We live in a world of stiff competition with so much noise competing for consumer attention, that it can be painfully difficult for brands to get noticed and stand apart from their competition. That's why the lion's share of brands simply settle for being ordinary. It's just easier. As football coaching legend Lou Holtz said, "In this world you're either growing or you're dying, so get in motion and grow."
What does it take for your organization to go from ordinary to extraordinary? Since nothing happens until a sale is made, the strength of your sales and marketing strategy has everything to do with achieving greatness.
Just as a heart surgeon would never cut before a diagnosis, so should go your sales and marketing strategy. A proper diagnosis requires objective, comprehensive research insights that can only be gathered by gaining the authentic perspectives of your current customers and the broader marketplace. Only through proper research can you determine the sales and marketing levers to pull in order to generate a strong, predictable return on investment.
When it comes to marketing execution, the most successful brands share these commonalities. They have claimed a unique brand territory. They have a distinct brand voice that resonates with buyers. They have a deep understanding of their target market -- who they are, what makes them tick and why they buy. They have identified the most cost efficient and productive avenues for reaching them, and they focus on these channels to maintain an affordable cost of customer acquisition.
The consultative sales model was conceived in the 1970s and was ahead of its time. Its discovery or question-based approach puts the sales person in the enviable role of adviser, and its principles couldn't be more relevant today. At its core is the premise that you must first seek to understand before you can truly be understood. Companies that master this sales methodology find themselves forging impenetrable, long-term relationships and consistently outpacing competing sales professionals.
Only through introspection can we improve. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates certainly understood this when he said "I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition." Thanks to technological advancements, our ability to easily measure sales and marketing strategies has improved exponentially. Gone are the days where it's good enough to simply monitor revenue growth and marketing expense, making vague correlations between the two. Today's savvy sales and marketing leaders make informed, data-driven decisions.
At the end of the day, extraordinary companies drive growth by creating a measurable sales and marketing strategy that's grounded in research and generates a predictable return on investment.
Lori Turner-Wilson can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.