Having a top-tier sales culture goes much deeper than hiring an all-star team of rainmakers. Many of the aspects that go into creating a sustainable culture are often overlooked and may be hindering your firm’s bottom line performance. Marketers have a large responsibility when it comes to building a true growth culture in their firms.
In a recent AAMplify! Podcast with Carrie Steffen, president and co-founder of the Whetstone Group, we discussed Building a Sales Culture. During the interview, we expanded upon the difference between sales and growth, and how marketers are the ones responsible for building a growth culture in their firms.
When it comes to building a growth culture, Steffen describes four key elements that make for a sustainable. A summary of these four tactics follows:
- Strategic Marketing. Is the firm’s marketing strategy well developed? Your sales team needs to know the key markets that they are targeting, as well as the geographic breakdown that best fits your firm. Once you’ve narrowed down your targets based on location and industry, you can identify the best service opportunities and build a ‘top prospect’ model that will help your sales team better identify who they should be talking to.
- Tactical Marketing. Once you’ve identified who you should be targeting and where, the marketing team or person in charge of tactical marketing can figure out the how. The tactical marketer is using traditional and digital marketing tactics to generate awareness and leads for the sales team. Many firms have implemented digital marketing strategies such as marketing automation software’s, and integrated marketing campaigns to help keep your sales team from approaching a cold lead.
- Sales Training. The third element of developing a strong growth culture is empowering the managers and partners at your firm to efficiently educate your targets about the firm’s service offerings. The marketing team can equip the sales team with professionally branded marketing collateral and data on top targets to help reduce the amount of effort needed to introduce a prospect to your firm so that they can focus on the true task at hand: positioning your firms’ services as best as possible
- Sales Management. Finally, the marketing team and firm leadership can help shape the structure with which we hold our sales teams accountable. This aspect covers everything from managing the sales process and pipeline, to creating performance incentives to acknowledge and reward members of the firm that are exceeding in business development. Sales management can also help in identifying areas of the sales process that are not working, which can be sent back to the strategic planning portion of your sales strategy.
By defining and integrating each of these four elements into your firms’ culture, you will not only enable a high-growth environment throughout your firm, but also empower every person in the firm to be a more effective business developer. As we continue to see mergers and acquisitions causing the commoditization of accounting services, it becomes more crucial than ever to better understand how your firm approaches the sales process, and to equip every person within your firm with all of the tools that they need to be successful.
In this podcast series by the Association for Accounting Marketing, committee volunteers interview accounting industry thought leaders on a single marketing or business development topic. You can listen to these easily digestible discussions by subscribing to the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher or YouTube.
About Ian McManis
Ian McManis, co-chair of AAM’s podcast committee, was the interviewer for this episode. He is a marketing specialist at Barnes Dennig where he is responsible for niche marketing, seminars and business development support, with a specialization in digital marketing. In 2016 he was named AAM’s Rookie of the Year. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.