a bad piece of business. What advice should sales managers share with their sales teams, especially during those strategy review sessions?

The pauses don’t have to be very long. In fact, it’s likely that if you pause for a few hours or even a day or two, after you modify your sales strategy and reengage with the account, very little may occur – except that you have a clearer vision of what you want to do.

Regardless of your sales strategy, navigating an account is never a straight line. Successful salespeople craft a sales strategy and then periodically pause and reassess – modifying as need be.

About the author

Janet Spirer

Dr. Janet Spirer has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School…

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