Your top priority is to increase art sales and gallery revenue. You need a sales strategy that is designed to succeed.
Does any of this sound familiar? Gallery sales consultants are performing inconsistently with new prospects, sales tools are not used to full potential, you’re chasing unqualified leads, and reacting to outside forces that are beyond their control. Let’s make these problems a thing of the past. You can’t afford inefficiency.
Here are four common reasons that cause even the best-laid sales strategies to fail. Let’s talk about them here so you can better avoid them.
1 | Too Many Sales Priorities
An art gallery may focus on sales priority areas such as creating a buyer’s journey, expanding markets, nurturing repeat business, improving leads from online marketing channels, and expanding the artist roster. If the gallery sales associates are unsure about what to do and not do, sales initiatives can multiply with conflicting strategic directions, which only creates confusion and a lack of focus.
Select no more than five sales priorities that tie into your overall gallery strategy.
2 | Wandering Sales Priorities
It is natural for priorities to evolve, but be cautious. Similarly to having too many priorities, continually shifting your gallery’s sale priorities to chase new opportunities without proper due diligence or reacting to outside forces will cause your team to be inconsistent and unmotivated to perform. How can they succeed when expectations are changing?
Stick to your defined sales priorities and allow proper time to be accomplished without mudding your plan or taking on more than the gallery can manage. Having your strategy in writing can be useful to help you stay focused.
3 | Lack of Clarity and Collaboration
Clarity among everyone involved in implementing the gallery’s sales strategy is crucial. Ambiguity creates a workplace culture of tension, power plays, and deceptions that snuffs out teamwork, enthusiasm, and progress. You want gallery staff working together towards the common gallery goals as well as individual goals. Clarity is an excellent panacea for an overly competitive sales culture.
Gallery leadership often think strategic sales direction is clear, but more often than you think sales associates do not understand their role in the big picture. Successful strategy implementation means the gallery’s marketing, sales processes, and customer service must work cohesively and collaboratively by all, including artists and partners that may have a role to play. An incoherent strategic understanding has little chance of making a meaningful impact.
4 | Leadership Problems
Many smart sales strategies fail due to gallery leaders who fail to provide the necessary direction and support needed for success. There may be obstacles and concerns regarding a particular plan or market factor that leaders do not adequately address. Don’t let your staff lose faith in either the strategy or leadership.
Solicit and incorporate feedback from gallery sales associates and artists to identify key challenges to implementing elements of the sale strategy and collaborate on an action plan to overcome those challenges. For a sales strategy to be effective, leadership must be visible from start to finish.
Creating a Gallery Sales Strategy that Can Succeed
A sales strategy is vital to your business, and it should do several things to be effective. As you craft your gallery’s plan, step back and determine if it does the following things.
- Align with the overall gallery development plan
- Clearly define your ideal target buyer
- Reflect gallery and artist value proposition
- Define success metrics
- Identify overall and individual sales goals
- Explain the roles and contributions of each sales consultant
- Utilize specific processes and actions established to implement the sales strategy consistently
- Be in writing
Simply ensuring your strategy does these things will help you avoid the four common reasons a sales strategy fails.
To the Point
A good sales strategy should guide gallery sales associates’ expectations, justify resource allocation, and focus your decision-making for every aspect of gallery management. A bad sales strategy, on the other hand, instills ambiguity and blurs priorities for the success of your gallery and artists that depend on strong sales.
Your gallery’s leadership should provide strategic direction to keep your plan on course while motivating and inspiring the team. It is leadership’s responsibility to understand the gallery’s business objectives and collaborate with all involved in sales to create an implementable sales strategy. Most importantly, communicate that sales strategy with crystal clarity and remain consistent.