Whether you’re starting a new business or just trying to increase your sales, forming strategic sales initiatives can help you and your team focus on specific tactics that can grow your customer base and increase your market share and overall sales. Your specific business model and industry might require you to customize your initiatives, but several methods allow you to start creating targeted, motivating sales initiatives immediately.

Refocus Your Target Markets

Sometimes, when business gets stale, it helps to assess your market opportunities and refocus your sales force. Your business might regularly serve several customer demographics and geographical areas, but you might not be maximizing your sales. Instead of trying to drive sales equally in all customer groups, focus on those markets (either based on geography or specific customer type) that show the most potential for growth and adoption. Your new marketing and sales goals should then be very specific to those markets. Where there is more opportunity, you might find a greater the chance of success. Thus, the same amount of resources you used to drive sales equally among markets could end up returning greater profits.

Customer Relationship Management

You might always be on the lookout for new sales, but you should never forget your established customers or established leads. This is why implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) tool can be an extremely valuable sales initiative. CRMs, which can be created using available online software, allow you to track your business relationship with a customer from lead to the close of a transaction and beyond. By using an intelligent CRM system, you’ll be able to regularly touch base with established customers, increasing the likelihood that they remain loyal to your business. CRMs can also help you remember customer birthdays, request and track referrals, and even conduct surveys and market research which can help you customize your marketing strategies.

Align Sales and Marketing Teams

Many businesses have sales teams and marketing departments that work independently of each other. This can be counterproductive, as the best “branding” of your company will happen when your sales force is reinforcing the same messages pushed out by your marketing department. Likewise, your marketing department should tailor its messages to align with the overall sales goals of the company or a particular market. One great sales initiative is to regularly hold sales and marketing meetings and workshops so that sales groups can report on their goals and the specific needs of their markets. Likewise, marketing teams can share the messaging that they’d like sales team to reinforce.

Create Strategic Partnerships

Like any business, you probably have a good deal of competition. But you also might know of other businesses that complement, rather than rival, your own. An effective sales initiative can be partnering with a company that shares your target market. For instance, if you own a pet grooming business, you might partner with a veterinary practice or pet-sitting business to share leads and help cross-market products and services. Not only will you gain exposure in the industry, but you might also gain a new cache of potential customers.