The purpose of this blog series is to provide you with business strategies that can help you revamp your business this year.

In part one of this series, guest writer Junaid Ali Qureshi talked about the importance of defining your strategic priorities. In part two, he talked about defining your target audience and goals by analyzing the qualitative and quantitative aspects of your internal forces and looking to the future with insights from the past.  

Welcome to part three! Now it’s time to define your marketing and sales action plan and develop your communication with prospects.   

Step 3 - Define a Marketing and Sales Action Plan 

Once you know your goals and you’ve optimized your internal resources, it's time to move to the action plan. The success of your action plan depends on the planning and implementation of the following four elements: 

  • THE RIGHT QUANTITY OF ACTIVITY
  • AT THE RIGHT TIME
  • ON THE GOOD PRODUCTS
  • And ON GOOD PROSPECTS 

This list may seem "simplistic" but if one of the four elements is missing, your marketing action plan will not work. This action plan must respond individually to the following questions:

  • what => why?
  • which target?
  • how?
  • how much?
  • when? 

To make sure these objectives are realistic, you will need to know what products count as the “business as usual” and you will need to define growth and defense levers.

  • The "business as usual,” or the turnover that returns normally, includes a product with stable sales, recurring contracts, a big project that will be renewed, etc.
  • Defining growth and defense levers involves acting on opportunities that allow you to anticipate and prepare for the future of the company. 

The goal is to quantify and structure an action plan that is capable of being effective throughout the year. You must note the highlights of the year, such as a successful show or a product release while also making sure sales are supplied throughout the year with regular and recurring actions.  It’s also important to think very carefully about how you can reach your financial goals, about what kinds of products and price ranges your business can roll out to reach that financial goal.

For instance, depending on the product and the audience base, usually a sales effort to convince 100 prospects to buy 1 product at $100 is significantly more likely to be successful then trying to sell to 10 customers 1 product at $1000. When coming up with your action plan, you need to have an overall vision with clear and precise priorities so that the whole structure is aligned with the same objectives, which will prevent you from "beating the air" or going off in all directions. It's better to make a list of realistic actions and do them well then to do a lot of actions without follow-up. 

A recommended way to organize your action plan is to use Excel and add the following columns:  

  • The name of the person performing the action
  • The estimated budget allocated
  • The timing of the action in a weekly schedule
  • The type of actions 

Indeed, the Prospect is a Perishable Commodity 

If the prospect is lukewarm, the relationship with the lukewarm prospect can be managed via marketing automation, such as automated emails, voicemails, SMS, etc. 

If the prospect is hot, the marketing department should be dedicated to “raising” its prospects and getting a good feel for when the purchase decision has evolved so that they can make the sale.    For example, a company like Salesforce aims to make seven contacts with a prospect before releasing the case. 

These seven contacts can be:

  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Inmails on Linkedin
  • SMS
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram 

It is only if these seven attempts are unsuccessful that the prospect is transferred to the automation marketing system. 

Note: Using leads generated by white papers is often ineffective. Indeed 95% of people who download content for "free" are often not your target audience. It is therefore necessary to validate what makes someone a "real lead.”   

How to Automate 

  • Open an account on Get Response or Mailchimp
  • Create your email capture forms
  • Program your auto-responder messages

This is part three of a five-part series. Stay tuned for the next post in the series, which will be published next month!  

Writer Bio

Junaid Ali Qureshi is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Magentodevelopers.online, eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig.

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