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12 Tips to Boost Your Sales and Marketing Results
The economy is recovering. Now is the time to get your sales and marketing plans in tip-top shape to take advantage. Small to mid-sized businesses are the ones that fuel our economic growth. So, as you plan your campaigns for 2016, here are some tips to help you optimise your results.
1. "You don't have to role play or be an actor."
Make sure every message that your customer sees from you is focused on how your product or service benefits them. Put yourself in your customer's shoes and ask, "What's in this for me?" Make sure that the message is communicated clearly and consistently in your promotional materials, in your sales presentations, in your email campaigns, and on your website.
2. "Process makes perfect."
That is certainly true when it comes to sales. To achieve success, you need to have a good selling process in place in your business. A sales plan – by media channel, by product line or by service – is essential to insuring your sales operation will function smoothly and be successful.
3. "I can see clearly now."
How much do you know about your customers? If you don't have a clear picture, then a customer profile analysis is what you need. By matching your customer file against a national consumer or business data warehouse, you can develop a profile of your customers that is a powerful tool for more targeted marketing and sales campaigns.
4. "Rome wasn't built in a day."
And neither was your customer list. Your customer list is your gold, but it takes planning and attention to detail to create a really powerful customer list. Be sure you have a good CRM system to store data on customer contact information, purchase history, marketing preferences, and personal attributes. Put someone in charge who will make sure all the input is accurate and thorough. Clean your list regularly with the help of a marketing services provider.
5. "There is no such thing as a free lunch."
But you can get a lot of mileage out of good publicity. Every business has a story, and every media outlet is looking for one. Send newsworthy press releases to your local media, your VIP list, your trade journals, and even the national media if the news is big.
6. "Test, test, test."
There is no gimmick to this. Testing is what helps you improve your sales and marketing results. Test every aspect of your campaigns: your creative, your message, your offer, and your lists. Test one thing at a time. Run quick tests using email, but confirm those results with direct mail.
7. "Come on in, the water is fine."
If you have not developed an email marketing strategy for your company, you should test the waters. Email is particularly effective for customer communications, so start there. Develop an e-newsletter and publish on a regular basis to stay in touch with customers and reward them with special offers. Use email campaigns, in conjunction with direct mail, for lead generation to drive prospects to your website and e-commerce locations.
8. "Been there, done that."
Is your website up-to-date at this very moment? Information about your company and your products is changing daily. Make sure this is reflected on your website. The web has become the destination for finding information on products and services. Think of this as your storefront, your concierge. Make sure information is easy to find!
9. "Finding a needle in a haystack."
Speaking of your website, invest in optimising your website for web search. It can be very easy – and inexpensive – to make modest improvements to your website that make it much easier for potential customers to find you.
10. "A penny for your thoughts."
In the "old days," when a company wanted to learn what customers thought about their products, they would hire a marketing consultant to conduct research. The new world of social media, while not a science, opens up your ability to hear directly from customers and prospects about their needs and preferences 24/7. Experiment with using Facebook and Twitter to create fan pages and communities.
11. "Two is better than one."
Multi-channel marketing works. When you take a direct mail message and enhance it with email, or vice versa, you increase your total response and profitability. Use multi-channel communications (mail, email, phone, messaging) but, for it to be an effective marketing strategy, it needs to be carefully planned and orchestrated.
12. "Mission critical."
Does your company have a mission statement? A mission statement helps everyone on your team to rally around the key service and benefit that you provide to your customers. It is the starting point for all of your brand identity, product development, and marketing materials. It can also be a statement of your company ethics, so employees know what you stand for internally and externally.
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Please be aware that all of the views expressed in this Blog are purely the personal views of the authors and commentators (including those working for AIB as members of the AIB website team or in any other capacity) and are based on their personal experiences and knowledge at the time of writing.
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