Give Your Sales Force What They Need

Sales is a crucial part of marketing. Too often we focus so much of our energy on advertising, and forget to pay attention to what happens when the advertising works. It gets people to visit or call, gets them to request more information, or research your products and services. But then you have to sell them.

Sure, in some industries, you rely on people to checkout themselves. You might not have a sales force. But in most you do, and it is a big part of the marketing team’s job to give that sales force the tools that they need to turn interested prospects into paying customers.

Here is a brief look at the sales cycle and what marketing can do to assist sales all the way through the process.


Your advertising generates interest. Activities on social media can generate interest. All efforts by the marketing team at this first stage should be intended to reach new prospects and start them down the sales funnel by piquing their interest.

You can create whitepapers or promotional material and use them to generate leads on your website. You can design your website to encourage people to email, or chat, or call, connecting them directly to someone on the sales team. You can create special offers and discounts that encourage people who otherwise might not shop with you to take an interest.


At this stage, your sales team has leads in the queue. This is when the selling starts.

Sales people should be provided a variety of different assets to help them sell. A basic information packet, in the form of a PowerPoint or single document can be used to reach out to people initially. In addition, when prospects ask for more information on a specific area, the salesperson should have something to show them. This might include case studies and references from other clients or customers, a more detailed brochure explaining what you offer and how it works, industry research, etc.


To close the sale, it is important to provide sales people with a certain degree of flexibility. At this stage, the ability to discount the price or create added value for the customer could mean the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity. Make sure salespeople know what they can do to close the sale, and what they can’t. And give them the proper answers to all possible customer questions.

All other aspects of your marketing might be dynamite, but if you can’t close the sale once you pique someone’s interest, your business will not succeed.

6 Ways to Personalize Your Marketing

Remember when “SoLoMo” was a thing? The passing trend of Social, Local, Mobile was really about companies trying to reach and serve a market of individuals.

At its core, the SoLoMo movement was about a shift from the idea of creating a great product designed for everyone, being everything to all people, to being everything for each person, or designing a unique experience to serve the needs of each unique customer or user.

And that’s where we pick up with personalization today. It’s not just using the person’s name in the subject line of your emails, although that is certainly a part of it. It’s about creating genuinely unique experiences designed to cater to each person and reach them more effectively and more directly.

Here are some examples of how we can use personalization in marketing:

  1. Customize your web pages to individual search terms, so that a visitor gets an experience on your site that caters to their needs or wants.
  2. Customize your email follow up based on the interests or needs of each user, ie. the product or category they have expressed interest in by adding it to their cart, visiting the product page, or expressly asked about in a form.
  3. Create two different website experiences, one for new visitors and one for people who are returning for a second or third time.
  4. Allow people to create customer accounts on your site and edit the way they interact with your site when they are logged in, ie. a custom dashboard.
  5. Direct mailers can use what we know about a prospect to customize the mailing, ie. name, geographic region, area of interest, age, gender, etc.
  6. Create retargeting campaigns that speak to prospects’ interests expressed by the pages they visited on your site or their interaction with other ads.

Keep the conversation going - share your personalization tips in the comments below.

The Absolute Worst Thing Your Marketing Team Can Do

Marketing teams have a lot of responsibility these days. They get a lot of the credit when things are going well, and a lot of the blame when things are not. And I think that is very fair, given the job we have to do.

But there is one thing your marketing team might be doing that is destroying any chance that your company has for continued success. What is it?

Keeping to Themselves.

The marketing team has a responsibility not only to plan and execute the marketing strategy for the company, but to communicate that strategy to other departments within the company and ensure those other departments execute as well.

The worst thing for any marketing team is when they do a killer job crafting a brilliant campaign to drive more customers and more sales, but the sales team or the customer service team drops the ball. But even then, the blame should start with the marketing team. Because if they don’t do a good job communicating the marketing strategy to those other teams, how can they expect them to execute?

When taken from the customer’s point of view, marketing is more than just the advertising. It’s the entire experience from first touch, to sale, to use of the product or service. And that experience must be consistent in order to be effective.

A sales team that undercuts the marketing message, or a service team that fails to make people happy after the purchase can damn a great marketing plan.

How Marketing Teams Can “Sell” Their Ideas


It’s been a long running theme of this blog that marketing teams should do their best to communicate with other departments better. The reasons are simple. Marketing has a plan on how to sell the company’s products and services, but they’re not the ones who actually do the selling. They put the plan in motion and hope for the best.

A sales team, or customer service team in some companies, needs to be armed with the right answers and the right offers when they get an interested consumer on the phone (same goes for email, live chat, in person, or any other method of selling or answering customer questions).

So it’s the job of the marketing team to prepare the sales team. Here’s how:

  1. Before a new campaign is launched, hold a training session with the sales and customer service teams. Prepare a presentation and sell them the promotion just as they would sell it to your prospects.

  2. Host a question and answer session to make sure that everyone on the team understands exactly what the offer is and exactly how its worded.

  3. Create a two-way communication system that allows members of the sales or customer service teams to get their questions answered after the promotion or campaign is launched.

  4. Appoint someone from market to liaise with the other teams and hold them accountable.

How to Create Your Value Proposition (Part 2)

In part 1 of How to Create Your Value Proposition, we covered the questions that your unique value proposition should answer. By now, I hope you’ve had time to write one up.

Today’s post is all about taking that message and using it in your marketing materials.

Where does the value proposition belong?

The simple answer is, everywhere. In every piece of marketing material that goes out, gets published, airs, etc., you should be touching on part or all of the value proposition that you’ve come up with. And it should be consistent throughout the various pieces of marketing collateral that you create:

  1. Television ads
  2. Billboards
  3. Print ads
  4. Direct mail
  5. Online ads
  6. Landing pages
  7. Website
  8. Emails

Since your value proposition explains to potential customers who you are and why they should buy from you, it’s the most powerful message you have. It’s what people are looking to find out when they first stumble on your website, and it’s what will resonate with people who are hearing from you for the first time.

Put it up on your website. Blow it up on a poster and hang it in the lobby of your office. Send it out as a memo to every employee.

This becomes the company’s mission statement, telling your employees and customers exactly what makes you so special.