Over the past decade, the sales process has evolved from “let me show you the benefits of my products” approach to one of relationship-building. Relationship selling in today’s world is critical. Sales representatives must seek to build a strong partnership with a potential buyer, or risk the competition doing so.
As the relationship grows, the Sales Rep learns what a buyer’s pain points are and what they would like to accomplish, and then works to determine how a product or service can help solve a problem and assist in reaching corporate objectives.
Before the sales journey begins, it is Marketing’s role to increase awareness of the company and its products. When the journey commences, marketing then provides information and any support needed to keep the process flowing. With a strong commitment to working together, Sales and Marketing as a team have the opportunity to close the sale and gain a new customer. This is how it would work in a perfect world.
But despite their common end goal – get more revenue and expand market share for the company – in many companies the Sales and Marketing teams often are not in sync with their expectations of the other’s role.
Sales: “You haven’t sent us enough qualified leads.”
Marketing: “When you talk to potential customers, you don’t stay on message about the value of our product.”
Just as the sales process has changed, the interaction between Sales and Marketing needs to evolve to ensure a respectful, productive working relationship between the two teams. It’s necessary to strategically combine both efforts to experience a successful amount of business growth.
Marketing typically needs to take the first step by thinking of Sales as an internal customer. At a trade show or event, the goal is to generate sales opportunities and increase the probability of sales. So, what information does the Sales team need from Marketing to help reach the goal?
The Planning Phase
Gathering the information listed below should start at the very beginning of the planning process. This information is often available from the event organizer and from internal measurement records from previous events.
- Define for the Sales team who is “addressable” at the upcoming event.
- Detail how the strategy, messaging, products and content are being developed in consideration of the target audience.
- Describe what products are being featured and why these were chosen for this target audience.
- Identify which members of the Sales team will be attending this event.
- Identify which of your current customers will most likely attend the event.
- Construct and share with the Sales team a forecast of how many participants are expected at the booth, along with any available demographics about these attendees.
- Query Sales after they have reviewed this information to determine suggested modifications to the original plans, including tweaks to demonstrations or engagement opportunities.
- Let Sales help you determine the number of expected engagements based on the information you have provided. From there, involve the Sales team in helping estimate the “sales opportunity” value for the event.
Review the Results
- Report the actual attendance at the event in the same format as the forecast and share this critical information with the Sales team.
- Seek feedback as to steps for improvement at the next event.
With practice, and consistent collaboration between Marketing and Sales, your events will lead to better planning, greater sales opportunities and higher revenues for the benefit of all. Contact Exhibitus’ Results Division to support the planning and forecasting your Sales team needs to reach the measurable results your company deserves.