Forbes Contributing Writer Christine Crandell, heard a wonderful story about how a marketing team partnered with Sales to win a strategic deal and drive more revenue. This very large B2B enterprise technology vendor had an equally large retailer as a target account they wanted to win. The sales team did all the usual stuff of cold calling, networking, sending letters, inviting executive management to events but all that effort wasn’t breaking through the noise. Sales came to Marketing and asked for help; not expecting much.
The actual response Sales got was completely different. Continue Reading…
It’s a temptation that lures almost all marketers and salespeople: the desire to limit and control information to consumers. It seems so obvious – lead with your best attributes, downplay your least. Yet in many cases, this impulse turns out to be quite wrong.
What works best for your sales? How do you use trust to provide quality customer service to your clients?
Online car auctions: An example from Charles H. Green, founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates.
Read the entire article here.
By Kevin Steffey
Few dispute that a key factor for business success is acquiring and developing top talent in key positions. Key positions in any business are those that drive revenues – namely Marketing and Sales. With all the talk of social media’s impact on the marketing and sales function of companies, many businesses are trying to identify how to adapt their current people and processes to leverage the new approaches. As marketing and sales recruiters, Naviga focuses on the people component of change for 100s of companies in North America. Some of the key changes we are seeing in our clients’ talent needs as a result of these changes are:
- In Marketing roles, companies are emphasizing expertise in digital media, including content marketing, social networks, youtube / video marketing, and mobile commerce and apps. Key skills businesses are looking for include finding and qualifying leads through their online communications channels, and moving them successfully into the sales process.
- In Sales roles, our clients look for a proven track record of engagement with clients using creative value-adding strategies. Successful strategic selling leverages digital media and social networks to create bonds with clients. Top talent leverages these tools to send helpful content to prospects, share information about client interests, or get involved in Groups or causes of interest prospects. The bottom line is results for sales representatives. However, the way those results are accomplished and whether reps leverage the new ways to communicate is becoming a key selection criteria.
- For leadership positions, it is becoming more critical to show a proven track record of building sales and marketing processes that leverage digital media and social networks to improve the effectiveness of their teams. As businesses build and enhance their online and social presence, business opportunities come from many different directions and there needs to be a systematic process for collecting and qualifying leads, moving prospects through the sales process efficiently, and closing deals.
There is no doubt the world we live in and the way we communicate has changed dramatically. Businesses must invest in their teams to develop key skills that can take advantage of these changes and thrive.
Kevin Steffey is President of Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search, a national Sales and Marketing Recruitment firm. Kevin and Naviga have a passion for sales and marketing positions due to their direct impact on the growth of their customers. Check out www.navigarecruiting.com to engage a partner in growing and developing your team.
By Kathleen Steffey
It’s middle of the year and it’s time to look back at performance in the first half of the year. There are many facets of the business you can review, but I would highly recommend you focus your energies on the following five areas:
1. Assess Yourself – I like to always start with the top (myself) and then work my way through the rest of the organization chart. When I assess myself I look at some key areas, such as:
- Am I focusing on the right priorities and what activities do I let distract my focus?
- Am I properly engaged with my team and reviewing their daily activity to ensure they are focused in the right places – use tools like sales plans, call monitoring, ride alongs with sales reps, providing timely feedback, are my sales meetings on track and helpful?
- Am I creating the culture of success in the business?
2. Assess Your Team – Do I have the right people on the bus? Are there top performers that can use to help bring others along? Are there people that need an improvement plan? I like to quickly rate each team member and identify their strengths and weakness and whether or not they are on track to meet their targets. These high-level ratings will be helpful to assist in providing mid-year feedback as well as help me identify where I need to start putting in place contingency plans or new hiring plans.
3. Assess Your Results – Are we tracking to budget on sales and expenses? How about on the activities that leads to sales? Has anything changed in our close rates for sales or conversion rates or marketing activity that indicates our plan assumptions are correct?
4. Assess the Process – I encourage you to walk through step by step of your sales or marketing process and ask the question – is this step adding value to our customers or our results? If not, eliminate it. If it is, ask the team if there are some things we can do to improve. The goal is to regularly revisit what you do and why you do it to make sure you are laser focused on your goals and your customers.
5. Assess Your Support Teams – In most cases, we all have to rely on other teams or departments to help us be successful. So, once you have focused on your “Circle of Influence” (as Stephen Covey likes to say) and addressed the items in 1-4 that are directly in your control, then take a look at the support you get from other departments. Are there tools or support that you are missing that could be added to improve results? Are there product changes that would help position yourself better in the market? How can you leverage other teams or individuals in your marketing and sales activities to help increase sales?
There are still 6 months to go in the year. Look at all facets of performance in the first half and take an objective look at how to adjust to your efforts to ensure a successful second half!