Sales Strategy vs Tactics – Which Are You Focused On?

Risk board to illustrate Sales Strategy vs Tactics

The Sales world has lost sight of the difference between Sales Strategy and Sales Tactics.

One of the things that has lead to the disparity between Salespeople who are successful in this new world, and those who are stuck in the “Glengarry Glen Ross” era of sales is the confusion of sales tactics for sales strategy in their efforts.

Strategy is what you want to achieve, tactics is how you want to get there. If you don’t have a successful sales strategy in place – with real goals and desires – all of the tactics in the world are not going to get you to where you want to be. This focus on short term thinking misses the point of turning customers into clients and commoditizes your business.

We have all heard “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” from our elders, a focus on sales strategy is prevention from needing the cure of new tactics. But there are tons of “cures” on the market because it’s easier to sell to a specific pain. You can find many a sales trainer who preaches sales tactics – “closes”, “word tracks”, and other secret tips to success – but very few who really focus on strategic thinking.

When you work from a unified strategy, you know when to step away from a bad deal, or to change your tactics to make your pitch work. If you have a clear strategy you will never find yourself sounding desperate chasing a deal, or going after clients that aren’t right for you.

Take a step back from “What do I have to get done right now?”, and make sure you know the answer to “What do I want to achieve in the big picture?” Find your sales strategy first, figure your tactics out later.