I've recently noticed two key trends in communications. Firstly, more agencies seem to be either hiring a specific person responsible for business development or relying more heavily on 'pitch' teams, and secondly, I've seen more companies asking for reassurance in new business meetings, that the team that they see is the one they will be working with...
Starting a new business or a new sales position it can be daunting. Not only do you have the pressure of achieving your own goals on your shoulders, but also that of your peers and onlookers, some of whom will have doomed your venture to failure. Fortunately, I've devised a few tips and tricks that will ensure you will soon be well on your way to success, the main part of this being a 90-day sales plan, which really works.
For many ambitious young executives trying to make it in sales, the old adage, "The strength of an empty canvas crushes us from ever painting a masterpiece" rings true - their main barrier to success is their fear of failure. However, if you believe in yourself and believe in the end goal - the elephant, you will find the fortitude to start somewhere.
Ask someone to name all the things in life that annoy them, and cold calls will probably feature near the top of the list. Whether we're being offered compensation for mis-sold PPI or an accident we never had, or sales calls for products we don't want, cold calls can feel like a waste of our time and an invasion of our privacy - just how did they get our number in the first place?
Retail industry's worst kept secret is that promotional planning doesn't start with clear business objectives and robust strategy on how to get there based on piles and piles of shopper insight. Because everyone is "very busy" it is usually as sophisticated as 'let's do what we did last year and throw in some more deals in order to hit our like-for-likes'.
One of my favourite statistics of 2012 came in the form of a media release from Fournaise Marketing Group, who had discovered that 80% of CEOs "do not really trust and are not very impressed by the work done by marketers." To provide some context, 90% of the same CEOs claimed to trust and value the opinion and work of CFOs and CIOs. Ouch.
Do you love your profession, believe passionately in your product or service, but hate having to sell it? Did you qualify as a professional; develop your skills and expertise, only to discover that professional expertise is no longer enough, now you have to actually acquire clients? If so, you are probably what I call a reluctant sales person.
Businesses that once believed in segmenting the value chain, are beginning to understand that consistency is key to building momentum. As such, to continue being relevant in this world, PR needs to not only be clearly integrated with all marketing disciplines but also with historically business functions such as sales.