Performance Marketing Blog

Sales and Marketing: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich of Business Growth

Posted by Natalie Young

Nov 30, 2018 7:43:21 AM


Peanut butter is pretty delicious on its own, and don’t tell us that you’ve never eaten a spoonful of jelly by itself—but when they come together, it’s pure magic. The same can be said for a company's sales and marketing department.  By themselves, they can run okay for a while- but the two become exponentially more effective when they work together.

A company’s sales and marketing teams are both working toward the same goal: securing business and helping their company grow. The recipe each department uses though, can vary greatly. Let’s use a lighting rep agency as an example.

The Outside Sales team communicates directly with their target audience, whether that is specifiers, contractors, distributors, or municipalities. This might be in person (during a lunch and learn, counter day, etc.), over the phone, or by email. The sales cycle is usually long, taking place over multiple conversations in which the salesperson learns about the project’s specific needs and restrictions. Salespeople interface with the customer to help them understand how their product can meet needs or offer a solution.

It could also be a very swift process in which an Inside Sales person is able to cross a fixture schedule, or provide a solution for a customer over the phone.

Marketing is a much more comprehensive undertaking—with a sole purpose of increasing brand or product recognition to the target audience as a whole. The methods, strategies, and channels utilized by a marketing team look very different than they did just 10 years ago. Modern marketing efforts have gone primarily digital, including (but not limited to): Content marketing, social media, email campaigns, website and SEO.

Americans are forecasted to spend $120 billion by 2021 on digital marketing.

There has always been a bit of a rivalry of sorts between sales and marketing teams. This friction can harm your business’s growth.

When sales and marketing teams work congruently, metrics skyrocket and profits soar. So how do you get the opposing sides to align?

Making the Perfect "Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich"

How to create a unified sales and marketing strategy

Here are our four top ingredients in the recipe for the perfect PB&J:

1. Know Who You’re Marketing To

The sales team is the front line of any thriving lighting agency. They most clearly understand who is ordering product, and why. Marketing, on the other hand, understands the industry at large and how a company should be targeting new customers.

One of the first action items on our list when Performance starts working with a new client, is to create a list of targeted “personas.”  We work closely with management and sales staff to develop realistic outlines of the types of clients the company wants to target.

2. Let the Sales People Shine

We know your sales team excels at finding new projects and closing deals, but they aren’t always as well-versed selling themselves. Create a marketing plan to showcase your team’s achievements and expertise. 

There is a myriad of ways to exhibit the talents of your sales team, but marketing content (website blogs and email blasts) stand out as the most effective.  This can be done in one of two ways:

  • Highlight a specific sales person after an achievement such as the completion of a large project, or an LC certification.
  • Ghostwrite a piece of content on behalf of a salesperson that illustrates their authority and positions them as a thought leader on a specific subject matter such as energy codes, or the latest in LED technology.

3. Collaborate on Marketing Metrics

When your marketing efforts seem to not be making an impact, connect with your sales people.  Are you finding that you have low open rates or click-throughs for emails?  Huddle up with the sales people for input on what types of content their customers need, and the types they don’t.  The needs of customers can change season to season, if there is a shift in the economy, or a new technology emerges.

Ask your salespeople to check in with their customer base, and adapt the marketing content accordingly.

4. Create a Company Culture that Marries Sales and Marketing Efforts

When the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is up to, no one gets a sandwich. When a sales strategy isn’t completely integrated with a marketing plan, inevitably, both efforts will suffer. When both departments successfully work together to increase brand awareness and grow public perception, the profit margins will follow.

When the sales and marketing teams collaborate on a succinct and unified plan for who to reach, and how to reach them, the possibilities are endless.  With the right recipe, your peanut butter and jelly sandwich will propel your company to unprecedented brand recognition, and record-breaking new business.  Bon Appétit!

Looking to increase your market share? Let Performance Marketing help. Contact Performance Marketing to help you grow your business.

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Topics: sales development, marketing tactics, sales and marketing alignment, Sales-Marketing alignment, getting better sales results, marketing for lighting representatives,, on-going marketing

Perfectly Matched Doesn't Just Happen

Posted by Natalie Young

Feb 25, 2016 1:16:13 PM

We’ve all heard of love at first sight and of couples that are perfectly matched—just waiting to find each other. It may happen on occasion, but generally speaking, it doesn’t happen that quickly. In fact, it usually doesn’t “just happen" at all. 

Unfortunately, too many businesses take that “love-at-first-site” route with the way they approach their marketing efforts. They try something to reach their potential customers (sometimes spending a lot of time and money) and then hope that lightning will strike in the form of a sale.Puzzles.jpg

If you’re responsible for marketing and work as a lighting representative, electrical distributor, electrical contractor, lighting designer, or even AV professional, you know that just doesn’t work. It takes multiple “touches” to reach the right people and get them to respond. Depending on the marketing experts you ask, it can take between 6 and 12 contacts before you’ll even get a response.

There is, however, more to the story. For your marketing to succeed, it’s not just about how many times to touch someone with your message: It’s also making sure you’re talking to the right people, and that you have the right message for them. A general message—or general information about pricing and specifications—isn’t going to get you where you want to go.

How do you shape your message (and target your marketing efforts) for the audience you want to reach? How do you find out who they are and what kind of information they need from you? You have to ask the right questions when you talk to them. Then you need to format the results of your research in an interesting and compelling way. You also need to build your messages and your marketing around your personas (the characteristics that define your ideal client).

You can’t just look at the size of your potential client, how much they spend, or where they’re located. You have to find out what kind of problems, issues, and challenges they face. Then you need to offer them information that will help them meet those challenges.

If you’re looking for help in doing this, download our FREE Buyer Persona Template. You’ll still have to gather the information from your prospective clients, but this template will be a big help in organizing and making sense out of what you discover.

Or you can try the business version of speed dating and make cold calls, and send out mailings and emails to people who may or may not be a perfect match—and hope that you get lucky!

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Topics: electrical distributors, AV professionals, lighting designers, marketing for lighting representatives,, electrical contractors

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