This past week I came across a situation with a new client that defied most professional marketing advice. This client was using many time-honored principles to reach its key prospects with little to no results.
So I went through my typical list of qualifiers:
• Adequate budget? – Yes
• Strong corporate ID? – Yes
• Professionally designed graphics? – Yes
• Relevant product information and services? – Yes
• Positive corporate and community image? – Yes
Again I asked myself, why no results?
Upon closer review, I found the client’s marketing messaging well defined but poorly timed. After a full review I recommended the following:
1. Match your marketing activities to the Buying Cycle – in other words, make sure that your marketing offers are aligned with your prospects’ specific buying cycles. No good to run a sale in May when the primary buying season starts in September!
2. Match your sales process to the Buying Cycle – this means make sure ALL of your sales representatives understand what the thrust of the sales marketing program is and make doubly sure they can present it persuasively. No good spending thousands of dollars in marketing if your sales force doesn’t understand the sales strategy behind selling new customers.
3. Make sure your goals and methods align with your customers’ top needs – seems obvious but this organization had not professionally queried its full customer or prospect base in years. Instead, they were relying upon the insights of a few executives who rarely made sales calls!
My other advice was to begin using one of the most time-tested B to B marketing approaches: Problem. Solution. In other words, define what your prospects’ top problems and needs are and BE the solution to those problems.