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In order to ensure integrated Sales and Marketing planning, the two organizations should first come together to jointly define a common market development strategy. This strategy should define how marketing will support the sales process, and the role of sales in delivering the brand message to the marketplace. The strategy should also address the differences and unique needs of customer acquisition (new business) and customer management (cross-sell and up-sell). Once this is understood, the groups can go off to develop their specific plans, as long as there are multiple points where the efforts are brought back together to ensure continued alignment. The sales plan should address the sales process and the stages of the sales cycle as well as the strategy for territory assignments, compensation structure, and goals at all levels. Some critical pieces that are often overlooked include the sales infrastructure (technology, process, and tools) required, and detailed plans for sales training.
The marketing plan will address plans for the full range of promotional activities (brochures/collateral, PR, advertising, trade shows, media placements, etc.) and should include the metrics which will be used to evaluate each program as well as the criteria for success. This is where marketing should map its activities to the stages in the sales cycle, and set goals for tangible contributions to revenue generation. Throughout the planning lifecycle, there should be multiple milestones for sales and marketing to compare plans and identify opportunities for better alignment.
Once the planning is done and both plans are aligned, the full complement of marketing resources (collateral, web site, campaigns, tools, etc.) must be developed for all target market segments. This includes both segment-specific and cross-segment resources. One critical resource that is part of this stage of the Value Engine is the development and on-going management and maintenance of the client / prospect database.
Common questions or related topics (links to answers):
How do I know if I have a sales and marketing effectiveness problem?
Common mistakes technology companies make:
sales and marketing planning (failure to align throughout planning
process) - resulting in sub-optimal resource allocation.
Scott Santucci is a leading authority on reducing the business development friction caused by the divide between sales and marketing. His company, Blueprint Marketing ( www.blueprintmarketing.com ), helps companies realize the compounding returns on revenue generation investments that are achieved by harmonizing sales and marketing efforts. Scott can be contacted by e-mail email@example.com and phone (703) 723-5900.
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