This guest article arose out of a conversation I had with the inimitable Adrian Miller (of Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian’s Network, and Three Giraffes, among other entities) after a presentation I did earlier this month. The bottom line: Marketing abhors a vacuum, and it simple won’t perform if it isn’t tied into your sales efforts. (Among other things, including your brand, but that’s a subject for another article.) Take it away, Adrian!
Invest in Marketing But Don’t Forget Sales!
I have many business contacts that do a pretty spectacular job at marketing their businesses. On and offline, they engage in robust marketing programs designed to build their businesses.
The truth is that I’m a little in awe because their marketing campaigns are almost flawless, and I haven’t quite gotten to be that proficient in doing the marketing for my own company.
What I am good at, however, is sales. I know that a marketing campaign that is not tightly integrated with proactive sales strategies and excellent sales competencies is doomed to fail or at best generate a much smaller return on investment.
It’s quite sad really. So many companies create excellent marketing plans yet neglect to think about any or all of the following:
- The sales strategy that will be aligned with the marketing campaign
- The sales competencies of the people that are tasked with selling the prospects generated by the marketing campaign
- The follow-up processes that must be deployed to maximize results from the marketing campaign
Do you believe in “Build it and they will come?” If that’s not your style, then it’s best to do the following:
- Don’t isolate your sales and marketing departments. You will build your business much more effectively if the sales dept. is aware what marketing is doing and vice versa. These departments must be in sync. I’ve known companies that have launched marketing campaigns, neglected to tell their sales team which then resulted in miscommunication with prospects and clients alike.
- Engage in ongoing sales training to best ensure that everyone’s sales competencies are at their highest levels. In order to get the best results training should always be ongoing and consistent.
- Create metrics so that you can assess and evaluate the results of your marketing and sales campaigns. Be as precise as possible.
- Design a lead follow-up strategy so that interested prospects generated by your marketing campaigns do not disappear and die from lack of attention and timely, thoughtful, and thorough follow up.
Don’t waste another dollar on marketing without doing the above. Marry your marketing and sales and you’re sure to generate improved results.