Join Drew Boyd for an in-depth discussion in this video Educating the sales team, part of Marketing Foundations.
If your company has its own sales force or a network of distributors, they'll need to understand your marketing strategy. After all, they play a key role implementing it. This is a great opportunity for you to help make sure your plan is successful. There are two things that you need to do with sales people. Motivate and educate. You need to win the hearts and minds of the sales force, and get them engaged in telling your story correctly.
If they feel good about your product and confident they can sell it, they'll do a great job for you. Your written marketing plan should have all the information you need to educate your sales team, but don't just make copies of the plan and pass it out, it's much more effective to create a concise and motivating training session. The first thing they need to know is your strategy, especially your value proposition. They should know who the target market is, and they should know where and how to find them.
Share your customer analysis with them, what buying factors are most important to the target audience? Once they understand your strategy, give them the tactical tools they need to sell the product. First, they need to understand how the product works, and how it compares, feature by feature, to the competitor's product. If possible, have samples of the products so they can work with them hands-on, side by side. Next, share your pricing strategy and how prices are communicated.
Explain how the price was determined in relation to the value delivered. You might get some resistance here because sales people generally like the prices to be low. That's why it's essential they understand how pricing supports the overall positioning. Finally, share any selling tools you've created to make their job easier. These can include product brochures, or tools to demonstrate the product. You might even have a suggested selling script for them to use. When you conduct training for sales people, here are some suggested tips.
First, you may want to break the team in to different experience or skill levels. That helps you deliver appropriate information to each group. Consider using hands-on training and role playing exercises. Perhaps let them practice how to demonstrate the product, and engage prospective customers. Speaking of customers, see if you can invite some customers to the training. If not, consider sharing testimonials of customers talking about how much they like the product. Another good technique is to use one of your most successful sales people to help with the training.
Let them share a case study of a sales person who has already sold the products successfully. Sales people will see your message as more credible if it comes from of their own colleagues. Repetition is the key for training a sales force. Consider regular webinars as a way to continue to engage the sales force and fine tune their training. Finally, make sure the sales team has a point of contact if they have questions or concerns. If the sales team feels they have your full support, they'll work hard to make the product a big success.
You'll also learn to address tactical challenges and present the plan to get buy-in throughout an organization, from the C-suite to the sales team, as well as use the marketing plan to guide outside agencies and vendors. Finally, you'll learn how to launch the campaign and measure its performance.
- Marketing in an organization
- Assembling the team
- Creating the marketing plan
- Analyzing your products, customers, and market
- Segmenting customers
- Creating a value proposition
- Developing a strategy
- Setting goals
- Setting prices
- Using social media
- Presenting your plan to leadership
- Budgeting your plan
- Measuring success