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Most of the businesses that we work with on a marketing transformation have a sales team. In fact, most have an excellent sales team on whom the growth to that point can be credited. Further to this, in many of our most committed clients, the sales are already soaring. In working with CEOs, MDs, and Sales Directors in this context, it’s natural to question why they need marketing at all. ~ Bryony Thomas, Author | Watertight Marketing
How many times have I heard the phrase – “it’s a nice problem to have” – when talking about a business who has more new business coming through the door than they can comfortably handle? Enough to know that it is a problem and it’s not always nice. And, certainly enough to know that this is the moment to make a concerted investment in marketing, if you’ve not already done so.
10 reasons to invest in a marketing operation when times are good…
1. You can afford it
If you own a house or a car, you’ll know that the leak in the roof or the blown tyre always seems to happen when you can least afford it. This is why it makes sense to keep on top of the maintenance. When your sales are in good shape, and there are healthy reserves in the bank, you can afford to work with people who really know what they’re doing – rather than having to rely on the equivalent of the ‘builder who’s available’ when you find yourself really needing it.
2. You systemise the sales skills into a marketing asset
In those businesses wholly reliant on a sales team to keep the income flowing, there’s an inherent risk. Skills reside in an individual. An individual who can get ill, have an off day, get overworked, or hot foot it off to a competitor. When we work with sales-focussed businesses, our aim is to match repeatable, scalable, marketing tools to every step in a sale.
This does a number of things, 1) it captures best practice, 2) combines creative ideas, 3) allows multiple people to benefit from them; and, 4) can be used repeatedly. In doing this, the best sales people get even better. Hey, we all benefit from a prompt on things we forgot that we knew from time to time!
3. You release the pressure on your team
In many of the businesses we’ve worked with in this context, the reason that sales are soaring is often due to the arrival of a new sales director, or by virtue of a recent sales skills boost through some great training. Expecting your team to always deliver at this pace is unrealistic. A person new in role is always more energised. They’re often also ploughing fresh ground in their first few months, which can exaggerate what they’re likely to deliver consistently.
The same is often true with sales training. The boost in results drops off when the new techniques have been used on the whole of the existing database. Investing in a marketing operation that not only makes their job easier through being able to lay their hands on great tools when they need them, but also keeps the Taps flowing with new enquiries, means they can continue to perform. It also means you’ll keep your best people longer.
4. You create marketing Filters, as well as Funnels
When we talk about systemising a marketing operation, most people immediately think of those marketing tools that bring more customers your way, i.e marketing Funnels. In many businesses, creating tools that Filter out enquiries that aren’t right for your business can be just, if not more, important. This means that your sales team are focussed only on the profitable and purposeful work you really want. They then enjoy this more, and close better quality deals.
5. You prepare yourself for stormy weather
If there’s anything the recent political climate, on both sides of the pond, has shown us – it’s that a status quo cannot be relied upon. In many businesses we’ve worked with where sales were soaring, a strategic review revealed that they were riding the wave of a trend or fad. Investing in a scalable marketing system asset when you’re doing well gives you more control over your long-term business direction. You can make the decisions – because you have marketing levers with clear cause and effect – rather than simply catching the passing wind.
6. You can think bigger than you dared
When Karen Meager, co-founder of Monkey Puzzle Consultancy & Training, spoke at our Confidence & Clarity Conference – she shared that through implementing Watertight Marketing they achieved the vision that they thought would take seven years to deliver in just three.
7. You can build a world-class business
If you’re in high demand, have people who are not under unsustainable pressure, and you have the resources available – you can do something really special. Now, I’m known for telling people to aim first for marketing that is “functional, and not too embarrassing”, but this is only a staging post. It’s that point in a fitness challenge when you realise the routine is getting easy, so you step it up! Investing in standout marketing at this stage is what separates good businesses from truly great businesses.
8. You can build a sustainable business
When you have business growth that’s underpinned with world-class brand assets, a repeatable marketing operating system that delivers sales results, and people who are well supported – you can reliably look to the future. This is when business owners really start to think about building a legacy. Some will create charitable foundations, some will invest in their local community, some will become investors in start-ups. Being able to make plans means that you can make a real difference.
9. You can plan for an exit
What we’ve described is a business that would sell for a great price. When it’s hard to see exactly how a business ticks, in a documented and systemised way, it’s hard to put a price on it. So, if you want a healthy exit, you need a healthy marketing operation.
10. It’s fun!
Marketing is like fitness, when it works it’s addictive. In a good way!
So, if you’ve ever been asked why you should bother investing in marketing, because the sales are soaring anyway… here are 10 reasons to point to.
I’m sure there are more! What would you add to this list?
© Watertight Marketing Ltd
Author & Founder, Watertight Marketing
Bryony Thomas is the multi-award winning creator of the Watertight Marketing methodology, captured in the best-selling book of the same name. Bryony is a popular professional speaker for entrepreneurial audiences. Bryony's impressive career includes heading up the Microsoft account in the UK aged 26, and securing the role of divisional director of marketing for FTSE 100, Experian, aged 28.