Assessing Your Marketing and Sales Efforts

Marketing & Sales Assessment

Have you ever wondered why the marketing that you have implemented in your business has not worked for you? Alternatively, are you not getting the return on a marketing program your sales group talked you into to generate leads? If either is correct, you may have even decided that marketing just does not work for you.

The problem with marketing is that it needs to go hand in hand with your sales strategy. It also has to be reflective of your industry, your sector, your specific market, and your geography. If not properly assessed, then there is a high probability that you will never get a return if you just continue to try marketing mediums based on the thought that the same marketing works for any business. All businesses should indeed have a website, but the type of website and the features that it should possess can be quite different.

Problem 1 - Not Marketing to the Right Audience

Think about business in general and customers. A manufacturing company, a retail store, a financial services firm, a hi-technology company, a restaurant all have very different customers and products. Their customers make buying decisions in many different ways. If you know and believe that to be true, then why would you expect that you can market to them in the same way. Take a website, for example. A website of a retail store or restaurant is a business to consumer sale. The website needs to be aesthetic and draw customers in. There may be specials or what is on sale on the first page to draw their interest; there may also be contests or the ability for the customer to rate their products online. The website for an industrial manufacturing website and the type of customer is totally different. If the site contains pictures that are flashing or rotating for that type of customer – the chances of losing them are high as the customer’s needs are very different. This customer is trying to determine if the products that you manufacture will work in their business. Their interest is more about the content, case studies of the product, and technical specifications. It still needs to be pleasing to the eye, but a very different look and feel than from the consumer who is looking for an excellent local restaurant. The same is true about other marketing pieces and programs that you implement. If your marketing does not address the customer’s needs, the money you spend can be wasted.

Problem 2 - Sales Follow-up

You actually may be doing the right marketing for your company, but your sales force may not be following up on the leads you have received. If you have run a lead generation campaign or have the leads from events or the web that are not followed up in a timely manner, the lead and the money that you spent acquiring the lead may be lost. It is not only important that you have the right marketing, but that your sales group is prepared to act on the leads and turn them into sales. The reasons for this happening could vary. It could be as easy as communicating what the expectations are, inexperience or lack of training of the rep, or it could even be you have the wrong type of sales rep for selling your products in your industry.

Problem 3 - Lack of a Marketing or Sales Strategy

In many cases, businesses do not have a strategy in place for marketing and sales. You need to have a sales strategy, which then drives your marketing strategy as they go hand in hand. You need to have forecasts and an understanding of how you will sell your product, whether that be direct, online, or through sales channels, along with much more. Once that is complete, you then understand what marketing has to be done to generate the leads for that forecast, what level of marketing budget you need to have to pay for the marketing, and have the right tracking in place once you get t