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How do we strengthen our Marketing and Sales Department?

By: Will Adams

 

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How do we strengthen our Marketing and Sales Department to keep us competitive? We need clear strategies to build a marketing and sales force. We have a dedicated a budget for advertising but want to implement best practices and not hit and miss reaching the elderly market. What benefits can we offer our staff at minimum cost to increase retention? What benefits and incentives can we offer our Marketing and Sales team for motivation and retention?

Answer:
 
Strategies to Building a Marketing and Sales Force: Effective hiring, employee training, compensation, communications, work environment, and other measures are part of building and maintaining an effective sales force. To help you determine what measure you need to build marketing and sales force, you can review marketing industry articles and suggestions like following:

Marketing strategies: Companies with years of successful operating and marketing history should periodically review their marketing programs and results, their target audience, and status of their competition to determine what has worked successfully in the past and what has changed in their business, industry, and market demographics. The place to start in assessing ways to more effectively market your business and increase your customer or client base is to review how you have marketed in the past and what has worked successfully. For example, some companies may only need to increase the frequency, activity level, or geographic territory of current marketing and advertising activities to generate more sales.

Professional networking with doctors, clinics, and other medical industry professionals is a common and effective marketing method for home health care businesses. You may need to review your sales scripts, brochures, or other marketing materials to help communicate your services and employee staff experience and credentials. For example, customer testimonials are often effective to help illustrate the quality of your services and help build your professional relationships and contact network. The following are marketing suggestions and considerations for your business:

Define Your Target Market: Your marketing will be most effective when it consistently reaches your target audiences and not just general distribution. For example, professional networking is a different process than marketing directly to medical patients or other consumers. Clear identification of target markets and focused advertising generally results in more effective marketing.

Free publicity: There are often opportunities for free publicity or public relations in local or larger markets by providing public interest stories to local newspapers that lead back to your product or service. Being a long-term business in the area, providing a niche or unique service, being elected business of the month and other factors can qualify you for free publicity in your market. You can check with local newspapers and radio and TV stations regarding free publicity opportunities. You can review examples of publicity firm information and suggestions at the following websites:

Professional networking and referrals: A current customer base can be a source for obtaining referrals to others needing your services. Attending business meetings, seminars, conventions, and trade shows and other professional networking with the doctors, therapists, social workers, senior citizen housing facilities, health clinics, government health care departments and agencies, churches, and others in your community that come into contact with your target audience generally produces clients and referrals.

State organizations: You can utilize state and other industry agencies, organizations, groups, and directories to advertise and network your business:

Target customer lists: Target customer lists can be used for direct mail and other marketing purposes. An example service is available through our website in the Sales & Marketing section under Recommended Resources and Sales Leads. You can also use the Yellow Pages or an Internet search engine to locate commercial lists and directories that may provide you with target customer information. The following are example websites:

Online marketing: Make effective use of your business website to market your business. Business networking and other social websites and blogs are new and very popular and some may be able to reach target customers (individuals or businesses) and create interest in certain business products or services.

Basically, you would have to research and then test this type of advertising with the geographic, keyword, and other targeting tools in order to determine if it reaches your target audience or otherwise can be effective for your business. You can research the top business and social networking websites through websites like the following:

Tips on getting people to join a Facebook page:

Groups:

You can use the following instructions and information to locate industry experts and communicate on Twitter:

You can also find other websites like the following with discussions and advice for advertising on social websites:

Competition:  Review what marketing methods are being used by other local competitors and similar businesses. Businesses should always monitor their competition’s marketing activities so they can react accordingly. Also, you should identify the ways that your services are, or could be, different than your competition.

Marketing plans: Of course, there is no silver bullet in marketing. Whether direct sales, referrals, an Internet website, print, or other form of advertising, a business must be aggressive and break through the promotional clutter of many other businesses to attract the customers’ attention. Also, trial and experimentation is usually required to determine the most effective promotional methods for a particular market. Businesses normally determine by experience which marketing options provide the greatest response with the lowest cost. Business owners test, adjust and measure their marketing efforts to make sure they are allocating their marketing dollars cost-effectively in reaching their potential customers. Generally, the best way for a business to evaluate marketing options for reaching new target customers and formulate a strategy and budget is with a marketing plan.

Advertising agency: Established businesses in competitive industries often use outside marketing professional to help develop new marketing strategies and new advertising messages, particularly those businesses with significant revenue growth goals. If you need to consider engaging a professional ad agency to help with developing your marketing strategies and plans, you can review the typical considerations when selecting an advertising agency at industry websites like the following:

Employee retention methods: A 401k plan that vests the employer matching contribution over time is one approach to a fringe benefit program that can help improve employee retention. However, there are employee recognition, empowerment, and other low-cost programs and fringe benefits that you can consider to help provide a more attractive work environment that will help improve your employee retention. The following are example articles and discussions regarding employee fringe benefit programs and retention tools that you can consider for your workforce and business situation:

Improving employee retention:

Marketing and Sales team motivation and incentives: Of course, money is usually the common motivator for sales employees. The more they sell the more they earn. For example, if you are trying to increase your revenues 25%, you can consider increasing the sale staff commission percentage or establishing a tiered commission structure that provide for higher commission percentages at higher sales levels. Motivation techniques may vary between business owners and employees, but the basic key is an understanding of the self-fulfillment, development, or compensation that will come from performing a task. Money, working conditions, job titles, fringe benefit programs, time-off policies, awards, and other methods can be used for motivation. As to motivational tools, you can use the information at the following websites:

Employee motivation:

Published: July 17, 2013
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