10 Things Every Strategic Sales and Marketing Plan Needs to Succeed
What if you built your business goals on a crumbling foundation? Plans to...
What if you built your business goals on a crumbling foundation?
Plans to grow your business to its full potential depend on having a solid strategic sales and marketing plan as a foundation. Without that foundation, your major plans can never really get off the ground.
Fortunately, you can ensure the success of your business by getting the sales and marketing plan just right. Here are a few things you’re going to need in that plan for it to succeed.
1. Shared Data
The biggest obstacle to sales and marketing alignment is siloed information. Each group has key info they rely on, and that data is rarely shared outside of the department.
While we’ve put together some key information that every plan should have, the most important element is simply sharing that info between teams. Whether that is through simple document exchanges or a complex CMS, you must ensure that each team shares pertinent info.
Initially, this will be information separately compiled by each team. Eventually, though, teams should work together to research and collate new data.
2. Competitive Intelligence
Succeeding in business is a bit like succeeding in sports. It’s not enough for you to do well–you also have to do better than your competition!
That’s why any good marketing and sales strategy includes solid competitive intelligence. This amounts to very thorough research on each of your key competitors.
By understanding their price points, marketing, demographics, and other key info, you can better differentiate your own company’s value.
3. Solid Framework
It’s a bit “meta” in terms of organization, but one thing every good marketing and sales strategy needs is a framework tying it together.
There are many options for such a framework. You can use a Balanced Scorecard method, or maybe get more granular with an Objectives and Key Results framework.
A Theory of Change framework takes longer to create, but can be a more rewarding way of aligning short- and long-term goals. Regardless of which framework you choose, it’s important to research which option is best for your needs.
4. Key Audience Info
Another major obstacle to sales and marketing alignment comes down to demographic info. Even though they seemingly have the same demographic, each team usually views this demographic through a different lens.
For example, marketing may think generating more leads within this demographic is the most important goal. Sales teams, however, are often skeptical of market-generated leads and create their own key goals and metrics.
Let the teams work together on things like buyer personas (more on this later), and everyone will finally be on the same page regarding the demographic. And that shared vision can (and should) go in your marketing and sales plan.
5. Innovative Distribution
Ever wonder about the key to Amazon’s success? It’s not necessarily their price or their selection. Rather, it’s their ability to get products to customers with astounding speed and accuracy.
At the heart of that is their distribution method. In order to be successful and compete with others, your own company is going to need an innovative distribution plan.
Make sure your sales and marketing plan features ideas about delivery innovations, business collaborations, and sales methods intended to streamline distribution. Get this right, and success is sure to follow.
6. Budget Alignment
Want your sales and marketing teams to really work together? Ask them to jointly develop things like a shared budget for their departments.
Doing so forces the teams to get on the same page regarding more than just their customers. They must also agree on things like how to qualify leads and what the handoff between marketing to sales should look like.
When the smoke clears, your plan will include a clear budget. More importantly, that budget will help to guide the teams that developed it.
7. Power Positioning
It’s the little things that really make a marketing and sales strategy sizzle. For example, your plan must include a positioning strategy for your company.
Chances are that quite a few competitors operate in a similar niche and at a similar price point. So, what is it that makes your company stand out?
Have the teams brainstorm new positioning strategies for the shared plan. This is important because the positioning strategy is at the heart of both sales and marketing.
8. Joint Customer Personas
Earlier, we mentioned the importance of sales and marketing alignment regarding customers. The best way to achieve this is including detailed customer personas in your strategy.
Such personas are a great way for the different teams to align on what their ideal customer looks like. And reaching an agreement on such an important idea also helps sales and marketing leadership better understand how their different groups view your customers as a whole.
9. The Buyer Journey
Customers often think of marketing and sales as an “A to B” journey. That is, marketing reels people in and then sales makes the catch.
Of course, the full buyer journey is more complicated than that. The entire world of generating leads and developing a sales funnel is complex, and even very successful businesses struggle with retention and churn issues behind the scenes.
Ultimately, any good strategic sales and marketing plan should map out your buyer journey. This helps everyone better understand the process and streamline the different aspects of marketing and sales.
10. Streamlined Promotional Strategies
The last element your sales and marketing plan really needs is a list of your key promotional strategies. And successful strategies are highly rooted in a better understanding of your key demographics.
For example, understanding whether most of your users are on Facebook or Instagram helps streamline social media strategies. And understanding buyer motivation (such as the millennial obsession with experience over commodity) can help you revolutionize marketing and promotional strategies at the same time.
Strategic Sales And Marketing Plan: Better Together
Now you know what to include in a strategic sales and marketing plan. But do you know who can take your sales and marketing orchestration to an entirely new level?
With sales and marketing orchestration, the two teams can work in perfect harmony. Instead of tripping over each other’s efforts, each team can help sharpen your company to a razor’s edge.
We specialize in revolutionary marketing and promotion in the digital age. To see what we can do to transform your sales and marketing teams into a unified force, contact us today.