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Integrate These 12 Business Trends For Increased Marketing and Sales Results -Part 1
by Peter Rathmann on March 14th, 2015

​Being successful in marketing and sales for business development purposes does not happen by doing the same things the same way with the same customers without some adaptation and evolution of your efforts.  Customer buying habits continue to evolve, expectations continue to rise, and competition continues to increase.  

There are 12 business trends that are inherent in successful marketing and selling efforts that you can integrate to meet these challenges. 
  1. Agility
  2. Marketing and Sales Alignement
  3. Collaborative Planning and Goal Setting
  4. CRM Systems and Processes
  5. Original Content and Marketing Automation
  6. Micro-Targeting
  7. Mobility
  8. Face-to-Face Marketing
  9. Build Repeatable Processes
  10. Business Skills
  11. KISS
  12. Accountability and Transparency
If you have heard of these 12 trends and you have them in place, perfect! If you have heard of these 12 trends and need some additional information to convince yourself or your executive leadership about why you need to take these serious, then here is a further explanation of of the first four of these business trends to integrate for increased marketing and sales results.

1.Agility
The ability to adapt and evolve are not unique to the theory of evolution, they are important factors for your business to thrive in the marketplace.  When was the last time you asked your customers what they wanted versus telling them what you think they want? Sure, some of the things they ask for will not be in your wheelhouse, but if enough of them are asking for the same thing and not receiving a solution from your competition, maybe it is time to innovate or diversify what you do to stay on top.
 
2.Marketing and Sales Alignment
One of the most pragmatic CEOs that started her own company from scratch once told my B2B marketing class that until someone gives you money, everything you do is marketing and then you market some more until they give you more money.  This makes “sales” a point in time on the spectrum, a triggering event where the stars align and the universe seems to make perfect sense to all of the relevant stakeholders.
 
My world has three phases to successful business development: awareness, conversion, and account management.  Marketing has specific messages and activities aligned on the customers in all three phases just as sales has specific activities and milestones that need to be in the same alignment.  Why did you send an email about what you do to a customer that you have had for years? Why did the sales team not follow up with all of the leads from the last targeted campaign? Why, on this earth, are you not communicating with and making visits to customers that just bought from you but then went silent? 
 
Marketing and sales is a world of infinite possibilities but limited resources. Make sure that everything you do in marketing and sales is aligned to create efficiencies that minimize the overlap and maximize the opportunities.
 
3.Collaborative Planning and Goal Setting
Long gone are the days of leadership informing you of what your goals should have been in the annual company address that is three months into the following year, or at least they should be?  If you want your business to grow, why are you not giving all of the stakeholders a seat at the table to set the goals and be part of the planning that it will take to reach your vision?
 
Wait, you don’t have a vision for the business and have not communicated it?  This should not be a new trend and that is the reason there is not a number 13 to this blog. Marketing, sales, IT, finance, administration, HR, operations, and even a few strategic partners should all be at the table to help you determine what they can do and how they are going achieve that vision.
 
4.CRM Systems and Processes
One of my favorite hot buttons of all time.  Did you know that only 10% of companies have some sort customer relationship management (CRM) in place and that only 10% of those companies use the CRM systems to their full extent? My math may not be the best but that means only 1% of companies are using CRM to the fullest extent.  The top 1% is called that for a reason, and it is not always because they are lucky. This 1% uses the intelligence from their customers and their business to make smart business decisions.
 
Your customers are your largest asset and if you do not have a tool in place to manage that asset, then you should not blame internal or external forces for sales declines, shrinking margins, or lost market share.  A proper CRM system can be your crystal ball to help you stop all three of those scenarios. Continue to Part 2



Posted in Business Strategy, Sales Management, Strategic Planning, Business Skills, Business Trends    Tagged with Business Skills, Business Trends, Business Strategy, Sales Management, Strategic Planning


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