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Is Your Sales and Marketing Strategy Simply SATW?

Small-business-blog-sales-marketingDoes your small business have a real sales and marketing strategy? One that specifically defines your target market and sets out specific strategies and tactics (and budgets) to penetrate those markets and generate qualified leads/prospects for your small business that can be closed.

Or is your sales and marketing strategy, like so many other small businesses today, one of indiscriminately chasing every opportunity that comes at you, every potential prospect, no matter how remote the potential of close. Is your strategy simply SATW? That is, do you just "throw stuff against the wall" and hope something sticks?

Is this you? Is this your approach to small business sales and marketing? If it is, know that you're not alone and there's a reason for it...and a way to fix it.

Sales in the early going of a small business start-up are crucial to not only its success, but its very viability. Entrepreneurs learn early that you need prospects to create sales so they chase as many of them as possible. Often the entrepreneur will do anything and everything to get those early sales, rarely turning away a prospect, regardless how remote the probability for success. Even as the company matures and grows, this early model, which enabled survival becomes more and more difficult to abandon, and after a while becomes the de facto sales and marketing strategy for this small business.

And it's insidious. Some entrepreneurs don't even realize it...until they wake up one morning and they're no further along this year than they were last year...or the year before. And the essence of sales growth is to have a marketing strategy that generates qualified leads/prospects that can be closed. Here are the telltale signs and what you can do to counteract them and develop a real focused strategy for your small business.

"Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places"
Your market niche is anything moving in your overall target market. You make no distinction as to whether you have a chance to close a situation, only that you need to chase it. If RFPs guide your market, you respond to all of them, even if the incumbent is ten times your size and can outman and outgun you.

What to do - Be a guerrilla fighter, not only picking and choosing where to battle, but target your battles in the niches where you have had the most success, and maybe where the competition is more diffused. Build success on the success of your small business and try to "own" a market segment niche.

"All Things to All People"
You have no marketing plan. Your marketing tactics are either totally focused on one medium (like trade shows) or so diffused that you're doing a different thing every week (email blasts, trade advertising, direct mail, etc.), without a business plan, in hopes that something will hit. Worse, you really don't track what success you may or may not have with any one tactic.

What to do - Go to back to the previous issue regarding niche market and determine how to best reach that audience and then tailor your tactics accordingly. If that audience regularly attends three trade shows, so should you. If they are too diffused for advertising, seek more targeted marketing like email or direct mail. And whatever you do, track your sales and marketing strategy tactics' success in generating qualified leads/prospects.

"Social Media is Just a Fad (or the Only Important Tool)"
Being extreme is never a good thing. Social media should not be ignored, nor is it the "be all, end all." Blogging every day or constant updates to Facebook are only important if they have some kind of objective behind them, especially in advancing your brand or image in your targeted niche. Not considering social media important can create a positioning for your brand or image whether you like it or not.

What to do - Develop a social media campaign aimed at providing you more visibility within your overall market and your targeted niche. Make sure "your voice" (the image you want to create for your company) is evident and consistent in everything you do.

Sales and marketing are inextricably tied together. But without a focused marketing strategy that generates qualified leads/prospects, there can be no sales. And a marketing strategy that has no focus will generate leads, but not necessarily ones that can be closed.

SATW doesn't work as a strategy for your sales and marketing. Get focused. Get a plan. Gain the success you're after.

"The Entrepreneur's Yoda" knows these things. He's been there. May success be with you!

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