The past decade has dramatically changed the way we market products and services. Going back to the 1980s or 1990s would seem like a trip to the Stone Age. Internet and broadband access were limited or non-existent and the word search engine would have been mistaken for something used to find lost children in the forest.
Despite all of the changes, the old French proverb that serves as the headline for this column still holds true for key elements of the sales process. Time management is essential for a successful sales program and carefully managing a company’s resources (i.e. the budget) is critical. This means that although there are scores of options to generate leads, the sales team still has to close the deal, and the marketing budget must be administered carefully.
The management process is even more complex due to the myriad of choices. Should you have a Google (News - Alert) AdWord campaign? Which social media may apply? Is a print or electronic medium the best fit, or so you want a combination of both mediums such as TMC offer? Is SEO important? Each of these choices has a price tag (News - Alert) in dollars and time and must be administered carefully to achieve the maximum ROI.
Although suspects now visit websites indicating interest, they are still suspects until contacted and qualified as real prospects. Also, a lot of genuine prospects may be asleep at the wheel and require a sales professional to call and get them motivated. The very lucrative health care industry is a good example.Many medical professionals still expect phone calls and scheduled office visits to learn about new technological trends.
Another constant – profits still need to be made the old-fashioned way by earning them. Sales teams must be closely managed, and that takes time. A good cloud sales management or CRM solution makes the job much easier, but you need to implement it first. Meticulously review the leads and results to determine which of your marketing investments are generating the best ROI and re-allocate your resources accordingly.
Selecting the correct sales and CRM tool(s) is vital. If you are in need of ideas, visit Channels and Communities on the TMC (News - Alert) website. Better yet, visit ITEXPO, M2M Evolution, Cloud4SMB Expo plus other co-located events in Miami on Jan. 28-31, 2014.
Max Schroeder is Vice President Emeritus of FaxCore Inc. (www.faxcore.com) and managing director of the DPCF.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi