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Tips to Mesh Marketing, Sales, Service

“Tips to Mesh Marketing, Sales, Service”

No department is an island, particularly marketing, sales and service. Without a dynamic mix of activities, companies are asking for trouble. Fallouts include:

  1. Red ink. Terrific marketing and weak sales will make your business poor. Demand isn’t everything; the "sell" has to be met with a "buy."
  2. High salesforce turnover. Super sales and lackluster marketing is another fatal combination. Balance the load with a marketing department that creates sufficient demand for salespeople, or you’ll create a revolving door.
  3. Customer-service nightmares. Even if your marketing and sales mix are right on target, frustrated customer-service victims will come back to haunt you by way of negative word-of-mouth, quasi-harassment, stressed-out customer-service reps and even lawsuits. It’s imperative to keep a high level of quality in both products and services. Additionally, empower customer-service reps to rectify any wrong, and train them to defuse explosive situations.
  4. Wasted wages. Outstanding service can’t make up for poor marketing and sales. If there are no customers to serve, you’ll have too many reps sitting around.

But simply connecting the dots between departments won’t fit the bill. To achieve success, your business must tout effective marketing to create demand, strong sales to secure new customers and generate repeat business, and superior customer service that engenders loyalty, all of which are coordinated by way of meaningful communication and cooperative interaction.

Good business is all about satisfied customers (and making a nice profit in the process, of course). Each employee has equal responsibility for that goal, and management must ensure that everyone knows his role and moves forward on the same track.

Communication is critical, both up and down the totem pole and extending outward to other departments. Create a mix of formal and informal meetings, e-mail and newsletters, even videos. And don’t ignore the grapevine. It’s a great place to plant information that supplements your more formal communications. The key is to keep everyone in the loop and up to date at all times.

As departments begin to break out of their individualistic mentality and move toward a cohesive team, they may stumble occasionally. Look out for a few common pitfalls that accompany change:

  • Individual departments can be notoriously territorial; asking them to work together can cause conflicts. Monitor the "isolationists" and get them involved.
  • Watch out for hidden agendas and eliminate interference from the outset.
  • Know that some "team members" may not want to be a team member at all. Either find a way to get them on board or give them a different assignment.
  • Be aware of possible "budget jealousy" caused by new allocations to the team that aren’t being dispersed elsewhere.

Your efforts will pay off in a holistic organization that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Writer: LeAnn Zotta is a strategic-marketing consultant in Yartsmouthport, Mass.

How a High-End Kitchenware Catalog Makes the Grade

Objective:Marketing Can:Sales Can:Customer Service Can:

More $ per orderCreate incentives for multiple purchasesOffer volume discountsUpsell on inbound calls

More "easy sells"Promote a reward systemAsk outrightAsk on inbound calls

Fewer "sale buyers"Hammer home benefitsHammer home benefitsHammer home benefits

Higher customer loyaltyUnderpromise and overdeliverDo what it promisesRecognize and reward good customers