Covid has created many business challenges, and the established multi step process of actions to achieve business development still holds true. From identifying and establishing where you are now (and making sure that you are in control), to being clear on the Marketing and Sales tactics required. Then looking at improving the systems and processes in place and then identifying if jobs can be effectively delegated and if more people are required. Finishing with looking at where any synergistic opportunities exist and evaluating the results.
In this article we will look at Mastery and Marketing and Sales and a thought provoking tool to help you think through growth objectives.
Are you in control? Have you mastered planning, time, numbers and delivery elements within your business.
Planning (Destination) Mastery
- Do you have a marketing and sales plan?
- If yes – fantastic. (Just out of interest have you changed it significantly since Covid?)
- If no – then how do you know what you are going to be doing from a business perspective
- Would you benefit from having a clear actionable plan for the next 90 days that clearly identifies who is doing what
- With Covid we have had to become reactive, but now provides the opportunity for some proper thinking and putting a proactive plan in place
- Are you operating at 100% efficiency
- Are your team operating at maximum efficiency
- What do you need to do improve your effectiveness and efficiency. Perhaps you are doing lower value activities that could be outsourced
- Sit down and make some time to evaluate how you spend your day and identify specific action points on how you could make improvements to your and your teams time management
- From a marketing and sales perspective knowing your numbers is critical. Can you instantly answer these financial and marketing metrics
- How many new sales leads / enquiries coming in
- What is your conversion ratio of lead to sale
- What is your gross profit
- Which products / services provide you with the highest contribution
- How much does it cost you to get a new enquiry
- What is the average value per transaction
- How many customer referrals do you get
- How quickly do your customers pay ( what is the trend on your debtor days )
- Which of your marketing activities provide you with the greatest impact
- Are your web metrics improving or deteriorating ( this is a subject in its own right and will be explored in more detail in a future article)
- Etc Etc Etc
The key driver is that you need to have mastered the numbers before you can hope to start doing effective “Marketing & Sales” activities. Knowing the numbers provides the starting point in mastering your marketing actions.
IMPORTANT – If your product or service is poor (that’s putting it politely) and doesn’t match how you are trying to position then ultimately your business will not thrive or be sustainable. For example if the equipment you manufacture is marketed as being high quality and top price , but when buyers purchase they find it to be low quality and unreliable, whilst you may initially make some sales, it is very likely that you will get caught out.
4 Marketing Thoughts To Consider
1. Relationships are no longer enough!
Many years ago sales was about completing the transaction
As competition increased a transactional approach no longer sufficient and there was a need to develop relationships.
So over the last number years relationship building has become common place. We now have customer relationship managers handling all manner of our activities. So now that relationship building is well established its possibly no longer enough
So do we now need to move from Relationships to Partnerships. What can we do by working so closely with our customers that they become partners?
2. Do We Expect Complicated
Sometimes we see things or are told things but don’t react because we are expecting more, or think that things are going to be more complicated that they really are. This was beautifully demonstrated to me when the following image was shown to a group of business people and we were asked to comment of what we saw.
So what would you have shouted out in a room full of business people
In our group of 40 plus people nothing. When we were quizzed on why we hadn’t responded the reasons were interesting
- “I only saw a black dot”
- “I didn’t shout out as I was waiting for something more complicated to appear”
- “It seemed so obvious I thought it must be a trick”
- “I only saw a black circle and couldn’t believe that was the answer”
This illustrated beautifully the fact that logical intelligent people can easily misunderstand and make simple questions complex
3. We get used to routine and don’t like change
Take your hands and interlink your fingers
Some of you will have your left thumb on top, others of you will have your right thumb on top.
So now this is really simple repeat the process but do it so that the alternative thumb and fingers are interlinked so that the alternative thumb is on top. Now the likelihood is to most people that this will now feel really strange. When you next interlink your fingers you will most likely choose the first option as it feels more natural
This simple exercise how we get used to doing things a a certain way and can find it difficult to make changes to actions that have become routine
4. Communication should be matched to match your customer type
We have all possibly experienced some psychometric profiling to identify how we act / react as a person and how we behave as an individual or within a team.
Well how about considering how our customers behave and understanding the type of communication that they would want to receive as part of the sales and marketing process
When you consider how differently the animals behave it gives you a chance to consider if your customers have different behaviour approaches which mean that they need to be treated differently as part of the sales process
So do you change the way that you communicate to your customers or do you just follow the approach that you like
- Some will love facts and figures, numbers and graphs
- Some will want it punchy and to the point
- Some will need a long build up process before they can make a decision
- Some just wont get it until you explain to them using illustrations and diagrams
What does a business coach do and are they effective?
In its simplest form a business coach will perform two functions – acting as both trainers and mentors. Business coaching can play a crucial role in the success of your business, but it might not be what are expecting. Business coaching when performed well will be a thought provoking, introspective and creative process.
In many companies Owners and Directors are responsible for both the vision and execution of your ideas. Covid has created multiple business issues having a clear marketing plan and sales and marketing processes has never been more important. For more information on marketing and Sales click here, to contact an experienced and professional marketing specialist click here
FREE Website Performance Check
- Speed plays an important part in website performance how well does yours perform on desktop and mobile?
- Is your site mobile responsive if not how many customers are you losing?
- Is your site HTTPS?
- With GDPR in place is your site legally compliant?
- Find out about loads more website performance issues
How To Be A Better Manager
The following ten tips might help you to not only be a better manager but also a better person
- Assume good faith – make sure you understand why something was done
- Improve the system from within
- can documentation be better
- can processes be better
- ensure that you write down what works
- Processes are critical but not being shackled and restricted from doing random things is also key for development
- Take responsibility
- make note of any problems that occur
- avoid not my problem fields
- Pick your fights carefully
- if its not of critical importance can you let it slide
- learn the skill of letting something go
- Be generous
- Don’t be afraid to come up with solutions
- help without being asked
- if some aren’t receptive try the approach “here’s an idea that might help”
- Exhibit Bonus traits
- Share your knowledge
- Fix a problem that a colleague has
- Become a lighthouse within the company have “organisational visibility”
- Treat everyone with kindness – employees, suppliers , stakeholders – everyone
- Communication is key
- Recognise that understanding fluffy managerial speak is a skill
- Communicating managerial speak doesn’t have to be bland or boring
- Be consistent in communication
- Keep communication simple
- “Your sentence is extremely interesting, can i have a concrete example. Could you explain it to me like I was a child”
Reasons To Survey Your Customers
Customer surveys are a valuable tool for businesses, helping you gain a better understanding of your customers’
So that you can improve your products and standards of service in line with customers’ needs.
By monitoring customer satisfaction and identifying potential problems early , you can improve customer loyalty, protect revenue and increase profitability.
Reasons to survey your customers
The information from a customer survey provides your company with valuable feedback on the issues that are important to your customer. You can design surveys to find out how well your products meet customers’ needs or how satisfied they are with different aspects of the service you offer. The feedback can highlight problems that you were not aware of, giving you the opportunity to respond and take remedial action.
Asking your customers or prospects for their views on products / services or your company’s performance indicates that you are prepared to listen and engage with them and potentially take account of their views and opinions. An online (or printed) survey provides a convenient mechanism for customers to express their views. For business to business operations we operate in an environment where increasing numbers of customers share their views and opinions on social networking sites or forums that are outside your control. .
The results gained from customer surveys can be shared within your company, your employees can build an understanding of company operations from the customers’ perspective. This is particularly important for employees in departments (that are not directly customer facing) such as accounts or order processing who may not feel that their work is relevant to customer satisfaction.
Where it is very difficult to differentiate the product / service you supply from competitors by including questions in the survey such as “how satisfied are you with the accuracy of invoices” or “how satisfied are you with the length of time taken to process orders,” you can highlight the importance of work throughout the company and build a stronger customer-focused attitude.
Evaluating the responses and feedback to a satisfaction survey highlights your company’s strengths and weaknesses from your customers’ perspective. This can then provide a clear focus on the areas of your business where very low satisfaction scores are achieved and priority should be given to remedy any serious problems. Identify do you need to change business processes, instigate employee training or can you automate processes.
Customer satisfaction levels have an impact on your ability to retain and develop customers. Our 6L model of customers (Live, Loyal, Likely, Lost, Lapsed , & Losing ) fits into other business thinking models that customers’ attitudes can fall into distinct zones. Typically 3 zones are identified
These zones can correspond to different levels of customer satisfaction where the higher the level of satisfaction you can achieve, the more likely you are to retain loyal customers.
A single survey can be considered like a photograph, it gives you a snapshot of customers’ views at a specific point of time. By conducting frequent surveys over a period of time, you can measure the results of any improvement activities you have undertaken. Additionally as relationships with customers develop and strengthen you can ask more in depth and challenging questions about their requirements.