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Many businesses create sales and marketing strategies to attract customers and increase revenue. There are many types of strategies that can result in more sales, including online marketing strategies, direct marketing strategies and sales plans. No matter what type of business or product, these types of strategies aim to lessen the amount of time necessary to close sales and win new clients. An effective sales and marketing strategy is a plan that has several defined components, including a target market, a time line, a goal, activities and measurement tools.
Planning is an important aspect of a good sales and marketing strategy that is often overlooked. The plan usually begins with the stated definition of what the product or service offers. Business owners typically need to know what makes their company stand out from competitors in order to put a strong plan in place. After identifying the selling points of the product or service, research needs to be done on market trends and competitors.
Choosing a target market is another part of a sales and marketing strategy, because it will determine how and where the audience is reached. For example, if the target market is the 18-to-25 demographic, Internet marketing strategies should almost always be implemented. Once the target market is identified, mailing lists can be purchased, and medium messages can be created.
Time lines are common components in sales and marketing strategies. They will dictate how many resources are needed and what can and cannot be done, and they will set benchmarks. For example, if there are three phases in the strategy, the first stage must be completed before the second stage can begin. Time lines can help with accountability and assist in meeting goals. Most sales and marketing strategies need to have the end goals in place to determine their effectiveness.
Planned activities typically are included in a sales and marketing strategy, because they are the execution tools that drive the end goal. They might include a set number of cold calls, emails and client visits. Press releases and networking events also are considered planned activities. Some companies have specific strategies for marketing to active customers, such as newsletters, as well as specific marketing strategies for new customers, such as trial memberships or discounts.
Another commonly underestimated feature of an effective sales and marketing strategy is a measurement tool. Without it, companies might not know whether their strategies are working. Some typical measurement tools are sales metrics and scorecards, which basically compare the actual activity numbers and results to the predetermined goals.