While spending any time in this space, you’ve probably stumbled upon a variety of operational and technological themes. In building and maintaining a sales/marketing ecosystem, there are many moving parts to consider.
Here are a few common areas of focus we face:
- Effectiveness – In operations, we are heads down on the long to-do list. On a regular interval, we have got to get our head out of the fray to ensure you are doing the right thing! Some example questions:
- Are we reaching the right audience at the right time in the buying cycle?
- Are our marketing efforts producing a steady stream of quality leads for sales to follow-up?
- Do our marketing goals align with your business goals?
- Efficiency – Reaching and exceeding your fullest potential is the one that most of us focus on day-to-day. There are loads of best practices as well as automation/CRM/online marketing tools to help you keep your pipeline and marketing efforts optimal.
- Where are the bottlenecks in your pipeline?
- Are you experimenting different methods?
- Do you have the best tools to manage the funnel?
- Do you the right resources (vendor or internal) to monitor, signal and solve pipeline issues?
- (Self-)Sustainability – This one near and dear to my heart. As responsible business executives or owners outsource non-critical operational areas of their business so they can focus on their core. Unless your organization has deep pockets, the problem arise when an organization continues to heavily rely on on-going consulting for the longer term marketing. I’ll bet you know your business and the market landscape better than anyone and can react faster in that dynamic environment.
- How nimble does your business need to be in navigating changes in the marketplace or competition?
- Are you and/or your staff regularly attending conferences (online or traditional) to meet new people and learn how their organizations leverage marketing technology?
- Have you considered the “Inverted Funnel” in getting creating advocates from your customers to help you sell?
- Transparency – Marketing has too long been considered simply a cost of doing business, but it should be a part of the discussion on revenue and business development with the rest of the organization. Transparency helps ensure alignment, discussions on the right pain points and improve management of ROI.
- Are your sales and marketing teams aligned in definition, process and technology?
- Do you have a set of key performance measurements at each stage of the sales/marketing cycle? How accessible are they to monitor/report?
- Once again, do you have the right tools to facilitate transparency?
Key Take Aways?
Your ecosystem is always changing so be patient, ask the right questions and do it right. Building on these focus areas will not happen overnight or through an installation of specific software. Also, if you do engage in any consultants, they should work with you as if they were a part of your team.
These are common themes that we’ve encountered… What focus areas of marketing/sales operations do you believe should be included to be actively managed?