Posts Tagged ‘Sales Growth’

Sales Problems may point to poor Product Management & Product Marketing

Comments Off on Sales Problems may point to poor Product Management & Product Marketing
February 21, 2014 · by Ray · Business Solutions, High Performance Sales Team, Marketing

Sales problems are very visible.

 

Targets are not met. Customers are not acquired. Pipelines are not healthy. Forecasts are not met.

Often the immediate reaction is to blame the sales personnel. Typical questions are: Are they working hard enough. Are they working smart enough? Do they  have the right relationships. Are they looking in the wrong places. Do they understand customer problems?  Do they understand the product value? Can they present the value of the product effectively?

Diagnose, Create & Deliver

Diagnose, Create, Deliver

While sales personnel can always up their game, in many cases the root problems can be elsewhere. If Product Management and Product Marketing processes been ignored, or not done correctly then the following problems may be diagnosed

 

Diagnosis

  • Do product differentiators exist and are they understood?
  • Is product positioning clear and understood?
  • Have the correct target market segments been identified?
  • Is the product fully developed and bug free?
  • Does the product provide the whole solution for the customer or are partner products required?
  • Is the product perceived as too expensive?
  • Is the value of the product understood and presented well enough?
  • Are the value messages available for all of the key players in the customer organisation?
  • Do suitable message vehicles exist? Do sales tools exist?
  • Are there reference customers available that are acceptable to target customers?

Create & Deliver Solution

A solution must then be created and delivered. Depending on the organisation this may be done by Product Management and Product Marketing.

Product management is inward focussed and product marketing is outward focussed.

  • Utilise Differentiators – Articulate product differentiators, and combine with customer profiling and competitive analysis to position products correctly and to drive messaging.
  • Prioritise Target Customers – Utilise market analysis and product positioning to prioritise demand generation and sales activities
  • Finalise Development – Create project plan and obtain high level management sponsorship  to finalise development.
  • Create Whole Solution – The construction of the solution may be done directly or via a third party such as an integrator. In Early markets the customer will normally provide this function either directly or via a third party.
  • Execute Pricing Review – Ensure that value is demonstrated clearly by better presentation or if required a pricing reduction or re-organization.
  • Create Better Value Presentation – Include all the value elements and simplify presentation in line with the customer financial modelling. Include as a standard sales tool.
  • Acquire Reference Customers – Provide sufficient support to sales personnel to target and acquire reference customers.

Project management methodologies and tools can be used  as appropriate to deliver solutions efficiently and effectively.

Customer Service: The John Lewis Way

Comments Off on Customer Service: The John Lewis Way

john_lewis_oxford_street1

I recently had the pleasure of working inside John Lewis and experiencing first hand how they deliver customer service that’s admired. I enjoyed working with the company. The customers and staff (partners) are in general happy, very polite and helpful and the company has a great atmosphere which is a credit to them. This has not happened overnight. The trust that customers have in John Lewis takes a long time to build but much easier to lose. How have they created this? First are the founding principles of Customer Service in John Lewis –

“Be honest; give respect; recognise others; show enterprise; work together; achieve more.”

Then my impressions…

1. “We’re Based on the Notion that if we Treat our Partners well, it will lead to Good Customer Service.”

This is a simple idea but one few companies really put into practice. John Lewis implement it in a number of ways:

  • Partnership
    • Staff are called and treated as partners
    • All partners are owners in the business and get a yearly bonus based on performance
    • Managers served staff at Xmas lunch
    • Partnership concept breaks down barriers and creates meritocracy
  • Respect
    • Respect for each other and for customers is a core value within John Lewis
    • Managers and staff were generally very helpful to one another and to customers
    • No difference between how customers and partners were treated…indeed partners were often customers
  • Trust
    • Trust partners and empower them to do well
    • In general partners were given space to to their jobs and to succeed and
  • Soft Benefits to create family effect
    • Subsidised canteen, discount card, subsidised, sports , subsidised concerts, holiday homes etc…
    • Social club with great parties etc.

2. Empower Staff

  • Train staff well
  • Empower them to make do the right thing. This may be asking a manager or acting on the customer’s best interests depending on the situation. They are encouraged to think outside the box once the basics have been understood and acted upon. Staff are expected to show enterprise in the right context
  • Staff are product experts in their areas and have built up this expertise over time and through training.
  • Be honest – if you don’t know do not waste the customer’s time. Find somebody with the right answer. Bring the customer to the answer if required.

 

3. Get and Act on Customer Feedback

  • Headquarter staff spend a few days serving over peak periods. This helps to give better customer service overall but also gives them immediate insight into the problem areas that customers are facing.
  • Staff are expected to communicate issues regularly and many forums are created whereby this is done in a  formal way

4. Make Online and Store seamless

  • Returns for online can be done in store at any till with systems work behind the scenes to improve this process ongoing. This can be much better than having to repackage it and post it back to other online retailers.,
  • Maintain exceptional customer service online. Customers have access to people when they need it and can use Waitrose and John  Lewis stores to pick up their purchase rather than missing the delivery at home.
  • Online is becoming a huge part of the overall service offered by John Lewis allowing customers to purchase when stores are closed. The John Lewis Clearance sales started on Xmas eve.

5. Make Customers Life Easy

  • Shopping can be stressful and unpleasant in the wrong environment. John Lewis try to help make it a pleasant environment.
  • Create a calm environment that is pleasant to look at and products are easy to find. Do not overburden with selling messages in flash colours
  • Keep queues to a minimum by hiring temporary staff for peak times to help at till as and free up existing staff to answer questions and give advice. Also deploy HQ staff to help out.
  • Provide a customer collection point that will collect all customer purchases in one location to ensure that they are not overburdened with bags
  • Provide home delivery options from store
  • Provide delivery options to John Lewis or Waitrose stores
  • Provide extensive gift list and gift wrapping services
  • Staff are honest and if they cannot answer will say so but will find someone who can and will not leave the customer until they are assured that the customer is being served by someone able inside John Lewis.

6. Be Different

  • Never knowingly undersold
    • John Lewis will match competitor prices if evidence is presented that is relevant and reasonable.
    • Staff are empowered to do this on the fly with manager’s approval.
    • Systems will support on the fly one off discounting.
  • Have an exceptional returns policy
    • John Lewis customers are trusted implicitly and when they bring back a product that they are not happy with it is changed often without question. This could be abused but at a macro level this creates tremendous good will and indeed more purchases. Often customers need to see the product in the home environment before being really sure and if they could postpone or not purchase if the returns policy was too difficult.
  • Have an exceptional warranty on electricals
    • John Lewis provides market leading warranties on electrical items whilst maintaining competitive prices.. This has become more important a sthe options on the high street narrow.

7. Hire people who share the John Lewis vision

  • Hire people who will take on the values of John Lewis and take it forward. The gatekeepers that hire staff  into John Lewis have an important job to hire people that will not abuise the trust and respect gievn to them by partners and customers.

 

Achieving Business Growth

Comments Off on Achieving Business Growth

Diagnose Challenges, Create Solutions & Deliver Results

Challenge

The overriding challenge in sales and marketing is “To deliver business growth”.

How to Address

Take the right approach.No one size fits all. So to be most efficient and effective it is best to:

  • Diagnose Challenge,
  • Create Solution & then
  • Deliver Results.

The challenges will fall into two broad categories

  • Enter new markets or
  • Develop existing ones.

Diagnose Challenge

The main ingredients of success are:

  • Strategy,
  • Sales team (& infrastructure),
  • Customer acquisition( tailored sales process, product value, & customer references)
Which of these ingredients are in place? If they are in place are they fit for purpose and achieving acceptable performance?

Create Solution

Following the diagnosis of the challenges a bespoke solution may be created.

Create/Develop Strategy

Planning means that subsequent action will effective and efficient.

  • Create customer profile,
  • Value proposition,
  • Go to Market strategy,
  • Sales process,
  • Sales team,
  • Targets.

Create/Develop Sales Team

This includes Leadership, Scalable Sales Model and Hiring the best people.

Leadership means that the team energised, have clear objectives, are fully engaged and deliver the required targets wit the required cost. The team is supported by a  scalable sales model which includes:

  • Sales Process based on Customer Buying Process
  • Sales Management System to to deliver forecasts and processes for coaching and performance management
  • Sales Automation that improves the efficiency of communication, customer database and reporting.
  • Marketing Integration for lead generation, sales tools,  messaging and effective market coverage.

Hire the best people. Utilise a clear and professional process to identify and develop people with high potential.

Begin/Develop Customer Acquisition

Customer Acquisition is vital for revenue Growth and the creation of references to enable later customers to be acquired more efficiently. Both are key attributes of business growth.

First ensure product delivers compelling value. as perceived by the customers. Then create or develop references.
To win major breakthrough accounts will require the creation of a tailored sales process based on the customers buying process. This will help harness the resources of the company effectively, manage communication and monitor progress.

Deliver Results

Results will be best delivered by effective leadership and professional project management.Leadership ensures that clear objectives are set and resources to deliver such objectives are secured.Then the team to deliver the results is engaged such that they are fully committed to deliver superb results.Finally the results are delivered with progress monitored and reported on at regular intervals to keep stakeholders informed.

3 Step Plan to Deliver Business Growth

Comments Off on 3 Step Plan to Deliver Business Growth
October 4, 2011 · by Ray · Business Solutions
What are the steps required to deliver business growth?
Business Growth may be delivered using a three stage approach:
  • Step 1: Diagnosis – What are the Business Challenges? What are the growth objectives? What is the current sales and marketing infrastructure and what needs to be provided?
  • Step 2: Design –  How can Business Growth be achieved?  Design the Solution
  • Step 3: Implement & Report.

Step 1: Diagnosis

“Diagnose before you Prescribe”. Covey.

Diagnose Business Challenges to create Solution

If the diagnosis is not correct then the solution may well be inappropriate or incorrect.

What are  the Business Challenges?

  • What are the Growth Objectives and supporting Business Plan?
  • Is New Market Entry required –
    • Early (New Products to Market),
    • Mainstream (Moving from Early Adopters/Innovators into broader Mainstream market or
    • Geographic?
  • Is Development of Existing Market required?
    • Does a Business Development/Improvement Plan exist?
  • Does an acceptable  Sales Strategy exist?
  • Does a Sales Team exist that is fit for purpose?
    • Create, develop or radically improve?
    • Is the sales infrastructure sufficient (Hiring Process, Reward System, Sales Process,Sales Management System & Sales Automation system)?
    • Is Marketing Support sufficient and integrated with sales (Sales Tools, Sales Training, Lead Generation, Market Coverage)?
  • What Major Accounts are required?
    • Do references exist?
    • Is there sufficient support infrastructure (Tailored Sales Process)?

Step 2: Solution Design

Having diagnosed and agreed the Business Challenges in detail, the Solution may now be designed. Depending on the Business Challenges the Solution will include some or all of the modules.

Choose Solution to fit Challenge

 

A full Market Entry solution will require all three solutions:
  • Create Strategy
  • Create New Sales Team
  • Win New Major Accounts
In some situations a suitable Strategy will exist but help is required to execute it. This will require:-
  • Create New Sales Team
  • Win New Major Accounts
In other cases an acceptable Sales Strategy and Sales Team exists but need to implement a Major Account sales process and to create positive references. In this case only one solution (Major Accounts) is required.
In other cases all the solutions are in place but are not fit for purpose or are not functioning correctly. In this case all elements mus be diagnosed and, if faulty, remedied. In addition the product must be diagnosed to ensure that expected value is being presented and delivered and that positive references are being created.

Sales & Marketing Strategy. This is designed to deliver Business Growth and other Objectives

Sales (& Marketing) Strategy

Use information on  customer profile, geographic profile,  product maturity, the competition and the strength of the vendor to shape the strategy. Develop Value Propositions as required to suit the particular product and customer profile.


A High Performance Sales Team Plan

Create a High Performance Sales & Marketing Team

A High Performance  Sales Team  will achieve effectiveness and efficiency. It  will strive for best in class Personnel Hire, Reward System, Sales Process, Sales Management System, Sales Automation System & Marketing Integration.
Marketing plan will include Lead Generation, Messaging Strategy and Sales Tools using Online and Offline techniques.

 

Win Major Accounts Plan

Win Breakthrough Major Accounts

Winning New Major Accounts will facilitate entry and growth within a target market segment. It requires a tailored sales process, A Value Proposition based on differentiators, positive references and detailed plans at account and opportunity level.

Step 3: Implementation

The solution may now be implemented. Project Management tools are used to measure progress and report on success.
Depending on the Business Challenges, some or all of the following market specific hurdles may need to be overcome:
  • Limited Resources
  • Immature Infrastructure
  • Customer Expectations too high
  • Product Development Required
  • Solution Development Required
  • Partner Management Required

Business Consultancy? What does it offer…

Comments Off on Business Consultancy? What does it offer…
August 11, 2011 · by Ray · Business Solutions
Consultant

A Good Business Consultant delivers Business Improvement

What do Good Business Consultants do?

  • They improve business performance
  • They deliver tangible results
  • They relentlessly seek to deliver tangible value
I consider some of the perceived problems of Business Consultants and then consider what good Business Consultants can offer.

What are the Problems with Business Consultants?

Question: What does a consultant do if you ask him the time?

Answer: He asks to borrow your watch, he tells you the time and then walks off with your watch.

The word consultant does have some baggage, basically because it has become a term that has been used too much to mean too many things ….some of them negative. And without a well known brand name behind it the negative baggage may come to the fore.

It is associated in some minds with many initiatives that delivered few quantifiable benefits. It is associated with high costs  and sometimes with a  lack of drive, initiative and creativity.

And of course unlike a doctor or a lawyer, anyone can call themselves a consultant.

Without the support of a well known consultancy brand then some of the negative market perceptions of Business Consultancy may dominate  in the mind of a prospective customer and a focus on value becomes even more essential.

I have asked some questions below to answer a few questions that may explain the benefits that good business consultants can offer.

What Areas do they Work in?

  • Management Consulting 16% (  Operations Management(inc. Sales& Marketing) 43%, Strategy 31%,HR 20%, IT strategy & planning 6%)
  • IT Outsourcing 36%
  • Business Process Outsourcing 28%
  • Systems Integration 20%

Why do Clients Hire them?

  • People needs
    • Specialist skills or a level of knowledge they lack internally
  • Thinking needs
    • A different perspective
    • Gather and analyse data to back up perspective
    • Challenge long term assumptions
  • Process and technology needs
    • Transferring an idea into reality
    • Provide best practice and thought leadership
    • Provide the focus the deliver on time and to budget

How do they Deliver Business Improvement ?

  • Specialist Projects
    • Utilize specialist knowledge
  • Integrated Solutions
    • Large scale change
  • Strategic Advice
    • Generate business insight
    • Focus on advisory work rather than implementation

What Business Improvement do they deliver?

  • Improve effectiveness – getting the desired result (doing the right thing)
  • Improve efficiency – getting it quickly (doing the thing right)
  • Delivered with economy – getting it at a reasonable market rate
    • Smaller firms with the right specialist knowledge, experience and tools can offer economy and flexible engagement models.

What kind of Consultancy Firms are there?

  • Traditional Delivery (Almost all skills in house)
    • Relationship
      • e.g. Mc Kinsey, Bain. Mainly focussed on effectiveness projects such as strategy advice
    • Product
      • e.g. Simon-Kucher. Top line growth through advising on pricing and marketing.
  • Hub & Spoke Delivery (Hub with brand, support and winning business with spoke as associates/partners for delivery)
    • Broker Firms
      • e.g. Eden McCallum. Cope well with variable income stream with variable cost base.  They co-ordinate the resources necessary to deliver a broad range of consulting services to clients
    • Diversifying Firms
      • e.g.  Xerox. Company with historical product heritage and use it a launch pad into the world of professional services.
  • Integrator ( Prime contractor managing subcontractors/partners as required)
    • Transformation Firms
      • e.g. IBM/Accenture. Moving from transactions to transformation. Requires (1) scale to deliver results – organizational and financial. (2) Depth of knowledge and (3) correct fusion of business(consulting & outsourcing) and technology. Is about long term continuous improvement and relationships.
    • Transaction Firms
      • e.g. CapGemini,LogicaCMG,EDS. Small number of large deals focussed on on large scale systems delivery or outsourcing. Tend to be one off deals rather than continuous.

What does a Good Consultant offer?

  • Relentless effort  to increase value for customers
  • Trust
  • Specialist knowledge
    • And continuous learning to maintain knowledge
  • Breadth of Experience
  • Perspective
  • Good interpersonal & communication skills and an ability to inspire trust
  • Development of case histories, best practice and tools
  • Thought Leadership (truely original or at least original to the organisation..most customers are happy with ideas that are pragmatic and have well defined case histories that demonstrate tangible value delivered.)
  • Ability to manage projects  that will deliver tangible business improvement

What is the Best Method of Promoting Business Consultancy?

Lead with Value

It is better that they lead with the tangible value that they can deliver very clearly as otherwise they will not brand themselves positively in the mind of the prospective audience. Without the support of a well known consultancy brand then this approach becomes essential as some of the negative market perceptions of Business Consultancy may dominate.

Using Value to Sell Complex Services

Comments Off on Using Value to Sell Complex Services

Value must be recognised by the customer - use his rules.

Selling Complex Services

Services are invisible, intangible so how best to sell them?

By describing clearly the value that they can bring to the customer.

This is done by estimating the value to the customer, the investment required and describing how a customer reference has received similar value .

Value Proposition

The delivery vehicle for communicating value is known as a value proposition and can be used for all kinds of sale but is particularly useful for complex services sales.

It is normally used initially in prospecting to get the attention of an executive and to get agreement from him to assign resources to work together on an evaluation plan. This will include the  creation of a detailed business plan to ensure that it is the right decision for the company.

Simple Example

A very simple value proposition example using the services offered by O’Brien Business Solutions is shown below.

We believe that Customer A should be able to

  • Achieve Business Growth by a minimum of 15% in the next year 

Through an ability to:

  • Launch New Products and Services
  • Create a New High Performance Sales Team
  • Win New Breakthrough major Accounts & create positive references
As a result of
  • a Business Solution designed and implemented to deliver delivering Sales and Marketing programmes.
For an investment of
  • £YK.
Based on the assumption of:
  • an 1 year contract and a start within 2 weeks.
  • a similar Business Solution to Customer Reference A where a Business Growth of  20% was achieved in the same timeframe.

A more complicated BPO example

We believe that  Company A should be able to

  • Increase efficiency by 10% resulting in a 5% increase in profits per annum.
  • With an upside of 
    • Improve knowledge sharing, security and workforce effectiveness

Through the ability to

  • Design and implement new business processes using the latest technology

As a result of

  • Outsourcing specific document intensive processes in HR, Legal & Supply Chain departments

For an investment of

  • Set up – £XM set up
  • Ongoing –  Annual Service charge of £YM

Based on the following Assumptions

  • 5 Year contract
  • Set up in Yr  1
  • Relevant staff transferred according to TUPE.
  • Benefits realized in years 2-5.

Best relationships are based on value

Value is referenced throughout the sale. It may well start with a straw-man, built using data from a previously successful customer or reference and extrapolated to address this particular customer.  It will be developed as the sale proceeds as more detail on the solution is developed and information on the assumptions is discovered.  In some cases, some pilots may need to be implemented to test some key assumptions in the value equation.

The best relationships in business have the delivery of value as their foundation. A sales person that is perceived to consistently deliver value (advice, information, solutions) will be better placed to form better relationships.

Value flows throughout the organisation

A Goal/Objective for the CEO flows down to the CMO and down  to the marketing department.
For instance the CEO may have an objective of increasing the average revenue per user. This will be come a lead generation objective by the marketing department and an opportunity conversion objective by sales. A Value chain may be created to move from clearly known objectives at the top of the organisation to create new ones lower down the organisation.

Selling Complex Services into the Early Market

Selling into the Early Market is characterised by no or very limited customer references that will underpin the value proposition.

Whilst the Early Market is also characterised by buyers that are more innovative and as such prepared to take a risk, they do need some rationale for taking a decision to proceed.

Services do have more difficulties here than say selling a product like a piece of equipment in that a piece of equipment can be tested by a third party and the benefits verified.

Complex services such as BPO require at least one customer reference before the value proposition mat be truly verified. And as such it underlines how important the customer references are and therefore it is worth the company putting a lot of resources into obtaining the first contract an delivering it.  It is worth noting also that it will take time before the benefits can be calculated and therefore will take time before the contract can become a true customer reference.

What can be done in the absence of a customer reference? A number of options can be explored:

  1. Start with a  good relationship and trust as a foundation?
  2. Can you use process that is being done inside (selling) company’s own organisation?
  3. Does the new process utilize a core competence of the (selling) company? For instance a new technology that will improve the process. Examine its use in customer processes and obtain results.
  4. Utilize Market research to verify the value proposition.

There are two methods to achieving the market research:

  1. Find market research by a respected third party that will verify the claims made in the value proposition.
  2. If adequate market research is not available then conduct bespoke market research that will verify the claims made in the value proposition.
Using the information and the market research to build a model with clear assumptions,  a value proposition straw-man may then be created. For an innovative customer, or one that has a pressing issue that requires resolution this will be sufficient to proceed.  Normally they will require the assurance that sufficient support will be provided to address any unforeseen problems efficiently.

Lead Generation Terminology

Comments Off on Lead Generation Terminology
May 25, 2011 · by Ray · Lead Generation

Target Market

The Target Market or Target Market segment is a list of companies  (B2B) or consumers (B2C) that possess the required buyer profile that make them pre-disposed to buy the product.

Territory

A territory is  a part of the target market which has been allocated to a  sales person or sales team.

A Lead

A lead is a  potential opportunity sometimes known as a prospect – For example, a person met at a conference who expressed interest, or someone who filled out a form on the company website.

Lead Conversion (Or Qualification)

If the lead is qualified and the salesperson and decides to pursue it, the lead is “converted,” and becomes an opportunity. ( Note that the term conversion is used somewhat loosely and in many cases in Digital Marketing does not end up with an opportunity but with a (more qualified) lead that still requires further qualification before it becomes an opportunity.

An Opportunity

Opportunities are the sales and pending deals that are tracked in that Sales Pipeline or Funnel. The pipeline is built by adding more opportunities will contribute to the forecast.

Opportunity Qualification

Opportunity Qualification means that the prospect has provided information and performed certain actions that show that they are  at a minimum in the market for the product, have the budget to buy and are willing to do  so within a reasonable timeframe.

Qualification is tailored to the specific sales process which is itself  aligned to the specific buying process in place.

In a simple B2C eCommerce transaction the qualification is a very simple process.

In B2B solution selling the qualification is a process that may be spread over weeks or months that forms a large part of the sales process due to the relative complexity of the buying process.

For instance in B2B solution selling:

  • A Lead may be qualified initially by an internal telemarketing team who may deem it good enough to pass on to the field sales team.
  • The Field sales team would initially qualify the company known as a suspect to avoid confusion with the term prospect. At this stage it would enter the funnel as a qualified suspect.
  • Further levels of Qualification would then take place with the other members of the buying team such as the Sponsor (Person Driving the Project) and the Power Sponsor (Normally at Executive or C Level).

An Account

An account is the company or consumer that makes the purchase. An account may deal with several opportunities.

Digital Marketing Strategy

Comments Off on Digital Marketing Strategy
May 25, 2011 · by Ray · Digital Marketing, Lead Generation

Build Foundation for Success

The key to success is to create:

  • Clear Value objectives (or Clear Return on Investment objectives or Business Case)
  • Clear measurement (“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”)

Value = Total Benefits – Total Investment.

Deliver Value

The Value delivered by a Digital Marketing Strategy is:

  • Customer Sales
    • Part or all of the sales process depending on sale complexity.
    • For Complex B2B Digital Marketing can:
      • Create Awareness & Stimulate interest,
      • Generate Leads
  • Audience Engagement
  • Customer/Market Insight
    • Is the market aware, Ready to buy? Are my customers satisfied?
    • Used for Product Development or to Gauge the Appropriate Sales & Marketing Strategy.

This post will focus only on Customer Sales & Audience Engagement.

Deliver Customer Sales

Digital Marketing integrated  into the Sales Process

Digital (Online) Marketing integrated into the Sales Process

Digital Marketing allows niche markets  to be targeted at a comparatively reduced cost.

Create Awareness

Use

  • Display Advertising
    • on websites that are relevant to the product being sold.
  • Social Media & Blogs
    • to engage with target market, to help educate and to announce new products.
  • Email Marketing
    • to distribute newsletters, whitepapers to stimulate interest.
  • Website
    • to educate.

Use in combination with Offline Marketing in the right blend to enhance success.

Generate Leads

Use

  • Search  (a mixture of organic and paid),
  • Display Advertising (on websites that are relevant to the product being sold) &
  • Email Marketing.
  • Social media (networking and leads from engaged audience)
  • Website (Capture inbound inquiries)

Use in combination with Offline Marketing in the right blend to enhance success.

Search has historically been the strongest digital channel  for lead generation. It has been found that the yield is improved when combined with other channels such as Display Advertising.

Demonstrate Value using a Marketing Funnel

Use Marketing Funnel Above Sales Funnel to demonstrate Value

Whether you are B 2 B, B 2 C or non profit your marketing activities can be best viewed using  the sales funnel.

Marketing at its heart is geared towards lead generation,  but  can also help in development and closure. The Value of any Marketing Campaign must be measured in the number of leads generated and opportunities created.

A Marketing  Funnel  may therefore be added above the Sales funnel.  The exact breakdown of the Marketing and Sales Funnels will vary depending on the nature of the customer buying process. In general for B2B,  the Marketing Funnel moves the target market members to Awareness, To Lead and To Converted Lead which then becomes an Opportunity for development by Sales.  In Small Sales Teams, with no specialized Marketing help, this may well be all done by the sales team.

Demonstrate Value using an ROI Model

The actions to create a model are as follows:

  • Map out a number of channels whereby a target company engages and becomes a lead, for example:
    • Search Engine –>Main Site –>Download Whitepaper –>Registration
    • Search Engine –>Blog–>Main Site–>Enquiry Form
    • Twitter–>Blog–>Enquiry Form
    • Facebook Fan page–>Main Site–>Enquiry Form
    • Display Advertising Banner–>Product Microsite–>Main Site –>Enquiry Form
  • Create KPIs and predicted relationships between KPIs and Leads generated, for example:
    • Main Site Visitors
    • Actions Performed (eg Download Whitepapers)
    • Facebook Fans
    • Twitter Followers
  • Create Model
    • Predict Customer sales
    • Estimate Break down by Lead Generated and Path
    • Estimate Costs
  • Do Pilot Campaigns
    • Compare Different blends and strategies
  • Implement most successful on full market.

Initially, Social Media will be all about building awareness but if an engaged audience can be created then inevitably it will generate leads.

Social Media sites like Linked In are used by Sales Teams as part of their networking strategies.

Measurement and evaluation are very important.  Every business is different and requires some testing  to achieve the optimum blend of digital marketing channels.

Deliver Audience Engagement

The collateral benefit of Digital Marketing strategy is the creation and growth of engaged audiences (customers and prospects).  A more engaged audience delivers the following benefits

  • More Likely to purchase – A Mature engaged Social Media Audience can be a Lead Generation source.
  • Better Retention – more likely to stay
  • Brand Advocate leading to referrals and good references

 

 

Creating a High Performance Sales Team: – Hiring

Comments Off on Creating a High Performance Sales Team: – Hiring
May 10, 2011 · by Ray · Hiring
Hiring  Sales People with High Potential

The foundation for creating a high Performance Sales team is hiring the right Sales People

A key to success is to create a professional hiring process. This means that the role well defined and the process very professional.  It will recognise, target and attract sales people with the potential to be high performers. Good people always have options so they must be sold to. Potential high performers are attracted by the the right company culture and its reward system.

The reward system includes monetary items but also many soft items such as job satisfaction growth prospects and status.

« Older Entries