A Successful Sales Department Requires Good Marketing
Do you know how many times, I walk into a company and have the CEO tell me they are having sales issues? 8 out of 10. And when I ask if they have marketing, do you know what I typically get for an answer? I get either the answer “no” or in some cases“yes, I have a person who is handling my website.” My next question to them is…”where do your salespeople get their leads from?” And the answer I get is that the salespeople are responsible for bringing in their own leads.
For sales departments to be successful, you do need to have the right people, the right comp plan, the right sales plan and execution and the right sales processes. However, having all of these things right is not a guarantee in these tough economic times that your sales will not drop.
So let’s circle back to my question above on marketing. Do you have marketing to support the efforts of your sales force? In today’s world, your salespeople cannot be expected to do lead generation all by themselves. No matter, how good they are, they need help. If marketing brings in 20% more leads, that is 20% more opportunities to close that the salespeople did not have before. And it is easy to get successful lead generation from marketing now that everything can be measured, giving you more visibility to what is working and what is not; thus giving you a quick return on your marketing dollars.
This worked very effectively for one of our clients in the construction industry who had lost 51% of his business over two years. He had continued to blame his sales force for their lack of performance even though they had almost zero marketing support. They brought in an interim marketing executive who within a year helped them not only gain back the 51% they had lost but also another 2% in a new market segment. Amazing what a little marketing can do for a company.
So think about it, do you really think the company’s falling revenues dilemma is totally the fault of the sales department? Next time you complain about your sales department, take a good hard look to see if marketing is supporting your sales efforts.