Build an Unbeatable Marketing and Sales Model!

The start of a new year聽is a great time to evaluate your marketing and sales model聽 and to confirm it is optimized to meet and/or exceed your revenue goals for the foreseeable future. 聽Business as usual is no longer a safe way for today’s marketers to proceed in our ever-changing markets.聽 Christopher Ryan provides powerful insights and聽useful information to help you evaluate and transform your current model into an unbeatable marketing and sales model.

We’re entering a new year in the midst of tough economic challenges.聽 The time could never be better to take a serious look at how your marketing and sales model聽 has functioned in the past and how you can reposition it for optimized, unbeatable success.

Despite all the possible permutations of how you can get there, there are only three ways to grow your business:

1.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Increase the number of customers

2.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Increase the average transaction size聽

3.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Increase the frequency of purchase

To be successful, you must align your marketing and sales model to meet one or more of these three objectives. If you can increase all three metrics, you will soon have a world-class operation. And while there are many possible ways to achieve a revenue objective, some organizations (perhaps yours) are not using the best strategy. You should not make decisions regarding your marketing and sales model simply based on what your competitors are doing, but rather on your unique assets and weaknesses.

Ask The Tough Questions

Before considering embarking on a new model, it is helpful to understand your current situation.

1.聽聽聽聽聽聽 How did your current marketing and sales model evolve?

2.聽聽聽聽聽聽 What’s your motivation for keeping the status quo?聽

3.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Are you doing things out of habit or by deliberate choice?

4.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Is your sales force earning its keep?

5.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Are your current channel partners helping or hindering progress?

6.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Where is the Pareto Principle (80/20) alive and well in your organization?

7.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Are there any time bombs at your company?

Time bombs are those issues that, if not addressed, could have serious consequences downstream, such as: 聽a cost of sales that is out of control, good products, but a very inefficient sales team, channel partners that are leaving you for the competition, a prohibitive cost-of-goods, and/or products that are more than one generation behind the competition.

Acceptance and Courage to Change

Reinhold Niebuhr, a wise theologian, wrote what is now known as the Serenity Prayer: 聯God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.聰 This wisdom can be applied to how we conduct business. When it comes to things we cannot change, there are five that are most important to establishing the right sales model:

1.聽聽聽聽聽聽 You cannot make bad sales reps into good ones, with some exceptions. You’ll need to face the situation.

2.聽聽聽聽聽聽 You cannot turn weak channel partners into strong performers. Find and motivate the good ones.

3.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Sales reps and channel partners always 聯follow the money.聰 A weak compensation plan leads to weak sales.

4.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Sometimes you need to tweak the model 聽and sometimes you need to overhaul the model. Holding on to a weak sales model is postponing the inevitable day of reckoning.

5.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Customers have control, not you. Figure out your organizational strengths and align these with the way customers desire to do business.

Three 聽key steps in the alignment process:

1.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Survey how your customers buy now and how they want to buy in the future: sales rep, distributor, retail, Web, mail order, telephone, etc.

2.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Align the key buying criteria with the ability of each selling model to fulfill specific criteria.

3.聽聽聽聽聽聽 Offer flexibility as your customers change their needs/wants.

Comparing Sales Models

There are two major factors to take into consideration when choosing a marketing and sales model. The cost to complete each transaction and the value that each transaction brings to the business. It is not surprising that the direct sales force is both the highest cost and highest value option. 聽At the other end of the continuum is Internet (Web-based) selling, where the costs can be very low, but the average sales size also tends to be low. The best situation is to have a high-value transaction facilitated with low-cost marketing and sales techniques. Conversely, the worst situation is to have a low-value transaction created using high-cost techniques (e.g., partners or direct sales). The overall objective is to drive the highest average transaction cost at the lowest cost-per-sales.

Direct, Channel and Hybrid Models

Pure direct sales models usually works best:

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 When you have solid geographic coverage.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 When you sell big-ticket products.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 When you sell complex products.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 When you have funds to sustain a sales force through the start-up period.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 When you cannot afford to heavily discount your products.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 When a high costs of goods makes paying a channel margin prohibitive.

Pure channel sales models usually works best:

Mixed or hybrid direct and channel model works best:

In the hybrid model, direct or field sales people focus on large and profitable accounts, complex sales, quality (not quantity), upgrading and cross-selling accounts, and becoming customer advocates.

Even if you decide the pure channel model is preferable for your company, it is a good idea to first establish the ability to sell directly. You will gain extremely valuable information about your marketplace, value proposition, price pointsComputer Technology Articles, and so forth.聽