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November 27, 2012

Get prepared… part 4 of a 5-part series on how to create your marketing & sales plan for 2013

So, how’s your 2013 marketing & sales plan coming along?  Have you been following the steps in our process?

Have you done your homework and analysis (Phase 1)?  Did you establish the strategies to help drive your business (Phase 2)?  Have you crafted your plan with all the details (Phase 3)?  Great!

OK, now it’s time to execute and manage that plan (Phase 4).  And here are some guidelines for doing it…

1. Most importantly… create a marketing & sales calendar.  Make it simple, make it very visual and look at it every single day.  A calendar will ensure that you stay on track with all of your marketing & sales efforts and that nothing will fall through the cracks.

2. Create a simple budget tracking sheet.  Nuthin’ fancy… just estimates in the left-hand column, actual expenditures on the right, broken down by month.

3. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.  Break your measurements into three categories:

  • Marketing: in addition to tracking the results of each tactic (you detailed how you’ll track them in Phase 3), also keep an eye on some of the more overarching metrics – website analytics, leads generated, HYHAU results (“How’d you hear about us?”) and so on.
  • Sales: track and record the activities of your sales team, including # calls, # presentations, # bids, # closed.  Monitoring this can help you pinpoint where the sales process might be breaking down in the event you’re falling short of goals.
  • Testing: build into your efforts simple A/B Testing on selected marketing tactics.  Test emails (subject lines, headlines, long vs. short, etc.), Ads (placement, headlines, images, etc.), etc.  It’s an easy way to continually get better!

4. We’re in this to grow revenue, so track your revenue.  And not just Revenue this month, but also Revenue Year-to-Date (YTD).  Then compare that against specific benchmarks… vs. YTD Sales Goal, vs. YTD Last Year; then break it down… by sales territory, by service line, by client type, Top 10 clients, etc.

5. Finally, talk about it.  The marketing & sales plan and its on-going results should be reported on and talked about at senior staff meetings, just like every other important function at your firm.

You’re on your way now… thinking, planning, executing and measuring.  Stick to it and you WILL be successful… and in the process, give your firm an almost insurmountable competitive advantage.

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