Every sales team is different. What works for one company may not be the right fit for another. How a company sells is an important factor in its success.
Sales productivity can be increased with an appropriate understanding of the used sales strategy.
Selecting the right model will give your sales team a competitive advantage and drive them to greater heights.
Many organizations find that their sales model will change over time, or they may use multiple techniques to achieve the best results depending on the specific customers and products offered.
Let’s examine some of the models companies use and how they impact sales activities in more in-depth.
What is a Sales Model?
A sales model is the general structure that defines sales organizations’ approaches to selling.
Business-to-business companies may use models like inbound or outbound sales. Relationship-based and account-based selling are also common.
Business-to-consumer companies may use a transaction sales method with high output and low intervention.
In other words, a sales model is simply the way you sell.
Don’t oversimplify, however. The sales model can influence the day-to-day activities that sales reps take on.
Additionally, the products, industry, and revenue model used can impact which sales models make sense.
Why is a Sales Model Important?
A defined sales model helps sales leaders understand the appropriate places to invest in change and grow the business.
Knowing which sales model you use will also inform you about the sales force that needs to be employed and the potential buyers you may be selling to.
That information is important to the marketing department so they can more effectively draw prospective customers to your company.
Sales Model vs. Sales Process
A sales model and sales process are related terms but describe different things. Think of a sales model as how you will generate leads for your business.
The sales process describes the individual steps of how you will put that approach into practice. It will detail everything the team will do to turn interested prospects into buying customers.
Types of Sales Models
Let’s review a few common sales models that sales organizations use for their go-to business strategy.
Inbound Sales vs. Outbound Sales
The inbound sales model generates leads by pulling buyers to view your company’s website using search engine optimization.
Digital advertising and content marketing are important sales tools for this business model.
The goal is to guide customers to reach out with their contact info so that interest can be followed up and nurtured.
The outbound sales model relies on sales reps to generate demand. They use prospecting methods like cold calling or email campaigns to search out customers.
Using this sales model, a sales rep is responsible for a set of accounts and seeks to make highly personalized sales.
Every deal element is researched and tweaked to meet the customer’s needs.
This sales model allows for a deeper connection with buyers, and the rep becomes the customer’s go-to person for every sales interaction.
The account-based sales model might make sense for selling complicated products or package solutions that would benefit from creating trusting relationships between the buyer and seller.
Sales reps will spend more time developing their relationships than prospecting new clients.
It can lead to high customer retention if carried out effectively. Salespeople must not stop after closing sales.
A greater focus will be needed on the part of sales professionals after purchase to keep the customer satisfied and convert them into repeat sales.
The self-service sales model lets the buyer handle the entire sales process using your website. They educate themselves on solutions and make purchases when ready.
This is a highly effective method for simple products to be easily understood and in high demand. It allows a company to maintain a minimum number of sales staff and maximizes profits.
Things to Consider When Finding an Effective Sales Model for Your Sales Team
Take some time to review key elements that may push you to select one sales model over another.
Doing work upfront ensures you support your sales team and give them the best chance at finding a successful sales strategy.
Consider where the majority of your leads come from. Do sales reps need to generate their leads?
Or are potential buyers contacting you through your website because your marketing team is good and the product sells itself?
Answering this question will show whether your sales organization takes an inbound or outbound sales approach.
This test will also inform you about where your improvement efforts should focus – improving the SEO and engagement of your website or developing marketing research to improve prospecting.
If a high percentage of revenue is driven by repeat business, then your sales should focus more on developing relationships to improve the customer experience.
Consider shifting the role of sales reps to an account management role to nurture the customer and get them to purchase again.
The People Involved in a Sale
Do you find that sales are coming in from the business-to-business market? If so, account-based sales might make sense, especially if these are true:
- A lot of research is going into identifying target accounts
- Multiple people are contacted at a company, including assistants and C-suite executives – senior executives with decision-making power like CEOs and CISOs
- Every pitch being made is custom-built for the target
Leave your preconceived ideas about selling at the door. There’s more than one way to sell, and sales teams that consider the best method of achieving their goals will find greater sales success.
Evaluate your business, the products and services you are selling, and your customer base to find the best sales model for your sales team.