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Creating a Sales and Business Development Strategy - Entrepreneurship 101 2009/10

As William F. Once an entrepreneur focuses on gaining control of his or her market, all other desired outcomes follow. The marketing and sales functions are central to your business success; without them everything else becomes irrelevant. Establishing marketing objectives help you prepare and focus for action. An objective is something that you prepare in advance. It indicates something that you want to accomplish. An objective should indicate a desired level of performance. It should be understood how each objective will be measured, and who will be responsible for meeting it.

Every sales opportunity that you are tracking should drive some kind of incremental value to the overall value of your venture. In addition to measuring the basic objectives, like an estimated closing date, probability of closing, and the revenue, each sale should bring. Technical Objectives These sales are especially important for high-tech ventures lower on the food chain. In exchange, these customers could be getting the product priced at a discount for having them assist in the development and providing feedback. Strategic Objectives More important for ventures a little higher up on the food chain.

Could be sales activities that will lead to high-quality customers and streams of strong recurring revenues. Could be defensive too, to prevent others from having direct access to the best customers.

A simple example is like giving away razors to sell razor blades later on. Financial Objectives The one most associated with sales objectives; cash flow and making money. I love basketball. You forget about it.

"As if" this was a starting point

OK, now what you do, what you tell your marketing guys is just give me the ball. There was a guard that took it down the court. There was another guy that screened another guy so that a different guy could get open and receive a pass who then found a loop. You had to get around someone and then they had to pass to you at just the right spot so that you could dunk it. And you see that so much. I love the analogy. Well wait one more. One more.

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A lot of times you got someone get the rebound. You got someone boxing somebody out and get a rebound giving you another shot or another guy, a shot. I love it. What happens? Well, who wants to play with a guy like that? Who wants to play? We tend to score more. We tend to win more games when I get the ball in these scenarios, yes.

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But Hey, I want to make sure you understand the importance of your job. Some of them do it so business owners can pull it off. But even in that case, they understand that they need help. They need that team. Yeah, absolutely. Can you talk more about the qualitative, quantitative discussion? So qualitative, quantitative, we were talking about that just a little bit ago, just mentioned those words. Let me give you a classic example. Business owner calls me up. You got to come at fixing the problem with the different business owners. So usually I say in that case, well, you know, maybe paid search is a good way to start off with your marketing as opposed to just doing SEO.

And how much they feed your pipeline of leads coming in. And it really has to do with the marketing plan, Jesse, right? You have to put a plan in place. So putting that plan in place is the qualitative goal, like a great qualitative goal is I want to be a better thought leader in my industry. And then you have specific rocks you can carry to fix those.

For instance, just consistently putting out content, right? You have to do something with it, you have to push it out, you have to market it, you have to let people know about it.

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I agree. That is the biggest problem.

"As if" this was a starting point

So I think it comes down to instant gratification versus delayed gratification. If you think about the process of a business owner being urgently addicted to an immediate response, I want, I need leads now I need leads yesterday.

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Well, that is a real concern and it needs to be solved. It does need to be solved. And so yeah, you do need the bottom of the funnel, as you say, direct response, paid advertising, then that results in a phone call right away.

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And in that case, advertising is the price you pay for not doing a good job of that. And you know, one of the things that happen within an industry, like I think of the classic, well, you know, there was only one general store at one time, right? Pioneer days, you know, only one general store in the little town. But why do they have to do marketing? Your employees become your competition, right?