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What Does a Sales and Marketing Strategy Have to do with Chainsaws?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 1/29/12 5:36 PM

A Sales and Marketing Strategy is Your Business' Owner Manual

For the January HUGMEtoo, I put together some slides to talk about the sales prospecting tool that Hubspot has recently updated with new functionality. 

(Before you think that this is going to be a Hubspot kool-aid post, keep in mind my favorite tweet from the HUGMEtoo meetup. "Shiny new tools do not = ROI.")

Bottom line: you can have the best tool(s) in the world. If you don't know how to use it specific to your business scenerio, the needs and wants of your customers, it is like giving a 6 year old a chainsaw to prune your apple orchard.

No one wants to loose any fingers. And you certainly don't want to cut any branches that could bear fruit later. You have probably spent the last 20 years cultivating the orchard that is your business. 

So why not just leave well enough alone and keep getting new business the same way you always have?

21st Century Sales and Marketing Strategies

The same day of HUGMEtoo, a local Maine entreprenuer group had their monthly meeting as well. Ironically, their topic was planning. Naturally, the sentiment in the room was, "Planning can take a lot of time, and some mistake planning for doing, but never actaully do anything other then plan."

So how do you work smarter not harder and have a digital sales and marketing "plan" that:

  • doesn't take a long time to create?
  • is easy to use and update? (doesn't sit on a shelf for a year)
  • helps your business move in real time with the internet?
  • keep your customers engaged with your business?
The simple truth is that a 21st century sales and marketing strategy is not a 40 page written document that you create on an executive retreat or in day long power think tank sessions. 

What Should Be In a Sales and Marketing Strategy?

I'll try to keep it short, but to integrate sales and marketing effectively, there are a few must-have's in your strategy:

  1. Sales Assessment. What are the strengths, weaknesses, potential for growth? Can they be trained for increased sales effectiveness, or do you hire new salespeople? What about your project managers, customer service people, service providers? Are they not also customer facing and in a sales role for your business?
  2. Marketing Audit. Who is your customer persona? What information do they need to take the next step in the sales process? What is the content that needs to be created and how does it need to be presented? Where does your customer get their information? Who do you need to get found by, how will they find you, what information do they want?
  3. Smarketing Funnel. Or an integrated sales and marketing process. How will you build customer evanglelists? If there is one thing that business has learned, it is how to do more with less. Rather then create a new process, align your current processes together. Ford didn't reinvent the wheel, he put a gas powered engine behind it. 
  4. Analytics. What are the ROI numbers, how does that drill down into how much traffic, from where, how many leads, how touches (email, phone) from sales before they are disqualified? How many opportunities to create and how much of that needs to close for revenue? What is the customer lifetime value? 

Implementing a Sales and Marketing Strategy

You could say a sales and markeing strategies are just another tool. And you'd almost be right; in the sense that if you don't use it, or implement it properly, you could be wasting your time, and worse, losing some fingers. 

So if you have a strategy, like so many others that I talk to, why do so many never implement them? If you have a bookshelf of 'manuals' from business development consultants, but haven't put them into place- why? What is different now?

If you want to make some sense of how your business can increase sales in the age of the internet, check out of 2nd sales and marketing integration course for business development. 

If you are ready to take the first step, let's talk about sales assessments.

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Topics: marketing strategy, sales strategy, sales and marketing strategy