Have you ever been approached by someone saying they can develop a website or a marketing brochure for you for what you truly believe is a reasonable price. You then have them develop the site or brochure and then you still wonder why people are not visiting your site and you have 5000 brochures in the closet that your sales force or channels never use? So many businesses feel that having a strategy is for “big business” and is not important to them, but the truth is not having a strategy and foundation in place of how your products, marketing, and sales work together is most likely truly costing you money.
There is more to your overall business strategy than having a product, having a product brochure, and having a sales person to call on your clients. In order to truly see a return on anything you do, you need to understand how all of those interact with each other. Before anyone develops any marketing materials, they need to understand your product and sales strategy. What do your products do? What are the features and benefits of that product? Who buys your product today? What products or features do you require in the future to remain competitive and so on? Before your sales go to sell, they need to have marketing to support them? Who is your target market? Is the product priced properly for the markets you serve? Who is your target audience? What types of marketing mediums can be used to address your market and audience? How is your product sold? Then there is your sales strategy. What types of sales channels are you using? Are the ones you are currently using appropriate and giving you the required return for your business? Are there other channels that could help expand your business? Are your sales reps and channels reporting back to you so you understand what is in your pipeline and forecast or issues with the product or pricing? Do you understand why you lost a sale? If a sales person leaves, do you have a list of their prospects they were working, or do you even know what they did when they were there? Then at the end, do you have metrics in place to track your success or failures, so you understand where you need to make changes?
If you think the answer is just create a brochure or create an excel spreadsheet for your sales people to enter prospects in isolation, then what you will probably find is that after you implement what you did, you did not get the value for you spent. What you need to look at is the overall strategy of your business and how the pieces fit together and from there it will help you determine and prioritize where it makes more sense to concentrate your efforts and investment.There is truth to the saying, you cannot boil the ocean. What you get from building a strategy and foundation for your business is an understanding of your pain areas, what can be done to fix them, and a game plan. You cannot do everything at once, but you then have understanding of where to start and how to measure your successes and failures. What you will find there are so many things that can be implemented with your current staff in a short time frame where you can see progress made. When you need that brochure for your sales groups, now you have an understanding of what the purpose is for the brochure, who the intended target audience is, and you understand suddenly that you didn’t need to print 5000 brochures because your sales force needed a PDF version that they can email to your prospects.The next time you hear from someone offering to do something in isolation for your business even for a good price, are you still going to go out and spend the money – or will you consider looking at the bigger picture?
In : Business Practice
Tags: "business strategy" business foundation" "marketing strategy"
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