The purpose of the Sales and Marketing functions is to drive revenue for the organization.
Below you will find Sales and Marketing Strategies for driving revenue that can be Applied in any industry. You will also see how to use Marketing to improve the organizations relationship with internal and external customers.
1.Market Research & Competitor Analysis
Before businesses can sell anything, they need to determine if there is a market for their products and services.
Most businesses will not necessarily be creating new product categories. As a result, they will be entering into a market place that already exists. This is true if you are a re-seller or distributor of products and services. Once you decide that there is a market for your products and services; you need to study your competitors.
Image via smartdraw.com
You can see who your competitors are by
What if companies could use Market research as an online sales and marketing tool, putting the analysis on their website? Justworks is doing just that.
Using Your Sales Team as a Direct line of Customer Intelligence
There are certain things that come up when customer raise objections. Over time, Sales people will be able to see patterns of these objection. Objections are raised about pricing, bad past experiences, budgeting, being happy with a competitor and product inferiority. While Reps need to be able to handle objections; if they keep losing the sales for the same reason, they need to share this information with the marketing and product development teams.
Surveys can be a great way to get information about prospects and customers. You can ask specific questions that can provide information on what the prospect is looking for. Also you can ask questions about when the prospect is looking to make a purchase. This information can be stored in CRM software. Surveys can be done through direct mail, email or online through internet polls.
3. Using Inbound Marketing & Creating Buyer Personas
I want to define Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing is Marketing based on getting found by customers. It’s customer-centric. With Inbound Marketing, businesses create customer-centric content based on customers needs. Content could take the form of blogs, videos and SEO.
Inbound Marketing is very different from Outbound or Traditional Marketing. In Outbound or Traditional Marketing, businesses would: buy advertising such as TV or Display ads to interrupt prospects, cold call or cold email to get their [message out.
image via http://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing
Using Marketing for Lead Gen and Demand Gen
YouTube videos, podcasts, ebooks, whitepapers, newsletters, webinars etc…
There are plenty of ways for marketers to measure the reach of their content and track customer behavior with marketing analytics. Many of these resources can prove to be quite expensive but in some cases make sense to purchase. However, there are plenty of free sources for marketing analytics.
6. Referrals/Testimonials from Customers
Referrals and testimonials from your customers is one of the best ways to get leads because they remove doubt from the prospects mind about your capabilities to perform. Referrals could take the form of a video, a recommendation on LinkedIn or a SlideShare presentation. I have the last two that I listed. Referrals and Testimonials should speak to the quality of your work.
7. In person testimonials at trade shows
Providing customers with great products and experiences is a great way to get customers to help market your products and services.
An example of this is illustrated by Hyundai
8.Customer Loyalty programs
Customers are usually delighted to provide referrals and testimonials for companies and products that work. That being said, you need to show your appreciation to customers who put their name and reputation on the line for you.
9. Business Networking
Attending networking events at your local chamber of commerce or at a professional association can be a great way to meet potential prospects and to generate leads. At these events you can talk informally and exchange business cards. You can briefly discuss who you are and what you do then move on; remember you want to network with as many people as possible.
10. Email Marketing
Email lists can be purchased from a list broker or self-generated from your address book. You can also use services like Constant Contact & Mailchip that allows people to enter their email addresses if they want email from your business. This is known as allowing them to opt in. Before proceeding with an Email campaign make sure to get permission from people through an opt-in email. If you do not get peoples’ permission to send them email it can be considered spam.
Email is a cheaper item than mail. You can have a wider reach to your customers. I would suggest creating a message that is compelling. Make sure to use pictures and colors that look appealing.
11. Social Media/Customer Service issues on Social Networks
Today, many people and organizations are using Social Media to get their message out. If you are not using Social Media you are missing an opportunity. The major Social networks are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook tumblr, & WordPress. These networks have similarities in the sense they are designed for people to communicate. Here is how to get started on these platforms.
In my post Building the Brands of Tomorrow, I stated that one of the things that companies needed to do to build the brand of the future is to listen to their customers. This means handling customer complaints promptly. We are in the digital age. In this age, social networks are the wave of the future. Today’s consumer is an empowered consumer. Today’s social consumer can quickly share their thoughts about a product or an experience on Facebook, Twitter, Google and many other networks. Brands need to be present on social networks to interact and engage with the empowered consumer. More and more consumers are consulting their social networks for product recommendations.
The Customer Experience and Customer Journey is being disrupted by technology. The technology comes in the form of social channels such as the internet, mobile, social media, publishing platforms, audio books and video on demand and voice.
All of these channels have the effect of giving consumers instant access to information about products and services. Mobile is becoming the biggest channel with 6.2 Billion Devices projected globally by 2020 According to Ericsson’s Annual Mobility report.
The way customers request information is changing. They may approach Sales, Marketing and Customer Service or an independent source for information and help choosing a product.
Using Social Media for Growth
12. Blogging- WordPress, Tumblr, Medium & LinkedIn
Blogging is a great way to build your brand and market your products to the masses using Inbound Marketing. Writing a blog allows you to demonstrate your expertise through writing. Blogging helps to provide prospects and customers with valuable information. Providing valuable information helps to position you as an expert and a resource. (Content Creation)
Writing a blog is great way to share your ideas and market your expertise in an area. I began blogging back in November 2011. Blogging had connected me with so many great people around the globe. I began publishing on the WordPress platform. In this post, I am going to discuss how to set up your blog on WordPress and Tumblr.
image via zanderchance.com
WordPress & Tumblr are great publishing platforms where users can create customized & branded content which includes domain names. For tips on setting up a blog click here.
image via singlehop.com
Writing on LinkedIn’s long form post is similar to writing blog posts. Your goal is to engage your readers & build an audience. Let’s explore the features of the LinkedIn publishing platform.
13. Content Repurposing & Curation
High quality content created on a blog has amazing potential to be shared, increasing blog readership. However, just creating content; sharing it in its original form on many channels multiple times will continue to yield diminishing results. Results are diminishing because Social Networks and the blog-sphere continue to be bombarded with content. As a result, too much quality content will be overlooked. Now if you are reading this confused what to do next, relax you are not alone. When I started blogging I thought the very same thing. Here is where content repurposing can help.
Content creation is one of the best ways to engage an audience, making it essential to content marketing. However, we simply cannot cover every single topic in our industry. This is where content curation comes in handy, content curation is where you share the work of others in your industry. Content curation can enhance your content marketing efforts in the following ways:
14. Obtaining Content from Customer Service & Sales Teams
Once brands convert prospects into customers, they still need to focus on and support customers post sale. Here is where Content Marketing can help. Brands can use Content Marketing for customer retention, cross-selling and up-selling. To take advantage of this, brands need to involve both their Sales and Customer service team in their Content Marketing strategy.
It is important to attend industry trade shows either as an exhibitor or an attendee. Trade shows are a great way to keep up to date with trends in your industry. This will allow you to hone your expertise which your customers pay for. Trade shows are a great place for you to get leads because customers go to them looking to make purchases either at the show or soon after. If you are an exhibitor, require attendees to give you their contact information to see a demonstration of your product. This can be the start of an informal conversation which you can follow-up on later.
Businesses can advertise their products and services. The advertising can be a spot on the radio, television, Social Media, print and billboards. Television ads can be short commercials that appear on TV shows or they can take the form Infomercials which are at least a half hour in length.
Television has been a preferred method of advertising for years because television has a massive audience. The internet is also a great way to advertise. You can use pay-per-click advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. (LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads,Google AdWords) This is an effective method because you can specify who you want to see your ad by different demographics such as Geography, Age, and Profession. You can also use keywords to trigger your ads.
Placing ads in newspapers can also help your business because newspapers have many readers. Newspapers are usually in print and online. Your advertising on this platform could take the form of a classified ad or article marketing. Industry trade magazines also fall into this category. Billboards can also help your businesses visibility.
18. Direct Mail
Direct mail can be a great way to find prospects. You can create a message with pictures and compelling copy. The idea is to piqué the interest of your prospect and to include a card with paid postage that they can send back requesting more information. You can use CRM software to track your results and fine tune who to target.
Direct Selling and Outside Sales Strategies
Sales can teach you many things.
Here is a list of what I learned from selling.
Creating a Sales Plan supported by CRM software
In my last post, I spoke about how to identify your target market and how to build a prospecting list. In this post, I will cover how to develop and implement a sales plan. Also I will cover how the sales funnel works and how it relates to sales success. The Marketing function of an organization can use marketing automation for related their activities as ACT! and Salesforce offer marketing automation software.
19. Handling Customer Objections
In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections in order to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them.This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also it is imperative that you address any questions the prospect has immediately.
Anyone who is in inside or outside sales has to meet sales quotas/sales goals of a certain type. The role of a Sales Manager is to hire, mentor, train and motivate the Sales Team. A Sales Manager is also accountable for setting the sales goals of their team and making sure that these goals are meet and exceeded. Sales Managers are provided with salary and an override of the teams total sales. Each Sales Reps goals make up a piece of this total sales goal. A Sales Manager’s duties will vary by the size of the organization and its structure.
Now you are asking “ How could I be my own Manager of Sales?
21. Tracking and using Sales Data
Math and Sales Data are essential to improve the sales efforts of Sales Reps. The use of Math and Sales Data can provide a wealth of insights in terms of how effective a businesses sales campaigns are doing.
22. Receivables, and Collections
When we deal with customers, it is important to get them to pay their invoices in a timely manner. What a timely manner means is dependent on your company’s payment policy. Are these customers C.O.D or are they net 30, net 60, net 90 or longer? This payment structure is based on the length of the sales cycle.
In sales, we all have to deal with difficult customers. Today, I am going discuss how to deal with difficult customers. In a previous post, I discussed how to get customers to pay on time. Each situation needs to be put in context. In other words, why were the customers being difficult? Were they being difficult because you screwed up their order or service call?
24. Creating Sales & Marketing Content to engage Customers
In my last post, I covered how to make a cold call where I described about how to make an on the spot sales & marketing presentation. Now I will cover how to develop and deliver a customer centered sales & marketing presentation to a decision maker when you are on an appointed call.
25. Developing Your Presentation
When you start to develop your presentation, it
There are three learning styles, Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic.
65 percent of learners are Visual but this is not everyone. In the presentation below, I provide you with ideas and strategies to
1. Collect information on your buyers learning style
2.Create presentations and content that will engage buyers with content that is optimized to their learning style making it more engaging
3. Create differentiated presentations and content for all learners when buyer learning styles are unknown.
Getting people to pay attention to your message and brand is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s attention economy. This is especially true when making a Sales and Marketing presentation. When making a presentation using PowerPoint/Slide-decks, are you inundating your prospects and audience with slide after slide of visuals? While visuals are important, too many of them can overwhelm your prospects and audience. Remember the goal of your presentation is to inform, persuade and engage your audience to take action based on your message. You do not want overwhelm and/or bore your audience.
Bonus Content/ Additional Content
Create employee advocacy programs by providing a great talent brand.
image via LinkedIn
About the Author
Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.
Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.
He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to 24,000+ followers on LinkedIn and 19,000+ on WordPress.
Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.