New to Sales or Marketing? Here are the Basic yet Essential Things You Should Know

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The UK has become a nation of startups. Small-to-medium enterprises have been nothing short of the nation’s lifeblood for generations now

Marketing is recognized as almost the most effective tool, which allows a company not to yield to the competition, to expand sales, to attract investment, and, as a consequence, to increase income and profit. Intelligently developed marketing and sales strategy can be a valuable source of revenue generation for a business. In this article, we will explain the essentials of marketing and sales:

Listen as an entrepreneur

The buying process involves several sequential steps that a potential customer goes through. These steps focus on evaluating the quality and value of the product/service offered. The final action is to buy, that is, to pay for the product/service offered.

Naturally, a refusal to buy is possible at any stage of this process. Consequently, this is where both the marketing and sales departments try to do everything possible to minimize the likelihood of such an outcome. If you’re trying to sell your services to someone you’re just starting with, and you’re in the first stage of the sales funnel – the personal contact stage – you shouldn’t immediately use professional terminology specific to the job industry since it will not be understood by your customers.

Accordingly, using the same communication style and sales techniques with those who are just starting to work with you, and those who are in the final stage of the transaction, is impossible: it can have a bad effect on the result.

That is, if you decide to communicate the same way with all your clients, the chances of success will not be great. Based on how aware the client company is of the specifics of your business, you should prepare a presentation. Do you think if the client is satisfied with everything and, in principle, ready to buy from you, it gives a 100% guarantee that the deal will take place? Probably not.

Convincing someone to buy is much more complicated than just talking to the client in the same language and in words that he understands. In the first case, the outcome is likely to be: “It’s a great idea, but I don’t need anything,” but in the second case, it will probably be: “Take the money, your product/service is just what I was looking for.”

Here the second rule of listening worked. In essence, all marketing strategies for attracting customers to a company come down to constant communication with the customer. You, as a salesperson, have a unique opportunity to show the client exactly what you can do to make what they want coming true. Listen to what the customer says that bothers him: what prevents him from sleeping peacefully? What is his or her need that you can meet?

Listen to what problems he or she is facing and offer specific solutions. Confirm that you’ve heard the customer by describing their needs, that is, reiterate what you’ve already heard and help them imagine how their business and personal life will change when they start using your product or service. You can’t help if you don’t know how things were before you met them.

Have marketing and sales create or adjust the portrait of the ideal customer

Marketers know the customer well, but only in theory. They research the market, contact potential buyers through social networks and emails, and conduct focus groups, but do not communicate with buyers daily.

So marketing assumes what customers’ major pain points are, but may not know all the situations in which your company’s products or services will be helpful. 

New to Sales or Marketing? Here are the Basic yet Essential Things You Should Know

The sales department, on the other hand, works directly with customers all the time. Sales managers know the gender, approximate age, and field of activity (especially when working in the b2b market) of customers. They advise customers, so they know what information about the product or service is most in demand. But salespeople often lack the customer’s background: where they came from, why they wanted to buy the product or service, and what problem they are trying to solve.

To draw a truly complete and adequate portrait of a potential customer, marketing and sales must come together. Marketers will outline the basic outline based on research and educated hypotheses, while sales managers will supplement the portrait with details and tweaks.

Practice shows that the portrait of the customer created by joint efforts most fully and accurately reflects the target audience. And the strategies based on such a portrait are the most successful.

Entrust marketing and sales to co-create content

Earlier, we said that the main problem of marketing and sales mismatches is a lack of information. But sometimes there isn’t enough information for potential buyers. To understand what content needs to be created, marketers and managers should review all materials used to attract customers and close deals.

White papers, infographics, eBooks, individual case descriptions, newsletters, banners, CTAs – have marketing and sales representatives collect them, examine them and determine what’s missing.

Perhaps sales managers are missing an e-brochure that answers the questions most often asked by customers. And marketers lack information about the problems customers face in selecting, buying, or using a product.

In addition, by working together, teams will get a complete picture of the customer journey and figure out what content is best suited to interact with potential buyers and customers at each stage of the interaction.

For example, infographics that marketers add to newsletters describe the product in too much detail and are more suited for sending it to determined buyers interested in the details. And some general questions that marketers routinely include in a letter template or phone call script annoy customers. Such information is more suitable for the first communication with users in the form of a block on the site or a marketing mailing.

Have marketing and sales work together to maintain a history of customer interaction

Remember how annoying it is when representatives from a bank or car service call you and offer services that you have repeatedly told their colleagues are unnecessary? For example, if you bought a car, you are serviced there and told your manager that you want to drive this car for the next 10 years. But every year you are offered a trade-in. Or instead of advantageous terms of opening a deposit, about which you asked their colleagues, bank employees tell about a mortgage or a new credit card.

So that every marketer and manager, especially those new to you, would be aware of any client’s situation, you need a centralized database, which enters data on interactions with them.

Then you, as a regular client of the company, are surprised and happy to listen to a new manager, who is well aware of what issues were discussed with you earlier, what newsletters you subscribed to, and what events you attended. Instead of trade-in, he offers you favorable terms for cars older than 5 years. Instead of a mortgage, he informs you that in a month the bank will launch a new type of deposit account, tells you about the terms of opening, and offers to make an appointment at a convenient for your branch.

A CRM system is best suited for tracking customer interactions, which stores the information received about the customer, the number and nature of touches (subscription, mailing, CTA, event registration, downloading material), and the effectiveness of communication with the customer.

Apply network marketing to increase sales and profits 

Network marketing, also known as multi level marketing (MLM), is a controversial sales system organized primarily. Each person who joins it can get money not only for selling goods but also for attracting new members to the organization.

All this is presented as “an opportunity to start your own business”, so each member of the network will be called an affiliate or something similar. It creates the illusion that all members are equal, but they are not. How exactly, we’ll figure it out a little further below. And to do this let’s look at each component of making money in MLM.

The principle of direct, or personal, sales works here. The MLM agent himself offers the products to potential customers. Much depends on his assertiveness, communication skills, and the breadth of his circle of acquaintances. For example, salespeople can bring catalogs and product samples to the office where they work, a university study group, or a meeting of friends. However, network marketing has moved to the Internet, so it’s easier to expand your circle of communication.

The seller receives paystubs at the expense of the fact that he sells the product at the price of a catalog, but he gets it cheaper. Also, somewhere may pay extra bonuses for achieving targets – a certain amount of purchases or sales volume.

In some cases, the agent must buy certain products when entering the structure. Sometimes, he is obliged to purchase goods for a certain amount each month. But even if this is not required, it is still beneficial to be a client: you buy at a discount and increase your total bill.

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