Leaders across the globe are turning their minds to 2022.
Pulling together data, analysing markets, comparing financial results across business units and regions, and taking the first steps towards building their 2022 Sales, Marketing and Business Development plans.
But everything had changed…every sector, every organisation has seen change.
Processes have changes, interaction has changed, networking has changed, prospecting has changed, delivery has changed…
Our understanding of how things work…. has changed.
Think back to when we used to create our yearly Sales and Marketing and Business Development plans, were they really that different from year to year?
What was the starting point? To open last year’s PowerPoint slides, up the numbers by 20% and adjusted some of the text? Sales and Marketing smoke and mirrors.
Armies of Sales and Marketing professionals came back after the holidays in early January and simply picked up where they left off.
The same techniques, methods, and tools they used the previous year (and 30 years before that) – Perhaps they added a CRM or hired a new Salesperson to cover a new Sector or Geography but, they didn’t really evolve that much.
Doing the same things year after year and expecting a change in results…
They kept the Sales cycles going, the quick wins, the longer burns, the quick proposals, and the big chunky tenders. Those big deals that would save the number, the smaller wins that added up.
They attended the trade shows and they scooped up business cards like diamonds…networking done!
If the numbers were there or there about the board were happy. Bonuses were paid, mortgages cleared, holidays booked, new cars ordered.
Everything we understood about that cycle has been turned inside out and upside down…
The recent upheaval has likely impacted your cash flow, your ability to generate leads and close deals and, your ability to map out the future.
So you need to think differently and be open and aware of what's out there that can help you.
As business leaders, we have to look at the cost of sales closer than ever before.
Take it a level deeper and look at the overall cost and return of sales and marketing. The 2019 plan is no longer viable. If you stick to it, ‘hoping things come back’ we are all in trouble.
“You’re sending a 2019 seller into a 2021 firestorm and that’s a kill box for them…”
The 2019 plan and approach doesn’t work...
Why? Because 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’.
Check every line in that Marketing budget and see where and what the return is.
As the Marketing lead – “If I spend 1 Pound, Dollar or Euro…when do I get it back and what it the multiple…?
If we do what we always did ‘just because we’ve always done it’ and it does not bring in qualified leads or hard revenue…. cut it.
Simply cutting is not the end of it, if we cut that because it adds no value, what are we going to do that adds value??
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 business professional, 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 5th best at what we do in our sector, we are a bit expensive, and we are quite slow”.
Websites are all about "how great, how solutions focused, how world class"...your buyers know this and don't care...
Run the numbers, 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 had Heads of Marketing and Communications who have come to us and said, “marketing isn’t working anymore”.
We all know why but organisations keep wasting time and money. We need more people to own up that Marketing is broken and stop being complicit in the problem.
It takes a brave person, but through history people have stood up and said “STOP – this is serious, and things must change”.
Your Sales team needs leads and meetings, its these people that are going to generate you cash in the short and medium term so arm them with all they skills they need to help you.
You need your Sales teams consistently making and building relationships on Social Media.
A number 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 saving and securing the business.
Go and look at your LinkedIn profile, look at your marketing people’s LinkedIn profile and look at your Sales and Marketing teams LinkedIn profiles…are you truly a Socially Mature organisation that leverages all of the business value available to you from Social Media or are you simply throwing content at LinkedIn…?
- Are you present and active on all platforms where your prospects hang out?
- 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?
- Are your team members able to create digital opportunities and convert them to commercial interaction?
Can your team tell you how much revenue was generated directly from Social Media? If the answer sounds sketchy or watery, you have a problem…
As a leader, have you created a culture where all of your people know how to do this as second nature and work together as one?
We know what when we run our Social Selling and Influence programmes with organisations, the results are measurable, repeatable and predictable. The answer to how to get out of this mess exists within the talent in your organisation today, let’s unlock it and put it to good use.
Its important that you give your teams all the digital skills they need to network, prospect and close business online…. its ok that they don’t have those skills today, it won’t be ok if they are in the same place in January of 2022…
Live Social '21
We all need to be adjusting our Sales Motions to match modern Buying Motions….