It’s the season for wrapping up the old year and prepping for the next. I hope you are as excited about the potential of the coming year as I am, particularly as it pertains to how you can transform your marketing organization. Here are six ideas to get you started:
1. Understand your sales lead requirements. This one is crucial, because if you don’t understand how many sales leads you need, you can’t properly support the sales organization and your company’s revenue objectives. If you want to learn how to do this, read our article, How Many Sales Leads Do You Need.
2. Tune or replace your sales model. There is no better time than right now to give your sales model careful scrutiny, especially if your results are faltering or you have a gnawing feeling that you are doing things out of habit instead of based on how effective the activity actually is. Even if you are relatively satisfied with your go-to-market model, there are probably ways that you can tweak it for better results. The objective of the sales model is to produce the maximum amount of new customers and revenue at the lowest cost. If you are in direct sales mode, perhaps you should consider incorporating a channel program. Likewise, channel-focused companies can sometimes benefit from adding a direct sales component. Also ask whether telephone sales can replace in-person, or the web can replace either method. If possible, test the new model on a small scale before rolling it out to the entire organization.
3. Craft a service level agreement (SLA) between sales and marketing. A SLA is a written (yes, written) specification of the relationship between marketing and sales, and what each group is expected contribute to the overall revenue objectives. At a minimum, your SLA will include these details:
- Number of sales leads required and when
- What constitutes a sales-ready lead
- How leads are distributed to the field
- How sales reps disposition leads
- How marketing’s contribution is measured through a closed-loop system
4. Transform your marketing initiatives into a “marketing machine.” Almost every company does marketing. But relatively few do it on a consistent, relentless and reliable basis. We call this the “coin operated approach.” You put some marketing time and money in at one end of the process and you get a predictable amount of revenue at the other end. When you can do this, you are seen by the CEO, CFO and CSO as an investment, not an expense. This, my friend, is a very good thing for your company and your own job security.
5. Join the Pull Marketing revolution. I’ve been talking about this for some time now for one primary reason: pull marketing works. It’s not a miracle cure for what ails you, and it takes time and a great deal of sweat equity. But if you start today, you will begin reaping benefits by the end of 2013. To read more about this important subject, read the blog post How to Accelerate Your Success with Pull Marketing.
6. Resolve to be BOLD. It’s a new year so why not make it a great year, instead of just another business-as-usual period of slight incremental progress? If you set BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals) and you don’t quite reach them, you will usually find yourself farther ahead than if you never reached high in the first place. Here are a couple of BHAG ideas:
- Differentiate your company with a compelling and differentiated value proposition.
- Double your website traffic.
- Increase your inbound sales leads by 80%.
- Align your marketing and sales organizations and processes for maximum effectiveness.
- Shorten your sales cycles by 25%.
Any one of these six ideas can be a game changer for you and your organization. Implement a couple of the strategies and you will start creating an unstoppable marketing machine.
Happy New Year!