|> marketing planning overview >|
|1. overview||2. planning||3. swot||4. marketing plan||5. marketing mix||6. product|
|7. price||8. promotion||9. place||10. literature||11. public relations||12. promos|
|13. advertising||14. sponsorship||15. sales|
It bothers me enormously the amount of times I have had conversations with senior managers who seem to think that sales is the same as marketing.
I started my
commercial career many years ago as a salesman working in the pharmaceutical
industry. I was very privileged to have received a great deal of training from
my employers and in particular I remember a slide which spoke a great deal to
me. It went something like this
Now what did you say you wanted? You want me to buy a product from you?
The point is that the customer needs to be satisfied on a very wide range of questions before he is in the position to talk seriously with a salesman about the purchase of product. Usually, if these questions have not been answered then it is impossible for a sale to be made. If the salesman himself needs to attempt to answer all these questions, it will probably take him an enormous amount of time and probably over a prolonged period of time and many visits - not an efficient approach.
Conversely a marketing campaign employing a wide range of weapons in the marketing armoury can answer many of these questions before the salesman even enters the office of the customer. Thus, marketing has set the back-drop for the salesman to make the sale.
Do your sales force have all the selling material they
require to do a professional job? In a competitive market place if your
salesmen do not have well rehearsed and logical arguments for why your product
or service is better, then the customer will drive the conversation onto the
subject he knows will put the salesman on his back foot - price. However, if the salesman can control the conversation by
discussing other positive aspects then the probability of sales success at a
more profitable price is vastly increased.
If you have adopted some of the other weapons in the marketing armoury then has this been put together as part of the sales literature? Not only is this an effectve way of making sure your customer is aware of the professionalism of your company, but it is also another opportunity to ensure the conversation is within your control and hence away from the subject of price.