Over my years in business I’ve talked with quite a few folks who went into business without any business or marketing experience. Like most folks, they wanted to do the “work” of the business, not realizing that to STAY in business they would need sales and marketing.
The rule of thumb that I’ve found most helpful is to invest 20% to 25% of my time on sales and marketing. For those of you who need some additional guidance, here are the 15 Commandments for a Dynamic Sales-Marketing Process:
- List all your features that have user appeal
- From among them, identify the benefits you can offer to various markets and prospects
- Evaluate those markets to determine those that offer substantial revenue, growth and profit
- Further analyze those markets to determine those few segments with the greatest opportunity for long-term revenue, growth and profitability
- For each of those few, key segments determine who the primary prospects will likely be – those with the greatest potential to influence the purchase of your products and services
- Having selected those few, top prospects, prioritize their major wants and needs – the few that they most value and desire (Some may be emotional, not rational)
- From among these few, key desires, determine your ability to provide them vs. the competition
- Carefully and realistically determine your strengths & weaknesses vs. each competitor
- Once you’ve determined the extent of your superiority over each competitor – plus your weaknesses, if any – determine those segments in which you can best compete and prioritize those strengths accordingly
- Having confirmed those areas where you can best compete, develop a succinct (25 words or less), compelling Value Proposition that clearly sets you above and apart from the competition
- Organize, train and motivate your sales force (direct or indirect) to contact and convince those few, key prospects about your superiority, incorporating the Value Proposition in their presentation
- Remember: a strength where you may have greater superiority over competition, but is not as highly desired by your key prospects, may not generate as many sales as a strength where you have lesser superiority, but is considered more important by these prospects
- Establish and conduct a long-term Branding program that strongly and consistently conveys your Value Proposition. Avoid complicating it with less-persuasive details. Let the Sales Force handle them
- Assure the Sales Force is well versed in the Value Proposition, and that they know the need to educate and motivate those prospects who are most likely to be prime customers and repeat buyers
- As important, new developments are verified, no matter the source, incorporate them to assure the Marketing-Sales process adapts to changing conditions.
Author: Neil Mahoney has 30+ years experience in all areas and at all levels of Marketing-Sales, including: 1. Marketing Communications; Market Analysis & Planning — General Electric, 2. Nat’l. Sales Manager; VP-Marketing — Bausch & Lomb, 3. VP-Group Publisher — ABC Broadcasting, 4. Director, Consumer Products — Starrett Co.
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