As marketers working closely with local sales channels, you already know those teams on the ground are key to driving sales with consumers. You also know that fulfilling last minute sales requests can quickly become a full-time job in and of itself. Finding a way to support local sales efforts efficiently is key to ensuring brand consistency, staying on message and maximizing your time so you can focus on big picture initiatives that boost the bottom line and support business goals.
Here are just a few ideas on how you can efficiently manage local sales requests:
Position yourself as a partner.
Engage with teams on a regular basis to understand their needs and challenges. Listen to their unique insight on local consumers and use it to help shape local marketing campaigns.
Whether it’s once a quarter or once a year, designate specific times to plan upcoming initiatives with local sales teams. Use that time to get groups on-board and engaged with what’s happening, so you spend less time answering questions or adjusting plans during implementation.
Give sales channels resources they need.
Put customizable templates, marketing calendars, distribution lists and other relevant materials they want right at their fingertips. Empower them to select from local marketing campaigns and personalize materials with information relevant to their consumer. A marketing resource management system can help manage this process, and give corporate teams final review and approval.
Identify time-consuming tasks that could be streamlined or automated.
Spending too much time tracking down approvals or the latest version of a brochure? Automate the approval and review process to help focus your team on bigger projects. There are time saving solutions for common, every day (and let’s face it, sometimes tedious) tasks like these. Spend less time reviewing, approving and distributing materials with an MRM system.
Set realistic expectations.
There will always be fire drills in sales and marketing. Set yourself, and your team, up for success. Clearly outline what’s doable – and what’s not. Be realistic in knowing that some requests can’t be ignored; but with a little planning and proactive partner engagement, others can be prioritized so your team can stay focused.
One final thought to always keep in mind: Remember, you all are working toward the same goal – sharing messages and encouraging consumers to learn more, and purchase, your products and services.
Do you have other insights on how to best support last minute sales requests? Share them with me, @LizASchaefer, on twitter.