Come January 1st, you probably made it a New Year’s resolution to become organized with your marketing strategy and have a strict communication plan in place to drive traffic and increase sales – right?! You have been efficient and effective in sticking to the social media strategy, writing new creative and insightful blogs each week for the website, and sending out your monthly newsletter.
Now what? How do you leverage your marketing toward future business success? It is time to use the force! Your sales force.
Having a talented sales team is what feeds every organization – especially those in the business to business market. But, are all your representatives positioning your business, product or service in the same way? Many organizations spend countless hours and dollars training their sales team in the art of selling but overlook the importance of training each sales representative on the organization’s messaging strategy.
Remember, the sales strategy is a critical part of the communications plan and as such should support (and be supported by) the organization’s marketing efforts and the marketing message that is being put out into the market place.
Enforce a cohesive brand strategy by ensuring every client facing member of your organization has a consistent answer to the following questions:
Who you are?
What does your brand stands for? Who are the “faces” of the company and what are their qualification? Give your customers an idea of who they will be working with.
What are your differentiators?
Simply, how do you stand out from your competition? If you don’t know the answer to this question, your customers don’t either. What makes your organization unique? Is it a service offering, a proprietary product or an organizational culture? Your marketing materials should communicate this and so should your sales team.
What are your value propositions?
A value proposition is an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers. This is what makes you valuable to your target audience and is why they want to purchase your product, service or solution. Some organization have only one value proposition and some have many. This is the most critical part of your messaging strategy and should be communicated by your sales representatives to every prospect they meet.
The answers to the above questions are the beginning of your messaging strategy and the foundation of your brand. As you execute a successful marketing plan, you will continuously communicate your value propositions and differentiators to your audience through all your communication outlets (social media, email marketing, advertising, etc). This will help to elevate brand awareness and support your sales team as they seek new business. But remember, it is a two way street! Your sales team (and any client facing employee) should be well trained in your marketing plan and messaging strategy as they are a critical factor in the communications process and play a pivotal role in representing your brand with a cohesive message.