Strategic Marketing 101 for Sales Managers
If you are like many sales-driven organizations, marketing (if done at all at your company) takes a back seat. That’s because most companies don’t understand how helpful marketing can be in complementing the sales process and making it more effective.
And if you are a sales manager in one of these companies, you may also be surprised to realize that this means your sales team is not as effective as they could be either. That means your company is wasting both time and money!
I’ve often heard the sales process explained like dating. You meet people and ask the right questions to find the perfect match. It’s personal and labor intensive, but highly effective.
But instead, imagine this.
Since you already know what the perfect match is (their looks, traits, location, etc.) What if instead of going around looking for that perfect match one by one, a list of perfect matches were given to you? And not only is the list of perfect matches given to you, but they are expecting your call and some of them may even pick up the phone and call YOU first!
Sounds like a dream, right? Well it’s not.
It’s what effective strategic marketing can bring to a sales AND MARKETING driven organization.
Wow! So Tell Me Why Doesn’t Every Company Have This?
This is the million dollar question, and the answer is: because strategic marketing is complex and comprehensive. There is not “one thing” you can do to turn that spigot on and unfortunately, that’s what many small to medium size companies are looking for. The silver bullet.
They buy-in to some “tool” or a monthly program. They start a Facebook page or email newsletter – maybe spend a little time focused on their website or put an ad in some magazine and walk away saying “none of this works!”
What stinks about it all is that they have wasted a lot of money, but the worst of it all is that they have wasted a lot of TIME! Most companies we talk with have struggled with these issues for years, and as a result, they are no where near where they could be in terms of company growth. They have lost that revenue and cannot get it back.
So if this describes the company you work for, then it’s time to learn more about what you’re missing out on.
Strategic Marketing 101 – The Basics
As I stated earlier, strategic marketing is complex and comprehensive. It is multi-faceted and therefore, the key is to be effective in all facets. But to do that, we need to understand the complete picture.
This illustration represents our view of strategic marketing. The first thing to note is that it’s not linear, but circular – meaning that one stage always feeds the next. Tweaks and adjustments are always being made to improve the return on the investment. Completing just one or two of these stages will lead to a waste of time and money, and THAT’S where most businesses go wrong with their marketing efforts.
To further understand these stages, let’s break them down.
Often businesses don’t take the time to do the research. They instead jump in with both feet. What they don’t realize is that their ideal prospects don’t THINK like they do. It’s important to understand why people buy from you. Who should be buying from you. How you relate to your competition and what your prospects understand about their problems. This information provides the right framework for communicating to the right people how you and your company can help them.
This too is a stage often neglected. It’s the one that puts everything together in a format that everyone can understand and contribute with. It needs to be in written form, not just verbal. It needs to contain a written description of your company’s goal and how you are going to get there. The more complete you can break it down, the more likely you will get there.
This is what most people thing marketing is, but as you can see, it is only one part. These are the tools you use to communicate your message and make others aware of what problems you solve. When done correctly, these tools work in harmony with one another, providing even greater results. These are tools like your website, brochures, ads, case studies, social media, etc.
Marketing activities are just that, on-going activities. Marketing is a faucet that should ALWAYS be on – even (especially) when you are at your busiest! Marketing activities belong on a calendar and assigned to a person to complete. These therefore can be checked off when complete.
Without proper reporting of your marketing efforts, why do anything? Since you’re not reporting, you can’t tell if something is working or not. And if that is the case, then why would you invest in it? Or maybe there is something that IS working great and you could put more resources into it and get even better results.
See what I mean? Marketing reporting is critical to maintaining a healthy and complete strategic marketing effort.
OK, I Get It. Now What Are My Next Steps?
After all that, you probably see that you are missing efforts in one or more of the stages of this model – and as a result, you are NOT getting the results you could. The question is, which of the areas are is your company deficient and where should you start?
To help you identify areas that need to be shored up, we have created a simple 10-minute self-evaluation. This document will quickly walk you through a series of questions to help you answer that.
We invite you to download it and learn which areas if corrected could truly enhance your sales process and results.
If you think there’s a bigger challenge we could help you with, then we would love to talk. Either way, if you don’t have a the marketing strategy integrated into your company like you should, you are really missing HUGE opportunities for your sales team.