In order to be truly remarkable and create the kind of company that gets people talking, you need to do things differently. Changing the way your company does business starts with a close look at the way you interact with your customers. That means re-examining your sales and marketing approach. This requires that you step outside of comfortable patterns and think about your business in new ways. Following are three “big ideas” to help you think differently about your sales and marketing efforts.
1. Buyer Behavior
Today’s consumers don’t want to be told what, where and when to buy the products and services they need. Now that customers have the power to research each purchasing decision online with the touch of a button, companies both large and small need to rethink their sales and marketing approach.
Instead of casting as wide a net as possible in the hopes of catching a few fish of every size, shape and color, it’s time to bait your hook with the valuable information, resources and strong customer referrals that your ideal customers are hungry for, guiding them to your company’s side so that, when it’s time to make a purchase, they jump on board eagerly and of their own accord.
2. The Guided Sales Process
Chances are, your potential customers have already researched your products or services long before they ever set foot in your store or contact your company. If your marketing efforts are working effectively, then the sales process has already begun by the time this first contact is made.
Therefore, instead of selling or pushing your company’s products and services to every lead, you need to retrain your sales force to act as consultants, taking the time to understand each prospective customer’s pains, answering their questions and guiding them to the appropriate solution.
Slick, fast-talking, hard-selling salespeople have no place in the new inbound marketing business model. On the contrary, your new Sales Guides should take on the role of trusted advisors, facilitating the sales process with the kind of honest, knowledgeable information and resources necessary to help customers come to every purchasing decision on their own.
3. The Revenue Department
Once you have begun to adapt your business to the new buyer behavior with a guided sales process, it’s critical to ensure that this process is fully supported and enhanced by your marketing efforts. For decades, companies of every size and across countless industries have separated their sales and marketing efforts into two distinct departments: one to drive customers to your door (marketing) and one to “close the deal” (sales).
This division has given rise to a number of dangerous misunderstandings, miscommunications and missed opportunities. All too often, these separate departments find themselves at odds regarding the best methods and approaches for driving revenue, resulting in two important aspects of your business pulling in different, often conflicting directions.
Your new guided sales process demands a more integrated approach. By combining your sales and marketing team members into a single, cohesive entity called The Revenue Department, you ensure that every member of your team works together to reach your company’s overall goals. More importantly, you ensure that consistent progress toward those goals is measurable, achievable and sustainable.
Creating positive change within your business structure may seem difficult. What to do, how to do it, where to begin—these nagging questions and uncertainties can stop you in your tracks. Whatever you do, don’t stand still. Change is necessary to move your business forward. What better time to start implementing that change than in the coming year?
Eric Keiles is the Chief Marketing Officer at Square 2 Marketing, which practices
Reality Marketing™, a realistic way small- and medium-sized businesses
can generate more revenue without the “fluff”.
For more information:
Square 2 Marketing / (215) 491-0100
firstname.lastname@example.org / square2marketing.com