One of the best ways to evaluate your sales and marketing is to consider how well they’re integrated and how well they work in concert with one another. Is marketing passing the right type of information sales needs to garner interest among interested prospects? Are sales providing continuous market feedback to marketing to help them make better-informed judgments about positioning statements? Or do you have two groups that seldom mix?

The increase of competition in markets, niches, and niches of niches is becoming increasingly more difficult to navigate each day. There are several things occurring in the market that were not as severe in previous years.

  • Extended Buying Cycles require marketing and sales to engage prospects for a much longer time.
  • Reduced Resources with constant revenue demands strain sales and marketing efficiency.
  • Lack of Direction leads to missed opportunities.

Companies who continue to rely upon the sales and marketing principles that made them successful in years past often find themselves with lackluster results because the underlying foundation no longer applies to many segments of their business. For instance, cold calling without a diagnosed market concentration will usually produce limited results. Industry sales and marketing surveys of entrepreneurial companies often cite the ineffectiveness of these types of processes for producing new business sales development.

If you think about how your sales and marketing team was put together, you might find that it was accomplished using piece-meal steps. No other aspect of a business is typically developed in this way. Perhaps this is why sales marketing programs are failing, including yours?

This simple 6-step approach might bring you better results:

1. Market Research

– Identify top market targets

– Create a value proposition that is more compelling than your competition

2. Sales & Marketing Strategy

– Align with target market’s buying cycle and company’s key objectives

– Identify key drivers inside and outside of your company to leverage resources

3. Marketing Execution

– Create new tactics and tools to achieve your client’s goals

– Create messaging that actually says something new and different

4. Lead Generation

– Inbound and outbound – understand how to grow opportunities

– Create a seamless conversation between your marketing and sales system

5. Sales Management  

– Develop a sales process that works with marketing, not against it

– Maximize your top sales channels and fuel your dollars into these efforts

6. Results Analysis

– Close the loop – service your clients heavily to keep them coming back

Regardless of the type of business you run, your company’s ability to create new customer relationships is the lifeblood that will keep your company growing – not to mention profitable. A tightly designed integration of sales and marketing operations can bring you a competitive advantage in your key market niches and allow you to continue to grow your customer base for years to come.