How to implement strategic management for higher sales

Strategic Management
Topics
What is strategic management and why is it important?
Benefits of strategic management in sales
5 steps to strategic management (with examples)
Using a CRM for strategic management in sales
Strategic management FAQs
Final thoughts

Growing sales sustainably is easier to achieve with a solid strategy in place. That’s where strategic management processes come in.

Strategic management can inform your decision-making and help you improve systems as you evaluate data and the impact of strategic changes.

In this article, you’ll learn what strategic management is and what each part of the process entails so you can lead your team toward higher sales.


What is strategic management and why is it important?

Strategic management is the building and execution of specific plans to get your team to achieve your business goals effectively.

Formulating business and management strategies helps sales leaders uncover areas for process optimization and supports continuous improvement efforts.

Creating a roadmap with actionable steps to reach your sales goals helps everyone – from leadership to individual contributors – to move purposefully in the same direction.

Allocating resources effectively and avoiding overlap is easier when each team member understands the end goal and their role in achieving it.

For example, a startup could use strategic management to boost sales and scale its operations. It might design a marketing strategy with deliberate objectives targeting brand awareness and lead generation.

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Benefits of strategic management in sales

Strategic management helps businesses refine their processes for continuous improvement and lasting, sustainable growth.

The specific benefits of strategic sales management include:

  • Direction and focus. Setting precise goals and designing a roadmap to reach them gives you clear direction. Knowing your end goal means more purposeful action and greater efficiency across every part of your team and processes.

  • Progress tracking. Setting goals and corresponding key performance indicators (KPIs) enables you to assess your current situation and track your progress toward organizational change.

  • Resource allocation. Strategic management makes you more aware of where you allocate your organization’s resources. You can adjust those that aren’t working and divert them to areas that will actually move the needle.

  • Financial benefits. Strategic management helps you optimize for more cost-effective solutions and operational efficiencies. These practices can lead to increased profitability and revenue.

  • Competitive advantages. Strategic management helps companies build better systems to increase brand awareness. It also enables them to identify a better product-market fit, which can improve customer satisfaction and market share.

Strategic management boils down to improved systems and workflows that increase productivity, quality and overall business performance.


5 steps to strategic management (with examples)

Different businesses and industries will require specific strategic management strategies to run processes and hit targets effectively.

For example, a European nonprofit’s strategic planning and an American corporate strategy require vastly different practices.

With that said, two main approaches (prescriptive and descriptive) can provide a helpful framework applicable to any organization.

The prescriptive approach focuses on building a strategy before organizational challenges arise. The descriptive approach is about implementing strategies in response to a need.

Which approach you take will depend on your company’s goals and circumstances. With either approach, the key to successful strategic management is to design a plan to achieve your goals. Then, you can test your hypotheses and adjust your sales strategy based on what works over time.

While many strategy management theories and frameworks exist, real-world strategic management systems generally involve five key steps.

1. Set your direction

First, get clear on the company mission and vision. Strive to understand what key stakeholders hope to achieve with a business strategy.

You’ll be able to identify areas in your business environment that need specific strategic help. You can then set your direction with realistic short- and long-term strategic goals.

Identifying the “what” and the “why” helps you lay the groundwork for developing the “how” to reach your vision.

For example, say a growing SaaS company’s ultimate business goal is to increase revenue. The team may determine that it can achieve that goal by growing sales 15% in an existing market.

2. Analyze the environment

Once you’ve set your goal, examine the current internal and external environments. In step two, you’ll identify your core competencies, areas of need and growth opportunities.

A SWOT analysis can be a useful framework for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your internal systems. It also helps uncover opportunities and threats from external forces (typically competitors).

A SWOT analysis for the above SaaS business example may look like this:

Strengths

Sales reps actively use cold outreach and the marketing team crafts blogs and social media posts to build brand awareness.

Weaknesses

Marketing spends little time developing an email list or creating gated lead-generation resources to bring warm leads into the sales funnel. Company sales reps aren’t investing time nurturing leads from marketing or upselling current customers.

Opportunities

There are multiple opportunities to bring warm leads into the funnel through lead generation, email marketing and sales outreach to prospects who fill out website forms.

ThreatsCompetitors are investing heavily in lead generation and email marketing.


Use this analysis to consider what’s working, what’s not and the specific operational processes you could improve in your internal environment.

3. Design your strategy

Your next step is to develop business initiatives to help you reach your goals.

Set objectives for different business units and select corresponding KPIs for each relevant team. Outline what specific human resources and tools can help you address your objectives.

For instance, the balanced scorecard management technique helps business leaders turn goals into performance objectives. It looks at your company’s mission and vision and determines ways to adapt operations and business initiatives to move you toward them.

You can use the balanced scorecard method to ensure your team understands the strategy and help guide its implementation.

In our SaaS company example, the SWOT analysis helped the company determine it needs to align sales and marketing. Getting these teams working together would help bring warm leads further down the sales funnel and convert them into paying customers.

During step three, the team may decide that a CRM system with email marketing functionality could streamline the flow of information. Marketing could connect campaigns directly to customer data from the sales team, making it easier to nurture leads.

The marketing team could use its lead-generation resources to build its email list. They’d start sending highly targeted email campaigns through their new CRM to increase conversions from warm leads.

To build on the marketing team’s goal to increase lead generation, the sales team might establish an objective to send individualized emails to leads who download their resources. They could also reach out to those who independently sign up for their email list.

In the meantime, sales could work on upselling new products and features to current customers based on data from similar customer journey upgrades.

4. Proceed with strategy implementation

Now it’s time to put your strategy into action. You’ll begin collecting data and recording your actions to understand the impacts of each change.

Document any adjustments you make to your plan to gain an accurate picture as you go.

In our SaaS company example, the marketing team would create the lead gen resources and targeted email campaigns to bring leads down the sales funnel.

The sales team would start responding personally to leads who fill out forms for sales demos and highly relevant prospects who download the lead gen resources.

They could also reach out to current customers to recommend upgraded plans when they determine that more functionality would better suit their needs.

5. Evaluate your execution

Finally, assess whether you’ve achieved your goal. If you’ve gathered data along the way, it’s time to sit down and analyze it.

Note: strategy evaluation is not a one-and-done activity. When leadership teams and strategists assess continuously, they can adjust their plan and improve its performance as they go.


You can use CRM tools to streamline your data collection and analysis. Your team will be able to use the information to understand what worked and determine final takeaways.

Consider what changes moved the needle and how you can apply these principles to other facets of the business. You’ll also pinpoint which strategies were ineffective and require a new plan moving forward.

These are just some ways to evaluate whether your strategy is working and what to adjust.

Going back to our example, the SaaS company’s leadership could examine the results from the new marketing campaigns and the sales team’s outreach to see whether close rates are improving in line with their goal.

If they find that sales haven’t increased, they could move to a different strategy. For instance, they might look at diversification within new markets instead of retargeting the existing market.

Using a CRM for strategic management in sales

Much of your success in strategic management will depend on your systems for collecting and interpreting data.

Not only does an efficient system help you make better decisions, but you’re also better equipped to adjust your plans based on the results your system tracks.

A CRM like Pipedrive can help you collect, analyze and implement new strategies for greater sales success.

Here’s more on how a CRM can help you be more strategic in a sales scenario.

Sales reporting and dashboards

CRMs with sales reporting and dashboard functionality help you gauge your progress. These platforms can provide additional insights into how your team and company perform.

You can track default criteria, such as new deals in your pipeline and recurring revenue, plus custom metrics relevant to your business.

CRM reporting can help you monitor performance indicators, such as the number of leads you’ve created, archived and converted into deals over time.

Conversion reports in your CRM can track your leads-to-deals conversion rate by different groups like lead source, creator and time period.

CRMs with customizable sales dashboards can provide insights into what data matters most to the goals and sales objectives you’ve identified.

Interactive dashboards like Pipedrive’s help you visualize KPIs for sales with convenient charts and graphs.

Strategic management: Pipedrive’s interactive dashboards help monitor sales KPIs


These features give you high-level overviews of your progress toward your company goals. They also let you dive deep for more granular insights to shape your strategy.

Sales pipeline management

CRMs with sales pipeline capabilities let you visualize your sales funnel to identify breakdowns and swiftly intervene when your sales reps need support.

A tool that provides a visual representation of each pipeline stage gives you more control over your sales tasks and activities. An organized and up-to-date look at your deals will help you focus on the aspects of your pipeline that work efficiently and spend less time repeating those that don’t.

Sales pipeline management features can uncover valuable insights into your buyer’s journey and sales process.

Strategic management: How Pipedrive’s custom fields can help you tailor your sales pipeline to your unique processes


Additionally, custom fields can help you tailor your sales pipeline to your unique processes and prioritize your most successful sales activities.

Revenue forecasting

A clear picture of business costs and revenue makes managing cash flow and planning for growth more straightforward.

CRM sales forecasting features help you predict what’s ahead so you can make better decisions about growing sales and achieving the best outcome.

You can use revenue forecasting software to leverage historical data to adjust your strategies and hit sales targets.

Strategic management: How Pipedrive can be used as a revenue forecasting software


Forecasting helps guide sales by revealing which activities and deals you need to focus on to reach your goals. This applies whether you’re nurturing repeat business or reaching out to new leads.


Strategic management FAQs


Final thoughts

Strategic management plans support companies to make data-informed decisions and refine their processes over time.

CRM automation can speed up your customer data and sales pipeline workflows, giving you more time to develop and implement strategic action plans.

Pipedrive’s sales-focused CRM helps businesses collect and make sense of their data seamlessly and efficiently. Strategic management becomes easier and more effective when time-consuming tasks are taken care of.

Register for a free Pipedrive trial to streamline your strategic management efforts today.

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