Last week I lingered on the notion that the alignment of your valuable sales team resource to the relevant segments of players in the value chain (making the best bets) is one of the key considerations at the cusp of where sales strategy ends and sales optimisation begins.

The way we “see the world”, making these decisions (best bets) is part of sales (team) strategy. Taking the time to enumerate the sub-populations of the segments that you have decided to align to the sales team – both number of existing customers (both direct and indirect trading customers) and number of prospects too, is a key step towards turning strategy to action (sales team optimisation). The next step is to define how you are directing the sales team against each of these aligned segments. For each segment, are you directing the sales team to …

  • Farm, service, hunt, trap, specify, or some combination thereof …. And which activity dominates?
  • In terms of which players transact with your company directly, and which players transact with you indirectly, (ie buy through another segment player in the value chain), is your sales team pushing, pulling, specifying, or some combination thereof
  • Joint visits – is your sales team undertaking joint visits with the representatives of other segment players, and to which other segment players and in which direction, ie your joint visit partner is travelling with your sales exec, to “their” customer/prospect, or vice versa.

If you are not crystal clear on the answers here, or are not sure if the answers are being translated into consistent implementation across the sales team, then you have some work to do (an opportunity!)