The Marketing Boutique

If you are in B2B, preparing for company growth isn’t easy. There are so many moving parts to manage and control, even the best of companies can get it wrong sometimes. But when all the right signs are pointing that it is your time to grow, how can you not make the move?

For this topic, I’ve decided to break-up it up into two parts, mainly because when I started to write the hiring section, it took up much more space than expected.

Planning For B2B Growth with Marketing & Sales Staff

I’ve seen many companies fail when it comes to new market entry or moving to their next phase (companies have 4 growth phases) and it usually because they didn’t have the right staff, specifically sales and marketing staff.

Sure sometimes we have product failure or the manufacture screwed up production causing financial losses and causing companies to close up shop. However, this failure is actually due to a lack of finances. Meaning the company didn’t have enough cash to carry itself during difficult times.

From my experience, it is easier to find qualified engineers, super-duper techies, wonderful graphic artists and well-organized plant managers but when it comes to qualifying, managing and retaining sales, inside sales, marketing and customer support teams, this is a different ball game.

Most companies will hire based on whether they like the person or if the person fits with their company culture, but these are the wrong traits to base qualified marketing and sales staff.

The Marketing Boutique

Hire for B2B Growth

To get your company to the next phase, you actually need marketing and sales staff that have an entrepreneurial mindset, truth-tellers, pioneers, resilient and curious by nature.

These personality traits will help you to make the right decisions, create a company that is proactive and a culture that is dynamic, filled with smart people looking to make a mark in history, your company and in their profession.

Sure, these specific marketing and sales-type may be difficult to handle but that’s half the fun of getting your company to the top.

Instead, most companies will hire like-minded people or people who go along with EVERYTHING but they end up staying at your company for 5….10 years and you start to wonder, who can I select to help me expand my company?

Most of the time, companies are successful not because of their people, but because the market is right. Have you ever heard of the saying, “The market was so rich, that even the worst of companies made money.”

The Marketing Boutique

It’s true!

Give your sales and marketing teams the rewards they deserve  

Sure, I sound like an HR manager, but my point is that rock-solid marketing and salespeople will leave your company if they don’t get the rewards they deserve. Many a great salesperson went to the competition, because once they brought in a top client their commission got too big and as a result, adjusted. Ouch!

Make sure your back-end is tight before market expansion

Many companies don’t have a unified culture bringing together customer support, marketing and sales to serve a new territory. You’ve probably read the stores where marketing and sales don’t get along? Well, I’ve never experienced that personally, but I can understand it.

This usually happens when:

  1. Big Companies: When companies get too big, they tend to split up branding, customer support, sales, strategy and so on. This actually creates competition between tactics when each tactic should be ruled by marketing. I will explain in a future post.
  2. Sales Focused Company: When marketing is a support function to sales, meaning this department writes brochures, manages the website and newsletter, then you just need to hire coordinators, communication people not marketing directors.  Also, your company will be a sales-focused company, not a marketing-led company, two different types of companies…
  3. No investment in your Marketing team: Do you invest in your marketing team by allowing them to visit trade shows (not manage the booth), get educated on our product and actually meet your top clients? No, then don’t expect them to write a brochure with in-depth knowledge on your product, thus creating an unsatisfied sales team…i.e. the fighting.
  4. Being Customer Support Ready: Are you entering Europe, do you need a 24-hour support service? Are you ready, do you have the proper back-end probably developed for this new venture? Most companies start with first sales and then we build the customer support staff. But before entering the new market, do your homework first. Do you hire local, get staff abroad and so on? You should have a blue print-ready.
  5. Customer Support Team: Who manages this team? Most probably your product development team. Why not put this team under Marketing and watch how much your marketing team will grow in value, knowledgeable in your product and your customer. Your product development team probably knows the customer more than your marketing team – that’s why sales and product development get along better!!
  6. Hire experience: When you are a young company, you can make mistakes and take your time to learn ‘business’ by hiring a junior marketing staff or people who are learning sales. However, there comes a time when you just need to hire experience. If your company has reached a certain level in your industry, then you need to hire likewise.

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Branding-Customer-Love_The-Marketing-BoutiqueIncreasing sales, achieving profitable sales and selling more is always a priority for every business owner. There are lots of tips online today about how to sell but which ones really work and why?

For this post, we’ve done all the analysis and assessment for you and brought you our selection.

 

TEN IMPORTANT TACTICS THAT INCREASES SALES   Read More

Do you have a tight budget? Do you find yourself with no media contacts and with little to no brand visibility? As with many businesses today, you are probably wearing multiple hats, from the marketing manager, event planner to being your own publicists! Where do you start as you closely approach your product launch date?  Read More

Marketing Plan, Why You Need To Plan For The Future

What will your business look like in one year from now? In 5 years from today? How many times have you asked this question?  More importantly, can you articulate your vision into words?

Many people are ambitious and are gusty enough to open a business, but are unsure how ‘to get there’.  They sell aggressively and are busy doing, thinking that when they have enough money, that is when they will have the time to formulate a marketing plan.

Selling aggressively can sometimes lead to problems if there is no strategy tied to selling and if selling aggressively forces the company to be all things to all customers, this can actually weaken a company by developing too many products and services.  This will dilute resources and efforts, trying to serve too many markets and not being strong in any.

Sure, some do succeed and create successful companies, but I’m sure they will tell you it wasn’t easy.  However, more often businesses will be unprofitable and will stop growing.

Put it on Paper

Problem is, being busy without a clear vision is being busy for busy sake. Putting your vision into words will help you to understand how much time will be required from you to get your business to match your vision.

Now you are not just doing, you and your business are working towards building your vision! 

Get everyone involved

Looking at the people around your business meeting today, is your staff aware of what your business will look like in five years from now?  What about your spouse?  Get them involved.  And, be open to changes and suggestions even if you are 100% convinced you are on the right path.

Build a road map

Better yet, put your vision as a road map and put it in a place where everyone can see it. This will help to engage your staff and get them to make the right decisions.

Make sure to include measurable steps and small wins along the way, to keep everyone involved.  Small wins will also help you stay focused and motivated.

Cecilia

Some marketing folks will tell you it is chaos out there.  While we don’t agree about the chaos, target markets are extremely fragmented making it increasingly difficult to maintain market share. Read More