Hard Questions You Must Ask Yourself to Make it Through Tough Times.

Making the most of your marketing and sales efforts has never been more critical than RIGHT NOW. Budgets are tight, sales opportunities are limited and competition to seal every deal is FIERCE.

If you invest money on marketing and sales, you have to make sure it pays off many times over in increased revenue. The stakes are higher than ever. If things go right, you could crush weakened competition. If your efforts aren’t successful, it might mean that your business doesn’t make it through the pandemic and the current economic crisis.

Here are some challenging questions you must ask yourself to make sure you place your bets on supporting the best marketing strategies and campaigns — and pursuing the top sales opportunities — based on today’s realities.

Are you selling to the right people? Do you still understand your customers?

Every aspect of life has changed more over the last few months than during almost any period in history. 

  • People are working and schooling at home.
  • The country is experiencing unprecedented levels of unemployment.
  • The government is pumping an extraordinary amount of stimulus money into the economy.
  • There’s a rapid shift into digital selling, resulting in the closure of countless stalwart brick-and-mortar businesses. 

The middle of 2020 is certainly nothing like the beginning.

It’s likely that the mindsets of your customers, their needs and economic situations have been completely transformed, as well. Take time to regularly revisit your customer profiles and personas. Update them based on the most recent realities. If they’re no longer valid, completely rethink them. 

Having current customer information is the only way to help your marketing team know who they’re communicating with and your sales reps feel confident that they’re selling to the most likely buyers. Investing in the most current information about your customers will pay off in a big way.

Are your marketing and sales goals real? Really?

The marketing and sales targets you set at the beginning of the year — or even a few months or weeks ago: They’re probably not realistic anymore. You must constantly reassess them based on what’s happening at the moment. 

Consider the people and businesses in your client base, their evolving mindsets, current budgets and financial realities along with their preferred ways of doing business (today it’s probably virtually rather than in person). Then update your marketing and sales targets to reflect what’s possible at the moment. With things shifting as rapidly as they are, both in good and bad ways, you may need to do this as often as once a week. At very least, check in with your sales and marketing teams frequently, looking for insights on whether your targets are still valid.

Tip: Using a sales enablement system like Mobile Locker’s to monitor the effectiveness of your content and sales process could give you early notice when customer attitudes are changing and they’re no longer responding to your marketing and sales efforts.

What could prevent you from achieving your goals?

Whenever you adjust your marketing and sales targets, you have to figure out what could prevent you from reaching them. Be realistic. 

Ask yourself and the people on your sales and marketing teams the hard questions that will help you understand your limitations and find ways to fix issues.

  • Do you have the resources required to build responsive digital marketing campaigns in real time?
  • Are your sales reps able to smoothly close deals in a virtual world?
  • Are you delivering a seamless customer experience as you move from in-person to virtual (or hybrid) sales?
  • In an ideal world, what would you be doing that you’re unable to do now?

Even though times are tough, it’s worth investing in filling any gaps you identify. It will make it more likely you, and the people on your team, will be able to achieve marketing and sales goals. You need every advantage to win in today’s challenging environment.

Are you measuring progress toward your goals?

The only way you will know your marketing and sales efforts are paying off is to constantly track progress toward your performance and revenue targets. You have to track everything including how effectively all the aspects of your marketing and sales processes are connecting together. Understanding these things will help you identify what’s working and what’s not and where there are breakdowns and disconnects that could prevent you from closing deals.

When times were flush, your business was probably earning enough revenue, even if your marketing and sales efforts weren’t optimized. You don’t have that luxury anymore. Every little bit counts when margins are extremely tight.

Are you doing everything possible to connect people when social distancing is a “thing”?

  • Marketers use tools that allow them to get their work done.
  • Sales reps have their own technology that helps them sell. 
  • And you have other systems that connect your business to your clients. 

The issue: For most businesses, all these tools, systems and resources that are supposed to be connective don’t connect with each other. In other words, rather than bringing people together, these things may actually be keeping critical parts of your business infrastructure disconnected.

Consider taking advantage of a sales enablement system like the one developed by Mobile Locker. It can act as the lynchpin that integrates all your other systems. During times like these, you need every advantage to succeed.

Are you providing sales reps training on the latest marketing efforts?

It’s not uncommon for sales reps to not have a clue what their marketing partners are doing. This is especially true during dynamic periods of change. And yet, what salespeople do should bring closure to marketing efforts. 

That’s why you must provide your reps with current information about the latest marketing efforts. That way, they can coherently continue the story and close more deals. Don’t leave anything out. Make sure training covers everything from social media and Google Ad campaigns to newsletters and ongoing customer communications.

Tip: Leverage Mobile Locker’s sales enablement system to distribute training to the people on your sales team. That way, they’ll be able to access it any place, any time they need information. You’ll also be able to monitor their progress toward completing their training to ensure they have the information needed to sell effectively.

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