It’s a fact that when it comes to building a sales and marketing plan, every business owner, professional and marketing executive feels daunted about where to start from. New technologies, dizzying performance metrics, bosses’ fantastic ideas and also a kind of self-doubt make it hard for them to understand what to do.
It’s also very stressful because your plan should show ROI tomorrow. The following steps will help you develop a perfect sales and marketing plan.
1. Your Budget Should Match the Results You Want
Be sure you have found adequate resources (in the form of money as well as people) to achieve the goals of your company for the given year. Your budget should also be based on how much you can invest and how soon you want results.
If your dreams and budget won’t match each other, you can easily be discouraged to see no results and also your team may become depressed because of not meeting your expectations.
2. Recheck and Re-analyse Your Ideal Customer Image
As recommended by some strategic marketing consultants like BrandQuest, you should recheck your best customers and recognize their qualities that make them beneficial for you and fun to work with. Be sure you have accurate ideal customer profiles. Update them if required to understand what type of customers you will need to achieve your growth goals.
3. Define Your Target Customer
Unless you know your customer exactly, your every effort to develop a marketing strategy will be baseless. However, defining your customers can also mean saying “no” to others who may buy from you but are obviously bad fits for your exact focus.
Focusing on such well-defined customers may be difficult for you initially, but will ultimately bring you success.
A good example is of an accountant who used to “do taxes for anyone in Melbourne” and later changed his focus to “do taxes only for builders”, customers having special requirements. By focusing this way, he tripled his business just within a couple of years, because he narrowed his services and strengthened his pitch.
If you are not getting enough sales, despite spending money and time on your marketing efforts, almost always the problem lies in the fact that you haven’t defined your target customers well. The narrow your target, the easier it is for you to focus on and serve them your best, making your business effective.
4. Understand Your Category
You can define your category simply with a short explanation of your business. For example, how would someone else describe your business in short? Thus, the category of the accountant in the above-given example is “tax accounting for builders in Melbourne”.
It’s hard for most business owners to resist the temptation of over-complicating their category. However, that makes people uncertain about what exactly you do. And that weakens their marketing strategies.
A simple rule is: Suppose you meet someone and describe your business. If you meet the same person after a month, but he doesn’t remember the description, he didn’t understand what you do.
Defining your category clearly helps in making your marketing and sales strategies effective. Think upon what you would have to do to be the best in your business, while rebranding business from BrandQuest, for example. At present, aren’t you the leader? So, you will need to narrow your definition of category (or your focus on target market) till you become the leader.
5. Unique Advantage of Your Product (or Service)
The unique advantage of your product or service should underline only one or two prominent things it delivers that your target customers are actually looking for. You need not make a long list of your product’s benefits. The simpler your description of benefits, the better will it be for your marketing efforts.
Building an effective marketing plan is a must, especially for small businesses, to grow to big ones. And it’s also essential for big businesses to grow to even bigger.