Love and marriage,” goes the old song: “…You can’t have one without the other.” This also holds true for sales and marketing. Even the best of sales team will not see an improvement in sales if not accompanies by a well-researched and carefully executed marketing plan. Here are six ways to ensure your marketing plan is likely to drive strong sales:
Among the fundamental objectives of any marketing plan is to familiarize those who buy from you with everything you’re offering. But what often happens is that customers focus too much on just a few products or services. In turn, this hinders a company’s potential in sales. Make sure your marketing plan maintains the visibility of your total product or service line.
Your salespeople will stand a much greater chance of success if your customers believe you’re the only place to get precisely what they’re looking for. Your marketing plan should emphasize the distinctive value offered by your products or services and how they differ from those of competitors. A key part of this effort involves monitoring the competition’s marketing activities and responding in kind.
Staying competitive in business is essential for survival. Are competitors outspending you? If so, your sales staff is fighting an uphill battle. To find out, use competitive intelligence and publicly available industry data. This will help you determine the average marketing and advertising budgets for companies of similar size and specialty in your area.
While your sales staff is out on the front lines, your marketing team needs to be spending time back at the office looking for additional buyers (or types of buyers). Undertake this research carefully and methodically. When you believe you’ve found a new market, adjust your marketing plan as necessary and train salespeople on how to best traverse this unfamiliar terrain.
A good marketing plan not only keeps existing customers engaged and informed, but also pulls in new prospects. Do you know how successful your company has been at doing so? Your sales team may be able to generate some leads themselves, but your marketing department must do its fair share. If it’s not, something needs to change.
Coming up with a comprehensive, viable marketing plan isn’t easy. Once they’ve got one, many businesses make the mistake of sticking with it too long, leaving their sales departments to struggle in a dynamic, ever-changing marketplace.
Review your marketing plan often, at least quarterly, and adjust it based on both hard numbers (metrics and sales results) and feedback from your sales staff. Our firm can help you in all aspects in accounting for marketing expenses. This includes identifying, tracking and better understanding the analytical data that aligns a good marketing plan with strong sales figures.