Can you convey in just a few sentences how you position your services to your customers in comparison with the competition? Are you more in the mass market (commodities) or more in the market for specialties? How do you differentiate your offering? Through performance leadership, through service leadership or through cost and price leadership? Is your strategic direction supported and mirrored by all operational processes, procedures, capabilities, product design and brand?
Example: A manufacturer of injection molded parts is aware that it operates in a mass commodity market. In such mass markets, the key purchasing criteria for customers – in this case, technical wholesalers – are product availability and price. If the manufacturer wants to be successful in this market, they should therefore focus all their attention on logistics that ensure availability and on consistent unit cost reduction. Availability can be achieved through good coordination of forecast-based production planning in conjunction with warehouse stocking. The forecast can be based on previous order patterns (behaviour based), but customers can also be actively involved in a dialog. After all, they also benefit from a better delivery capability of their supplier. A competitive cost position can be achieved by exceeding a critical quantity, i.e. scaling, and by process automation, but finally also by a discount system that creates purchase incentives.
Example: A manufacturer of precision-machined plastic components for mechanical engineering knows that its products are special parts on which the reliable operation of its customers’ machines depends to a large extent. Failure of these parts will cost many times what the parts cost. He also knows that there aren’t many manufacturers who can or want to produce such parts with this level of precision in small batch sizes. Instead of focusing on cutting costs or expanding capacity, this manufacturer will focus his attention on product quality, from material selection to manufacturing processes through to quality assurance procedures.
Pricing and financing also depend on positioning.
The sales strategy also includes the decision on sales channels. Only rarely can products be sold directly to consumers. As a rule, sales are made through various distribution channels.
The sales strategy must fit the business model and fit as seamlessly as possible into the corporate strategy.