Against any measure, British technology companies rarely achieve a fraction of the level of success enjoyed by American companies. By all measures there is no shortage of talent, innovation or opportunity for British Companies. Yet we fail on a wider stage, why?
In the UK we tend to build our companies around our technology, believing that, if we build a better product, customers will find us. Sadly this is not true. To add further to the problems we distrust sales and marketing. We think of it as a necessary evil, with the result that we do not understand how to understand markets and build effective to help our sales. Equally we do not fully understand the vital role of marketing, trusting instead to flawed marketing strategies and communications programmes.
The truth is, that in today’s highly competitive, busy and pressured markets, sales and are in many ways the critical elements required by firms to ensure that they survive, let alone thrive in their chosen markets.
Exploding the Myths
Before exploring why sales and marketing strategies are a key part of any firm’s route to success, we believe that we need to de-bunk some of the mythology -
Marketing is advertising – It is true that advertising is part of marketing, but in truth it is a small part of the overall marketing effort. Marketing should be a powerful tool that helps firms understand their markets, helps the firm develop products that really fit the market and then finally guides the firm to get the product to market in a way that ensures it is successful and profitable. Marketing provides sales with the tools it needs to be successful.
We aren’t making our numbers because the sales people are no good – That might be true. However in nearly 80 percent of the work we do, we find that while the sales team might need training, the real problem lies with the product, the way the firm relates to the market or the sales channels used by the firm are not in line with the market’s expectations. As a result, even a highly skilled sales person would find it difficult to succeed.
The competition is killing us – This might be true but in general if you have done your homework on the market properly, your product fits the market requirement and you are going to market the way the market wants, then you should be successful.
We’ve got a few customers, but we just can’t seem to win anymore – Did you build your product around your current customers and have you asked the rest of the market what they want? This is a common problem that many firms face in the development and growth.
Building Sales & Marketing Strategies
The first step in building your sales and marketing strategies is to understand that markets operate to a set of rules. This applies to all markets and you can ignore these if you wish, but if you follow the rules then you will give yourself a greater chance of success.
1 The market is always right – even when it’s wrong
2 The market only buys what it perceives it needs
3 The market buys when and how it wants to – always
4 The market only buys products that make money, save money or deliver an intangible benefit
5 The market has a short attention span
6 The market does not care about its suppliers – even if it says it does
7 Your competition never has the ‘killer’ product and you are never the cheapest or the most expensive.
Key Marketing Disciplines
Companies who wish to improve all aspects of Sales and Marketing need to put in place the following key disciplines. These are not one-off events but a continuing process of understanding the market, it’s needs and it’s rules.
1. Market Verification – Unbiased and completely impartial research carried out to verify the real opportunity in a market for a company and its products and services.
2. Product Marketing – The development and management of a market led sales and marketing proposition for a company and its products, that is designed to increase the chances of success in the market.
3. Product Management – The definition of products and services required by the market.
4. Marketing Communications – The execution of the across the panoply of marketing outlets – both analogue and digital.
5. Channel Marketing – The development of sales channels in line with the market’s expectations and which are most likely to deliver success for the firm.
6. Channel Management – Managing the routes to market in line with strategy.
Market Transformations is a Sales and Marketing Consultancy company with more than 100 years combined experience in the research, development, launch and growth of companies and their products in the complex and fast moving high technology sector.
Can we help you?
If you are about to launch a new product, service or company; if you are unhappy with your current sales; if you think marketing is all about advertising and events; if you think there is another way, then we can probably help. Drop us an email or call our number, we’ll soon know, and so will you.
The proof of the pudding….we have built up a clientele that keep coming back to us for more, because we are straightforward and simple to deal with. We do what we say we are going to do and we keep the jargon to a minimum. We work with all sizes of companies and we always deliver value. We will tell you if we can help you, equally we will tell you if we cannot.