Building a Successful Sales Campaign

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As many of you may know, I have been around the world of sales for over 45 years and I have had the opportunity to participate in a number of sales campaigns. Some of these campaigns were successful and many were not.

So, I got to thinking about how organizations go about creating sales campaigns and I thought I would share some ideas of what I think organizations need to do in order to build a successful sales campaign.

I believe that in order to build anything, you should have a purpose for why you are doing it in the first place, right? So, what is your reason for creating your sales campaign?  Is it to:

  • Introduce a new product into the marketplace?
  • Penetrate a new market?
  • Boost sales around a specific product that is lagging, or simply jumpstart lagging sales in general?

As part of this, you also need to decide what you are going to build your campaign around. In other words, what products or services is your campaign going to present? Once you have identified the product or service, then you will clearly need to identify what the value proposition will be for the targeted audience that you plan to go after.

Once you have defined why you want to run a sales campaign, you will then need to define what your strategy and goals will be for that campaign.  Like with any goal, the more detailed you can be in defining what your desired outcome will be, the greater chance you will have of reaching that goal. If your goal is to introduce a new product into the market place, boost sales, etc., what will you use to measure whether you have been successful or not? Is it the number of new units sold, the amount of revenue you want to attain, the percentage of market share you have gained, or something else?

What is the strategy for your sales campaign? How long will it run, will the whole sales organization be involved or just a certain group or division? My recommendation is that you lay out a timeline in which you will define how long your campaign will run, for example: a 30, 60 or 90 day campaign. Once you have defined how long it will be, then at what intervals will you have check points to see whether or not you are on target?  If you have a sales campaign that is just not attaining the success you had hoped for early on, then it might be wise to end it and assess why it didn’t have the success you were hoping for.  Too many organizations don’t pull the plug soon enough on a campaign and they wind up wasting valuable resources.  I’m not suggesting that if it isn’t working in the first week that you pull the plug, but if it isn’t being effective, then reassess why you should continue with it.

After you have identified why you are going to run a sales campaign, what your goals are for it, and what the strategy will be for running it, you really need to make sure that you have identified who your target audience will be for this campaign and why they are your target.  Too many organizations simply identify who they think their target audience will be and go with that. Some go with their gut feeling I guess. It’s like when Bo Calloway brought Kudzu to Georgia from Japan to use as a feed for cows. If you have driven through the South you will see how this plant has taken over trees, abandoned houses, etc.  The moral to this story is, Bo never bothered to ask the cows whether they liked it and would eat it, which they don’t, and so now it has become a huge problem to try and keep under control.  If you don’t know why your targeted prospect would be interested in your campaign and what problem it will solve for them in advance, then your campaign will not have the success you are striving for.

Ok, so far you have identified who you are going to target, what products or services you are going to offer them and why. Next you need to make sure that you have all of your sales messaging and marketing collateral in place. In order for your campaign to be successful, you will need to have targeted collateral and sales messages that support that specific campaign. You need to make sure that your sales people understand all of the reasons presented above, so they are comfortable with why they are doing it, who they are calling on and why, and what their value proposition is for that prospect.

If an organization follows all of the steps identified above, and there is alignment within the sales and marketing organization, about who, what, why, when and where the campaign is about, then they should be in a good position to launch and have a successful sales campaign.  At least that’s the way I see it, what say you?

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