Future-Proofing Your Sales and Marketing Strategy
by Arina Smith Sales & Marketing 05 May 2021
The times are a-changing. What may have been an effective sales and marketing strategy back in 2015 likely isn’t going to be cutting it in 2021. The world has changed more than we ever thought possible and the way that businesses operate has evolved, through both forced and organic development.
Perhaps the biggest change to how a business operates is by how they offer customer service. Just a decade ago, customers would expect to have to either wait in line at the customer services desk in-store or stay on hold waiting for someone to pick up when calling the helpline.
Not anymore, because now we live in a world where even next-day delivery has been usurped by same-day options. Customers expect a response, and they expect it yesterday. Social media has been the biggest cause for this change, with customers now able to engage directly with the brands and businesses they buy from.
If a business is unable to respond to a customer in a satisfactory period of time, this harms the overall sales and marketing strategy as it displays poor service levels for all to see. Reputation is everything and, if multiple customers are seen to be complaining due to slow/unsatisfactory responses, prospective customers are more likely to take their business elsewhere.
Combining Sales and Marketing:
Despite the long-standing disagreements between sales and marketing teams, they both ultimately exist to achieve the same goal – new and repeat business. One does not work without the other and so often the lines are blurred between the two.
Conversions are the end game and, in this new highly competitive world you have to be seen to be doing something different from anyone else if you are to get yourself noticed. This means developing and refining marketing skills that will feed your sales by improving the exposure of your business and being seen, not just in general, but by those who are most likely to buy from you.
We live in an age where there are more channels than ever before, and that is only going to continue to expand. When many executives of a certain age talk about social media, they do well to name Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Marketing teams will know that social media extends far wider than those big three networks, with varying demographics using different channels.
Sales and marketing have come a long way from simply taking out and advertising in the paper and cold calling potential buyers. It is now a more rigorous process (not to say that there isn’t still a place for more traditional forms of sales and marketing), filled with algorithms and other digital techniques.
This new digital form of selling feeds perfectly into the impulse buyer, reducing the time and steps it takes between first seeing something and buying – the marketers and salesperson’s dream.
Listening to the New Generation:
Senior members of sales and marketing teams are those with the most experience, who have been there and done that. However, as times change in this sector more so than any other, keeping up with the latest trends is a full-time job in itself which, for many managers executive, they just simply haven’t got the time.
This is why fresh-faced salespeople and marketers have to be forthcoming with new ideas, as they are the generation that is living and breathing the trends that managers are trying to master. Listening to new ideas, rather than sticking with what always worked in the past, is how businesses grow and evolve.
Businesses with graduate schemes generally benefit from the new and exciting (sometimes revolutionary ideas) of their youngest members of staff. Combining those ideas with selling practices that have withstood the test of time is the making of a future-proof sales and marketing strategy.