1) Create a vision of the perfect organization and set a goal to measure success.
You can’t accomplish something if you don’t know what you want to accomplish. Having a vision provides the organization a purpose. Too often businesses just want more, more of everything, which is understandable. However, just more is unclear.
What if the new sales and marketing organization earns just $1 more than the previous period? Alternatively, what if they double revenue without increasing profit? There are too many unknowns.
A good vision would define success by first setting a number. That number, the goal, is best when it’s a SMART goal: specific, measurable, achievable, results oriented, and time specific. The vision could also define what the organization is known for, how they will look, and maybe even and a mission statement.
2) Hire the right leader.
Every team needs a leader. Your sales and marketing team leader should be someone with sales and marketing skills; experience leading teams; the ability to identify talent; and mostly a personality that inspires people to follow. That’s the true definition of a leader: someone that people follows. And it’s so much more than just being a boss, because a good leader should be able to follow too. Empathetic listening, the ability to see the whole picture from every perspective, will aid in the decision making.
3) Identify the what resources you currently have to accomplish the vision.
Bootstrap, it’s the accounting word of the decade. I both hate it and love it. I hate bootstrapping because sometimes it’s just a way of an organization being cheap, not properly funding a project.
Alternatively, bootstrapping can be a great way to really understand what is already available. I guess what I mean is that much of your marketing talent may already be on the staff, in the engineering department. Why spend thousands of dollars to outsource technical content when you can maybe just inspire your engineers to share their thoughts on a blog?
The main thing is that no matter what, when you build a sales and marketing team, you can’t just ignore what’s already available. There are people within the company that have ideas and material that may just needing editing. Before you go asking for more money, make sure you exhaust all the resources that are already paid for.
4) Learn your customer.
Who wants and needs your product? Before you start to build out a communication strategy you need to first understand who your customer is. One idea is to use traditional marketing methods. For example, you can research the marketplace and build out a data-rich plan for each target market. It takes time to do good market research and no matter how much data you collect, there will always be assumptions based on imperfect information.
Another methodology that I enjoy is creating buyer personas. A persona is about defining each typical buyer and creating a character out of them, it gives your market research a personality. This way, you’re not writing a sedan car ad for married women, between the ages of 45 and 65, that live in the tri-state area. But instead, you’re writing for Susan, a 52-year-old married woman that is eager to move from the family minivan/taxi to her own luxury sedan now that the kids are in high school.
Want to learn the other 6 steps? Shoot me an e-mail and I’ll more than gladly share them with you.