Today’s guest post is from Chad Root, President of Spearhead Marketing and Certified Partner of The Whale Hunters.
The biggest sales mistake I’ve seen is failure to invest in branding, advertising, public relations and web technology.
For companies that have historically been heavily invested in sales salaries, commissions or one-off trade-shows, proper marketing investment may require divesting in sales in order to invest in marketing. Otherwise, marketing will always be seen an additional expense because it wasn’t in last year’s budget.
It becomes very clear that marketing has a higher return on investment for certain stages of business development than sales when you break down the desired outcomes. B2B organizations should all desire an increase in each of the steps in this cycle. So what is the best way to go about it?
Best Practice #1: Get help with branding.
Does your company have a unified brand or do your individual salespeople have their own brands? When you’re responsible for growing a business and not just your own commissions, clearly organizational success should be the goal. Is this a sales challenge or a marketing challenge? It’s a marketing challenge, yet many companies turn this over to salespeople. Getting outside help on branding makes sense for many reasons. One, it’s easier for others to compare you to your competition when they have an outside perspective. Two, it’s not likely that you have the level of technical and creative talent on staff to pull off successful corporate identity, advertising, public relationships and web marketing initiatives. Even very large companies with in-house agencies go outside for inspiration, innovation and specialized execution. For more on this topic, view our SM-art Sales & Marketing introduction video.
Best Practice #2: Sales needs to be involved in nurturing new leads that come in through marketing channels.
Great sales people have both empathy and ego. When it’s comes to ego, it can sometimes get in the way of nurturing new leads. Attention salespeople: Set your ego aside just enough that you can be grateful that new leads are coming in the door. Keep in mind, the lead will not be ready to buy today. Give marketing some direction on how to best nurture the lead along and make personal contact with the lead when the timing is right.
Best Practice #3: Encourage new ideas and creative ways to utilize marketing tools in the sales process.
“How-to” videos, demonstration kits, online assessments, photo scrapbooks for project management, etc. These are all “marketing investments” that can have a huge impact on how many leads make it into the sales pipeline.
Best Practice #4: Teach your sales people to be Sales Professionals.
Sales pro’s are hard to find. Just because you can cook, doesn’t make you a
chef. We recommend The Whale Hunters because it’s centered on organizational success and will teach a salesperson how to be a valuable leader in their company and industry.
With a certified Whale Hunter running point, your business development cycle of closing sales in your pipeline, maximizing lifetime client value and developing referrals will be a natural way of doing business. Keep in mind, these steps also need marketing support.
For more on this topic, read Why Can’t Sales and Marketing Get Along?
For help creating a balanced sales and marketing budget to meet your company’s growth objectives while maximizing return on sales and marketing investment, contact Chad Root at Spearhead Sales & Marketing.
Spearhead Sales & Marketing
223 S. Main St.
Elkhart, IN 46516