Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sales & Marketing Strategy Conclusion: Frequently Asked Questions

What are some ways that I can quickly increase sales?

This is a tough question that is very dependent on your business. There are many ways to both motivate your customers and to motivate your internal sales force. Increasing sales is a general term; you must first set a goal of how you wish to increase sales. Is it a straight volume increase of your existing offering? Perhaps you want to increase the cross-selling of software applications and peripherals to increase your profit margins. Regardless of the goal, be sure to inspire your customers and sales people to move to action today. Find out what your sales representatives and customers need to drive them to your desired action and then develop a mutually beneficial incentive to drive them to that action. Increasing your value-adds, rebates, bundles and internal sales incentives are all good ways to give your sales numbers a boost. The key is defining a balance where you are still profitable while allotting for a volume increase.

Should I outsource my sales/customer service departments?

Outsourcing your infrastructure can often save your organization money; however, it’s important to look at the following things:
  • Will my level of service increase or decrease?
  • Will I spend more time educating and managing an outsourced department?
  • What control will I lose and what will I gain from outsourcing?
  • Are there any competitive risks associated with outsourcing?
Evaluate carefully how an outsourced department will impact your business, as larger firms are moving their service departments off-shore. Watch and learn from their successes and failures and determine for yourself if this would hold a positive impact on cost-savings both short-term and long-term.

Which marketing vehicles have the most impact for my business?

The answer is all of them. Each marketing vehicle plays an intricate role in creating an impact for your business; however, depending upon your message and medium (as well as the type of industry you serve), the marketing vehicles and their value to your organization will change. For example; if you are selling to an industry that is a bit more tech savvy, you may want to try and implement a more technical approach. This may include targeted emails, electronic forms to gather information and online webinar/seminars. However, if your primary demographic is the green industry (plant growers, landscapers, etc.) these marketing tactics would be rendered useless, as they primarily rely on hardcopy items and fax machines for communication.
Your message also speaks more clearly depending upon the medium; for example, a simple statement on a simple postcard “SAVE 25% TODAY” will go a long way if you are targeting the right audience. If you were developing a technology newsletter where the information could change daily, it would be more intelligent to develop an electronic newsletter or website where the content is more dynamic.
The final answer is…it depends.
It depends on your message. It depends on how you wish to communicate that message. It depends on who is the target audience who will be receiving that message. It depends on the call-to-action (incentive to move them to action) that you have in your message. Utilize trial and error; measure what works and discard those things that do not work with the dependencies in mind.

What is one-to-one marketing?

One-to-one marketing is a very useful tactic. With the advancement of technology, we are now in the age of marketing where we can develop a message that personally relates to specific demographic groups. It’s as simple as adding the name of the intended recipient to an email blast, or as complicated as using a business intelligence engine to craft a message specific only to the recipient. Here is a good example:
  • Message one: Dear valued customer, We are offering great rebates and discounts on select computer peripherals and software. Hurry, the sale ends this month! Come see what we have in store for you!
  • Message two: Dear John, We noticed that you recently purchased an HP Pavilion Notebook on September 14th. We hope you have enjoyed your purchase. For being our valued customer, we would like to offer you a 10% off coupon the next time you come into our store to purchase any one of these accessories for your notebook: HP Pavilion Power Supply HP Pavilion Docking Station Targus Cooling Lap Station 3COM 802.11g wireless PCMCIA card
Again, thank you for your recent purchase, we want to ensure you receive the highest quality of service from Profit Corporation, so please feel free to contact us at any time.
Message two specifies the product that the customer purchased and offers suggestive products that he/she can actually use for that product. Expect incremental returns from making the investment to implement one-to-one marketing and look for future modules in our Profit Maps courseware to explain this in more detail.


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