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Are Your Sales And Marketing Strategies Aligned?

“Why would you even pose that question Dave? Of course our sales strategy is aligned with our marketing strategy!” Then immediately following this statement, we start talking about the “silo’s.” Or we talk about lead quality, or it’s something else. All the signs that sales and marketing may be aligned-but not in sync. But there are changes that put even more stress in the already difficult task of aligning sales and marketing.

Buying is changing so quickly that it stresses all our strategies-both sales and marketing. Keeping the strategies in alignment is a challenge. We used to think of marketing and sales as sequential-marketing focused on the front end, sales focused on closing the deal. All those rules are changing. Better informed customers force us to change our sales and marketing strategies. Marketing and sales now have to work more closely through the entire customer engagement process.

In the new world of buying, sales must get engaged earlier than traditionally. Sales must engage customers in thinking about their businesses differently, getting them to imagine new possibilities. The customer may not have a defined need, but sales can help the customer think of new ways to grow. Marketing has to be involved in that process, working hand in hand with sales-with new materials to support sales in these discussions with customers. Marketing must continue nurturing the customer as they consider these new opportunities.

Marketing will be involved longer in the process. It’s no longer “provide the lead to sales, now it’s their responsibility.” Marketing must provide the tools to help sales better qualify and quantify the customer’s needs and requirements. Sales must have tools to help develop, communicate, and deliver differentiated value. Things like questioning guides, interview guides, justification guides-along with case studies and other materials.

In the future, marketing and sales will look like a basketball team. There will be defined roles and “plays,” but the organizations will need to be nimble in responding to changing situations-both in the markets and in individual sales situations.

Are your sales and marketing strategies aligned. Can your sales and marketing teams work closely together, adapting rapidly to changes from markets, competition, and customers? Sales and marketing alignment is always difficult, but never more important!

Why Ninja Sales and Marketing Tactics Will Kill Your Profits on the Battlefield

I saw this great TV show the other night on Spike TV with a huge sales and marketing lesson in it, called “Deadliest Warrior.”

Basically, the show created a theoretical fight between a Spartan warrior (i.e. the movie “300″) and a ninja. And what they did was, they took both their common attacks and defenses, and created a fantasy “death match” between them via computer and expert analysis.

So who won?

The Spartan impaled the ninja dude with his spear!

It wasn’t even close.

And this was despite the ninja dude having steel armor and weapons (compared to the Spartan’s bronze armor and weapons)… and despite him having more advanced “technology.”

Anyway, all this blood and carnage got me thinking about marketing.

I believe every marketer falls into one of two categories:

“Spartans” or “Ninjas”.

Just like in the show, both can do lots of damage. But, just like in the show, the Spartan marketer wins hands down.

Why do I say this?

Because like his warrior counterpart, the Spartan marketer uses ancient (yet 100% reliable) principles that work as effectively today as they did 2,500 hundred years ago. While the ninja marketer (like his warrior counterpart) skulks around in the shadows, using tricks and “black hat” techniques that rely on cheating, lying and constantly gaming the system.

This is sort of how it was in the show, too.

At the end, the ninja expert even admitted it when he said (paraphrased): “The ninja wouldn’t even fight the Spartan. He’d just wait until nightfall and kill him in his sleep…”

Whoa!

Anyway, just something to think about.

There are lots of idiots teaching the ninja marketing stuff. But when you look closely, they’re always forced to create new, questionably ethical tricks (as their old ones become obsolete) to keep in the game. And because of this, they always seem to be on the run (from Google slaps, bad reviews, the law, etc).

The Spartan marketer doesn’t Mickey Mouse around like that.

Instead, he dominates his market using timeless principles that work no matter the product, market or economic conditions.

With no black hat tricks needed.

And no sneaking around required.

In the end, he kicks the ninja marketer’s butt.

Sales And Marketing – What Is The Difference And How It Affects Your Home Based Business

Sales and marketing are terms that often travel together and many assume they mean the same thing. They are not.

Let’s start with a fishing analogy.

In fishing, marketing would be the act of chumming -or throwing bits of fish-friendly food over the side of boat to attract fish. You would do some research so you know which bits will attract the particular fish you are interested in. This could include the size and flavor of the cumming bits and even which side of the boat or time of day you toss them in. This is marketing. The act of attracting the desired catch.

Sales is the lure with the gleaming hook on it that is cast out among the desired fishes. It’s brash, often obviously artificial and there is no better analogy for sales than the hook. It is cast over and over and reeled in, temptingly and tantalizingly in front of the unsuspecting fish.

There is honor in both methods.

The Marketer uses carefully gathered information in symphonic execution to draw his customer in. First as a casually interested prospect, then as an engaged investigator and finally as a customer and, if he is wise, a raving fan. The Marketer’s goal is to gently message the prospect into being a customer in such a way that he’s convinced it was his idea to make the purchase.

The Salesman thinks on his feet. He understands different personalities and what motivates them and he figures it out within minutes if not seconds of meeting the prospect. He deftly interrogates and finds the pain of his prospect and immediately morphs his product or opportunity into the perfect solution.

Why This Matters To You

If you have a home based business, especially a network marketing or MLM business, chances are your upline expects you to be a salesman. Friends and family, circle of influence, paid leads and anyone netted in the “3 foot rule” all require selling to close the deal. You have a window of a minute or two to make it happen and if you don’t do it right you likely poison the well forever.

Selling is a craft that can be learned like any other but most scripts are one dimensional and if you haven’t learned what’s between the lines your close rate will be minimal. The good news is that there are plenty of books, audios and live courses that teach the art of selling. The bad news is that most new network marketers grow weary of being battered by NO long before they master it.

Marketing is more subtle. It attracts prospects to you and allows you to gently present yourself and you product over time. It allows them to grow familiar with you and build trust and by the time the process matures the close is seamless and painless. It more readily builds raving fans and virtually eliminates buyer’s remorse. Marketing also requires study and dedication but is easier to master than full frontal selling.

Both sales and marketing are essential to a successful business and understanding and eventually mastering both need to be part of your journey.

Where Are You In The Cycle?

Most home business and network marketers get the “cart ahead of the horse” by plunging into a business first and trudging through the process of mastering sales and marketing later. Don’t feel bad if this is where you are in the cycle. It’s common and it’s manageable.

Start now by investing in books, audios and coaching to teach you the fundamentals and plug into a mastermind group to help you hone your new skills. Nobody fell from the sky knowing these skills and you simply have to resolve yourself to make the commitment to success.