The struggle for supremacy between the marketing department and the sales team is an age-old business dilemma for many owners and senior executives.

The reality is sales and marketing must work together to deliver leads and revenue. Indeed, in a small business, the two functions are indistinguishable. At the same time, it is important that everyone in your organisation, whether they are in a front or back office role, play’s a role in selling your firm’s advice services.

Everyone’s a sales person

In this age of competition, everyone is under pressure to win business. Your client-facing employees are crucial to engaging leads. However, every member of your staff, regardless of their role, can play a part in helping to generate some coin.

For example, most people are part of a social network, whether it’s family and friends or a sporting club or associations. The chances are there are people within those groups that will match your target client profile. But are your employees kitted up to generate a lead? Let’s assume a member of your accounts payable team is at a family BBQ. How would they respond if Uncle Rupert or Auntie Gina asks them about where they work? How would they describe your business? It’s fair to assume that like many business owners, you probably don’t know. This is the challenge because everyone in your team has a sales role to play – and why wouldn’t you want them pitching the same messages as your client representatives?

Immerse your whole team in your messaging

Marketing messaging is crucial in this instance. My business partner, Luke Maddison, advises owners to communicate the key marketing messages and strategies to the entire business, not only those with client-facing duties. “It’s not about showcasing everything you’re doing, just the core components,” notes Luke. “Being direct is usually the best way to do this. Organise sessions to share this content with your team on a regular basis.”

Even for small firms, regular updates about your marketing and sales activities will prove invaluable. By sharing your messaging and how you describe your business, and what it does for your clients, can influence how your employees communicate. When asked about your business, your employees will be more likely to utilise consistent messages.

They don’t need a script. Rather, they need the fundamental messages about your business and its core activities. Simply saying: ‘I work for a financial planning firm’ probably won’t generate much business for your firm. Give it a go, and please let me know if more leads start landing from various parts of your business.

Editor’s note: Anthony O’Brien writes a weekly marketing blog for Professional Planner. His business, Corpwrite, runs sales training for non-customer facing employees.  

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