5 Tips to help you refine your Sales & Marketing processes 
The Summer Olympics are over for another four years but the planning and preparation is an on-going process. 
 
The same should apply to your business. When you have a success, however big or small, you need to review it and see how you can improve for next time. 
 
Have you just won a big new contract, taken a great order, or had the best quarter/year of your business? Maybe you haven't done as well as you planned or hoped? 
Whatever the reasons, your sales and marketing processes should be reviewed often to ensure that you are still working towards your goals. Arguably Sales and Marketing are the two most important departments in your company. You have probably seen various studies about sales and marketing that say: 
 
Companies spend up to 30% of their revenue on marketing 
More than 70% of the leads generated by marketing are never followed up 
Only 50% of the marketing spend is effective, but which 50%? 
Sales teams often consider that leads generated by marketing are of little value 
 
So, how can you improve on this to help reach your goals? Here are our 5 tips to better collaboration between sales and marketing: 
 
1. Speak the same language 
One of the keys to success in anything - in sport or business - is to ensure all departments "speak the same language". It would be no good if the sports coach and the athlete didn't understand each other. I don't mean the actual language used, but the meaning behind what is said. 
 
Sales and marketing teams will often have different terms for the same thing - enquiry, suspect, prospect, unqualified lead, qualified lead and so on. If they don't have the same understanding, confusion arises which could lead to incorrect assumptions being made about the success of marketing campaigns. 
 
2. What is a Lead? 
To know when you have a good lead, you must first identify your perfect customer (this will be the subject of a future article). In order to do this you may simply ask the sales people for their opinions, or used your own ideas, especially if you do not have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in place. 
 
Ensure both Sales and Marketing departments are involved with this. Marketing need to know the profile of the customers you are looking for in order to refine the marketing message to ensure the leads that are generated are of the right quality. 
 
3. Define and agree Accountability 
What are each department responsible for? Is the marketing team targeted on leads, total revenue generated? Sales staff are accountable for following all leads within a specific time frame, and then setting further follow ups throughout the sales cycle converting the leads into real opportunities and then into customers. 
 
4. Use your Marketing Materials 
Some surveys indicate that up to 90% of traditional marketing materials are not used in the field. There is no point in producing leaflets; brochures etc. that sit in the sales person’s car/desk/briefcase and never make it to the prospective customer. 
 
Both teams should be involved in developing messages that will attract your perfect customer. They need to answer the customers pain points, not just be a list of product features, If possible, work with your best customers to produce case studies, and then also use their stories in other materials to show how your product solves typical problems. 
 
5. Develop Longer Term Campaigns 
Sales people will always like a lead where the decision timeframe is fairly short - after all they have targets to meet, often monthly or quarterly. However, buyers at this stage may already have their shortlist or be a long way into their purchasing cycle. You may be just making up the numbers for comparative quotes. 
 
New opportunities need to be identified as early as possible, and then you need a longer term plan of action to nurture this lead until they are ready to buy. Sales and marketing again should be working together to refine this process and ensure that the messages send out are applicable, and again everyone is speaking the same language. 
 
These points should give you some ideas for refining your sales and marketing process to help your business reach its goals. 
Tagged as: Sales and Marketing
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