Sales and Marketing Strategies Session Recap: A Guide to Entering New Markets

By Nathan Denny and Scott Axelrod

SESSION RECAP: Sales & Marketing Strategies. What can you do when you suddenly move into new markets that aren’t part of your original budget? And what are some efficient ways to track sales and CRM data? Those were the topics discussed in this Private Advisory Board session.

ISSUE #1

What’s the fastest and simplest process, application, or system to track all sales & marketing info in a cost-efficient way, with the goal of increasing productivity and the ability to produce reports? Key data include:

  • number of meetings;
  • list of participants;
  • potential sales;
  • number advancing to proposal stage;
  • how proposals are won; and
  • all associated contact information.

Why It’s Important

This leader is about to launch a new sales model, and needs to be able to measure what works and what doesn’t. As the first person to lead this company’s sales and marketing efforts, this executive is currently working from scratch, building a makeshift system on the go. And “Excel spreadsheets aren’t cutting it.”

Salesforce.com seems a little pricey, and designed for larger networks. What’s a better solution for a smaller company?

Clarifying Questions

  • How many contacts are in your database?
  • How much bigger is that database likely to get?

Software Suggestions (Solutions)

  • ConnectWise, a professional service automation software, and
  • GoldMine, a a customer relationship management (CRM) software designed for small businesses.

Action Plan

The executive was looking for specific suggestions, and got ’em. The next step is trying out the software recommended above.

ISSUE #2

How do I market to a new target area effectively, if it’s not included in my current budget?

Why It’s Important

Marketing to non-profits, past strategies for this leader have included direct mail marketing, lead generation marketing, and networking and community involvement. Expansion to radio, television or print advertising is under consideration, and a pre-marketing campaign utilizing press releases and direct mailer pieces is being planned.

Clarifying Questions

  • Have you fully researched your vertical and understand the opportunity?
  • What led the company to choose this new geographical area?
  • Is this your first satellite location? Do you plan to have more?
  • Will you need more than just salespeople at this new location?
  • Do you have other marketing efforts outside of your current area?

Suggestions (Solutions)

It appears this topic is one that the Vistage community knows a lot about …

  • Invite prospective clients/non-profits to an introductory event.
  • Connect with leaders of the non-profit alliance and find out how they think. Are they assertive? Do they have many meetings? Do they get stuff done? How do they view the market?
  • Use the available local channels to identify references in the area to identify movers and shakers in the industry.
  • Research with local leaders/movers and shakers — try to get 30 minutes with as many of these people as possible.
  • Fully announce the move on your website and to your social media networks.
  • Contact the local chamber of commerce.
  • Contact the local Office of Economic Development.
  • Identify a champion (someone “on your side”) in the firms you contact. Avoid spending too much time with many people — focus on one person that you have a relationship — who will recommend you.
  • Fremium marketing: Give something away for FREE (so you can sell another product to someone else at a later time).
  • Create an assessment: Offer free advice. This betters your opportunity that the client follows up with YOU and not a competitor.

Action Plan

Aaand action! With a wealth of great advice from which to choose, this executive vowed to focus on:

  • Setting up an intro welcome event with the new community;
  • Networking with local movers and shakers; and
  • Updating the company’s website. 

Session date: May 18, 2012
Originally published: May 22, 2012

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