Since Michael Douglas quoted it in ‘Wall Street’ back in the 80s Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ has been required reading in many business circles. While most of us would perhaps not approach our business life as a military campaign, Sun Tzu does have a lot to say about the difference between strategy and tactics that is helpful.
A sales strategy sets out your overall goals. With a clear strategy all those involved in the sales and marketing of your business can see and understand the objectives of a campaign. A sales strategy would usually be the first part of a creating a plan. This is because actions taken without a purpose or objectives are less likely to be successful. The objectives also dictate the content and imagery of the campaign as well as its target audience. Your sales strategy identifies which customers your business is targeting, it specifies how you will reach them, and it outlines the steps you need to take for them to buy from you.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.” – Sun Tzu
Once you have your strategy in place you need to decide how it will be carried out. Sales tactics refer to the specific actions you will take to implement the sales strategy. Tactics show the processes you will use to move your business objectives forward.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu
Some sales strategies can end up as little more than lists of tactics. It might be making more calls, sending more emails or planning special offers. These are all great ideas, but they are tactics, not strategies. Tactics are there to support a strategy. Poor tactical planning might succeed if you have a great strategy, but the best tactics will inevitably fail if they have no strategic framework to sustain them.
YBDT create clear actionable sales and marketing strategies. Working with us to develop your strategy means taking advantage of our years of supporting clients in forming sales and marketing campaigns that deliver results. Once you have a plan you can take it in house to build the tactics needed to make a success of your strategy. Alternatively, you can continue to work with YBDT and use our team to generate leads and nurture them until your customer is ready to buy.
Sun Tzu has a lot more to say about planning your battles, encouraging those who are important to your plans, and taking the opportunities that come your way. YBDT can support your sales and marketing from planning strategies to helping you select the best tactics for your target market. Get in touch to talk to us about the best plan for your business.