Did you know you have one of the world's most powerful sales tools at your fingertips? It isn't your high-powered marketing automation suite or even your fancy funnel metrics analytics program.

If your business is like thousands across North America, then you face unprecedented challenges to growing new sales. Your customers are slow to act. Prospects are afraid to spend money. And your sales team is struggling to get close to hitting the quota you set for them.

To set strategies for your business first look at the vision, the different aspects of the vision. Brainstorm and get all of the ideas out and write them down without judging them or editing them. Ideas jump off of other ideas. Many organizations have strategic plans that are well thought out and crafted, but they fall short is in the implementation of that plan.

Strategic leadership is defined as determining where an organization is going and how to get there. Strategic plans usually involve budgets. Strategic leadership usually involves planning. Strategic planning and strategic leadership styles vary just as the employees and owners of companies involved in the planning process differ.

I came across an article today that explains how companies can successfully implement a company-mandated sales plan and be sure that all of the salespeople are following it. Forcing salespeople to learn a new system and follow it negates their talent and experience and will immediately destroy their production status. Proven salespeople excel and perform at their very best when treated like independent contractors.

Ask any successful person how they became successful. They will tell you that they had a vision and developed a game plan to achieve that vision. Sales is no different. Know your success metrics and develop your game plan to achieve them.

Are you following a sales process? If not, you are not only wasting your time, but you are also losing sales because of it. You think you are in control, but in reality you're not. When this process is complete and everything is summarized, you will be in a position to determine if the prospect is qualified or not. Then you can decide to proceed with a prescription or simply walk away.

There have always been salespeople who have regularly planned strategically for the effective use of their time. It's been a characteristic of superstar salespeople and highly effective sales forces. Unfortunately, that describes the minority of salespeople and sales forces in the world. Gather the materials you'll need and immerse yourself in the process.

Having and following a defined process allows a company to sometimes outwait and outwit the sales team's natural resistance to change and provides the environment where the new platform truly can transform the culture.

Imagine getting ready for the next sales call on that customer and reviewing the things that he likes to talk about, refreshing your memory on the name of his spouse, and the names and schools of each of the kids. Do you think you'll be better prepared to have an enjoyable, relationship-building conversation with that customer than your competitor will? That means that you must create systems to collect, store and use the information that will be most helpful to you.