Take a look at your P&L and ask yourself whether the sales and marketing operation is delivering true competitive advantage for what is probably a significant spend? Is the investment effectively building a platform for sustainable above trend revenue growth aligned to the delivery of medium term business objectives? Or is it in reality providing a “me too industry standard” performance? Worse still does it even understand that its reason d’etre is to secure the revenue and margin objectives of the business and not to justify its existence by “doing its best in a difficult environment”.
Most sales and marketing operations have the potential to deliver significant double digit growth on a sustainable basis if it’s effectively aligned to and focused on the delivery of the business objectives. Integrating all elements of the marketing wheel (of which sales is key part despite rumours to the contrary) and effectively positioning and communicating the well thought through business propositions, at both the macro and micro levels, in a manner that adds value to the customer’s business and differentiates competitor positioning is key.
Conceptually simple to understand and not difficult to objectively evaluate either….. just take a look at your current RoI compared to your industry and, maybe, other industry averages. How much scope is there for improvement?
So why is it that so many sales and marketing operations are largely dysfunctional?
There are numerous examples of marketing operations where the brand platform simply isn’t “fit for purpose” to deliver the business objectives. Yet the marketing function continues to spend large sums on PR, websites and social media with advertising that is largely irrelevant to the business result in the hope that if it carries on doing what its always been doing at some point it will get lucky. Equally many sales organisations pay scant attention to the marketing platform and view themselves as masters of the ‘black art of selling’ using individually crafted skills that the business doesn’t understand or appreciate. Sad to say it’s not uncommon for customers to hear “that’s something put together by our marketing department!” Just think about the real message received by the customer when they view this obvious dysfunctionality.
More importantly think about its impact on business performance in both the immediate and longer term and the revenue and profit opportunities being left for the competition to consume with great appreciation. Then think about what best practice could actually deliver for all stakeholders in your organisation.
The gap between existing performance and best practice is the true cost to your organisation and is significantly beyond than that in the P&L.