1. How can you guarantee sales performance?
In my 30+ years of business turn-around experience, I have identified three key components of a successful sales performance program.
- Create an effective marketing plan – Identified your company, customer and product profile and determine how to differentiate your product/service from the competition.
- Create an advertising and promotional budget based on your industry and company forecasted revenue – Setting a budget and measuring advertising performance are critical steps in achieving guaranteed sales performance. Once you have the customer profile established you can now determine which promotional strategies can provide the most bang for the buck. This approach can minimize and/or virtually eliminate the traditional trial and error approach to advertising.
- The third leg on the stool is a commitment of personnel and resources – As a business development consultant I have seen many plans fail because management was either not willing or able to make the resource or personnel commitment. An underfunded program may actually be worse than not having a program at all since continuity and market windows are continually changing.
A well thought out program has contingencies built in to identify and adapt to capacity, revenue and resource requirements.
2. Why is marketing important?
Whether you are a start up or an existing business looking to grow, a Marketing Plan is a primary component of any business plan along with products and services, a financial plan, and operations and organization structure.
Your marketing plan should identify your company, customer and product profile while explaining how to differentiate your product/service from the competition.
Hence a marketing plan will provide direction on how to select the correct advertising and promotional strategy to connect with your target customer base that can save you significant time and money.
Example: Many sales personnel will tell you that cold calling is not an effective use of their time. This may be correct if you going to go door to door without qualifying your target market. If you can identify the persona (profile) of your target client, home owners with homes >$250,000, you may be able to significantly improve your success in connecting with prospects. Though I am not specifically recommending cold calls, this is an example that most business and sales personnel can understand.
3. What is the difference between marketing and advertising?
A marketing plan identifies your company, customer and product profile while explaining how to differentiate your product/service from the competition.
Advertising is a method of communicating with your customers to build your brand utilizing mass marketing or to directly connect with your target prospects for an opportunity to secure them as customers.
Depending on your business objectives, there are a number of marketing strategies that can be utilized to improve the effectiveness of your advertising.
A Few Examples:
Mass Marketing: The advertiser has decided to ignore industry segmentation and appeal to the whole market. Television, radio, newspaper, print, outdoor, tradeshows are all examples of mass marketing, an effective method of building brand recognition.
Direct Marketing: By utilizing market segmentation, direct marketing allows you to directly communicate with your target customer base. Once you have identified your customer profile, direct mail, email blasts, texting, social media, etc. can all be used to connect with your prospects or customers.
4. Is social media important to my business?
The answer to this question is different for every business. Here are a few questions you can ask that may help you make a decision.
- Which social media program do my customers current utilize for business?
- What are your expectations from social media, friends, likes, groups and what content would be relevant for your posts?
- How much time can you commit to weekly posts or blogs?
- Should I manage social media internally or contract out the services?
- How will social media support my current online strategy?
For additional assistance with social media and your online business development strategy contact firstname.lastname@example.org
5. What type of advertising will be most effective for my business?
This is a GREAT question. Most business owners will agree that 30-50% of all advertising does not work; we just don’t know which 30-50%! Unfortunately the answer is more complex and may be different for each company and may actually change within the vertical markets of the same company. Spending some time on your marketing plan to identify your company, customer and product profile while explaining how to differentiate your product/service from the competition should help answer this question.
Example: For service providers, (HVAC roofers, electricians, pest control, plumbers) there is a different promotional approach for new construction, repair/maintenance, and replacement/remodeling.
Here are some ROI bench markets to consider.
6. How do I determine the cost/lead and why is it important?
Determine how much money you are planning to spend on a particular advertising strategy. Then measure your phone calls, impressions, clicks, likes, etc. On a monthly basis divide your total spend by number of leads.
Businesses that measure Return on Investment (ROI) are 17X more likely to maintain or increase ROI! (source Hubspot)
7. What is my average order value and why is it important?
Average order value can be determined by taking your total revenue and dividing it by your total number of customer for the same time period. This is an important tool when measuring the effectiveness of a specific or your total advertising campaign.
8. What is inbound marketing and why is it important?
Inbound marketing is customer driven. The customer decides when they want to purchase and then selects a product or supplier to meet their needs. In today’s market place, an effective website and online strategies can significantly impact the success or lack of success from inbound marketing.