Sales & MarketingUK Business Advisors provides expert support to businesses locally and nationally
Sales and Marketing
Running a successful business is simple in principle but not so easy in practice. All we need is a product or service the market is willing to pay for at a price that gives us a profit.
Your marketing operation creates the conditions that generates a list prospects interested in your product or service. Your sales operation is about converting those prospects into customers.
If you are a busy SME, the first thing that often suffers is Sales and Marketing. But successful businesses make time to continue prospecting and promoting themselves even when they are busy. Or, if sales are declining, there can be a temptation to throw everything at quick promotions that may be ill-conceived or badly executed.
There can be many reasons why there is pressure on sales. It could be that the market is changing and the demand for existing products or services is declining. Or it might be because the competition is becoming more skilled and have adapted better to changing conditions.
Whatever condition you find the market in, it is important to apply the necessary resources and expertise to help you to devise and execute a successful sales and marketing plan.
Whether you are looking for help with planning, execution, sales training, market research or any other aspect of the sales and marketing mix, our team of expert advisors are on hand to fill the gaps. We offer a full complement of services to help you to achieve whatever sales and marketing objectives your business demands.
Our team includes people who have run successful businesses, market analysts, marketing planners, sales experts as well as specialists in specific areas such as social media, SEO, website development or direct marketing.
Whatever stage your company is in, from start-up to growth to exit planning – or if you are experiencing problems – UKBA’s specialist Sales and Marketing Business Advisors can help.
All marketing activity should start with a plan. Begin by establishing clear and measurable objectives for the business and clarify what it is you are attempting to achieve with this new marketing initiative.
All businesses will have different needs and a different plan which is why consulting impartial outside expertise to help you get to the right end result is always advisable. But the basic principles remain largely the same.
Base your initial analysis around the Four Ps. Product, Place, Promotion and Price. You’ll need to establish the current market situation using a SWOT analysis. What are you well placed to exploit and what external threats exist? We need to be able to differentiate ourselves from the competition, otherwise why should they buy from us. What is your USP and who is your target market? Most business owners understand their own business model intimately, but they rarely have experience of many different businesses. By introducing a mentor, coach or business advisor we can often benefit from a cross-fertilisation of ideas. UKBA is well placed to deliver this.
Having determined all of this you need to establish the best means of communication with your target market and what budget you will need that will also deliver satisfactory cost to benefit ratio. Then you need a plan with timings and measurables as to how this communication plan will be implemented.
There is, a lot more detail involved than this summary and one extremely important factor remains. The plan must be able to be measured, reviewed and amended where necessary on an ongoing basis. Contact us for some impartial expert help with your next marketing plan today.
Selling has moved from persuading a prospect to buy a product or service to building and selling a relationship. Salespeople are now in the helping business. It is about identifying what customers value and selling the solution. For example, car salespeople tend now to sell leasing deals with associated ongoing warranty contracts, rather than just selling cars. Software sales is all about licensing agreements and an ongoing maintenance service.
Sales departments or even a single sales executive can be an expensive resource if they are not selling enough. The modern sales environment has made incentivising and managing the sales operation far more difficult and complex. Getting the balance right between such factors as base salary, commissions, other incentives, expenses etc. can be the difference between a successful, motivated sales operation and an expensive overhead that is not delivering for the business.
Traditionally, we have tended to bonus salespeople on the value of the initial sale. However, the sale is never complete until the cash is in the bank and in a continuing agreement situation, that point is difficult to assess. To build a caring, customer relationship-focused business, the sales operation needs to be the principal interface with the business rather than just responsible for the original sale.
For SMEs, the stakes are high. Getting your sales training and management right is key to not throwing too much money at a problem and receiving nothing back. Fortunately, the UKBA is packed full of highly experienced experts in sales training, management, incentivisation and motivation. Contact us today and one our advisors will be in touch to work alongside you to sharpen up your sales function and process.
Marketing Campaign Management
Devising a successful plan is one thing but putting it into action effectively is another. This could involve skills that are not always present within an SME organisation. A good understanding of the right digital platform(s) to deliver maximum benefit to your business is essential. This is a skill that is developed over many years. Possessing a network of suppliers that you can call on to meet the needs of the various components of the mix without having to spend time vetting them first saves unnecessary costs and time.
If budget and resources are not managed with meticulous care a campaign can become unruly, expensive and less cost-effective. If your cost-to-benefit ratio for generating a lead is too small, or even negative, your efforts will all have been in vain.
Within the UKBA we have hundreds of years of combined experience in helping SMEs to run successful lead generation campaigns. By drawing on help from our expert advisors you can ensure your campaign hits the ground running with a minimum of unnecessary worry or pressure on your valuable time. Contact us today if you want to talk through your needs with one of our advisors.
Website, Communications and Content
The days when your website, and the content within it, existed as an online brochure just to talk about how good your products or services are over. Today companies must wear two hats. They must do everything in their power to run their core business profitably and they must also be a media business.
Your website is an integral part of your relationship with your customers and prospects. It should be fully interactive and act as a valuable information resource for them. That is why the disciplines of communications and content development have been utterly transformed in recent years. Ensuring that your content answers the questions that your potential customers are searching for is now an art form and likely requires a dedicated resource either within your organisation or via external expert advice. If you need help with the design build or content of your website and associated media, the UKBA has advisors who can manage the process and steer you in the right direction.
Contact us if you need some help to move your lead generation process forward.
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