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The Winners Approach To Sales And Marketing: How The Pros Use Incremental Innovation To Win

Take two random companies “A” and “B”. They are both facing stiff competition and the marketing and sales budgets are fixed in stone; how would they go about increasing revenues?

The marketing manager from company “A” might try to convince the finance department to increase its budget or try to invoke a jolt of energy into the sales force via pep talks or threats to increase sales for the upcoming quarter.

This approach, though sometimes work in the short-term, is generally very stressful and less predictable in the long-term. When quotas aren’t met everyone usually trades blame which leads to more frustrations.

Is their another way?

Enter the world of company “B” where incremental innovation is ongoing. Company “B” knows the importance of incremental innovation and thereby makes it a part of the job description. When applied to sales and marketing the result is a system that converts more prospects and turn the competition into followers.

This is the approach company “B” uses to thrive and lead the market.

Professional marketers use incremental innovation all the time to increase conversion rate. An example would be testing which headline in a split test converts more prospects.

So how would you go about getting your employees in sales and marketing to commit to your incremental innovation program? Remember, incremental innovation occurs by making a small change then conducting a test against the control then making another change and conducting another test then repeat until you have a well optimized process.

First, your employees need to know how to use their imaginations. Without the use of their imaginations breakthroughs aren’t possible. It is the thinking tool that makes innovation possible. It’s the most potent tool everyone has at their disposal. It’s not money or even superior products.

Second, they need to know how to ask the most appropriate question at each step. Using your imagination is all about asking the right questions at each step of the way which naturally leads to small breakthroughs. Each of these small breakthroughs gives you greater insights into your prospects mind which leads to better marketing and increases in sales.

Third, the incentive for following the innovation program should be one that motivates the staff to act in the way you want them to.

One might ask, why doesn’t company “A” implement the incremental innovation approach? There are several reasons, such as ignorance of the alternatives and ignorance of the ease with which any alternative can be implemented.

A marketing manager from company “A” might state, I know it’s important to innovate but how do I get my employees to innovate and how much will it cost in time and real dollars? Other obstacles include employees who are reluctant to committing themselves to an innovation program. However, if the right incentives are in place few would object.

Imagine if the sales manager had to lay off a few workers in a short while and were to say to them, if you can find a unique way to improve sales, then the additional revenues would help to justify to the higher-ups to keep everyone. In fact, this example was used in Ray Giles book “Turn Your Imagination Into Money”, one of the best books on the use of the imagination in incremental innovation. It’s available at http://www.ImaginationBook.com. Giles shows in an example how quickly sales rose by 20% when one sales manager tried this approach. And best of all it didn’t cost much – no money, only a little time. This is the kind of virtually-cost-free innovation that causes company “B” to excel.

Company “B” excels because it’s committed to an incremental innovations program and your people will take innovation seriously if they realize that as innovation increases so do sales, their commissions and bonuses.

So company “B” has a successful feedback mechanism where everyone wins. The company wins with additional revenues, the marketing manager wins with a bigger bonus, less headache and less pep talk and the sales force wins with greater commissions.

Over time, company “B” will have well tested and highly optimized marketing and sales processes that yield great results. Aren’t these the processes that every company wants? They can be implemented and best of all they are cost-free.

Internet Advertising Is A Practical Sales and Marketing Solution

The internet has proven to be the best thing that ever happened to sales and marketing. No longer do you need massive and expensive campaigns necessary to promote your business. You can take your business online and then make use of one of the best online sales and marketing solution called internet advertising. Big or small business online have equal footing in internet advertising. It aims to make your marketing strategy effective to increase sales for your online business.

Billions of internet users can access your website for your online business any time at their full attention. On a recent study, it is the fastest media being used five times daily compared to other media channels available. Most fifty-five percent of the users use the internet to find out about the information, products or services they need. This can widen your market and reach out to greater number of audiences who might be interested in what you can offer. It is relatively dynamic and the necessary information additions or changes you make will register right away. Internet advertising can become the best choice in sales and marketing solution.

Your website is both home and promoter of your product and services so you have to spend enough resources to get the elements right. You would want your customers to find you right way so they can get information about your product. People would likely surf the internet to find out and compare products before deciding on what to purchase. Providing good navigation and good content ensures your internet advertising to work if you place yourself in the right place at the right time.

And did you know that there is such a thing as free internet advertising? Yes, you heard it right. Everything mentioned above can be availed for free – no hidden charges or catches. Most free internet advertising companies can offer you to up to three slots. They have a feature called a classified ads submitter. Opt-ins email list are non-spam bulk emailing program that is assured one hundred percent legal. This list of email recipients were submitted by willing individuals who subscribed to opt-ins email listings. You can write a more personalized promotion letter to these individuals because you are pretty sure they are interested about your products and or services.

Now, if you do not have the time to do internet advertising on your own, then hiring others to do it for you is another choice to create a sales and marketing solution for you. There are affordable online advertising companies that offer their services. They can do direct marketing or brand building for your website. They know better when it comes to utilizing internet advertising tools that can be most helpful for your online business.

You might ask, is internet advertising an effective sale and marketing solution? Yes, they do work in just one click. They can drive traffic towards your website and generate revenues by telling your customers to buy your product or enabling your website to host-paying related ads. There are also different results-tracking tools available online for you to use if you want facts and figures on the effectiveness of your internet advertising.

There are boundless limits in how the internet can provide a sales and marketing solution that works best for you. Free opportunities also abound so be sure to maximize their potential. Of course, if your first attempt in internet advertising does not give your expected results, then you can always try and try again.

Kicking Your Own Tail in Sales and Marketing

I have to admit — one of my favorite “reality” shows for sales and marketing is “Tapout”.

I don’t usually watch reality shows. In fact, I think most are pretty stupid.

But I’m a BIG Tapout fan.

The show is about three guys who travel the country, constantly looking for up-and-coming mixed martial arts fighters to sponsor and wear their clothes. And it contains lots of cool “real-world” lessons on what it takes to win, succeed and dominate not only in professional fighting — but in all life.

Anyway, I can’t get enough of the adventures (and misadventures) of Punkass, Skyscrape and Mask. (The three amigos who star in the show).

And if you are into martial arts or UFC or anything that has anything to do with guys trying to kick the crap out of each other… you will probably love this show, too.

So what does this have to do with your selling efforts?

Why should you care?

Because during the last show I watched, I couldn’t help but see all the ways martial arts relates to marketing, selling and business.

See, I think learning sales is a LOT like learning martial arts.

For example, in some martial arts (not all), they teach you to fall before teaching you how to fight. And it’s not a bad idea in sales, too — i.e. learning what NOT to do, first.

Here are a few of the more common “blunders” many of us make at one time or another (I know I have!). Just making sure you DON’T do these can go a long way towards ratcheting up your profits:

1. Being boring
2. Refusing to offend anyone
3. Relying on “tricks” and “tactics” instead of strategy
4. Not respecting your prospect
5. Bragging
6. Trying to create demand… instead of VISION
7. “Convincing” instead of persuading

If you’re committing any of these selling mistakes — STOP. Because you’re basically like a fighter kicking his own tail:

Even if your “technique” is good, you still hurt yourself.