Sales strategy 101

5th July 2023 |   Rana Salman

Three ways to analyse sales strategies to determine gaps and identify opportunities for improvement.

I’ve been selling and consulting for almost two decades now. During that time, I’ve had the chance to collaborate with sales organizations worldwide, assisting them with their sales strategies and designing sales enablement programmes to bridge gaps. Based on my experience, analyzing sales strategies is crucial for identifying areas of improvement and opportunities. When delving into this analysis, we can break it down into three key areas:

  • People (customers and sellers)
  • Process
  • Content, training and tools

People – customers

Customers play a pivotal role in analyzing sales strategies. Ensuring that you are targeting the right buyers and having a clear understanding of your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is essential. By grasping your target audience’s demographics, preferences, pain points, and buying behaviours, you can tailor your sales approach to resonate with them. This involves evaluating whether you are effectively reaching and engaging the correct customer segments.

If you discover that you have been targeting the wrong buyer persona, it provides an opportunity to adjust your messaging and outreach strategies to align with the needs and preferences of the correct buyer profile.

Shifting our focus to the second part of the people equation, it’s crucial to assess whether you have the right individuals in key sales roles and an effective engagement model in place.

People – sales reps

When evaluating your sales team, it’s important to determine whether they possess the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to effectively engage with B2B customers. This presents an excellent opportunity for you to identify gaps and provide effective sales enablement and training to enhance their skills.

Equally important is reviewing your hiring process to ensure that you bring in the right people for these positions. Organizations can employ objective scientific tools to identify the success profile of a sales representative within a specific organizational culture. Culture is a powerful aspect that should not be underestimated, as it can significantly impact a salesperson’s success within an organization. As Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Another challenge that arises as organizations grow and add sales roles is the potential confusion regarding responsibilities. I’m talking about the details here. For example, when does an account executive (AE) engage the sales engineer (SE), and what do these tangible criteria look like? We’ve all seen expensive resources involved early on in the sales process before the opportunity is even qualified.

Defining the engagement model involves identifying clear roles and responsibilities of each employee involved in the sales process, such as inside sales representatives (ISRs), AEs and SEs. By ensuring you have the right people and a well-defined engagement model, you can enhance customer satisfaction and improve sales performance.

Sales process and methodology

The second aspect to examine when reviewing your sales strategy for potential gaps and areas of improvement is the sales process or methodology. Some sellers may have mixed feelings about sales processes and methodologies—not because they aren’t effective; they are! But we’ve all heard stories about new leaders coming in and implementing their favourite versions. Those “flavour of the month” processes and methodologies fizzle out when they leave. In comes another leader… and here we go again. Aside from that, I want to emphasize that sales processes and methodologies do work.

Research by found that consistency in sales execution across the board is a common characteristic of top-performing sales organizations. In fact, companies with a formal sales process produce more revenue. However, it’s not just about having a structured sales process or methodology; you must also consider the adoption rate and how sales leadership integrates them into the company culture, discussions, one-on-one interactions, coaching, and, most importantly, holding representatives accountable. Change takes time, and breaking old habits requires practice and accountability.

If you don’t have a formal sales process or methodology or your existing approach is overly complex, a good starting point is to evaluate the deals your team has won. Look for common themes and patterns, understand the customer journey, and involve key stakeholders from different departments who interact with customers throughout the sales process.

Collaborate with them to design a customized sales process. By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of closing deals, improve the accuracy of your sales forecasts, and reduce the length of your sales cycles.

Content, training and tools

Moving onto the third aspect, it is vital to analyse the content, training, and tools available to your sales team.


Evaluate whether you have the right content, collateral, and sales enablement tools to support your sales reps’ interactions with B2B customers. This includes providing them with relevant sales tools, such as product demos, case studies, and any other resources that effectively communicate the value of your offering. Equipping your sales team with the right content and tools enables them to share the benefit of your solution and address the specific needs of B2B customers.


Additionally, assessing the effectiveness of your onboarding and training programmes is crucial for achieving positive sales outcomes. It’s unfair to expect new reps to perform without proper onboarding. And onboarding is not dumping content and overwhelming the poor rep with endless PowerPoint presentations. It involves a structured plan that takes them on a journey, outlining the fundamental elements they need to ramp up.

However, training shouldn’t stop at onboarding; ongoing development is essential to help salespeople reach their potential and stay updated with market trends, product updates, changes in buyers’ behaviours, and sales strategies. While developing your training programme, strive for balance and eliminate unnecessary noise that can overwhelm your reps.


It’s also important to evaluate the integration and automation capabilities of your sales tools and systems. Consider whether your tools seamlessly integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) system, allowing efficient data capture and analysis. Additionally, consider whether you can automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, lead scoring, or follow-up emails. By leveraging technology to streamline processes and improve efficiency, you can free up your sales team’s time to focus on high-value activities and customer interactions.

In summary, when analysing your sales strategy, it’s paramount to consider the customers, sales reps, process, methodology, content, training, and tools available to your sales team. By evaluating these areas and making the necessary improvements, you can identify gaps, uncover opportunities, and drive continuous improvement in your B2B sales strategies and overall performance.

Chris Orlob, “Consistency: The Unfair Advantage of Top-Notch Sales Organizations”, Gong (blog), 11 October 2018.

Jason Jordan and Robert Kelly, “Companies with a Formal Sale Process Generate More Revenue”, Harvard Business Review, 21 January 2015.

Rana Salman, MBA, PhD is author of Sales Essentials: The Tools You Need at Every Stage to Close More Deals and Crush Your Quota. With a background in B2B sales and marketing, she is a specialist in transforming global sales team performance, elevating their sales strategies and execution.