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5 Key Sales Strategies to Close Targeted Prospects

Posted by Sean O'Neil on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 @ 13:06 PM

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In my early education years as a sales executive, we were taught the following strategies through Target Account Selling or T.A.S. (Visit www.thetasgroup.com for more information on their methodologies). I highly recommend evaluating their process for your own sales efforts. Below are 5 key sales strategies we still use and most others leverage subconsciously.

“Know yourself, know your enemy, and you need not fear one Get out of the maze with these sales strategieshundred battles. Know only yourself and not your enemy, and for every victory gained you shall sustain defeat. Know neither yourself nor your enemy and you shall succumb in every battle. Your strength will eventually become your weakness. The key to victory is not defeating the enemy, but in defeating the enemy’s strategy; therein lies their vulnerability.” - Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”

Knowing your enemy, one of the key factor’s in Sun Tzu’s dominance in China in the late sixth century BC, is a very relevant strategy in earning prospects in business today. The lessons that Sun Tzu handed down in The Art of War are still applicable in today’s business world. Your strengths, your weaknesses, your competitions strengths, your competitions weaknesses - knowing these before going into a sales cycle with your prospect makes you a powerful ally to your prospect and a formidable opponent to your competition. Armed with this knowledge, you can now ‘plan your attack’ on your target prospects.

Follow these 5 key sales strategies to close your targeted prospects:

1. Frontal 

A Frontal strategy is a direct approach based on the customer’s perception of your overwhelming superiority in solution, price or reputation.

  • Overwhelming Advantage – Clear, concise advantage
  • Requires size/mass strategy, speed or surprise – combining these factors can really put you ahead.
  • Resource intensive – means larger capital requirements
  • Blatant
  • Most often used and easiest to defeat – think automotive advertising

2. Flanking

A flanking strategy shifts the focus of the customer’s buying criteria to new or different issues that favor your solution.

  • Don’t play by the rules – Taking a completely different approach
  • Right timing – timing in this strategy is everything
  • Right target – focused targets - individuals and organizations
  • Right issues – carefully pick the issues to address
  • Business values – have four key values that are unique to your business
  • Don’t open the playing field – dominate this strategy and leave no opening for counter attacks.
  • Requires Inside Support – Inside champion and support for this approach

3. Fragment

A fragment Strategy divides the opportunity into smaller pieces and focuses the customer on a subset of the issues that you can address. (Should only be temporary)

  • Leverage your position – “divide and concur” get your foot in the door and look for smaller opportunities, one division or person at a time.
  • Requires Inside Support - Inside champion and support for this approach

4. Defend

A defend strategy protects your position from the inevitable assault from your competitors.

  • Expand your relationship to a higher level
  • Support your allies – strengthen your relationship by support them in a way that would be very hard to replace.
  • Articulate your credibility and value – this should happen on a continual basis
  • Beware of self-isolation – walk hand-in-hand with your clients
  • Keep your eye on your competition – be aware of their shifting strategies to win your clients

5. Develop

A develop strategy establishes a position for a possible future engagement.

  • No compelling event or not in position to compete
  • Establish presence for the future – be in the mix during annual / quarterly reviews
  • Continue to collect profile data – know your prospects needs and wants
  • Focus on executive credibility – Show your strength of leadership
  • Qualify your ROI – Continue to refine and build a great ROI strategy for your prospects
  • Requires Inside Support - Inside champion and support for this approach


Business-is-war-busness-to-business-lead-generationListed above are the five key sales strategies to close your target prospects: frontal, flanking, fragment, defend, and develop. Each has their own advantages and each represents a position of strength. Unlike in China in the late sixth century BC, today’s business world is much more complex. You cannot just rely on one single strategy alone. Today you must have the versatility to switch strategies at a moment’s notice and the agility to switch again when the need arises. Study your strengths, your weaknesses, your competitions strengths, and your competitions weaknesses. Study the sales strategies, practice them, and then practice them again. Then you will be armed to go into battle.

Reference: www.thetasgroup.com

Vendere leverages multiple sales methodologies (i.e. TAS, Solution Selling, Spin Selling) in our approach around lead generation, event audience acquisition, direct sales outsourcing and sales management consulting.

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