Posted: March 08, 2012
Great marketing plan, lousy sales strategy
Merge them for successLiz Wendling
Without a marketing plan, you can’t attract and retain customers. Without good sales techniques and a solid strategy to close those customers, your efforts will be stalled. Your marketing efforts may be producing great leads, but if you don’t know how to switch gears to close the sale, you won’t produce maximum income results. Sales and marketing must work synergistically, not independently, to generate sales.
Marketing is the process to influence and attract new customers. The sales process is everything you do to close sales and generate revenue. All the marketing in the world will not yield results if your potential customers aren’t buying what you're selling.
Many business owners choose to spend thousands of dollars on marketing, yet nothing on the most critical element that makes all that possible. Sales training! For your marketing efforts to be successful, someone has to actually hand you money through a closed sale. And that must happen on a continuous basis.
I’m never surprised when a business owner tells me they’ve spent their budget on advertising, with no money left over for sales training. Few companies have a dedicated budget for sales training. I ask, “Do you want to continue wasting more money attracting more customers that never buy or invest the same money in sales coaching to encourage customers to say yes?” Resolving the problem of why customers aren’t buying is a problem that is always worth solving.
I recently worked with a company on a new product launch. They sent out emails, flyers, purchased cable TV advertising and a radio spot. Many new customers took advantage of their free or low-cost ticket to entry offer but very few purchased anything else. They had a great marketing plan, but had a lousy sales strategy.
Without looking at why their plan failed, they immediately launched into another high cost marketing campaign to reach an even bigger audience. They were convinced that if they cast a wide enough net and spent more money on marketing that people would rush to buy what they were selling. Wrong. A second attempt and enormous amounts of money later, they realized their marketing was effective but their sales process was disaster.
Together we created a sales process that was smart, solid and would consistently generate results. They’re now reaping the rewards of a great marketing plan combined with a fully functioning sales plan and strategy.
If your customers aren’t handing you money consistently, that’s a clue that your sales process is inferior or non-existent. Don’t waste another dime on marketing if you employ a lousy sales process. It’s easy to design an ad, talk about your product on the radio, send out a coupon or offer a free consultation; the hard part is doing the work to understand the sales process and what it takes for someone to say yes and to say it often.
Understanding the difference between marketing and selling will help focus your efforts and improve your profits. A successful marketing plan working synergistically with a great sales strategy is the perfect partnership. Simply exposing your message to thousands or millions of people doesn’t guarantee success. Investing in sales coaching does that. It’s the best money you’ll ever invest in your business and it pays for itself through new customers.
Liz Wendling is the president of Insight Business Consultants, a nationally recognized business consultant, sales strategist and emotional intelligence coach. Liz is driven by her passion for business and generating results for her clients. Liz understands the challenges that business owners are facing building a business and selling their professional services in today's market.
Liz shows clients how to tap into and use their innate strength, power and confidence to develop highly successful businesses. She teaches them to create effective, dynamic and fluid client conversations that turn interested prospects into invested clients who keep coming back.