Sales is sexy (even when how you get there is not)

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I’m not sure who first uttered the phrase “you don’t want to see how the sausage gets made”, but it sure does apply to how many organizations (including those we consider world class) build, optimize and execute their sales & marketing efforts.  It’s rarely clean, often full of surprises and roadblocks that force deviations from the plan.  But that’s just the reality of things.

So execution is messy, fine.  Despite and/or because of that, keeping an eye on the finish line is critical.  It’s easy to execute on something that feels right but ultimately doesn’t push the ball towards your ultimate desired outcome.  Everything that sales & marketing tries or does should be filtered based on how effectively it drives contribution, velocity and momentum towards a closed deal, maximizing customer satisfaction and lifetime value.

There’s also a difference between messy, pretty and sexy.  Too often, marketers are drawn to what’s sexy.  New white papers can be sexy.  New campaigns can be sexy.  Agencies like to do work that can win them awards, that are visually compelling, that are oriented towards being more externally-facing.

Design can certainly be sexy.  But you know what else is sexy?  Conversion rates.  Sales cycle acceleration.  Closed freaking business.  I don’t care how I get there, I don’t really care too much about how the sausage is made.  And sometimes what gets me to that sexy revenue is actually non-sexy, behind the scenes stuff that companies (and especially marketers) rarely think enough about.

When we start with a new client, often times the “quick wins” aren’t new campaigns or new assets or new front-facing things.  The quick wins come from process improvements, adjustments to how marketing automation or CRM systems are classifying and processing leads, improvements to workflow or automated decision-making that creates efficiency and performance improvements from existing operations.

I’m thinking about this in particular as I head next week to speak at the Apptus Accelerate conference.  It’s the latest of several events I’ve spoken at this year in the sales operation space – featuring tools that work largely behind the scenes to help companies automate proposals, develop more effective price quotes and bundles, organize access to content based on sales stages and more.

This is back-office stuff.  But these tools are dramatically increasing sales floor productivity, increasing order size and attach rates of multiple products per order, decreasing the operational cost per sale and increasing conversion rates.

That all means more sales and more revenue.  And that’s sexy.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.

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