Marketing and Sales – 3 Keys for a Great Marriage
The heat is on to get more business from your existing customers as well as new prospects. This is the same story for many throughout the industry. Okay, so how is that going for you? From what I have seen overall, it’s going “okay” in more shops than not. Could always be better, but not bad.
What’s the Secret Sauce
Sorry, but there is no secret sauce. What are some of the higher performing companies doing that the others aren’t doing? I see two pathways that are common. The first is that they have formulated a plan, they execute better than most, and they aren’t afraid to have the meaningful internal conversations as to what’s working and what is not working – which leads to tweaking their approach and making it better. The second approach is carried by the strength of the client relationships that the company already enjoys. In this scenario, the clients they already have are growing and are adding additional services to their needs. The print companies are happily responding by expanding the services they offer to take advantage of an expanded revenue stream.
The Third Dimension – a Connected Marketing Effort
The third element that I see making a big play in both of these paths is an enhanced marketing and lead generation presence. This isn’t only updating the website and printing a capabilities brochure. Beginning with the end in mind, these firms have added solid social, search, and outbound marketing tools to their arsenal. While that isn’t necessarily a new trick either, what separates these top performers is how well they have connected their marketing and lead gen activities right on through to their selling efforts. Yes, there’s a plan in place.
Connecting the Dots
In building their marketing and lead generation campaigns, beginning with the end in mind, they start with clearly identifying what kind of client they are really looking for. And then, what is it that they do that will get their interest and allow a conversation to begin. Not to oversimplify this but, without those two clear elements in place, you’ll end up spending a lot of time and money and be busy with activities that have minimal results. Here are a few key areas to consider if you want to connect your marketing and sales efforts:
- There needs to be a clearly identified owner of the process. We all know the story of having too many cooks in the kitchen, it doesn’t end well. Document what a clear and realistic vision of what success looks like for your business. And make sure that everyone is on the same page and there is the emotional strength to openly discuss the process and any changes that will be needed along the way.
- Take on only as much as you can effectively manage. There are many options and tactics to consider, don’t get caught up trying to boil the ocean. Pick what you understand, you believe in, and can deliver on. You can always expand the effort later on.
- Execute like crazy. If you’re going to do this, do it right. Don’t take short cuts. Make sure that sales knows what to do with the leads that are generated and how you’ll want to track your overall success.
Creating a good sales and marketing strategy is hard, it relies on experience, it takes finesse, and it’s equal parts playing a referee, clergy, and coach. Make sure that your team is up for the challenge and is capable of playing their positions. And don’t get thrown off course by the “We’ve never done it this way before,” gang.
There are many ways to build or change your sales model. Keep exploring until you find what works best in your environment. In the meantime, if you have something that is working well for you or have any comments on the subject, please include them below. Good luck and remember, doing nothing is not an option!
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.