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Pinellas Park, Florida, United States
I founded Core Business Solutions with the goal of helping business owners improve operating results, add value, and recapture the energy and passion that was present when the business was new. We also have the expertise to assist start-up companies create the foundational structure needed to provide the best opportunity for the business to grow and prosper in uncertain economic times. Our goal is to help the business entrepreneur/owner, through mentoring and coaching, develop or enhance managerial skills while providing that independent and objective advice and expertise usually provided by a board of directors.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Truth About Sales & Marketing

The Truth About Sales & Marketing

At a time when the world is facing its biggest economic test in years and retailers are slashing prices to shift stock, it is valuable to step back and have a look at the sales and marketing process being deployed in your company.
Over the years, sales and marketing has been portrayed as a specialist art that only the few, naturally gifted, can excel in. Proponents of this view can often be found with resume changes every two to three years and a trail of organizations that have been left with a feeling of disappointment that things “didn’t quite work”.

To connect the powerful commercial ideas of the business to the necessary levels of sales or customer retention, the sales and marketing function has been treated as a process that is 95%  bribery by price and some science and 5% natural ability.

A more effective approach is based upon six universal principles of sales and marketing effectiveness that impact performance. These principles are relevant to all types of sales organizations irrespective of size, sophistication or location. The exact weight that each principle carries in producing final results will vary between markets and, to some extent, between companies.

The critical foundation is forming a common view of those weights between customers, senior and front-line

These six principles are:
• Knowledge
Having a full understanding of the marketplace and how your products serve its needs. Do your homework.
This is usually the basis of your competitive advantage and can help you differentiate yourself  from others in your business segment.

• Strategy
Providing a focus and direction for the sales and marketing effort commonly understood through the
company. Communicate your strategy to everyone so all are 'on board' with the idea and pulling the same way.

• Structure
The division of work among individuals and the coordination of the work once it has been divided.
Even if you only have one sales person, tasks have differing priorities. Be sure those priorities re clear to all concerned.

• Marketing Operations
Relating customers’ needs to your products. Driving customers to being positively disposed towards your
products. In many businesses this is largely driven by consistency and service delivery. Is your customer service really 'world class'? If not, get an evaluation and fix it.

• Sales Operations
Making it easy for customers to buy your products. The more convenient you make it for your prospect to buy, the more comfortable that sale will be to not only the customer, but to all others in your organization. Can your customers or prospects buy right from your website with an easy and simple process? Do you accept all forms of payment?

• People
Recruiting, integrating and developing quality sales people to achieve maximum performance (and
removing any under performing people quickly). Be sure your sales people have the skills and the tools required to make the sale.

All of these principles need to be incorporated into the process and actively managed to take control of the sales and marketing function. One tip- DO NOT Micro-manage sales people. Set the proper expectations and get their buy-in. Then just hold them accountable to their commitments. This is called Macro-Management. It will work for you.

In about 2-3 weeks or so I'll review another subject designed to provide business owners with information they can use to help them work "on" their business.

Until Next Time : Live Simply, Speak Kindly, Care Deeply, Love Generously and Live In The Moment

All The Best To Everyone,

Walt Morey
Executive Business Advisor Accredited by the Institute for Independent Business
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My 10 Biggest Competitors

Working as a professional business advisor, you may be forgiven for thinking that my main competitors would be other advisors or consultants. But no, it’s actually the companies that need my
type of help that are the ‘competition’ - preventing themselves from getting the help they need - and making their lives tougher as a result. Here are the top 10 comments I hear.

1. ”Haven’t got time for that - I’ve got too many fires to fight!”

Fire fighting can make you feel useful and needed, and can become addictive. Too much is a sign that your business is out of control, and I can guarantee that your business performance will be suffering as a result.

2. “What difference could an outsider possibly make to my business?”
Quite a lot actually! You’re likely to be ‘too close’ to your business. An outside view, from an expert who can take an overview of your whole business is likely to result in rapid and far reaching benefits for you. I’ve helped a number of businesses where the owners were originally convinced that no-one from outside
could help. I have a saying “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got - if you’re lucky!”

3. “I’ve resigned myself to live with the problems - I’ve lowered my expectations and given up on my original dreams - I guess there was no alternative.”
This is working on the ‘If you can’t change the problem, change the way you think about it’ approach, and is a natural human reaction to preserve your sanity! But don’t write your dreams off yet - get an impartial view from a business professional who has probably encountered most of the difficulties you face.

4. ”I know I don’t really understand this, but I’ll have a go and hope for the best, as I don’t want to spend money unnecessarily.”
You may be tempted to think “How difficult can this be?” You are the expert in your field - this is what you enjoy and do best, and where your time and effort should be spent. Be smart and bring in expert help to support you in the other areas where you feel less comfortable. Likewise, where I support clients, I can
coordinate what is best for their business as a whole, and won’t hesitate to bring in other experts known to me when I feel the client will be better served.

5. “I know I should do something about this, but I really can’t be bothered.”
Some areas of your business are just not going to inspire you - even when you know they’re important!
I can help you understand your situation and suggest the benefits you may gain by taking action versus the likely results of carrying on as you are. The choice is then yours. I can arrange for experts (who enjoy these areas that you don’t) to take care of these for you. Some clients want me to hold them to account as
this can give them the gentle nudge they need, and the structure they want.

6. “It’s just not the right time to do anything about this.”
There will always be circumstances that you can use to justify to yourself why now is not the time to finally sort your problems. When is the best time to plant a tree?  Answer: 20 years ago.
When is the second best time to plant a tree?  Answer: Now!

7. “Problems, what problems? It’s just a temporary blip.”
This is the most dangerous place for your business to be and is characterized by: Finger-pointing; “problems are temporary”; “it’s someone else’s fault”; “our business is different”. Often there is an irrational attempt to be optimistic, or to look for comforting data. You need an external influence to bring realism and help lift you
out of this ‘den of denial’.

8. “I know I need help, but what would others say about me bringing in experts.”
You are an expert In your field -- which has made you successful. But no one person can be expected to have all the expertise to solve all the problems you’re likely to encounter in running a successful business. I’m not an expert in everything either - but I am an expert in taking an overview on what needs to happen in a business, and I make it my business to be in touch with experts in every field that you may need. People will not think less of you for bringing in support - they will quickly realize your wisdom in sourcing the right solution - making your business better!

9. “I realize that I could probably make or save five times my investment, but it’s still spending money isn’t it?”
There are times in life when you have to ‘spend money to make money’ - think of it as an investment with a good likely rate of return. In most cases, it will actually cost you more money, yes - MORE money, NOT to use my services. It’s a bit like having a leaking roof which needs to be fixed - and if you ignore it - the
damage will spread and be much costlier to put right later on!

10. “This is really hurting now, and I can’t see a way out -- my options seem to be disappearing -- only to be faced by  options that I like even less!”
If this is where your business is now, or if you realize this is the path you are on - you need to get professional help now. This will not improve without the right help; don’t suffer alone.

Whatever the circumstances, I can help you now.

If you or someone you know needs help wth their business have them give me a call for a free consultation.

I hope this info can help business owners work better "on" thier business.

In about 2-3 weeks or so I'll review another subject designed to provide business owners with information they can use to help them work "on" their business.

Until Next Time : Live Simply, Speak Kindly, Care Deeply, Love Generously and Live In The Moment

All The Best To Everyone,

Walt Morey
Executive Business Advisor Accredited by the Institute for Independent Business

Core Business Solutions Advice