12 Steps to Dumping Your Marketing Department
Unfortunately, for some of you in sales, qualified lead generation is hit or miss. For others, the closest thing you’ve seen to a lead is a stack of business cards from the last trade show.
Normally, this blog focuses on bridging the gap between sales and marketing. But what do you do if the divide is too wide, or you’re not getting the support you need to effect change? In this series of posts, I’m going to speak directly to those sales people who have decided they need to take their destiny into their own hands.
Of course, I’m not in favor of dumping the marketing department. Hopefully, you can get your own marketing team to step up their game when they see you taking action. And, even if you have a great marketing team, these 12 steps will only complement their efforts.
Step 1 – Target Your Market
If your marketing department or company hasn’t narrowed down your target market from “anyone who wants to buy our product” to something more manageable, you need to do this yourself.
You need to decide what types and size of businesses that are most likely to buy your product from you. Here are some things to consider:
Product fit – It makes no sense to try to sell into a market, even one flush with funds, if the product doesn’t fit.
Your background - If you have a particular expertise in a key market, and it’s one that the product fits, I would spend the bulk of my efforts in that market. Every one of the 12 steps that I’m going to give you should be applied to this market. For every other market, your approach should be reactive. That is, if marketing hands you a “lead” go ahead and qualify it, but be very selective about which leads outside of your core market you spend your time on.
Company support – We’ve already established that marketing isn’t sending you qualified opportunities on a regular basis. However, they may have other supporting materials that can you count on. If there are brochures, case studies, white papers, presentations and other materials that you can take advantage of, this is a plus.
I can’t stress enough how important it is that you take this first step. Success of each additional step I’ll explain in the weeks ahead is dependent on this. Make it your goal this week to define your target customer.
Step 2 is going to focus on building your brand. In the meantime, remember to join The Sales and Marketing Connection group on LinkedIn.