We hear a lot about creating a sales and marketing strategy. Terms such as content marketing, digital marketing, social marketing, and OTT marketing are often used interchangeably. They all help a business reach a targeted goal but can be confusing to someone on the outside looking in.
Within many company structures, there is a sales team and a marketing team. In the perfect world, these two areas would fall under the same umbrella. The teams would work together to address the needs of the client and come up with a strong cohesive sales and marketing strategy.
Strategic sales and marketing take into consideration that marketing tactics apply to prospective clients, existing clients, and internal clients. The sales component does not end once the contract is signed. As the company promotes new products and services, these teams need to come together to seal the deal.
Are you looking for ways to bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams? Keep reading for 15 tips on how to develop and align a strategic sales and marketing plan.
1. Understand the Need for a Sales and Marketing Strategy
Not having a feasible sales and marketing plan can be expensive and time-consuming. It is important to understand how the two can work together to build a strong sales funnel.
Each team brings its own expertise to the table to address the four major components. Identify the consumer, research data to build the lead, create the sales opportunity, and convert them into customers.
Without a marketing team, it is difficult to attract the consumer. Without the sales team, you can’t close the deal.
2. Create a Joint Mission Statement
Mission statements are a tool used to keep a group motivated and focused on their objectives. The statement outlines the purpose of the teams and how they are interwoven. It helps the teams remember why their individual roles as well as the desired outcome for the project.
The mission statement can motivate the teams when it comes to sales strategy planning. By adding renewed energy to the group they are more likely to produce new marketing ideas.
3. Choose Team Leaders for Collaborative Initiatives
When it’s time to work on new sales strategy plans it’s important that every member feels he or she plays a vital role. Creating team lead roles gives different players the chance to spearhead a project.
This can infuse new ideas into existing strategies as well as new approaches to solving problems.
When the sales strategy is being built to generate leads for existing clients, the company is at an advantage. Your target audience is already committed to your company and most-likely sold on your products and services.
4. Update Your Customer Website
A business website gives customers and visitors 24-hour access to what your company has to offer. Websites can have client/customer portals that provide self-service tools. It can also have a portal for potential clients.
Your sales and marketing team can come together to plan out the features of the website. The sales strategy plans can be deployed throughout the website as a leads generator.
The activity from the website is used to determine the ease of use by the site’s visitors. It is essential to also have a mobile responsive version of the site.
5. Define the Sales Funnel
Depending on your target audience, the sales funnel will have different objectives. As mentioned above, if you’re targeting new business, the funnel will start with a pool of potential clients and end with one or more new contracts or sales.
For existing clients, a sales funnel that is more specific because your teams will be dealing with an elite group of people for whom you have analytical data and insights. This should give you an advantage.
The last group is the internal customer. Many companies overlook this group because they don’t always see them as customers. A sales and marketing strategy for this group isn’t about selling for profit. It is about building brand advocacy among your staff.
6. Build a Profile for Each Client
If your company offers multiple products and services there will be future opportunities to upsell. Progressive companies are constantly working on new projects to roll out to the industry.
Strategic sales and marketing will include building profiles for each client. This information will help determine what products the client may have a need for and will be interested in and learning more about.
Approaching clients with hard-sales every time there is a rollout can be a turn-off. This is where marketing will play a big role.
7. Audit Past Initiatives
Always have a mechanism in place to analyze past initiatives to measure their effectiveness. Identifying what worked and what didn’t shows your team where they need to focus their attention.
Going back and revisiting past campaigns may create fresh ideas on how to repackage an existing product.
8. Utilize CRM
CRM stands for customer relationship management. It is software implemented by companies to monitor and measure every aspect of their interactions with clients. Your business CRM is interwoven into the sales funnel because the information gathered through interactions with other departments, generates leads.
Not only does the sales department get leads, but the leads can also be tailored to the client by customized marketing materials. Your CRM software also provides features that allow the sales team and customer management divisions to work together.
9. Content Marketing
Content marketing is where companies give their product a voice. It is most often written communication. The sales strategy will include blogs for your company’s website. Authentic articles showing your company as an authoritative figure in your industry.
Sales emails and e-marketing will also fall under the category of content marketing. Companies that have sales portals will rely on their marketing team to generate content for the website as well as downloadable documents.
10. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is big in the era of digital marketing. It is almost a requirement that a business has some form of social media presence. Facebook and Twitter are the front runners for the average business.
A sales strategy that incorporates social media needs to have definitive goals. The marketing department will work with the company’s social media specialist to set the tone for the company. This is a chance to promote brand awareness more than to make sales.
The bigger goal is to make information available while building your following. If the sales departments see the potential for a lead, they can reach out to the target.
11. Print Marketing
Print advertising is still important in strategic sales and marketing. No matter how popular digital marketing becomes, there will still be a need for printed material.
When sales reps attend conferences, trade shows, or vendor fairs, they will need branded display materials. There also needs to be marketing handouts for potential consumers that visit their booths.
At benefits fairs, the employees are given brochures, flyers, and promotional gifts.
12. Video Marketing
One of the fastest-growing trends in marketing today is the popularity of video. Livestreaming on social media apps gives your teams plenty of opportunities to collaborate. The influx of video tools provides inspiration to give quick commercials or detailed information pieces.
Video marketing is also effective at the start of the sales funnel because it can be used to introduce your company and brand to a new audience every day.
13. Measure the Effectiveness
With everything you do for your business, there needs to be a means to measure its effectiveness. Your sales strategic plan is no different. The data collected needs to be analyzed to determine the return on investment.
If one technique proved to be highly profitable, putting more resources behind it is the way to go.
14. Implement Internal Communications
The internal clients in businesses are every employee regardless of their position. Employers market to their employees for various reasons. It could be to promote benefits during open enrollment or to push for the upcoming United Way drives.
Before new products are rolled out to clients, your staff must be educated first. These rollouts require a sales and marketing strategy to ensure everyone is on message when it comes to speaking on behalf of the company.
15. Celebrate Successes
Seeing the fruits of your labor manifest before you is a great cause for celebration. Once the teams reach their milestones, show your appreciation for the winning system they created with their sales strategy plan.
It can be a group celebration or individual gifts. Recognizing their contribution to the overall success of the company goes a long way in boosting morale. When employees feel appreciated they are more likely to be team players and go above and beyond what is required.
Reaching a Common Goal
Developing a sales and marketing strategy to convert prospects is doable when everyone works together to meet a common goal. Collaboration between your teams is the key to success regardless if it is sales, marketing, or building customer relationships.
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