All too frequently when working with new clients we see a lack of existing sales and marketing performance goals and measures. After all, without these, how would any business even know what success means or if they are on track to achieve it. This last point is key; knowing in real-time not just how your marketing and sales operation is performing, but also how it is projected to perform, is vital to your success; as empowered this this insight, you can adapt and evolve your approach, iteratively increasing your chance of success.
At Reach Revenue, implementing tangible measureable outcomes is at the core of how we achieve success for our clients. In this article, we will outline the importance of embedding these outcomes and measures within your sales and marketing operation, and how by using best practice methods and technology, you can accurately project the likely outcome ahead of time; thereby guaranteeing success.
The science of goal setting
There was perhaps no better person to explain the importance of goal-setting than Dr Maxwell Maltz, author of the best-selling 1960 self-help book ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’. If you haven’t read his book, we recommend, grab yourself a copy today; it is a timeless and eloquent read and will help drive your sales and marketing success. This was perhaps the godfather of self-help books and was one of the first to explain how we achieve success. The central premise was that you can ‘will’ something to happen all you like; your brain will always work towards what it believes to be true. According to Maltz, the brain acts like a ‘servo’. What is a servo you may well ask? A servo is a device which controls through feedback.
Perhaps the best example is a missile, which is constantly correcting its speed, pitch, and roll in order to reach its intended target. It turns out that humans are exactly the same. According to Maltz, as humans, it is self-image which defines how we see ourselves within the world, and this must be in alignment with your goals. In other words, the brain thrives on having clear goals we believe can be achieved and will unconsciously work towards achieving them. This is why many famous discoveries are made while daydreaming, as the brain is constantly working on how to achieve our objectives, even if we are not consciously aware.
The sales and marketing plan
Your sales and marketing plan defines your sales and marketing objectives/goals, and how and when you will achieve them. At Reach Revenue, we often find our new clients have existing plans in place, however, they almost always bear no resemblance to the present situation on the ground, and in many cases have been completed as a ‘tick-box’ exercise; this is by no means a recipe for sales and marketing success.
Your sales and marketing plan (note, this may be two separate documents) is a living document and as such, should be reviewed and updated frequently in light of the realities being faced by your business. At Reach Revenue, we will help you establish an initial plan, and continually refine it based on the measurement of outcomes, gradually honing in on the intended result.
When drafting the plan, beyond your high-level strategic business objectives, we recommend you define goals at each level of the business life-cycle:
Most organisations we see do have objectives and goals in place, but rarely for all stages; and without having metrics in place at all levels, you risk creating bottlenecks within your sales and marketing operation.
Take, for example, the brand awareness phase; how do you measure how successful your sales and marketing team are at creating awareness of your brand and products? You could consider using online tools to see how often your brand is mentioned on social media, measure social media reach and engagement, or create qualitative and quantitative targeted surveys.
It is also vital to create objectives and goals which your sales and marketing team believe this to be achievable (i.e. you might believe they are possible, but they must too). As Dr Maltz’s book shows us, a plan which is not backed by belief is doomed to failure. The more you can do to make your team feel that success is inevitable, the more likely that their every action will help your organisation achieve its ultimate aims.
Marketing performance management
Marketing Performance Management (MPM) is the cyclical process of creating a marketing plan, executing it, measuring results, and refining the model. This approach, rather like the servo mechanism explained above, helps businesses to home in on the intended performance target.
MPM requires a combination of planning, measurement and prediction (achieved by leveraging predictive analytics). At the outset, the intention is to align marketing and sales processes and resources to business objectives, and then to make all members of the organisation accountable for achieving them. The next stage is to build the capability for your business to forecast and project marketing and sales performance, on which you can make changes to your approach.
Solutions such as Bizable (part of the Adobe group of companies), uses data analytics to provide visualisations of marketing performance including real-time views of marketing performance, growth, spend, content effectiveness, and in turn, can help optimise the customer journey and strategic decisions making.
The world of sales and marketing has developed almost beyond recognition in recent years. That said, at its core, the essentials remain the same; marketing and sales teams need clear achievable and measurable goals. What has changed is the use and availability of technology which makes it possible to gather large datasets to forecast and provide insights into marketing and sales performance.
Ultimately, marketers are now more empowered than ever; gone are the days of guessing and hoping; MPM enables businesses to make accurate forecasts of marketing success, even before a penny is spent. And because real-time data shows actual performance, your sales and marketing team can see for themselves that their efforts are providing effective. At this point, we have the best of all worlds, a solid plan for marketing and sales success, proof it works, iterative improvement, and an invested team who believe success if inevitable.
Reach Revenue works with business owners, leaders and investors to develop high performing sales and marketing teams aligned to the strategic objectives of their business. To find out how we can help you, please call 0203 858 8030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.