There are several proven routes to improving sales and marketing effectiveness, whether in good times or recession. What is surprising is how few companies have adopted this life-cycle approach to sales and marketing excellence.
- Making your Internet site work harder by truly identifying your target audience and the buyer persona of your ideal customers, matching core competencies and how your products and services create value for buyer-persona's is a high-value first step.
- Take a good look at your own Internet-site; if your message is laden with "product-speak" and features, instead of how using your products creates value for buyers in your target markets, then your company could be at a competitive disadvantage.
- Also are buyers able to easily understand capabilities and how your products/services can be used and how others have used them and their experience/value attained, or are they bombarded with the "gobbledegook" of the "award-winning, next generation, best-in-class, unique solution etc.," that so many marketing people pepper their prose with.
- Try David Meerman Scott's new tool at http://gobbledygook.grader.com/ to filter out the garbage.
- Coupling well written and interesting copy with an inbound marketing platform like Hubspot.com is an easy and inexpesive next step in generating Internet visitors and monitoring your effectiveness in building qualified inbound traffic.
- Is the sales team skilled in following up inbound leads and using mentors in gaining access to champions and diagnosing opportunity and qualifying prospective buyers?
- Diagnosis and qualification is the most important part of the sales cycle in any business climate. In a downturn, budgets can be frozen or evaporate; sales cycles blow-out and more deals are lost due to no-decision....strong qualification helps avoid wasting time on no-decisions and potential lost sales.
- Developing excellence in finding opportunities via social networks, using network contacts to identify opportunities and maintaining satisfaction with existing clients and upselling them is a more effective use of time for sales people than cold-calling.