Lessons from the Gridiron —Farquharson/Tedsco
Do Your Homework
New Englanders are a magnanimous bunch. We give credit where credit is due. Part of what makes Pey...Peyton…Peyton Manning (phew, that was hard to say!) so successful is that he spends countless hours watching game tape. Each week, he does what it takes to fully understand his opponent. As we Patriots fans know all too well, Manning never takes the field even slightly ignorant of his opponent's historical defensive tactics and strategy.
Should sales and marketing activities be approached any differently? Hello?
Before a suspect becomes a prospect, you need to know more than a couple of names and current print volume. Do they fall in your company's production sweet spot? Are they long-term business fits? If Peyton Manning were a print sales rep, imagine how much information he'd mine before setting foot in a prospect's office.
Football teams, printers and organizations not led by Gates or Buffett, face resource challenges. Stressed out sales teams barely have enough time to work all qualified prospects, much less unqualified suspects. Yet, we need to appropriately influence buyers at companies no matter where they fall in the suspect-prospect—customer funnel.
This is where marketing can act as your advance scout team, lending the sales folks a helping hand. Will marketing sell print jobs? Unlikely. But marketing can efficiently identify suspects and effectively prime the pump, driving future revenue success. Compared to the cost of direct sales, marketing activities work at the top of the suspect-prospect-customer funnel for pennies on the sales dollar.
Task your lead marketer—hopefully you have one—with starting a Prospect Nurture Program (PNP) where business influencers at companies that matter to you receive useful information on a preplanned basis. Once these influencers associate your brand with useful information, problem-solving tips and technical expertise, you'll start to win all valuable top-of-mind positioning.