Do You Have the Guts to Do That Again? Sales, Strategy and SMstudy
Guts are squishy, often irritable, and can be irregular, yet, many sales and marketing professionals base their practices on “gut feelings” and hunches.
“Marketing departments will continue to become less dependent on quantifying the value they are delivering to the organization based upon squishy, feel-good branding efforts and they will be even more driven to leverage data and analytics across all marketing channels,” says Russ Hearl, VP at DoubleDutch in a collection of seven sales and marketing predictions for 2016.
To do this, marketing departments will need to borrow some tools and techniques used by other managers in their company. One such tool suggested by SMstudy in its book Marketing Strategy is Value Chain Analysis: “Value Chain Analysis is used to analyze the value created by a company’s current activities. It explores where more value can be added, as well as where value is not being added throughout the chain of activities.”
In addition to “quantifying the value [the marketing department] is delivering to the organization,” the data collected in the Value Chain Analysis can be used as benchmarks for evaluating the company’s existing accounts with a BCG Growth-Share matrix. “Among the many things you should do is start by going backwards, not in how you sell, but how you plan and set yourself up for success,” suggests Tibor Shanto in “It’s A New Year – Let’s Go Backwards.” Identifying which accounts are Cash Cows, Stars and Dogs can give great insights in how the company has set itself up for success in the past.
Shanto says that sales professionals need to make plans for the new year based on data. Among the data required, he includes “some core conversion rates: number of proposals that close, number of real prospects required to generate a REAL proposal, and number of people/companies you’ll need to engage to land one REAL prospect.” Based on a well-developed example, Shanto concludes, “The key is to execute a well-planned strategy, rooted in the real numbers to drive real results.”
“One of the most widely used criteria for lead qualification is BANT, which stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Time frame,” says the SMstudy® Guide for corporate sales. An analysis in each of these areas produces real numbers that can be used to build successful strategies. SMstudy’s soon-to-be-released Corporate Sales book presents and analyzes the processes of lead generation, lead qualification, needs assessment, negotiation and closure—all within the arena of creating sales strategies that work.
Thinking about sales and marketing from a strategic point of view that leverages data and analytics demands a new approach. That approach is being championed by SMstudy and presented in our six-volume SMstudy® Guide because we want today’s sales and marketing professionals to be tomorrow’s success stories.
 The BCG Growth-Share matrix by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is discussed more fully in SMstudy® Guide;Marketing Strategy, book one of A Guide to the SMstudy Sales and marketing Body of Knowledge (SMBOK® Guide), pages 42+ [available at http://www.smstudy.com/SMBOKGuide/Overview-of-SMstudy-Guide]