Session Recap: Sales and Marketing

By Nathan Denny and Scott Axelrod

Pain. Claim. Gain. Those three simple words offer up a valuable summary of modern marketing — what it is, what it’s supposed to do, how you’re supposed to use it.

In this Private Advisory Board session on Sales and Marketing, a panel of CEOs discussed how this concept can be used to create a functional, working marketing plan. Here’s the recap:

Issue No. 1

How do I develop an effective sales message that will result in calls from the readers of that message?

Why It’s Important

  • Estimated financial impact: $300,000

Clarifying Questions (Background/Understanding)

  • How much money have you budgeted for marketing?
  • Are there services you have built this company around? Do you know where your services have been used and been helpful?
  • Who are your competitors?

Suggestions (Solutions)

  • The marketing message needs to be more compelling. The “pain, claim, and gain” model was suggested: Define the pain. How you will relieve customers’ pain? Define the claim. How will you communicate the solution to customers? Define the gain. Make it clear how they’ll benefit from your service.
  • This is not a messaging issue – it’s a credibility issue. More clarity is needed to convince customers.

Action Plan

Pain. Claim. Gain. This is the language he will use with his marketing agency, with a special focus on PAIN.

Issue No. 2

How can I develop an effective marketing strategy in a changing environment?

Re-stated Issue

This CEO has a sales mindset and wants to give marketing an opportunity to define its message. But how to define what marketing should be, and how to implement a plan?

Why It’s Important

This CEO’s best customers have been hit hardest by the economy. So, the company needs to attract new industries by leveraging customer testimonials and through the use of social media.

Suggestions (Solutions)

  • Make sure you have a common definition of marketing with your stakeholders
  • Marketing is about the stories you want to tell to which audiences – not deliverables.
  • Don’t forget about your mature markets while you look for new clients.
  • Use mature markets as influencers, or storytellers, to be used in social media.
  • Recognize this is a dynamic market – the tools and access to people is changing rapidly. Marketing only gains “access” to making a connection. It does not do it alone.

Action Plan

This will happen today: The CEO is formatting a meeting with his team on defining marketing. That definition will involve specifying a goal, and a story, in the “pain, claim, gain” model.

Issue No. 3

How do I leverage existing credibility to grow my business?

Why It’s Important

The company wants to want to grow by 33 percent in 2012. However, it’s 130 years old; the CEO has owned it for 10 years. Sales is down due to turnover and poor performance. Traditionally, growth has occurred through mostly word of mouth and existing customers.

Clarifying Questions (Background/Understanding)

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • How can you leverage your existing credibility?
  • What library of existing testimonials from prior customers do you have?
  • How were you able to adopt the relationships when you purchased the company?

Suggestions (Solutions)

  • Gather more testimonials and market them. Ground them in the sales process, website, phone calls, and social media used as marketing tools.
  • Are your sales people selling the product or just taking orders? Train the entire organization to ask for business from existing customers and their fans and influencers.

Action Plan

The CEO has committed to re-analyzing his “sales landscape” to make sure “we are selling and not just taking orders.”
Session date: Jan 10, 2012
Originally published: Jan 10, 2012

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