A philosophical question for you today: If a brilliant brand strategy never makes it to and through the sales team, does it actually exist? Our answer: It might exist, but it won’t matter. In marketing as in life, implementation is everything.
Your sales force is more than just a cash cow. It’s often the first contact a potential client has with your company. It’s a vital component of your customer service efforts. It’s where the rubber of marketing strategy hits the road of actual clients.
If you want a strong brand, a brand that elevates and differentiates your business, it pays to involve your sales team in the strategic planning process. Here’s how:
“Marketers think about things like ideal customer profiles, value propositions, reputation, authority and education — those are things that today’s salesperson must both understand and participate in the creation of,” explains marketing consultant and author John Jantsch. “And marketing people should think more like salespeople when it comes to personalizing content and thinking about engagement and relationships.”
Working together right out of the gate not only generates buy-in, it makes for a more powerful, actionable brand strategy. It allows your team to be a real team, one that works together to create opportunities and overcome obstacles.
2. Speak each other’s language.
If you don’t know it, learn it. When marketing people talk about brand definition and alignment, and sales folks respond with product extensions and return on investment, you know it’s not going to be a productive conversation. Get on the same page. Then you’ll be ready to write the next chapter.
3. Be good sharers.
When the results come in — numbers, anecdotes, accolades, gifts — don’t keep them to yourself. You built a powerful plan together; you should celebrate your successes and learn from your failures in tandem as well.
Here at Toolbox, we spend our days creating beautiful branding and design that raises the bar for our clients. The success of our strategies is due, in no small part, to making sure the right people are in the room from day one. That means including everyone from the decision making organization leaders to the in-house marketing staff to the frontline sales force. Our goal is to leave your team stronger, smarter and more empowered than when we found it.
If, as Glengarry Glen Ross’s Blake says, “coffee’s for closers only,” then we’re going to make darn sure that everyone in your organization gets a cup of joe.