Business Prescriptions: Sales and Marketing Consulting April 01 2015

Sales and marketing strategies are crucial to the establishment and growth of any business, because together they encompass finding and reaching customers, and then using methods by which product will be sold to those customers. Sometimes companies - especially new companies - need help in these areas, because they are not quite in tune with the ebb and flow of the business world at startup.

These are businesses that would be well-served by professional sales and marketing consulting to help guide them through the difficulties of creating solid strategies. There are also times when long-established companies can benefit from sales and marketing consulting to fine-tune or revamp existing strategy. Here are some of the ways a well-qualified consultant can help your company.

Marketing strategy

  • Define exactly what your market is and who your customers are
  • Discuss ways to enter this market for a new company, or for a more established company, methods of getting deeper into the market
  • Identify ways to help the company grow and increase its business in the intended market. Growth may come via acquiring another company and inheriting their business, or possibly by expanding product lines to broaden appeal.
  • Create and make use of diverse channels of distribution to increase the number of ways that your products reach the consumer public.
  • Suggest the best ways to reach targeted customers - for instance, advertising through various media outlets, including social media. More traditional methods of communication may also be appropriate, such as catalogs, mailings, flyers and brochures, and through an internal sales force.

There is never a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, so the real value-added contribution of a sales and marketing consultant is in recognizing what might work best for your specific company, and making recommendations that are tailored to it.

Sales strategy

  • A big part of your company's sales strategy should be in how to go about generating sales leads and identifying prospects. Some common ways to go about this are through contact forms on the company website, trade shows where a number of leads can be generated, and purchasing them from companies that specialize in leads generation for the business you're in.
  • Once a suitable data bank of leads has been created, they should be categorized in terms of most likely prospects to call, so that time is not wasted on unlikely candidates. The best leads can often be determined by specific information filled out on the contact form from the company website, because precise questioning can gauge interest level. With this information in hand, it remains to develop a strategy for the frequency and number of calls to be made in any given period.
  • There are a great many questions that need to be answered about the establishment of an internal sales force, if your company intends to use and maintain one. Obviously the size of the group is important, because you need enough salespeople to help generate the volume of sales targeted in the company's goals and objectives. Having decided how many salespeople are necessary, you'll need to figure out where they will come from, and how you will get them on board as motivated representatives for your company. For instance, should salary be the primary attraction, or should a commission schedule be emplaced to reward extra effort and results? 
Most businesses are aware of the fine points about overall strategies, but sometimes sales and marketing consulting is the best way to connect those strategies with the objectives of a new business or a changing business. The fresh perspective brought to bear by a really good consultant can make all the difference between growth and stagnation.