In these PC days, it’s almost gauche to admit that you like making sales, let alone that you work in sales.

The nitty-gritty of sales can seem an almost vulgar subject among marketing managers and even some business owners. 

And yet, it’s sales that, non-sexy discipline that makes the commercial world go round.

The rise of marketing and the desirability to be seen as a "Marketer" can have some significant drawbacks when it comes to sales performance, especially in the age of digital.

That’s because digital places a business at a distance from actual and prospective clients alike.

Our comms are usually one step away from a personal conversation or interaction.

We encourage visits to our websites and participation in our webinars.

Replies to our emails are requested.

It can all be very remote and passive.

Stats relating to site visits, open rates and downloads are poured over but is your marketing moving the revenue needle?

Is your marketing helping to make sales?

Marketing at the level I’ve just mentioned is in reality, sales support.

These are activities designed to get people and businesses into your sales funnel. 

Real marketing, the ongoing creation of a business that delights or surpasses the expectations of clients is often lost in the short-term work of building sales funnels.  

The work that’s vital to the future health and growth of a business is often delayed or overlooked.

As ever, there is always a delicate balance to be struck between strategic work and handling short-term sales problems.

But back to the mucky business of sales.

If you work in marketing, how much time do you spend with the salespeople within your business?

Do you hear first hand the objections with which they have to deal?

Do you ever meet with clients in a sales environment?

If the answer was no to either of the two questions above, you need to decrease your distance from the coal face.

It’s refreshing, sometimes shocking to hear what a client or prospective client thinks about a product or service we believe to be excellent.

This kind of feedback is exactly what you need for real marketing development to take place.

It can also help you to help salespeople with shorter-term sales problems.

Leader? Marketing Whiz? Sales Maker?

If you’re the owner or the Managing Director of the business, which team gets the most attention? Sales or Marketing?

Perhaps as leader of the business, you are responsible for making many of the big sales for the company.

If that’s the case, what kind of insights do you provide to your marketing and sales teams?

They need your feedback and not just your scrutiny on sales results. 

Having worked in sales most of my career, I know that salespeople do like a moan from time to time about “needing more marketing support.”

That kind of approach can be a big wind-up to a marketing manager.

What marketing managers want from salespeople are facts and a brief.

So, if you work in sales and you want more help from marketing, be sure to supply a full story.

Explain the problem clearly and your desired outcome.

The marketing wizard in your business then has something solid to work on.

Later, offer feedback on how whatever it is you asked for has worked.

Hold off on your sabbatical

There is something very gratifying in winning orders, and it’s not just to do with the money although, for any business, it really does help!

Winning a new client or a new piece of business represents another business putting trust in yours.

Clinching an order could mark the start of a business relationship spanning many years.

The sale may also represent a victory over a rival or industry acceptance of a brand new product or service.

Also, each sale recognises your marketing is working as of course is your sales team.

Depending on the size of the sale or it's breakthrough value,* there may be lessons learnt for other potential client pitches.

If you sell on a volume basis, testing and measuring which ads, headlines or sales scripts work best, will improve your response and closing rates.

That’s really what I mean when I ask if you still like hearing the till ring?

Each sale is the result of work and process.

Looking more deeply into those elements and learning from them will keep the till ringing in the future.

More clients; better-paying clients; hiring and working with the brightest marketing and salespeople are all benefits that flow from sales success.

That’s something to be very excited about.

If you’re not excited, maybe it’s time for a sabbatical or a change of career!

Alternatively, and perhaps less drastically, if you need to get your sales mojo fully re-charged, call or email me. My contact details are below. 

*Breakthrough value is a sale that will by itself take your business to another level.

David O’Beirne
The Exhibition Agency Ltd
63 Vera Avenue, London N21 1RJ  
T. 0203 633 4665
M. 07858 374 051

Exhibitors Only

The views and opinions expressed in these blogs are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ESSA, its members, board or staff. Our members represent a broad range of views within the event industry, and we have provided this section of the website for their opinions to be openly heard and discussed.

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