Planning Feed

When You Get Punched in the Face

I’ve had marketing and sales management jobs where success came easy, we made our numbers, marketers basked in glory, and salespeople took the accolades they earned.  

The opposite has also been true.  I’ve been with companies that struggled, fought, clawed and wrestled with the marketplace.  These were times of declining sales, missed forecasts and finger pointing.   In most of these “hard cases,” salespeople and marketers inched back and eventually surged ahead from the lessons they learned.

I was reminded of these wins and losses when I heard Matt Heinz, on one of his Sales Pipe Line Radio programs.  A quote from Mike Tyson, the boxer:

Yes, we all have a plan until we get punched, but what Tyson’s implying is that plans will fail but fierce determination and the will to fight on is what wins the contest.  Boxing fans may or may not agree, but boxing is as much about being able to take a punch and keep on fighting skill as it is about skill. 

Coping with these occurrences is primarily what we’re hired to do. This is a reminder for marketers and salespeople that our careers will not always go as planned.  There will be conflict, plans will fall apart as competitors introduce new products, economies slump, and management decisions fail to deliver.  This is the game of marketing and sales.

As I look back and remember the jobs I’ve had, both as an employee and a consultant, I remember most the difficult times that were turned around; the win that was snatched from defeat.  I remember being punched in the face by the marketplace, the government, or the economy, and finding a way to survive and win.  Those are the days to savor. 

This is what marketing and sales does; it wins in the face of adversity because every market by its nature is a game of adversity.  Few companies have an 80% market share, and those that do often don’t have it for long.

So, my advice  for the coming year to marketers is:  when your company gets punched, find a way to recover; that’s what Marketing does.  Marketing is the engine that creates demand and drives the success of the company. Listen to what the salespeople say and need. Go on sales calls until you know what’s going on in the marketplace.  Read the lost sales reports; call those who didn’t buy from you and ask why.  Skip months-long research projects and go listen to the customers.  If you have less money, use it better on cold, hard lead gen that delivers qualified potential buyers. 

Savor the successes as you fight back; learn from adversity.  If it were easy, more people would be in Marketing.

More from Matt Heinz on Sales Pipeline Radio

Do You Have the Right Sales Funnel for Your Business?


Napkin Marketing Plans are so Yesterday

Do you have a marketing plan or a nasty napkin substitute? 

Why it’s Important:

"Companies without a marketing plan are disadvantaged, they never know where they are going, the cause of the outcome or when they arrived."

Sales Lead Management Association

Napkin

Does senior management actually think that its products are so good that they sell themselves without a marketing plan? Sooner, rather than later, this philosophy will fail and you will have competitors that will succeed by out-marketing and out-selling you. 

A marketing plan is not:

  • Scribbles on a napkin
  • Last years plan
  • Without a Strength, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities analysis SWOT
  • A list of tactics
  • A budget or a percentage of sales

A real marketing plan has:

  • A SWOT
  • Goals: A desired future condition:  Its criteria is “a time frame which is long range, (3 to 5 years) and expressed in qualitative or quantitative terms
  • Objectives:  Desired results, specific in nature, limited by time (6 months to one year)
  • Strategies: A plan of action to achieve an objective, a statement of broad tasks or activities to achieve an objective
  • Tactics: Detailed programs or specific activities, methods to implement the strategy.
  • A marketing budget
  • Lead Generation projections based on quota needs

A real Marketing plan is:

  • Reviewed monthly
  • Changes as marketing conditions change

If you don’t have a marketing plan with A  Goal, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics, it’s never too late.   Make sure the plan has a lead generation component (spreadsheet which is campaign based) tied to the sales forecast.  Assign tactics to individuals with a date for completion. 

    More

Is your marketing plan based on a sales lead forecast?

Never Underestimate the Power of Planning

 


Funnel Radio Line-up Oct 26, 2017

 Full schedule today. David Lewis kicks us off at 9:30 am Pacific with his guest, Daniel Day.

  • How ABM fosters tighter alignment between Sales and Marketing
  • The process for establishing targets for sales teams
  • Why ABM can be easier for driving growth than traditional demand generation

Some of these topics covered on the other shows include: It’s Budget Time and this year may be different for many marketers as expectations of “marketing revenue management” have increased. The 5 Step Model for Operationalizing an SPB&M. Also, Why is marketing automation important to any (IT) organization? Jim has a candid conversation with Lars Helgeson CEO of GreenRope. He discusses what he learned from rejection, over-coming resistance, and why he needed to build partnership with employees as well as the external partnerships so important in building a business. Matt's guest is Maureen Ezekwugo getting you on track to take your sales career to the next level. Points include: Four traits or skills needed to make it in sales management AND How to position yourself for the next opportunity to advance your sales career.

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Continue reading "Funnel Radio Line-up Oct 26, 2017" »


Those that plan for the future grow, those that don't, don't.

Are  you planning yet for the new year?  Have you analyzed what worked and what didn't?  Are you just going to repeat what you did last year without a look back to how you served the quota needs of the salespeople or your distribution network? 

I guarantee the large companies are starting their planning, which is why they turned into large companies.   Those that plan for the future grow, those that don't, don't.   We think it is appropriate to give you the titles and links to past blog entries and articles from the SLMA Library that discuss planning for growth based on attending to the needs of salespeople's quota requirements. 

Is your Marketing Plan on a Napkin?

NapkinDo you have a real marketing plan or a nasty napkin substitute? 

Why it’s Important:

"Companies without a marketing plan are disadvantaged, they never know where they are going, the cause of the outcome or when they arrived."

Sales Lead Management Association

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Do you have your Business Continuity Plan in place?Save

If you work for a company, there should be a plan in place, and you should know where it is and what your role is in the plan. This is one of the most overlooked pieces of information and documentation for small companies. Large corporations are required to have Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity Plan in place. Some clients require it, as well as financial institutions. They want to know you and/or your company has a plan if something really bad happens.

What happens if you get hit by a bus?

If this is your company, you need this documentation in place because you have staff relying on your

Continue reading "Do you have your Business Continuity Plan in place?" »

 

Is your marketing plan based on a sales lead forecast?

Never Give UpStarting January 1, if you have a calendar business year, you should have a new marketing plan with SWOT, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics. The plan must be based on a sales forecast by product. It should state how many inquiries by product will be essential to make forecast and the sales quotas.

Each tactic should clearly state how many raw inquiries and qualified leads you will create to make forecast (if the tactic is lead gen based).

Budgets should reflect two approaches:

Continue reading "Is your marketing plan based on a sales lead forecast?" »

  

Never Underestimate the Power of Planning

Tom and I met at a Sushi restaurant yesterday, something we’ve done once or twice a year since I consulted with his company on sales/marketing and planning several years ago.   Tom is his company’s VP of Operations, and we try to meet regularly to discuss the company’s progress, but we had not had a meaningful discussion in nine months.

Continue reading "Never Underestimate the Power of Planning" »


Is your marketing plan based on a sales lead forecast?

IStock_000075370299_Large (3)Starting January 1, if you have a calendar business year, you should have a new marketing plan with SWOT, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics. The plan must be based on a sales forecast by product. It should state how many inquiries by product will be essential to make forecast and the sales quotas.

Each tactic should clearly state how many raw inquiries and qualified leads you will create to make forecast (if the tactic is lead gen based).

Budgets should reflect two approaches:

Continue reading "Is your marketing plan based on a sales lead forecast?" »


A Story: How a Marketing Manager Learned to Build a Demand Creation Plan Based on Sales Quotas

IStock_000018180137Small“How do you know,” I asked the marketing manager, “how much money to spend on marketing, and how many inquiries and leads to produce?”

Continue reading "A Story: How a Marketing Manager Learned to Build a Demand Creation Plan Based on Sales Quotas " »


Do you have your Business Continuity Plan in place?

If you work for a company, there should be a plan in place, and you should know where it is and what your role is in the plan. This is one of the most overlooked pieces of information and documentation for small companies. Large corporations are required to have Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity Plan in place. Some clients require it, as well as financial institutions. They want to know you and/or your company has a plan if something really bad happens.

What happens if you get hit by a bus?

If this is your company, you need this documentation in place because you have staff relying on your

Continue reading "Do you have your Business Continuity Plan in place?" »


Never Underestimate the Power of Planning

Tom and I met at a Sushi restaurant yesterday, something we’ve done once or twice a year since I consulted with his company on sales/marketing and planning several years ago.   Tom is his company’s VP of Operations, and we try to meet regularly to discuss the company’s progress, but we had not had a meaningful discussion in nine months.

Continue reading "Never Underestimate the Power of Planning" »


Is your marketing plan based on a sales lead forecast?

“Sales leads create sales in direct proportion to follow-up.”

James Obermayer - Sales Lead Management Association

Starting January 3rd, if you have a calendar business year, you should have a new marketing plan with SWOT, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics. The plan must be based on a sales forecast by product. It should state how many inquiries by product will be essential to make forecast and the sales quotas.

IStock_000018337527XSmallEach tactic should clearly state how many raw inquiries and qualified leads you will create to make forecast (if the tactic is lead gen based).

Budgets should reflect two approaches:

1. A branding budget (no forecast of sales leads).

2. A lead generation budget with a forecast for the number of inquires (by tactic) and the raw cost of an inquiry, qualified lead and closed lead.

(Image from iStockPhoto.com)

The forecast should include a calendar with the number of inquiries you expect to generate by month with an increasing number of inquiries preceding the expected increases in sales by at least three months (the inquiry count should be an upward slope preceding the expected upward slope in sales).

 

Eight Steps for successful creation of a marketing plan from the Sales Lead Management Association:

1. Forecast Sales by product, by month and quarter.

2. Forecast inquiries or qualified leads to achieve quota (quota is often different than a sales forecast).

3. Create a professional marketing plan: SWOT, Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics (detailed lead generation forecast).

3. Measure each lead generation tactic for quantity and cost: raw inquiries, qualified leads, closed leads (sales) and sales lead follow-up.

4. Repeat what works!

5. Scrap what doesn’t result in sales unless there is a good branding strategy for the decision.

6. Review the plan monthly.

7. Have the courage to change, delete and add tactics.

8. Plan your work and work your plan. Monthly plan reviews are mandatory.

Remember Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke said "No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Your plan won't either in its entirety, but without a plan you have not given your business any forethought; you are just responding emotionally to everyday demands with no thought of the future.

And lastly, remember, "A high percentage of sales leads followed-up by you will buy from you, what isn’t followed-up buys from your competitor."