Turn Marketing into Sales
How-to advice from a successful, seasoned sales leader.
At 5 by 5 Design we believe it’s possible to change the world by posing the right questions, listening to the honest answers, and following the path that emerges from the dialogue. Today’s discussion focuses on blending your marketing and sales efforts.
Dan Morris is the executive vice president of OfficeWorks, an Indiana-based office furniture dealer known for being a dedicated guide to clients that need help planning and designing stunning interior spaces. Dan has a knack for organizing, managing, and training successful sales teams. We’ve asked Dan a series of questions about using your brand to influence sales results. Here’s what he had to say.
1. In your recent brand work, why was it important to consider the needs of both marketing and sales?
The primary focus and common thread for both marketing and sales disciplines in any sales organization is the customer. However, there is an art to blending the needs of both teams into a simplified, cohesive, and memorable message for the customer. We believe that certain elements of our brand work are non-negotiable (e.g., core values, customer satisfaction, etc.) however, due to the complex nature of how customers make buying decisions, it’s important that the work of marketing is organized in such a way that certain information can be tailored to the opportunity, a high priority for the sales team.
2. How did you go about that process?
At the leadership level, we determined that our primary focus of our brand work was to establish our value proposition and create a sales deck that would effectively communicate our product and service offerings to our customers, their stakeholders, and project partners.
Once our objective was defined, we solicited 5 by 5 Design to help us with the project. As a highly regarded MillerKnoll dealer partner, they have a very strong working knowledge of the industry and our place in the value chain, and we have seen many examples of their work with other dealers.
We established an internal committee with representatives from leadership, sales, business development, and architectural products/prefabricated construction. We purposely selected individuals with five or fewer years of tenure with our company in order to gain a fresh perspective. Supported by leadership, the committee was deeply involved in building the value proposition. Once this work was completed, leadership continued the work with 5 by 5 Design to assemble the brand assets, history, facts, etc., of our company to create the sales deck presentation.
3. What is a value proposition and how is it a useful tool for marketing and sales?
A value proposition is a clear and concise narrative that focuses on the value your offering delivers to your prospective customer. It should position your offering as a differentiator in your market and, whenever possible, it should quantify the benefits of your offering. A proper value proposition will help align marketing and sales strategies and content, and it will encourage consistency in customer facing activities.
Our value proposition resides on our website, in our company overview and sales presentation deck, and in our RFP response content library. We are encouraging our sales team to adopt the “dedicated guide” theme as a way to differentiate and emphasize our team’s knowledge, expertise, creativity, and attention to detail.
4. Were there other things you discovered or created that have been helpful to support your sales team?
By far, the biggest investment we have made to support our sales team is our showroom renovation. If we are to claim all that we do in our value proposition, we must “walk the talk.” We have taken great measures to effectively display our premium brands in our showroom with experiential spaces, modern aesthetics, and a best-in-class showroom visitor experience.
5. Are there any tips or techniques you’d offer organizations trying to use their brand to influence sales results?
Simplify your messaging.
Focus on your strengths and how your customer will experience your offering.
Don’t prioritize your competitors’ messaging as the basis for your brand work.
Train and train and train, again, your sales team.