Sales and marketing are two of the most important aspects of any business. No matter what type of company you have, it’s crucial to find ways to generate revenue and attract new customers. But all too often, businesses focus on the wrong things or develop bad habits when it comes to their sales and marketing efforts. There are three problems within sales and marketing that are so fundamental and basic in nature that many businesses completely overlook them, and if left unaddressed these problems can cause some serious harm. Here are three sales and marketing problems that will cost your business dearly if you don’t address them ASAP:
1) Missing the Fundamental Question
2) Less Selling | More Connecting
3) Not Seeing Beyond the Transaction
Problem 1: Missing the Fundamental Question
One of the most significant challenges facing new and established companies is the inability to answer what is arguably the most fundamental question: what is wrong with the world that you are business needs to exist? While this question seems painfully obvious, it is equally if not more painful hearing the various answers from people throughout the company. Responses that very are indicative of a company who does not uniformly know who they are or what they are about. One of the most valuable benefits of being able to have a solid answer to this question is that the answer provides direct insights into your customers world. The answer to this question speaks directly to the problems that they face and the challenges they experience that hold them back from where there could be. This is your company’s sweet spot because ideally you should be able to solve their challenges and accelerate then forward.
While it is critical that everyone throughout a company have complete clarity as to why the business that they support should exist, it is arguably most important that anyone occupying a role in sales or marketing should be most familiar with this answer. Sales and marketing are the primary contact point between your company and its customers and prospects, and if this group is out of sync On messaging as important as this then you have a serious problem on your hands. if you are out of sync here then how can you even begin to be successful in connecting with your customers and prospect base in any meaningful way?
The good news is that if your sales and marketing team that is currently effective in some way, that is an indicator they do have insight into this most fundamental question of why your company deserves to exist. However, taking the time to clarify this point will only serve as a means to connect with your customers and target audience In a far more effective manner that will invariably generate more revenue.
Problem 2: Less Selling | More Connecting
There is a common phrase that goes something like “nobody wants to be sold but everybody loves to buy”, and I would argue that we all have an innate understanding of what this means. However, how do you begin to explain the difference between somebody being sold versus somebody buying something? When you think of “being sold to” what does that conjure up in your mind? if you’re like me, you think of somebody who is a little too slick for their own good telling you exactly what you need, and why you need it, but they don’t ask you a single question. How can they tell you what you need when they don’t even know the first thing about you? Situations like this often tell us we are dealing with somebody who is worried about their interest more than ours. People like this are the ones who fuel all the popular stereotypes that we think of when it comes to the proverbial “used car salesperson”.
The most significant problem with these kinds of salespeople is that they are highly presumptive in their approach, and they almost exclusively spend their time talking about how great their product or service is. This is the kind of selling that is often found in rookie salespeople or poorly trained salespeople, and they do not get bound to full results overtime, and they do not set the stage at all for a long-term positive relationship between customer and vendor. If your salespeople are selling in this way, then you have an immediate and critical retraining initiative on your hands.
The best salespeople do not spend their time telling prospects how great they are. Rather, they show genuine interest in their prospects. They spend a great deal of time asking detailed questions and they listen intently to the response have the person opposite them. In listening to their prospects they gain deeply insightful knowledge as to the specific problems and the various dynamics of those issues faced by this particular prospect. With this knowledge a skilled salesperson can empathetically connect with their prospect, thus forming a true human to human connection period from there this skillful salesperson can directly match the problems their prospect faces with the solutions that they have to offer. Furthermore, they can craft an intricate and meaningful story of what an aspirational and achievable future looks like. Best of all the skillful salesperson can present numerous case studies that portray how others in similar circumstances were able to overcome their challenges and achieve a better state through your company’s products or services.
Problem 3: Not Seeing Beyond The Transaction
Salespeople push to close deals. That’s what they do. They sell products and or services. However, all too many salespeople, and companies for that matter, view the transaction as the culmination of all events serving as the end of the road. This is wrong. The transaction is not the end, but the beginning. If you have a sales team the views the sale as the end of the line, then you have a problem that you have to fix.
Salespeople have many tools at their disposal to help influence a deal to move forward ranging from video demos, ROI documents, case studies, etc. However, nothing is more potent for the salesperson then a thrilled customer willing to evangelize how great your company is to other prospects that are on the fence. Conversely, nothing is more damaging to a salesperson then a stable of unhappy customers.
Long term success for businesses largely stems from the quality of relationship they have with their customer base. Businesses that understand this invest the time effort and energy required to make these customers feel loved and heard on a regular basis. It is amazing how the bar yes set so low in many cases for customer expectation. poor customer service is more the rule then the exception these days. This sets the stage for your company to rise to the occasion and be something special in the mind, but more importantly the heart, of your customer. Simple things really matter in terms of preserving and expanding the relationship you have with your customer, but if you don’t think beyond the transaction then you will never grow these relationships, or the associated revenue that comes from a healthy and happy customer base in a meaningful way.
Bonus Point: companies that have been around awhile have had to weather a storm or two. Often it was revenue generated from there pool of current customers that sustained them through the potential crisis. if you do not have this type of customer base to lean on then your business will find itself in a very bad way the next time something of any significance shows up unexpectedly at your door. Will your business be able to weather the storm? Now is the time to take the action to ensure that answer is as close to a “yes” as you could possibly get as a guarantee.
It is a very noisy world that we live in and there are numerous books and programs that would teach you all the secrets to success. Unfortunately, most of these programs focus on the wrong things. Unfortunately, too many people are left wanting in terms of improving their craft. Unfortunately, too many prospects go underserved when it comes to the class of sales and marketing that they deserve.
Don’t let your company get caught up in the hollow hype. Look at your Sales and marketing fundamentals, which is aided by shining a light on the three problems listed above. if you can get your sales and marketing department’s right in the areas of fundamentally understanding why your company deserves to exist, selling less and connecting more, and seeing beyond the transactions, then you will find yourself better positioned than most to achieve significant, meaningful, and long lasting success. This is your opportunity to get better and vault well above and beyond your competition to achieve the growth that you know is out there. Go grab it.
Here at the upward spiral group, we know what we are about. We exist to help other companies and leaders maximize and realize their potential in order to better serve their customers, team members, and themselves. If you need a hand in achieving this next level of success let us know. We are here for you.