Sales Tip: Sales strategy chart – what to focus on

Last month, I wrote about the sales process and focussing on What you can control. This week, I’d like to share Patrick Baker’s Sales Strategy Chart with you to assist with understanding how to invest your time wisely in sales.

On the vertical axis, think about how a factor impacts on your sales process, i.e. does it have a negative impact or a positive impact?

On the horizontal axis, think about the level of control that you have over that factor i.e. do you have a high or low level of control over this task or event?


  • These factors are positive and highly controllable and these are the ones to maximise by focussing as much of your energy and time on as possible.
  • An example is your sales presentation: focus on perfecting this presentation and controlling it for positive outcomes. (I gave more examples of things to control in last weeks’ post).


  • These factors are positive however, they are factors that are out of your control so hence, it is best to jump on these as opportunities and make the most of them
  • An example of this in the sales process is: The Government budget is released (low control over Government spending) and there is a program or opportunity for your organisation to tender on (positive impact via a sale to your organisation).


  • These factors are a double negative – low control and negative impact on your sales process therefore, try to minimise the negative impact that these have on your sales process
  • Focussing on what your competitors are doing is an example of this. You cannot control what they are doing so it is best to minimise the impact as much as possible
  • For example: your competitor has an aggressive sales campaign and to minimise the impact you could consider training your staff or mystery shopping them to understand the claims that they are making. Then, implement your sales process to try to minimise the impact of their agressive campaign on your overall sales.


  • Factors that you have a high level of control over but have a negative impact should be avoided as much as possible
  • An example of this is, being late to your sales appointments. You can control what time you arrive at the appointment and if you are late, it has a negative impact on your sale. Try to eliminate as many of these items as possible

I hope that this helps you to map out your sales strategy and also break-up and prioritise your time to focus on the “Maximise” and “Opportunistic” areas above and achieve some positive sales outcomes.

Of course this chart can also be applied to many areas of your business, and life by substituting ‘sales process’ on the vertical axis.

Focus on factors that you can control… Maximise those that have positive outcomes and eliminate things that have negative outcomes.




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