5 things to identify if you’re ready for a marketing strategy

Marketing Implementation Book

Having a flourishing business is something a countless number of SME owners yearn for. However when you do hit hard times or you feel things have reached a plateau, is your business actually fully equipped to deal with a strategy that will bring improved trade?

Having a marketing strategy designed for you is one thing; however the complete implementation of it requires the back end of your business to be capable of dealing with the increased level of enquiries off the back of it. So whether you decide to implement it all on your own or have someone support you, here are a few things to look at when determining if your business is actually prepared.

Are your staff geared to handle enquiries?

It all starts with your staff, any leads that are likely to surface as a result of a marketing strategy will ultimately make contact with your staff. Therefore it’s crucial that they are fully aware of your brand values and get this across when they make contact with customers. Additionally there has to be a customer service led focus to ensure lead are retained and funnelled further down the sales pipeline.

Do you have a clear sales process?

Having a clear sales process in place for your employees to follow will increase the likelihood of converting leads to sales. It will help to bring order to ongoing sales and ensure they don’t just get stuck in the pipeline and eventually get lost. The process itself should be based on the buying processes of your target audience, so being adaptable to any changes that may be required over time is also important.

Do you have adequate IT/CRM systems in place?

Having a CRM system in place to deal with newly generated and present enquiries is also vital. A CRM system will help to support your entire team in a number of ways. To begin with it provides a resourceful solution to tracking your current enquiries in regards to where they have come from and where they stand in the sales pipeline. This will help you to better gauge which enquiries need your attention and also ensure that you’re fully aware of exactly what’s happening in the sales process in real time. To add to this it also provides a clearer image of where your leads are falling out of the pipeline and in turn allows you to address any issues where there appears to be a consistent trend in the breakdown of enquiries.

Are your staff/sales team skilled enough to convert leads to sales

Your sales team will play a major role in taking your enquiries and actually converting them into sales. However for this to happen and for the conversion rate to be as high as possible your staff have be adept at closing sales. Not have fully skilled staff can render the entire somewhat of a waste as you won’t be generating the maximum amount of revenue from sales. In addition to dealing with fresh enquiries, having a sales team which can reengage with previously lost leads is also important as these could potentially become buyers in the future.

Do you have the capacity to handle enquiries?

Another key facet of your business which needs to be addressed is whether you actually have the capacity to handle a greater level of enquiries. Your capacity falls under a number of areas, these include:

  • People
  • Physical space
  • Equipment
  • Time

If you find yourself lacking the capacity to deal with enquiries then chances are that you will ultimately fail to deliver on sales. This isn’t only detrimental in terms of revenue but will also give your business a bad reputation. Therefore you should look to find a solution to increasing capacity, whether that be through things such as investing in more employees or a larger workspace or outsourcing are certain processes.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.