What Challenges Hold You Back?

Concerned about sales and marketing effectiveness?

If you are concerned about sales and marketing effectiveness, you're not alone. A recent study of 1,000 executives by the CMO Council and the Boston Consulting Group showed that only 40 to 50 percent believe their current sales and marketing functions are effective. These leaders know there is room for improvement, but complacent people assume everything is great even when it's not. Every business has challenges related to marketing, sales and customer profitability.

Top Challenges

For easier reading, the challenges are separated into Marketing, Sales, and Customer Loyalty categories, but as you read them, know that the challenges in one area affect the other areas. Regardless of organization size, everyone is on the same team, and the walls between functions need to be broken. Your Customer Focused Value Proposition should give people a common mission and purpose, and different functions need to agree on roles and responsibilities so prospects and customers get what they need. Implement the Best Practices noted below, and you can solve these common challenges.

If you prefer to read printed material or larger type, this information is part of our free report in PDF format, How to Out Smart, Out Market and Out Sell Your Competition.

Marketing Challenges

  • Developing a compelling, customer focused value proposition: discover what is really important to customers and separate your business from the competition on this value

  • Targeting ideal customers and getting their attention and interest. Combine a Customer Focused Value Proposition with Relationship Marketing to win more customers.

  • Finding the best lead generation tactics for your ideal customers. What are the best ways to identify possible customers and get them to respond?

  • Wasting leads and prospects by allowing them to fall through the cracks. The Yankee Group estimates that between 40% and 80% of new business leads are lost, not followed up, or mishandled due to poor company processes. Poor follow up makes marketing both expensive and ineffective. The follow-up challenge requires marketing and sales to work together.

Sales Challenges

  •  Identifying Motivated, Sales-Ready Prospects - unmotivated, status quo prospects can waste precious sales time. Do you have a proven, repeatable way to identify motivated buyers and position yourself as the preferred partner?

  • Getting Appointments with Decision Makers and Key Influencers

  • Preventing follow up failure: Businesses lose up to 75 % of future "net new" revenue when they don't stay in touch with prospects that are not "qualified" yet. (Here is where sales and marketing often don't communicate about who is responsible for communicating with prospects. Work together to Nurture "not now" prospects instead and grow your pipeline by 300 %.)

  • Increasing Opportunity Volume: the average sales team competes for less than 10% of all available opportunities because they are not involved when the prospect is ready to buy. You cannot make enough phone calls to reach all of your prospects and build a relationship with them, so what are you doing to reach the other 90% of your market?

  • Improving your Win Rate: Implement an effective, consistent sales process that shortens the sales cycle, makes new people effective faster, and helps more salespeople win customers

  • Holding salespeople accountable for doing the activities that produce sales without wasting their time entering data in a CRM system

  • Reducing discounts to win business; get customer focused, target good customers, develop a compelling value proposition, hire top salespeople, implement a consistent sales process and sell your value to win profitable customers.

Customer Retention, Loyalty, and Profitability Challenges

  • Losing customers because of over promising, inconsistent communication, or irritating policies. 70% of customers quit because of service related issues. Losing customers prematurely is extremely expensive; a 5% decrease in customer defection can increase profits 25% to 85%

  • Building relationships and a reputation with customers to earn loyalty, sell more, and generate referrals. Loyal customers are often worth ten times more than average customers, and disloyal customers are often unprofitable. Fulfill your value proposition (produce the results you promise), give customers a good experience working with your company to build an emotional connection, and stay in touch.

  • Maintaining customer profitability in competitive situations

  • Missing opportunities to cross sell, up sell, and get repeat business

  • Generating referrals consistently and systematically with less effort

Implement Best Practices

How to Out Smart, Out Market and Out Sell Your Competition outlines four best practices to help you overcome the most common sales, marketing, and customer profitability challenges. Implement these best practices, and you will outsmart, out market and out sell your competition:

  1. Get Customer Focused

  2. Focus on Relationships, not transactions

  3. Implement Systems and Processes that work

  4. Hire Smart

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