CEO Confidential

3 Marketing and Sales Mistakes that Limit Growth and How to Avoid Them


It’s been half a year already, and we see hordes of marketers reeling under pressure to achieve the revenue goals of 2017. It is essential to contain the problem before it reaches a new depth. Keep an eye out for mistakes that lead to midyear crisis.

Marketers who ignore these aspects are likely to see an untoward outcome.

A) Unsynchronized sales and marketing goals

It may seem harmless, but many organizations do not incline the sales and marketing goals leading to numerous hassles. According to a survey by TAS Group, companies part away with 10% of revenue due to inconsistent policies.

The typical cues are infrequent conflicts that arise from improper structuring. Many CEOs choose to refrain from further investigation by dismissing them as a trivial impediment. Another possible reason is that marketing relationships are rarely seen on the lines of priority engagement. Rather than nurturing conversation, lead generation is considered to be a responsibility that changes hands from one department to another until conversion.

Avoid misalignment using these steps:

Plan the goals in advance

Prepare long term plans right off the bat. Get familiar with the definitions without further ado.

Understand what qualifies as lead

Your lead numbers wholly depend upon the definition of a lead. As a responsible marketer; do not give yourself the benefit of the doubt while qualifying leads because your sales volume depends on what you consider as a lead. Setting the bars higher while qualifying leads is a welcome measure. You may initially see a drop in lead volume. However, engaging quality leads where the opportunity for follow-up sales is higher.

It is important to have a pre-acknowledged lead handoff procedure

Are you dumping leads onto sales team without evaluating the quality? You could be risking the time and efforts! Review the handoff criteria by assessing the follow –up expectations of the leads.

Evaluate and filter

Conduct a quarterly review to see if you are accepting sufficient data to understand what is sustainable and what isn’t. Having actionable data lets you correct the course during the other half of the year.

B) Ineffective planning or lack of resources

Do you pitch at CEOs without citing the corporeal movables? Any marketer who has tried would be able to vouch for its ineffectiveness

Unclear communication of marketing ROI and sales undertaking would lead to improper allocation of funds and mismanagement of resources such as tools or staff. Ideally, if marketers can attribute processes with wealth generation, the results will greatly favor growth. But, such outcome is a seldom occurrence.

Explore these areas to reinforce a gripping case:

Evaluate the content consumption by sales team:

The projections from the survey made by Sirius Decisions indicate that sales team consumes up to 30% of marketing content. By preventing the remainder of 70% content from going to waste, it is possible to cultivate profit making settings.

Elicit feedback from your sales team about marketing content

Having a modest feedback may not suffice to drive the revenue, it is profitable by focussing on content with sections amassing better ratings for seamless movement within the sales funnel.

Integrate sales booster technology in the marketing plan

Look up to sophistication as a need of the hour. If your organization can assimilate upgraded resources, leverage its potential to impress your CFO. Complete integration of sales dilating technology and content to the CRM can shine the light on areas of the content that can move the prospective deals through the stages of the sales pipeline.

C) It is counterproductive to assume sales growth and momentum will sustain

Companies begin feeling smug during the growth phase, after a streak of accomplishments. The extreme complacent could soon become the final nail in the coffin inspiring bad decisions where marketers may recklessly assign budgets on untested strategies.

Implement these if you haven’t:

Key Account Marketing

Key Account Marketing  is popular in markets that see extreme commoditization. The popularity of account marketing is gradually growing along with its influence in sales and marketing ecosystem. It inclines marketing plan with account strategies, targets bigger deals at the fastest turnaround, and influences prospects with high-quality, relevant content. The ideal approach is to begin targeting midsized markets with a smaller collection of accounts. Customize the content by assigning the right resources. Marketers who implement Account marketing strategy are likely to come out ahead with higher ROI.

Amplify technology stack of your sales team

Technology stack of marketers has seen significant changes in the propensity to automate and cater highly relevant content. Year after year, marketers are ushered towards high-end technology products that could further reduce the distance marketers have to journey towards their goals.

Prioritize predictive analytics

Predictive analysis is a vital part of artificial intelligence (AI), and many sales technology products are built around AI to intervene and act without warranting the attention of users. Your current approach may be operational, but marketers are inquisitive about where they will be led few years down the line.

Putting things in perspective

At the year end, sales and marketing results are quantified based on the revenue generated.

In today’s data-driven world, former strategies are losing its effectiveness sooner than expected due to the rapid extension of existing and older technologies. Best results are often attained by having a well-balanced collaboration between sales and marketing teams by bettering the results with advanced technology. It is also essential to turn towards the existing processes for enhancing the quality of sales execution. A successful strategy stems from ideal set of consumer data.

The automation of tasks such as administrative duties, sales engagement, and other processes can drive the results.

In an independent survey by Gartner in 2016, it was found that by 2018 majority of the data entry duties will see automation replacing the manual operations with marketing tools that coordinate well with the marketing plan. However, if you are nowhere close to bringing changes on larger proportions, study the length and breadth of markets.

Start charting your long term course of action along with your short-term plans and you can pull through the remainder of the year making profits.

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Sudheer Kiran
Sudheer Kiran is a digital marketing consultant & co-founder of the digital marketing agency DigitalVow that offers digital marketing services to small and medium-sized enterprises. He is passionate on covering topics like marketing, startups and entrepreneurship. Sudheer is a regular contributor to the CEOWORLD magazine.
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