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Developing The Skills To Succeed As A Sales And Marketing Specialist

Graduates of UK universities who are just entering the sales and marketing field should understand the responsibilities they will be expected to fulfill. Sales and marketing specialists in a variety of industries typically work on a diverse portfolio, with several clients juggled in the air at once. Specialists will typically work with recurring clients but there are always new clients, with unique needs, who need the attention of the young professional. As well, the creative work of developing ad campaigns and taking out clients is balanced several times over by administrative work. In the end, the life of a young sales and marketing specialist can be pretty stressful.

However, young professionals in the UK need to rise above these pressures. After all, the way a sales and marketing specialist handles the daily stresses of their job demonstrates their capability for more advanced jobs. Young professionals need to be able to handle their job responsibilities and exceed expectations in order to succeed in their career.

The question for these specialists is how to get the most out of their potential. The bad news for graduates is that there is no silver bullet that eliminates the doubts that make work tough. Indeed, many professionals in sales and marketing would be quick to tell graduates that a dynamic approach to daily work is the only sure path to success.

The good news for sales and marketing specialists is that there are plenty of tools to success in their profession. One common way in which new specialists develop their skills is to take advantage of every education opportunity at their disposal. Online courses, local universities, recruiting firms, and corporate-sponsored courses are great ways to boost knowledge.

Another way to improve skills is to volunteer time for projects outside of a specialist’s purview. For example, a retail marketing specialist can help perform pricing and inventory jobs in men’s wear when their specialty is in small electronics. This type of cross-departmental volunteerism, when time allows, can help a specialist develop a broader range of knowledge and a better relationship with their co-workers.

Finally, sales and marketing professionals should develop a sophisticated knowledge of their industry. Whether it is IT products or telecommunications, specialists need to be able to sell their client’s products against dozens of other competitors. Reviewing industry publications, speaking with colleagues at conferences, or reviewing a competitor’s website can go a long way toward success in sales and marketing.

Sales And Marketing Specialists In The Publishing Field

In the United Kingdom, one of the most reliable job markets for new professionals is in publishing. This reliability comes not from a wide range of jobs, as many publishing houses are small operations with only a few vacancies available. However, there is always a need for publishing services, whether it is the promotion of novels or the creation of electronic documents for corporations. In this way, sales and marketing professionals who are looking for an interesting job can find them in the publishing field.

Sales and marketing professionals, ranging from university graduates to experienced hands, need to realise that publishing covers a broad range of needs. There are small publishing houses which focus on a specific genre of book, ranging from history texts to children’s novels. As well, there are major publishing firms which put out magazines, non-fiction texts, and publishing software. Finally, there are corporate publishing firms which contract with major companies to publish reports and books for promotional purposes.

In all of these cases, sales and marketing professionals are integral to a firm’s success. Sales professionals are needed in the publishing sector in order to sell products and services to the broadest range of consumers possible. Marketing professionals work to promote publishing efforts in a variety of ways, including author’s visits to bookstores and online marketing efforts on literary sites. For both types of professionals, there is a lot of pressure to get the job done.

Sales professionals in the three types of publishing firms face the challenge of outselling their colleagues and competitors with other firms. Specialised firms often face less competition, by virtue of their narrow focus. However, sales professionals have to contend with a fickle consumer market for their narrowly focused product. In larger firms, sales people need to be intimately aware of their books and other offerings. As well, they need to be aware of the competition in order to provide selling points that set a publishing firm apart.

Marketing professionals face similar challenges as their sales brethren. Marketing specialists with specialised firms need to create clever marketing campaigns to convince consumers that their product is invaluable. As well, marketing professionals need to deal with competing campaigns in the publishing industry. Finally, marketers also need to combine their creativity, their marketing skills, and the corporate requirements for individual publishing projects. In the end, sales and marketing professionals need to find ways to distinguish themselves and their product in order to succeed.

Aligning Your Sales and Marketing With Your Customers’ Decision Making Process

In the heart of every business is the desire to convert more sales. In the competitive race to win more clients, many organisations focus on advancing the customer through the stages in the sales cycle. It is important to ensure your prospect is progressing through the sales process. However, it is critical that you do not to lose sight of your customers’ decision making process. Orientating your sales and marketing towards the customers decision making process ensures that your prospect naturally moves through the necessary steps in the sales process.

In the typical sales cycle, the sales person will prospect for opportunities. Once a reasonable opportunity is uncovered, the sales person will seek to establish a meeting with the prospect to perform a needs analysis and pitch the company products, services or solutions. Upon a successful meeting the sales person will develop a proposal. The objective is then to close the proposal to win another paying customer.

The danger of being too orientated towards the sales cycle is that it does not focus on the customer, their needs, motivations and decision making progressions. Obstacles in their decision making process will prevent the customer from moving forward in the sales cycle.

For this reason it is important for organisations to align their sales and marketing with their potential customers’ decision making process.

The decision making process can vary from customer to customer or from product to product.

Here is a description of the key ingredients in a buying decision:

Need Arousal: Understand how your customer develops a need for your product or service and ensure that you have marketing efforts in place to stimulate the interest of your target audience. Customers can develop a need for your products by trying them out in stores, product trials or simply by viewing product demonstrations. These are just a few examples. What is important is to ensure that your product or service has a presence at the time and place that your customer would typically develop a need.

Information Search: The customer will then seek information about the product. The customer needs to feel certain that the product or service can fulfil their need. The customer will seek to eliminate the risk that the product or service will not do what they want it to do. It is important that your marketing collateral is thorough and builds the purchasing confidence of your potential customer. Ensure that your marketing information builds desire and confidence. Ensure that your and communications demonstrate how the product or service is aligned with the customers needs.

Evaluation of Alternatives: The customer will arrive at a small range of choices. Each may have their own positive or negative aspects. The customer is looking to determine which product or service is best suited to their needs. At this point it is important to understand what competing products or substitutes you are up against. Ensure that your product or service has the closest match with your customers needs. You may need to offer better value or renegotiate price at this point. Communication with your prospect at this point is critical.

The Decision: This may be made on product benefits and positive attributes that will benefit the customer. There may be numerous stakeholders in the decision. Make sure you do not exclude them. Negative aspects may also play a role. Make sure that you have no deal breakers. The key to success at this point is to ensure that the previous steps are done correctly.

Post Purchase Response: After the sale, the customer will evaluate the purchase decision to ensure that they made the right choice. After sales support and courtesy calls are important to ensure that the customer does not develop buyers remorse. There is no sense in selling a product if the customer returns it the next day. Furthermore, good after sales support will lead to repeat business and ongoing referrals.

Orientating your sales approach towards your customers decision making process is about empathise with your customer and helping to make the buying decision easy for them.