I’ve always said that marketers can learn a lot from salespeople and the same is true in reverse. One difference that great salespeople have is that they understand the value of time. The key killer of using time effectively is lack of direction. Marketers have the discipline of thinking strategically about the business and taking the actions needed to respond. Salespeople should do this as well.
Doing this exercise helps salespeople in that it forces them to think about their territory, identify high potential targets, and effectively go after the business.
What I propose is using the fundamental Marketing Mix framework (aka the 4 P’s) and transforming it into a tool for salespeople.
The 4 P’s for Sales
Product – Know you product inside and out. Good sales people are well informed about their product and understand the solution it offers to the customer.
Place – Know where your customers are…and then go there. Go beyond just selling to people where all the other vendors are and understand where they go to get information about making decisions about buying your products. Blogs, social media, physical locations, etc. If you are there you can be a part of the conversation. If you are not…your competition probably is.
Price – Understand the buying decision for your target customer. What “price” do they have to pay to buy your product? Their time? Reputation? Just the pain of doing something different? The better you understand what the customer has to give up in order to buy your product the better you can proactively respond to their potential concern or objection.
Promotion – How do you make the customer aware not only that your product exist but why they should care? This is really about consultative selling and positioning the product in a way that resonates with the potential customer.
Mind your business
Salespeople should and typically know their business better than anyone. But there is always time to step back and think like a marketer. It will help in being more focused and more strategic. In the end, it makes life easier and will translate into more sales.