The best companies don’t hire sales employees and put them at a desk to “sell”. The new “sales department” employees must first understand the overall company mission and processes by which the mission is achieved.
I believe that…
The best sales people are those that have actually done the job and come from the rank and file employees that make, service or deliver the products. They are the backbone of any company and the ones to deliver the dream presented by the sales team.
1. Understand Your Goals
It is much easier to promote/market/sell your business and its products and services when there is a clear understanding of what you can actually provide and how your product can benefit the customer.
2. Feedback From Your Customers
Proper feedback will help determine what they desire and provide a measure of satisfaction and adherence to product specifications, capabilities and performance.
3. Marketing Is Like the Bait on the Fisherman’s Hook
That’s only the advertisement and the beginning of the journey. The good fisherman is the customer service/support team and will quickly know if the marketing (bait) is successful. But he still must “sink the hook” and make the sale later.
How do you expect to sell “the right” product or service to a prospective customer without first finding out what they want, how often they need it, what they hope to gain from your product and the value they place on its worth? Seems simple enough, but so few sales people do this correctly.
5. Remove Obstacles
Whereas obstacles gleaned from the sales team are usually based on price or capabilities, those created from marketing departments are more along the lines of perception. You must sell the exact same product you promote.
6. Match Your Customers’ Expectations
When you “market” a product, there must be an inherent expectation conveyed of how the product or service will make you look or feel and what it will provide. Marketing creates the aura, the mystique and sometimes the myth. Will your product live up to these expectations?
7. Deliver as Promised
When a customer believes what you promised is not what you delivered they rightly expect compensation. Who monitors the sales team? Do you over-promise and under-deliver?
8. Remove Poor Communication
Poor communication between teams will always trump a great product. Example: I have seen promotional information sent out with the wrong dates or times for events, not because of a typographical error but because there wasn’t clear communication between departments or the item/event was promoted before final details were confirmed.
9. Don’t Forget You’re a Team
Marketing a product or service is not a stand-alone act; it’s part of the entire sales package.
Once the product is developed, the customer service team, the actual employees responsible for providing and supporting the product, must establish how and when, and possibly by what means, to market the product.
10. Know Who You’re Selling To
Do you market your product to a segment of society that cannot truly benefit from it? Do you promote yourselves as environmentally friendly when you are not? Are you capable of providing the features as advertised?
If not, you should expect a stressed customer support team who is continually fending off the throngs of disappointed customers.
Remember: Great products are buried by inappropriate or misleading advertising even if the product is good.
Nurture a workforce that is “team orientated” and who understands the unique differences in each department’s primary goals.
Here are 3 suggestions to create a closer workforce:
- Hold frequent interdepartmental meetings to reinforce the business goals and teamwork needed to achieve these goals
- Provide cross-training that will illuminate the daily obstacles faced and provide a broader understanding of responsibilities
- Post sales AND service goals in both departments so that all employees can support expected performance and celebrate achieved milestones
The way a product or service is marketed will ultimately determine the direction and profitability of the business.
As master sales trainer & motivational keynote speaker Victor Antonio states: “Now more than ever, marketing and sales must work side-by-side in order to sell effectively in today’s market!”
Your sales, advertising and marketing efforts are usually the first introduction to your company and may be the last!
This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Steve DiGioia