Sales and Marketing Strategy – What’s New?

New information is an essential part of your sales and marketing strategy. What new information are you looking for? You should be looking for new information: to improve your own marketing and sales skills, about your product or service, about what’s going on in the world, and information about what is going on with who. Your new sales and marketing strategies can be found in the “what’s new” that you know about.

If you want your sales and marketing strategies to get results you need to make a commitment to continual learning. Don’t associate this learning with the learning you did in school. This is real world learning. This is the kind of learning you can turn into dollars and cents. You should be learning something new each day to improve your marketing and sales skills. If you aren’t willing to invest in yourself you can’t hope to be a top producer. Plus you can never know everything no matter how long you’ve been in business. You’ll find that even when you re-read things you found value in before, you will find new value that is more pertinent for you today than it was the first time you saw it or heard it.

New is a time proven sales and marketing strategy. What is new about your product or service, or what can you make new about your product or service? Can you find a new use or perhaps a new target market? Can your product or service fulfill the wants for a new target market if you just change your packaging and message a little bit? For example, most people are time stressed and have time management issues in today’s world.

If you sell a day planning system there isn’t anything all that exciting about that. After all there are lots of day planning systems, so you’re just one choice among many. But if you sell a day planning system for architects and engineers you now go from being a mundane product with about the same appeal as your competition, to holding a very special position in the market place with a special group of people to market to.

Look outside your cave once in a while and find the opportunities to enhance your sales and marketing strategies. What’s going on in the news, and how can you tie it to your product or service and increase your sales. What are people talking about, what are they worried about, what’s the topic of the day? Can you somehow solve that problem with your solution? Look at the people who decided to package water in single serving bottles that cost as much as a soda. Who would have thought consumers would be willing to buy water? Now those same water folks are packaging their water in “green” containers. Another example of taking today’s issues and turning those issues into your sales and marketing strategy. Where’s your opportunity?

Riding on the coat tails of fame could be a sales and marketing strategy for your product or service. Who’s new or who’s big in your market place? Could they provide an endorsement or testimonial? If you use someone famous in your sales and marketing strategy as an attention getter, make sure they are someone your potential prospects know and respect. Being generally famous holds far less value and credibility than being famous in a way that relates. Using our example, an endorsement from Al Gore who’s known for his support of environmental issues would gain more credibility than using Bill Cosby just because he happens to be generally known and well liked.

Successful Prospecting Integrates Sales and Marketing

Who is responsible for prospecting? Sales or Marketing?

It is an age-old debate between these two disciplines, isn’t it? Sales claims that marketing hasn’t created enough leads to meet their goals. And, Marketing claims they have generated hundreds of leads that sales never follows up on.

And, who is right?

They both are! What I have found after working with many sales and marketing teams across many different industries, is that the issue really comes down to two easily addressed areas:

    1. The definition of a lead. Both teams must be VERY clear about what defines a lead. I like to define a lead as an opportunity where the buyer is actively shopping or open to shopping for what you have to sell. If the opportunity is more of a “possibility in the future” then they are still a prospect. Regardless of how you define a lead within your own sales process, the key is that you do so and that both sales and marketing agree and understand that definition. 2. The lack of integration between sales and marketing efforts. Defining what qualifies an opportunity as a “lead” is a great start to successful prospecting. Now you must also define the role of sales and marketing in the converting of prospects to leads. This is where many companies fall down-by either assigning this responsibility to marketing alone or assigning it fully to sales. In reality though, the most effective approach is assigning the responsibility to both and integrating the activities of each. This is not a relay race where one runner hands the baton off cleanly to the next. This is more like a baseball game, where catchers, pitchers, basemen, and outfielders all play their part in an integrated way to win the game.

So what does this mean for you?

Take a hard look at how you identify prospects and what defines a lead for your organization. NOT just from a marketing perspective, nor just from a sales perspective, but from both. Then, analyze your marketing programs for how well they integrate with sales.

An example of an integrated prospecting effort would be: Marketing generates a prospect through a web download from a promotion, Sales calls to further qualify, Marketing invites the highly qualified prospects from the sales call downs to a seminar, Sales meets each attendee at the seminar and sets an appointment for a product demo, etc.

From this example, you can see how integrating your efforts will allow you to more efficiently and effectively identify, qualify, and convert your best prospects. If your efforts aren’t well integrated now, it’s time to get busy reworking your sales and marketing plans.

Essentially, successful prospecting comes down to the powerful integration of the magic of marketing with the science of sales. And though it is not easy and does take discipline, it is well worth it.

Sales and Marketing Training Program – Why Don’t People Understand they Need You?

Are you just plain tired of being told “no” either through your marketing, or in your sales appointments? You keep trying to explain, persuade, and tell them what they need to know to “get it”; but it’s like you’re talking to a blank wall. Does your sales and marketing training program seem to be missing a link because it just isn’t getting you the results you want? Perhaps you aren’t getting what you want because you’re approaching things the wrong way.

You know that everyone listens to the radio station WIIFM, what’s in it for me. You also know that telling isn’t selling. Telling is a quick way to get prospects to disengage and lose the sale. When you try to persuade you run the risk of putting your prospect on the defensive. So what are you missing, what is keeping people from understanding they need you?

Unfortunately, it may be your understanding that’s missing. Whether it’s a marketing message or the message you provide in the sales appointment, your message has to be tuned into your prospects WIIFM station. That means before you prepare your message you need to understand your potential customers.

You see, most sales fail because you have a product or service and you’re trying to find someone to sell it to. You will exponentially increase your sales when you understand what your customers want, and you figure out how to give them what they want through what you have to offer, and then you give it to them the way they want it.

Understanding comes from listening to the right people for the right things. You need to build a relationship with your potential customers so they feel comfortable talking around you. They don’t worry when they see you that the conversation is going to turn into a sales pitch. Your number one job right now is doing your research until you’re absolutely sure you know the top three wants of your potential customers. When you know their top three wants you’re ready to begin preparing your marketing message that helps those potential customers understand that you have what they want. When you do that you have people entering your sales funnel who are ready to do business with you because they want what you have and they already know and like you.