Go-to-market strategy Essential steps for success in launching your products and services
Part three - Understanding the principles of taking your products or services to the market
In the previous parts of this series, we discussed the importance of creating a strong business foundation, collecting valuable marketing data, and developing a compelling brand that aligns with your company and industry. However, planning and preparation are only half of the battle when it comes to achieving success. To achieve your goals, you must now focus on the sales process.
Building your sales activity
Having the right sales team and leadership is crucial for any business. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you already have one in place. We will delve deeper into sales team skills and training in a later article.
When setting up a sales activity, it’s important to ask yourself a few key questions. Firstly, you need to determine the purpose – what are your objectives and what do you hope to achieve? Secondly, you need to decide who will execute the activity. Finally, you need to establish how this will be measured against the company targets, these will be set to match your critical marketing data under the guidance of senior management.
You want to take advantage of your market sector at the expense of your competition, but you must have realistic targets. Too many businesses set high targets which can be unachievable, this is not a positive way forward, and it can be demotivating.
Using the information that you have, start with a small percentage of market share, and build a new loyal customer base first, this will help you to gauge whether you are selling the right products or services at competitive price points. Data-backed decisions are always better than simply going with what you think should be the targets.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
The most cost-effective and proactive way to manage sales activities is by using a comprehensive CRM system, which will hold your customer and potential customer database and much more.
Managing customer relationships is vital to the success of any business. CRM software solutions integrate and manage data, allowing businesses to track and store information related to current and potential customers in a centralised system. This helps business teams gain valuable insights and optimise sales operating processes, ultimately leading to increased revenue and growth opportunities. Without CRM support, businesses may miss out on potential revenue and fail to maximise customer relationships and sales leads.
A good CRM system will also guide you through the sales process, from the first contact or meetings to a successful result. If you have a CRM system that does not steer your sales in a positive direction, then this is not a true CRM. As a side note, many companies have CRMs that they only use as a database, and some have bespoke systems which can be expensive but provide the functions they need. SMEs can use one of the many standard systems available, which are normally cloud-based but do provide some excellent functionality at affordable investment levels.
Market sector recognition: The fundamentals of public relations
Now you have your branding, market data, targets, and sales teams, you must start to promote your business. Firstly, ensure you have a financial budget in place that will allow you to promote your business in a focused and positive manner.
Public relations (PR) is the process of managing and distributing information to your market sector, with the aim of influencing their perception that will encourage them want to do business with your company.
Using a professional PR company can pay dividends and, aligned with your marketing and branding strategy, provide the expertise needed to gain great audience perception. All businesses need great PR, it needs to be creative and engaging, to make you stand out from your competition and get noticed. There are many channels used in PR, these include websites, print ads, social media and company press releases. Never be afraid to present something different, perhaps even be a little radical. This is all about brand and capability recognition, this will set the stage for successful sales.
The sales tools needed to market your products and services
Now you have your products and services, branding, market data, targets, PR, and sales teams in place and briefed. The planned strategy is now starting to take shape with all the important elements needed. To further help your sales teams you must also have the right sales tools to help them to be successful. The definition of sales tools covers many tactics which we will cover in more detail in a later article, but these include, presentations, examples, references, sales brochures, and subjective proposals.
Achieving success always requires a well-thought-out strategy plan. When it comes to sales success, a strategic sales plan is the ultimate tool that can assist your sales team in generating more sales. It provides a guide that outlines your current position, future goals, and most importantly, how to achieve them in a process-led manner.
To take your business to market, it is essential to cover all the important elements and tools. For example, ensure that your data is accurate, and your PR is compelling to create the desired effect.
Your sales plan need not be complicated. Keep it simple and proactive. If your plan is not working, don’t hesitate to try something new or seek some help. The sales process is the same for all products and services, people buy from the people they trust, so building firm-friendly relationships is also critical.