RECAP: Small Business Member Meeting - Creating an Effective Sales Strategy and Team

Posted Date: 
September 18, 2013

September 18, 2013 – Small Business Member Meeting – Creating an Effective Sales Strategy and Team

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Hank Boyd, University of Maryland – Associate Chair, Department of Marketing; Academic Director, Black & Decker TOBE Program; Tyser Teaching Fellow

MCCC Small Business Member Meeting Vice-Chair Lisa Cines welcomed members and introduced Dr. Hank Boyd, Associate Chair, Department of Marketing, University of Maryland. Dr. Boyd discussed how businesses can create an effective sales strategy and sales team.

To develop a sales strategy, Dr. Boyd suggested that owners identify their target audience, their competitive advantage and consider the marketing mix of 4 Ps: product, price, promotion, and placement. These factors inform the development of a sales strategy that is unique to each business. For example, the Sam Adams Brewery competitive advantage is that they have a delicious product that people in their target audience enjoy. This drove the Sam Adams CEO’s sales strategy of providing customer reviews and beer samples at sales calls.

To create an effective sales team, Dr. Boyd suggested that businesses consider how to best motivate members of the team. Some motivation tactics include competition, incentives, encouragement, and recognition. Dr. Boyd agreed with participants that compensation is the key to motivating a sales staff. He discussed the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a salary vs. commission pay structure. Dr. Boyd said the most common choice is a combination plan with an 80/20 split for base pay plus commission.

Dr. Boyd concluded his presentation by comparing old school and new school sales pitch tactics. He said the old school approach relies on memorization of a pitch and repeating the pitch until a sale occurs. The new school approach expects the salesperson to sell insight rather than items. This approach tends to be most effective because it demonstrates that salespeople have an understanding for how the product or service will benefit each specific client rather than a one size fits all approach.

MCCC Strategic Partners