GEIBEL Solutions Marketing Logo

Marketing to Support Sales

If your marketing fails to open doors for your salespeople, or if non-revenue producing pre-sales activities cut into their productivity, then you should suspect that your marketing is out of alignment with your sales process.

We provide marketing diagnostics and programs that will help create that alignment. We diagnose your current sales experience, competitive environment and successes with our Sales AutopsySM methodology, and provide an evaluation as to how well your key sales and marketing messaging is in alignment with your sales methodology. Typical deliverables out of this process are both marketing and sales messaging and collateral, web content and deep case studies (distinguished by actual success metrics and extensive customer quotes) and we offer programs that go beyond that to support your sales effort. Our focus is on clients that use business-to-business sales processes that employ consultative selling or solution selling techniques for their products or services. We can work with you to develop effective marketing programs, and execute or project manage the efforts ranging from real-time sales diagnosis, market research and lead generation, through to public relations, video, web content and tactical collateral.

How is marketing for sales different?

Marketing for sales refers to the alignment of your marketing with your sales effort. In other words, much like building architecture balances the form and function of a building, marketing for sales is the 'architecture' part that balances the marketing and messaging with your sales effort. If you use solution selling methodology, then you recognize messaging as a critical component of vision creation.

How do I keep on top of what is going on in my markets?

In one form or another - some sort of market research should be on-going. The problem with that is that most 'market researchers' are academicians (we hold an MBA in market research - been there, done that), and although they might be able to give you wonderful Powerpoint presentations, they really seldom have a clue as to how to apply the findings to your specific sales and marketing issues. So what you really want to look for is practical, real-time answers - information like why your customers buy from you, why some don't, sales volume of the competition, what new features or benefits customers and prospects are asking about (in other words, where is the market headed).

In general, you need the kind of information that will help you identify the preferred customer, the features or services that appeal to them and then to successfully close more sales. Sometimes this information is right in your own data - in sales results, tech support logs, web site logs, etc. Other times - all you have to do is ask your customers (diagnostic interviewing - not as easy as it may seem.) But you also need to know what to look for, where to look for it, and how to look (pattern recognition) for it. And once you find it - how to translate it into marketing programs. Hint - this is how you can separate a professional marketing advisor from the rest of the pack - their ability to use market research.

Do I have to start over? What if I have agencies and other resources?

Most clients are focusing on increased efficiencies or process improvement for their marketing. Hence, dramatic changes are usually not necessary unless it is a end-of-the-line, turn-around situation (which we typically don't get involved in.) Our process is to work with management to perform our diagnostics on the current situation, and to quickly spot areas of marketing process improvement that can be addressed by a change in the process and/or a new or complementary marketing program(s). Many times, the focus on the alignment of marketing with the sales effort alone can result in marketing process improvement and increased sales force effectiveness. If there are agencies, advisors or staff in place, we work with them or around them, as the case may be. Typically, our pre-contractual discussions with management give our clients a good idea of what we propose to concentrate on, and our proposals provide specific tasks, deliverables and timelines. Our proposals are the documentation of our suggested course of action resulting from our research into client-specific situations and discussions with management.

Steps in Developing a Marketing For Sales:

  • Understanding Your Sales Process, Sales Cycle and Sales Successes
  • Sales Market Research - What has been shown to work
  • Business and Competitive Intelligence
  • Your Proven Competitive Distinction ("Unique Selling Proposition" or Positioning)
  • Identifying the High-Potential Prospect - and Where to Find Them
  • Prospect Vision Creation Needs
  • Evaluating Marketing Tools - What's Best Now, What Will You Need Tomorrow?
  • Budgets and ROI
  • Execute the Programs
  • Track the Results
  • Build the Program - Next Iteration
  • Page Contents © 2009 Geibel Solutions Marketing, All Rights Reserved

    John Wanamaker (1838-1922) Retailer, Philadelphia

    Advertising's highest standards at the beginning of the 20th century were embodied by John Wanamaker, whose Philadelphia and New York department stores pioneered fixed prices and money-back guarantees with honest, consistent ad support. A religious man who refused to advertise on Sundays, he hired the great John E. Powers in 1880 as the first full-time (and highly paid) department store copywriter. Their stormy personal relationship succeeded on the professional level because Powers staunchly upheld Wanamaker's marketing philosophy. Wanamaker also reformed the U.S. postal system while serving as Postmaster General (1889-93) in the administration of President Benjamin Harrison and was president of the YMCA from 1870-83. Wanamaker is also remembered in the advertising business for turning a phrase still talked about today: "Half my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half."

    Source: Top 100 People of the Century

    Marketing Architecture Articles

    Note: These articles are copyrighted material, protected under United States and international copyright law. Any form of reproduction or the posting to a web site without written permission is prohibited. Copyright  2009 Jeffrey Geibel. All Rights Reserved.

    Click on the article title to go to that page.

    1. The Sales AutopsySM
      A successful sale is a goldmine of sales and market research information - specific, realtime and unique to you and your markets.Yet it remains largely untapped for most companies as they continue to treat each sale as a unique process, not using cumulative sales insights to drive the architecture of their marketing programs. Find out how to use that information to replicate successful sales and increase your marketing and sales productivity with the Sales AutopsySM - a step-by-step diagnostic for 'data mining' your successful sales.

    2. How to Leverage the Hidden Code in Your Successful Sales
      Every successful sale that you make contains a hidden marketing code for reaching your best prospects. If you can break the code and leverage it with your marketing programs, you will have a real-time marketing message that will always be on top of the market - and your competitors. Here's how to do it.

    3. Turning Web Prospects into Customer Profits: How to Use Sales Instruction Techniques

      The ability of most companies to answer even the most basic sales questions is dismal. (How is your product different? How will I use it?) We are not talking esoteric issues here - but rather the basic blocking and tackling of up-front sales information. The reason for this is that most companies are introspective when it comes to their prospects' information needs. They 'preach' to their prospects more than they engage them - never determining what information they need to make the buying decision. Hence, they make the buying process even more difficult for the customer. There's a simple methodology available to prevent this, and it is based in the proven abilities of top salespeople - providing instruction to the prospect on how to make the buying decision

    4. How to Develop a Deep Case Study
      The customer application study (sometimes referred to as a 'success story', or mis-labeled as a 'customer testimonial') is one of the most powerful tools in the sales and marketing toolbox. When properly prepared, a deep case study gives a tight presentation of how you solve business problems for your customers, and why customers chose you as their vendor. Chances are, your CEO couldn't do a better job in person. But most case studies don't make the grade and are, in fact, a boring read. Here's some tips and suggestions to help make your case studies as interesting as a John Grisham novel - and also have them convey your competitive distinction and compelling customer benefits.

    5. Marketing ROI: Estimating Your ‘Reachable' Market Potential

      Developing a realistic marketing ROI starts with the accurate determination of your reachable market, segmenting that market by characteristics, and then determining the competitive environment in each segment. A realistic look at these factors can highlight profit-poor markets that are masked by apparently large prospect numbers. This is an added benefit - a hard look at the market segments helps you to select the areas of the market that will give you the highest potential for profitable sales, and hence a good ROI - before you even budget a single marketing dollar.

    6. Avoiding Product Marketing Errors: Six Tips for Using Product Review Public Relations

      Product reviews help decision makers (users or buyers) evaluate competitive products and narrow their selection process. Product reviews serve as part of the marketing communications (pre-sales) effort. Properly leveraged, they can help to shorten the sales cycle and speed up the customer evaluaton period. There is a lot that the vendor can do to help the product review process along, and to try to get their product reviewed in the most favorable light. Much of this is simply understanding the review process, and developing the structure and materials that will help the reviewer see your product as you (and your top customers) do.

    Return to Index Page
    Search WWW Search

    Related articles:

    Articles Master Index Page for One Stop Browsing

    The Hidden Messaging in Your Recruitment Advertising

    Painful Marketing Forums

    Business Video: How to Avoid Being a YouTubeTM Amateur

    The Voice of the Market Survey - How to get Answers from Your Market

    The Sales Autopsy [sm]

    Are You Sure You are "On-message"? (Sales Messaging)

    Marketing Architecture for Business Sales

    CSI Marketing - Separating Fact from Fiction

    How to Make Your Case Studies a Sales and Marketing Tool

    Blogs - Where's the Beef?

    Can Your Marketing Pass the Test?

    How's Your Return on Messaging (ROM)?

    Think Twice About that Press Release - You May Have Entered The Google Zone

    The Sick Press Release

    Broadcast PR: Working with Community Access Television

    It's Your Website, Stupid!

    Internet Damage Control: How to Prevent and Defend Against a Web Mugging

    Kennedy Crash Shows Public Relations Lessons Learned from TWA Flight 800

    Return to Index Page