Your sales function or organization can vary wildly depending on factors such as the type of business you're running (e.g., software vs. hardware), the industry you're selling into (e.g., Defense vs private sector), and your product (e.g., Sales Force CRM vs Angry Birds). On one end of the spectrum, you may not have a formal need for a sales team if your business is selling CPG products D2C. On the other end, you may be selling very expensive machinery into a very niche market that requires a  small village of people to work a single deal on an 18 month sales cycle. 

"Our job as a sales force is to help our customers make the best decision they can in as little time as possible. If we aren’t the choice of that decision, at least they made that decision quicker and we were the ones that helped them. That good will will someday come back to us." - Brian Smith, CEO of Expedient

Sales Strategy

A sales strategy is a plan by an individual or a company to sell products or services to generate and increase revenue. It enables you to sell your "thing" over and again successfully. This strategy should be constantly tested, evaluated, and optimized to achieve the desired results. Your sales strategy should be informed by your GTM strategy. It should also be aligned with your product strategy and product roadmap. A well-developed sales strategy addresses three key areas: how leads will be generated, how prospects will be converted, and how accounts will be managed.

Your sales strategy will identify your target customer base and market, understand your company's unique selling points, develop your unique pitch, and evaluate the best sales channels for your product.

Your sales strategy should be customer-centric, emphasizing relationship-building and providing solutions to your customers' problems, rather than just pushing products or services. It should be flexible, allowing for modifications based on market changes, customer feedback, and sales performance. 

It's common to think about sales and marketing as different functions, but many organizations also combine them into a joint Sales & Marketing (or Smarketing) team. In either case, sales and marketing need to be aligned and work cohesively to maximize customer acquisition and retention.

Sales Organization, Functions, JTBD

Sales Key Peformance Indicators (KPI's):

No sales conversation is complete without discussing the scoreboard. No function in the business has more clearly quantifiable inputs and outputs than the sales team. On top of that, sales is typically a very lucrative pay for performance setup that motivates a highly competitive environment to produce numbers.  Sales KPI's are the heart of your scoreboard, helping you understand how well your team is performing and where there may be opportunity for improvement.

Sales KPI's can be vast - trackign and analyzing data in many ways. Unfortunately, there isn't a one size fits all list of KPI's for every business to use, but in general you should pick the ones that help you analyze what's most important to your business. 

In "The High-Velocity Sales Organization," Marc Wayshak provides the following framework to increase sales: you must either increase your conversion rates, increase your average deal sizes, or increase the number of opportunities in the pipeline. Further, if you increase each one of these three by 26%, the result is that you double your sales.

The metrics you pick will be unique to your situation and should align with your overall business KPI's. Here are some popular sales KPI's to consider: