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Sales and Marketing Aren’t Departments

In most cases, the bigger the company the more prevalent the attitude conveyed in the title becomes. For a business to survive, much less prosper today, sales and marketing activities should be part of everybody’s job description.

While certain staff members have the primary function of making sales or creating marketing campaigns, the most successful companies integrate the two. Even more impressive are those that bring clients, service department staff into the planning process to identify the strengths, weaknesses and alternative sales channels for the company’s products and services. I know, sales, service, marketing and clients in the same room, what am I thinking?

In a truly enlightened organization all staff members understand their role in the sales process. Receptionists can get callers routed to the right department the first time. Sales people can add value though up-selling or cross-selling but only if they first take the time to understand the clients needs. Service technicians can fix today’s problem or look for ways to sell a maintenance program that will eliminate problems and create a more enjoyable user experience. Take the time to train your staff and show them how that can look for appropriate opportunities to serve their clients better thus making more sales.

Additionally, the best marketing in the work may make the phone ring but if the receptionist or service agent answering that phone is not sales oriented, client friendly and personable you’ve thrown those dollars down the drain.

I recently was buying checks and a bank stamp for my business and called Deluxe, my vendor of choice for several years now. I encountered Anne on the other end of the phone. She was upbeat, efficient, asked me how my day was going and as the order progresses she began interjecting options for me to consider. Now many of you are thinking, that’s what she’s supposed to do. Yes, it is but the keys here is that, 1) she actually did it and, 2) she did it in such a way that she was clearly on my side of the table offering appropriate suggestions rather then trying to sell me the special offer of the day.

I don’t know about you but in most businesses I’m appalled at the lack of salesmanship and basic customer service that exists, so a good example stands out from the rest.

People talk about great service, just like I’m doing now. Could your business benefit from some uncompensated praise and additional profits?

Cultivating this level of company-wide salesmanship and customer service saves on advertising costs, increases the average transaction size, cultivates a long term client relationship which of course increases the lifetime value of that client.

Send Your VP of Sales and Marketing a Thank You Note

Many sales reps who spend time with upper-level people in their organization (they go on a few sales calls with you, they sit down with you to talk, etc.) feel intimidated and as if they are wasting that person’s time. Don’t feel that way. They don’t. If you are a rising star in your organization, they look at spending time with you as an investment. It’s part of their job to help groom the next generation.

So, here’s one of the things I want to encourage: if someone from management comes to work with you, send him or her an e-mail thank you note within 24 hours of the visit. (Thank you letters aren’t just for job interviews and customers.) Say something like:

“I really appreciate your taking the time to come and work with me. I enjoyed getting to introduce you to some of my key customers, and they enjoyed the opportunity to interface with someone in our company in a larger capacity. I learned a lot from you, I enjoyed the time, and it just reminded me that I should send you a note and say how much I appreciate the opportunity to work here at XYZ Company. If there’s ever anything that I can do for you, either in sales, customer service or anything else, please don’t hesitate to tap me on the shoulder. I’ll do whatever I can to assist.”

A letter like this can be a career-defining moment for you. So, I’m just encouraging you that if your VP of Sales and Marketing comes to visit, or your Director who’s over the Regional Sales Manager comes to visit, write that thank you note and copy it to your manager. It’s a complete positive for you. It is one of the things that significantly raises your visibility within your organization and will pay off for you down the not-too-distant road in every area of medical sales: laboratory sales, medical device sales, biotechnology sales, clinical diagnostics sales, hospital equipment sales, imaging sales, surgical supplies sales, pathology sales, or pharmaceutical sales.

(Besides-it’s just nice. Wouldn’t you like to get a thank you from someone you’ve helped?)

Why Innovative CEOs Are Tearing Down Their Sales and Marketing Silos

In order to thrive (and sometimes just to survive) a company needs cash. In this current recession cash is hard to come by. Most bank lending windows are closed. Selling equity at today’s stock prices is definitely off the table. And cost cutting has gone about as far as it can constructively go.

So, what is a CEO to do to grow cash flow?

Back in the 20th Century, cash seeking CEOs frequently turned to their sales and marketing silos to get cash flow flowing. Those functional silos had thick walls that isolated the sales and marketing people, one from another . . . and all of those people from the other functions in the organization. But, with silos churning out tremendous amounts of cash, no one cared about the walls or functional isolation.

Here in the 21st Century sales and marketing silos still dominate the corporate landscape. The good news is that they are still chock full of cash flow potential. But, the bad news is that getting the cash flow potential out of sales and marketing silos requires tearing them down.

The problem, today, is that customers want what they want…when, where, how and at the price that they want it. And companies that do their work inside silos do a crumby job of giving customers what they want. Thick silo walls keep people inside the company isolated, one from another. And, they keep all of the people inside the company isolated from their customers (who are outside the company).

In order to get more cash from customers (which is where most cash needs to come from nowadays), a CEO simply has to get their silos torn down. And then they have to get the business process dots that give customers what they want…connected.

Working through connected dots (rather than sales and marketing silos) a company can give its customers more of what they want (and less of what they don’t want). As that happens customers bond with the brand. They pay more for products and services and purchase them more frequently. Best of all, they recommend the brands that they bond with to their friends. And that is where growing sales, profits and cash flow comes from.

So, innovative CEOs who need to grow cash flow are getting their sales and marketing silos torn down. The process is almost magical. And, utilizing the HalpinRoth Strategy, it works almost every time.

For more about growing sales, profits, cash flow by tearing down silos and connecting dots, visit [].