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Sales growth through marketing investment

26.09.19

by Thomas Emmerson

Grow sales by investing in marketing

Many New Zealand businesses want to grow.

Growth means greater financial reward for business owners, security for employees and the ability to re-invest in innovation, which delivers better offerings for customers. A growing business is a healthy business. Growth increases the resources available to stave off the competition and endure market changes. While motivations for business growth differ, all growth comes back to a single question – how?

While growth can be stimulated through loans or outside funding, the most attractive, scaleable, and repeatable form comes from organic sales growth. It's undeniable that a strong sales team is the core for solid business growth. Without them the wheels grind to a halt and the problems creep in.

In order to sell, your sales team need three things M.O.P.:

  • Motivation
  • Opportunities
  • Processes

In this article we'll dive deeper into each of these and identify how investments in marketing can support your sales team in achieving higher targets and propelling your business's growth.

Sales team motivation

Motivating your sales team can materialise as healthy bonuses, trips away or, as we once experienced, a brand new ute if targets are hit. Individual targets drive individual results but the competitive nature of sales rep personalities means benchmarking performance against others drives real growth.

By showcasing sales results you enable the competitive nature of group behaviour to foster a winning attitude. With sales reps jostling to be the top performer the drive to out-perform lifts results. A sales dashboard that tracks individual rep performance, and shares this with others,  enables the teams to motivate themselves to lift their performance.

A secondary benefit to a structured sales dashboard is analytics. Most sales dashboards (the good ones at least) will analyse performance thus empowering the sales manager to identify under-performing areas and remedy with training.

Whereas this seems to be leading to an investment in something as simple as a TV and basic sales dashboard there's also a case for taking this thinking to another level. Using a sales dashboard that integrates with a marketing platform will enable the marketing team to understand what a good quality lead looks like and analyse customers to see how to attract more of the right sort of opportunities. Which leads us nicely onto the next segment.

Sales opportunities

You can give the sales teams visibility on performance but if sales tank due to a drought of leads then the problem will be more visible, and the impact greater than ever.

The trick, therefore, is to keep the leads coming for the sales team.

This comes from knowing who you're targeting, and how to reach them. It also comes from qualifying leads to better understand when they should be passed to sales, or kept in the hands of marketing to work them for a bit longer. This identification can come in two forms; implicit and explicit.

The former is implied qualification and usually comes from actions a contact has taken which do not include filling out an enquiry form. This might be watching a product demo video, reading a specific blog article or downloading a brochure. Combine these activities and you may end up with an incredibly warm lead that is only a few steps from enquiring - but who may be lost to a competitor if you don't reach out. The latter is a lead qualified based on the questions asked in a form. These questions may include indicators of budget, authority (role or position), timeframe or question framing.

Better website forms, broad content topics, downloadable content all integrated with a CRM which includes lead scoring will enable your marketing team to qualify opportunities before they are passed to sales. Add to that the tools to have your website rank higher in a prospect's online searches or support from social media or advertising to increase traffic and you have all the ingredients to increase sales leads.

Adding new lead generation methods to your existing repertoire will help to stimulate sales growth.

Sales processes

Having good leads and the motivation to close them is forged into a lethal growth weapon when they are combined with efficient and effective processes and support tools.

A refined proposal template, coupled with a good-looking proposal document and streamlined follow-up activity leads to a repeatable, trainable and a consistent sales division that is empowered to grow the business.

Marketing platforms, and teams, should be aligned to the sales teams needs and geared to support their activities. But creating proposal templates, case studies and reports the sales team can use to persuade a buyer are just the beginning.

Giving the sales team the tools to manage their unique processes enables them to improve their own processes and measure success. Allowing them the insights to monitor their efforts and implement improvements means the top tier sales people have the power to take their efforts to stratospheric levels.

Giving marketing the same access helps them to plan future activities based on what's actually delivering results. Therefore an integrated sales and marketing management platform holds the key. Shared insights and easy access to materials empowers both teams to autonomously and collaboratively improve the sales process.

 

Summary

 

Many businesses are quick to invest in sales as the results directly impact the bottom line. But when your amazing sales team needs more, then marketing is the place to turn.

Marketing investment grows leads, provides more tools for sales people to use, increases close rates and continuously improves the process to stimulate growth. The end result is a business-wide benefit from a simple investment in marketing. After all, marketing should be enabling sales to do its job. This isn't limited to designing a website or creating social posts but is also about creating the materials the sales team need to win more business.

If you want to learn more about how a marketing platform can enable your sales team to grow talk to a partner with experience in changing your marketing's focus and implementing the changes required. Book a chat here.

 

 

filed under Sales, business growth, marketing investment