After a long struggle, I now have real ‘cut-through’ in my sales and marketing processes. I’ll tell you the secret…
When I have had a look at some marketing texts, they tell me that marketing is about product, price, placement and promotion. Unfortunately, this hasn’t ever helped me because I can’t seem to connect the dots in a useful way between what services I am selling and concepts such as placement.
When I worked in advertising, we always talked about getting “cut through”, which was kind of useful but always only part of the picture. As a process person, what I have always been searching for is a simple, all-inclusive framework inside which I could manage my sales and marketing activities.
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I know I am not alone in this, as almost every CEO of a small to medium technology company I have ever met seems to want the same thing.
Finally I figured it out, and it turns out I needed nothing more complex than a spreadsheet to be in full control of my operations. It’s worthwhile noting here though, that this article is about managing tactical level sales and marketing, not the strategic level questions such as “Who am I selling to, what are they buying, why are they buying it and where to next?”.
First, you have to appreciate that all sales and marketing boils down to a number of standard processes, and if you are not engaging in those processes, you have to ask “what the hell am I doing this for?” The standard processes are:
- Generating leads – How do I find potential customers, or how do they find out about me.
- Qualifying prospects – How do I find out if these leads need my products or services, or how do they find if they need me?
- Converting prospects – How do I turn prospects into customers.
- Service delivery – How do I deliver my products or services to generate happy customers?
- Re-offering – How do I re-offer my services to happy customers?
- Analysis – How do I review what I am doing and make changes where appropriate?
To create a framework for managing my sales and marketing, I create a spreadsheet with each of those processes as a column heading.
I then enter each of my activities as a row heading. Normally I split them into (now this is just me) marketing activities, being one to many programs, and sales activities, being one to one programs.
The advantage of this is that on one sheet, in simple form I can now tell what I am up to, and where the holes are.
In my case:
Press releases – An occasional press release allows more people to find out about the Churchill Club.
Website – My website attracts people, lets them find out more about our programs and register for events.
Bi-monthly email – The email doesn’t help new people find out about the Churchill Club but it is the main way I let prospects and existing customers know about what is coming up.
CRM system – Manages all my customer and prospect information so I can analyse what has happened.
Networking – Everywhere I go, I meet people and tell them about the Churchill Club.
Generating notes – As a differentiator, I generate notes for every Churchill Club event, so that attendees have a more rewarding experience.
Brendan Lewis is the founder of two IT service firms, Edion and Verve IT, and executive director of the Churchill Club.
To read more Brendan Lewis blogs, click here.