What was before is now different, and this different might be how things are for the foreseeable future.

We are deep in this environment of change but, has everything changed as much as it should?

Let’s look at Sales and Marketing… 


Sales and Marketing plans

Remember how we used to create our annual Sales and Marketing plans back when the World was open...?

We had some real forensic sessions looking at all the leads and opportunities, wringing out all the intelligence we had on what was coming up next year…but, we also had some where we put the previous year’s plan on the screen, changed the year on the top of the PowerPoint slides, upped the numbers by 20% and adjusted some of the text – Sales and Marketing plan smoke & mirrors. 

We would submit to the Board, and our work would be locked in as the “Sales and Marketing plan” for the coming year….and then we would break for the holidays.

We reappeared after the festive break in early January and the team picked up where they left off…with the same techniques, methods, and tools they used the previous year, and many years before that.  

Did we really evolve with the times….?


Our activity kept the Sales cycles going, the quick wins, the longer burns, the quick proposals and the big, hefty tender processes. That big ‘bluebird’ deal that saved the number, the smaller wins that added the extra on top.

We attended the right industry networking events and we lapped up all the new leads and opportunities…we were on top of our game. 

If all the dice fell as we predicted, we made the numbers or even better, we beat them. 

Everyone was happy and bonuses were paid – Mortgages paid, school fees taken care off, holidays booked…

Everything changed for everyone, everywhere...

The upheaval in 2020 impacted everything. Its likely it impacted your cash flow, your ability to generate leads and close deals and, your ability to work out what the future looks like.

We must look at the cost of sales closer than ever before. Taking it to a deeper level and look at the overall cost and return of Sales and Marketing

Why? Because the pre-covid plan will not work, you need to change and that means you need to take calculated risks. I’m not talking about taking Health and Safety or unauthorized financial risks, I’m talking about divergent business thinking, what some might call ‘out of the box’.

We can’t simply cut all Marketing; we will quickly become invisible to those we don’t know…we now need to double check every line item in that Marketing budget and see where and what the return is. 

All strategic, all with purpose and with a defined expectation of performance.

If we do it ‘just because we’ve always done it’ but it does not bring in leads or revenue, cut it. If we cut that because it adds no value, what are we going to do that adds value??

Examples:

GDPR has killed off email campaigns – so why run them? We ask our students how many people read the “circulars” - none. Like ads, technology has caught up with the unsolicited email senders and they go straight to junk.

Do you read your suppliers monthly newsletter? If not, do you really think your clients are waiting with anticipation to read yours...?

Cold calling, the last tactic of a dying Sales and Marketing plan. Again, interrupt and broadcast. As a businessperson, do you take cold calls from Salespeople? See above…

We ignore “corporate marketing” We are told that its essential to build brands, but as all corporate marketing says the same thing, how can it? We are the best! We are number one! It all blends into the Marketing wallpaper we all swipe or walk past every day.

Websites, when did you last open a company website that said, “we are the 4th best at what we do in our sector, we are a bit expensive and we are quite slow”? Exactly, and buyers know this.  Websites are all about how great, how solutions focussed, how world class…and so on. Run the analytics, are you really getting what you need from that website or do you need a rethink? 

We hear from clients who tell us they don’t pay attention to adverts, they have cold call screening, they block email campaigns etc....and then they sit at their desk and commission the same stuff they have just confirmed they think is useless…

We have senior Marketing and Communications leaders who have come to us and said, “marketing isn’t working anymore”.  We also have forward thinking leaders who are honest enough to admit “what we did before, doesn’t work the way it did…” 

Marketing have to understand the priority: What will generate leads and meetings, that leads to conversations, that lead to proposals and ultimately…to POs?

What is the common road we are all on?  Are we all going in the right direction..?

Your Salesforce needs leads and meetings, as it’s only them that are going to generate you cash in the short and medium term. You need your Sales teams consistently making and building relationships on Social Media. 

Several of you will be saying that you already do this – It’s time to put the ego and pride to one side and be honest – this is about business recovery and security.  Take time today to look at your LinkedIn profile, look at your marketing people’s LinkedIn profile and look at your Salespeople’s LinkedIn profiles, do you all have Buyer Centric, digitally optimised profiles…? Are you truly a Socially Mature organisation that leverages all the business value available to you from Social Media…?

Some quick questions:

  • Are you using LinkedIn and other platforms to prospect? 
  • Does your organisational Social presence and activity create inbound?
  • Are you connecting with the right people?
  • Is your content working for you or do you post for the sake of it?
  • Are you joining conversations with your prospects and doing this at scale?
  • Are you using content to move deals through the pipeline and close sales? 
  • Do you have Digital Dominance over your markets and competition?

As leaders in this new era, we must create a culture where all your people know how to do this as second nature and are working together as one.

We take management teams from analogue to digital through Social Selling & influence.

Its what we do, we do it around the World across all sectors. We take companies from relative invisibility to a position of Digital Dominance in the markets and in their chosen sectors.

Its now no longer a question of whether this works or not, the question is whether organisations have the mindset, culture, and hunger to transform…

Live Social ‘21

Eric Doyle

Crux / DLA Ignite