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Long Cycle Marketing

|Long Cycle Marketing

Troubleshooting Your Marketing Funnel Webinar Replay

Most aviation sales and marketing professionals rely on wasteful, haphazard “random acts of marketing,” and don’t achieve the sales results they otherwise could.

Download the worksheet used in this free webinar

Then watch the video, complete the worksheet, and make improvements to your funnel!

Avoid These Three Expensive Marketing Mistakes

If you’ve been reading any of our materials, you know that ABCI strongly advocates against ANY random acts of marketing,but after an insightful conversation sharing conversations we’ve both had with larger aviation companies, we thought we’d share these three particularly destructive and dangerous situations:

Marketing Mistake  #1 – “I’ve run several expensive, full-page ads in a glossy magazine, and now I’m out of money but I’m afraid to stop!”

Many new companies are particularly susceptible to advertising salespeople who encourage them to “make a big entrance” and “get their name out there” with a big advertising spread in a glossy magazine, which is probably more advertising than the new company has planned to sustain over the long haul.

Aviation magazines

 

Then the salesman calls back when the contract is almost up, and says “You HAVE to keep running full page ads. If you don’t, people will assume that business is not good, and they won’t buy from you because they think your company is having trouble.”

Our client mentioned to us “the time I pay the most attention to ads in magazines is when they start running, and when they stop running.”

Of course, the ad salesmen wasn’t being actually dishonest in either case, but this destructive half-truth has driven more than one company into the ground.

Magazine ads aren’t inherently bad, every channel has its strengths and weaknesses.  Since aviation has a notoriously long sales cycle, new companies may never get the chance to find out their natural sales cycle is 15 months, when they run out of money after six months.  It’s easy to underestimate the amount of time it takes to cut through the clutter, find the appropriate decision-maker, answer all of their questions, build trust, and wait for budget cycles or approvals.

What to do instead:

Evaluate each advertising venue carefully. If you decide that a magazine has an excellent demographic fit and great credibility with your intended decision-makers, by all means, place an ad.

You should consider the following when purchasing a magazine ad.

  • Buy an ad you can afford for the long haul.  Run a smaller ad for a year or eighteen months. You don’t want to stop advertising once you’ve started building credibility!
  • Design an ad with a clear, trackable, low-risk “call to action.”  Tell readers exactly what you want them to do, and be sure it is something you’ll be able to track. “Download a free ebook,” or direct visitors to a special landing page for a video; or ask readers to  “Schedule a demo or consultation. Mention this ad for a free gift.”
  • Understand that an ad is just the beginning of a successful marketing campaign. Have a follow up program in place before the ad runs. Be sure your staff is aware of the ad, and has a clear outline of how to maximize the chances of a sale from each response. Sales incentives for customer service staff are always a good idea!

Marketing Mistake #2 – “We have always spent a ton of money on our trade show booth and parties, and now we’re afraid to cut back.”

A variation on the same theme of the “expensive addiction” is the overly-lavish trade show appearance. The aviation industry is a small town and gossip is one of the favorite pastimes.

trade show

Overheard at an aviation convention about a major aviation company:

“Last year they had a 40 x 40 booth, and their party was the hit of the convention. This year they’re in a 20 x 20 and they’re giving away cheap plastic pens. I wonder what happened?”

Trade shows can be incredibly expensive. There’s booth rent, furniture, displays, giveaway items, entertaining, travel for your team, and on and on. Even electricity and wi-fi can be shockingly expensive. And all of these expenses tend to rise each year.

And customers, fans and onlookers seem to expect companies to have the same presence each year, regardless of return on investment, or they assume that you’re not doing well. And that gossip can hurt sales.   Some companies spend a lot more than they really should just to “keep up appearances.”

What you should do instead:

  • If you decide not to appear at a show that you’ve done in the past, write a statement or social media post explaining why.  “We’ve decided to devote the time and budget from Show X to see more of our clients personally.   We’ll be visiting the West Coast in November, contact us for an appointment.”
  • Plan trade show appearances very carefully. If trade shows are part of your marketing strategy, it’s better to do fewer  shows, but to spend more time and money on advance marketing and a creative and effective follow-up program for the leads you acquire.
  • There’s nothing wrong with not having a booth or display.  Make appointments to visit existing clients and your top 10 prospects – meet them for breakfast, lunch or coffee.
  • If you’re new to a particular trade show, make your first appearance modest. You can always go bigger next year when you’ve observed the demographics and “personality” of a show first-hand. It makes the best impression to improve incrementally each year. Provide slightly nicer giveaways, a slightly more lavish gift for your drawing, each year.

Marketing Mistake #3 – “We gave away samples of our product, and people don’t seem to see the value.”

A public and painful example of this:

ipad stands

Busted! Surface tablets used as iPad stands during CNN election coverage.

A person at CNN familiar with the company’s operations said that anchors are not required to use any particular hardware and usually bring their own devices. The Surface tablets were not part of a product placement deal, and were in place to give anchors access to CNN’s “magic wall” that helps display much of the channel’s coverage. Microsoft owns the company that makes the “magic wall,” which can be controlled through Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has already had a bit of trouble with the branding of its surface tablet. The company signed a deal with the NFL to put Surface tablets on the sidelines of games, but had to coach announcers to stop referring to them as iPads.

http://mashable.com/2014/11/05/cnn-surface-tablets-ipads/

While a trial period or even a sample might be a good way to educate customers and build trust, but giving a core product away for free can’t help but devalue the product in the eyes of prospects.

Novice salespeople often use free product improperly. When you offer something for free, your prospect will probably take it. But they probably won’t devote the time or effort to really evaluating it as a viable solution.   They will just as likely be given to a non-decisionmaking colleague, or take it home for their kids.

What to do instead:

  • Give away free coffee or candy. Give away information or accessories. Offer free training with your product.  Don’t be a cheapskate, but don’t give away the most valuable core benefit of your product.
  • If you do provide a trial period or some other risk-reversal, obtain a commitment in return.  “Use it for thirty days.  Try all of the functions, attend a new-member training session, call our support line and file a ticket for assistance. If we’re not able to make it right within thirty days, we will provide a full refund.

Other Marketing Mistakes?

We’ve all made them!

But one of the great things about ABCI clients and members is that we learn from one another – share your favorite mistake (and its solution) in the comments below.

Seminar Follow Up

One of the key items that we advocate is follow up. Seminar follow up. And presentation follow up.  And even phone call follow up. So, we thought we’d give you an inside view of follow up, ABCI style!

The Time Management for Sales and Marketing Teams  Education Session at the NBAA National Convention was great fun for us.  We had a roomful (about 75) smart, lively people who were willing to share their experiences and have candy thrown at them at 9:00 am.

Q & A

There were a couple of questions we were asked after the session, so we thought we’d answer them here:

Thank You Packages

So, if you came to our session, live in the USA, and gave us your business card, watch your mailbox for your Thank You Package!
Halloween packages
Want One?

If you came but didn’t leave us a card, or if you WANTED to come to the session but didn’t, or even if you’re just curious about our little packages, let us know before close of business Monday, October 27, 2014 and we’ll drop one in the mail to you.

Send an email to paula@AviationBusinessConsultants.com with the subject line “NBAA Package Request” and be sure to include your correct postal address.

We won’t tell you what’s in them. There have been rumours of Halloween candy, and some limited-time special offers from the convention.

What’s the Best Marketing Tool for Aviation?

“What’s the best marketing tool for aviation?  If I only have time and money to do one thing to sell to people in this market,  what should it be?”

We were asked this question in a coaching session last week. I asked the client:

“If you asked your mechanic which tool he’d like if he’ll be stranded with your plane on a desert island with only one, which one do you think he would pick?”

His response was:

What's the best marketing tool for aviation? “He’d say he wasn’t going to no damn desert island if he can’t take the whole toolbox with him.”

“Good man!” I said.

There are many good reasons to select different tools for different jobs. No true professional would attempt or advise working with just one tool.

“What if I just wanted to stick to digital media to keep costs down?”  He asked.

“We all have to work within a budget, and we can minimize print costs if we need to; but there’s no comparison to a good postcard for prospecting, or a good printed newsletter for building credibility.”

With respect to printed newsletters, a split-test was done at Virginia Tech to assess readership of their alumni magazine. Half of the subscribers received the printed magazine, half received only an email link to the online edition. An equal number of recipients in each camp were then extensively surveyed.

  • 82% recalled getting the print version, 42% recalled getting the online version. Winner- Print.
  • 77% looked at the print version and recalled at least one article versus 47% online. Winner- Print.
  • 63% expressed a preference for receiving the print version, 26% digital, 11% requested both.  Winner – Print.

So, can you get rid of digital and just use print?

We advise against that as well, because you’re giving up some significant advantages:

  • There is a very low incremental cost to copy existing materials to the web. If you’ve paid to have an article or press release written, it is shortsighted not to take the extra step and publish it on the web, and on as many channels as practical.
  • 61% of global Internet users research products online. (Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012)
  • 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. (Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012)
  • 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. (Source: Aberdeen)

Eliminating any category of tools is unwise.  If you’re on a budget, of course you can make do with a more modest toolbox.  If you’ve tested a channel and find that it doesn’t perform as well as others, by all means, don’t keep doing what doesn’t work.  But no single tool will suffice as a marketing effort or campaign for a product or company.  If, by some stroke of luck or tradition, you have plenty of customers coming in from a single source, it’s best to diversify.

One flight school had been running radio ads for years and was completely satisfied with their results, until the radio personality who performed their ads with a particular enthusiasm and authenticity was hired by a different station.  Their results dropped off disastrously.

Diversity is stability, in marketing as in many other things.

So, what does that big red toolbox look like (that no self-respecting marketing consultant would be stranded on a desert island without?)

To us, it looks different for every client, but it always has three phases and several “tools” in each phase. Here’s an example.

long cycle marketing system example

Example of a Long Cycle Marketing System – Click to enlarge.

Targeted Marketing – Making the Most of a Short Prospect List

Most marketing companies place a lot of emphasis on advertising and acquiring as many leads as possible.  This is a great objective, as far as it goes, but several changes in the economy, technology and legal landscape make targeted marketing to a smaller, more carefully compiled list a better strategy.

Last week we worked with clients on strategies to pare down their prospect lists to reduce their exposure to anti-spam legislation such as the new Canadian Anti-Spam law., but there are many reasons an aviation sales or marketing professional might have a short list of prospects:

  • You work for a startup or a very new company.
  • You sell a very exclusive product that involves very high personal involvement.
  • You sell a very specific product that serves a niche with unique requirements.
  • You inherited a “dirty” or nonresponsive list and a thorough cleaning reduced its size.

It’s good to be exclusive.

We worked on a marketing strategy for a client  in aviation financial services. After researching the qualifications for this particular service, we determined the total list of qualified prospects in the world was 67.   This was still a viable market since our client only needed about four new clients per year to meet her objectives.

When we first gave her the news, the first reaction was dismay.  But after we’d talked awhile, she realized how liberating it is to be working within such a narrow focus.  It certainly eliminates a lot of potential waste.

Of course, the strategy of marketing to a list of 67 is very different than marketing to a list of thousands (as in most aviation products) or hundreds of thousands (as in most consumer products.)

Mass Marketing in Aviation  Targeted Marketing in Aviation
  • Long list of prospects (thousands)
  • Short list of prospects (less than a thousand)
  • Research demographics
  • Research individual companies and people
  • More “broadcasting”
  • More conversations
  • Shorter sales cycle
  • Longer sales cycle
  • More competition
  • Less competition
  • More price sensitivity
  • More price elasticity

 

Calculate your customer lifetime value.

One of the key numbers a business owner must carry around in his head is the “customer lifetime value” or “CLV.”

If you’ve been scrupulously using a CRM (customer relationship management) system for several years, you may be able to calculate this very precisely by looking at the revenue per transaction times the number of transactions for that customer, plus assigning a value of any other customers referred by that customer.

You will probably be surprised what a loyal, happy customer is worth.  Some very smart companies are willing to spend a significant amount of money to acquire a good customer.  Some are willing to lose a little money on a customer service incident or a specific transaction.  If they know the numbers, they can make good decisions that may seem like altruism or goodwill, when they’re really shrewdly “playing the odds.”

In any case, this is a key piece of information,  because spending more than the CLV to acquire a new customer is foolish. Spending a percentage of that value to acquire a new customer is a good investment.

Besides the financial investment, be aware of how much time you’re willing to spend to acquire a new customer.  The shorter your prospect list, the more time you’re likely willing to spend.

Three techniques  that are very effective for short-list, targeted marketing

A smaller list allows you to devote more money, and/or more time, to each one and treat each prospect as “special.”

Limited list of prospects? Precision becomes more important in Targeted Marketing

When you have a limited list of prospects, precision is important. Targeted marketing is a good skill to learn!

 

  • Direct mail.  Create ten or twenty high-value information packages that are sent to qualified prospects who have indicated an interest. This can be much more effective than buying an ad that will be read by large numbers of less-qualified prospects who have an unknown interest level.
  • The telephone. Yes, we know. Nobody likes making sales calls. But a properly-structured marketing campaign should provide multiple opportunities to interact with a prospect that aren’t necessarily defined as “sales calls.”   A call after a prospect has downloaded a piece of information from your website could be very low-key.  “Were you able to retrieve the file? Did it answer your questions?” Or you could make a call to let your prospect know about a specific item in the news that may affect his business.  The harsh reality of the aviation industry is that the phone is very effective as a sales tool.  The shorter your list, the more you should be using the phone.
  • LinkedIn.  Again, if you have a small number of prospects, you can devote more time to. You don’t necessarily have to buy ads on LinkedIn, although that is a possibility; but to do research on individual people, make connections, and have conversations in groups and other non-threatening environments. We’ll be talking more about this in our upcoming webinar – Ten Ways Aviation Professionals Should Be Using LinkedIn.

While lead acquisition (and enlarging your list of prospects) is certainly important, it can be even more effective to devote your marketing resources to serving a smaller and more targeted list of prospects.

How to Network at Aviation Events

Why is it important to know how to network?

Aviation is a trust-based industry, and many deals (especially most of the large-ticket transactions) are still made in person, or as a result of at least one in-person meeting.

Events, like trade shows and conventions are a great opportunity to have a number of decision-makers in the same place at the same time.

Opportunities for networking include:

  • Golf tournaments
  • Charity events/service opportunities
  • Trade show booth conversations
  • Cocktail hours
  • Networking breakfasts / lunches / dinners / coffee breaks
  • Sponsored after hours parties

 

Events like this social mixer at the FSANA (Flight School Association of North America) Convention are great opportunities to start mutually profitable relationships.

Events like this social mixer at the FSANA (Flight School Association of North America) Convention are great opportunities to start mutually profitable relationships.

Since most of these events are mixing business with social activities, it can be difficult to make connections in a way that’s effective but still appropriate.

We all want to avoid those  “awkward” moments. In fact, many aviation professionals secretly (or not so secretly) dread the unstructured networking opportunities.

Some of the keys to successful networking:

  • Four questions you can use that will be received well by anyone as a conversation-starter
  • Knowing how much (0r how little!) to tell about your product or service on a first meeting
  • Being able to explain your product or service in terms that anyone could understand, even if they’re not technical (or not technical in your own field)
  • How to pick up on signals that someone is interested in learning more or just being polite
  • Learning to extricate yourself from a conversation that is not productive or worthwhile.

We provide guidelines, experiences and share a few “bloopers” and cautionary tales in our upcoming webinar, “Non-Awkward Networking,” coming up Wednesday June 18th at 1:00.

Not a member? See http://www.AviationBusinessConsultants.com/class for more details.

Looking for opportunities to practice your networking skills at an aviation event?
See http://www.AviationServiceDirectory.com/Events for listings of upcoming aviation industry events.

Know of an association or nonprofit event that we’re missing?  Shoot me an email at Paula@AviationBusinessConsultants.com and we’ll add it!

Product Packaging – Presenting Your Product to a New Customer

Whether you sell service packages, charter flights, insurance, software, or books; the way you package and deliver your product is important for several reasons:

  1. You want your customer to feel sure that he’s made an excellent investment.
  2. You want to make sure he has everything he needs to use your product right away.
  3. You want to answer any questions your new customer is most likely to have without calling your office.

We will go into much more detail about these and other examples in our Aviation Marketing Master Class on Wednesday, February 19 (mark your calendar for 1:00 MST if you haven’t already!)

But here is an excerpt. As you review these examples, a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Customers are most likely to talk about your product or service to their friends and colleagues in the first few days and weeks after a purchase.
  • Customers that start using a product immediately are less likely to return it than those who set it aside for later.
  • Customers do what’s easy and fun.  If a product seems too difficult or time-consuming to use, they are less likely to be satisfied and more likely to complain or return it.
  • The package and its contents need to be in proportion to the size of the purchase.
  • Someone buying a Gulfstream 650 business jet is going to expect nothing but the highest-quality products, and anything that looks “cheap” is inconsistent with the experience.
  • A customer who purchases a less expensive product may not expect gold-plated accessories; but does expect and appreciate thoughtful packaging that anticipates their needs and answers questions.
  • Consumers in the aviation industry have a higher-than-average expectation of quality and service, including product packaging and presentation.

Some of the best examples of product packaging that most of us are familiar with come from Apple and Harley Davidson products – those two companies seem to put as much time and thought into packaging design as they do into the design of their products.

Here are three excellent examples in the aviation industry.

Example – New Piston Aircraft

John has purchased two Cessna 172s in different years. The Cessna company has an excellent customer purchase experience that includes several factors:

  • A factory tour
  • A series of courses and flights with a Cessna CFI
  • An acceptance flight with a Cessna Test Pilot
  • “Baby pictures” of the new airplane with the proud owner
  • A package of accessories and documentation, including the required manuals, cleaning products, flashlights, a multifunction key ring. (All very high-quality products with Cessna logos prominently displayed.)
  • A Customer Care card with contact information.

product packaging - airplane

Example- Avionics Package

The  Garmin G1000 system included with the aircraft had a separate product package, which included:

  • A full-day course (hosted at the Cessna facility in Wichita)
  • Course materials (Very well-written, full color materials with lots of screen shots)
  • A nylon flight bag with the G1000 logo
  • A chambray shirt with the Garmin logo.
  • A starter data plan from Jeppesen (The avionics only function with a software subscription, the starter subscription is a  great co-marketing item that has the benefit to the customer of being able to use the avionics package immediately; and the advantage to Jeppesen of pre-selling its software subscriptions.)

product packaging - avionics

Example – Flight Training Program

This example is a bit dated, but when I began flight training I received an excellent package from the flight school.  Many flight schools have thin margins, so while the expectations for “goodies” can be lower,  the  materials should include excellent, thoughtful information. This is a place where you can differentiate between a competing flight school!

This package included:

  • A kneeboard with an E6-B, worksheets, and sectional maps
  • Text books, log book, and a FAR AIM (no longer produced in print)
  • An inexpensive flight bag.

product packaging - flight school

One of our client flight schools that caters to career-minded students also includes:

  • Shirt with first-officer insignia
  • Photo in uniform
  • Resume assistance package
  • Video of recorded mock job First Officer job interview
    (recorded during training session with the client.)

Inexpensive, But Thoughtful –
The Radio Worksheet

Some of the most effective elements in product packaging aren’t expensive, but thoughtful of the needs of a customer

One of our favorite items in this package is a “radio communications worksheet” – a simple, photocopied half-sheet of paper.

While this one was designed for new flight students to help them structure their radio calls,  any business based at an airport could produce these printed worksheets very inexpensively.  Pilots will find the frequencies, readback conventions and other helpful notes handy.

These could be improved for marketing purposes by including a logo and contact information for the local FBO, restaurant or other airport-based business.

product packaging - Radio sheet

Other Product Packaging Ideas

Aircraft Repair or Detailing –

Provide a small kit of cleaning supplies, bottle of glass cleaner printed with your logo, floor mat with your logo, etc.

Charter Service –

Luxury charter- luxury snacks or candy, flowers, champagne

International charter– socks, eye masks, small bottles of moisturizer, etc.

Local or recreational short-haul charter – bottled water, snack bags, area guides

Insurance or Legal Services –

Office products, such as mousepads, tear-off memo pads, calendars (with stunning aviation photography, of course!) pens, flash drives.

Need some assistance putting together a thoughtful presentation package that makes new customers excited about their new purchase?

Schedule some time on our calendar and let’s talk about how ABCI can help.

ABCI Can Help YOUR Company. Find out How!

Find 30 Minutes on Our Calendar and Let’s Find Out!

Email Broadcasts- Doing the Right Thing the Wrong Way?

Like most people, we read our email each morning with one finger poised over the “delete” button.

The good news. Email is a wonderful tool. Several email providers, like Aviation Broadcast, provide an outstanding service. They do an excellent job of “getting your name out there,: and can be an excellent tool when used as part of a results-oriented marketing system that measures performance at each step.

Now, for the bad news.  Email broadcasts are just about legendary for low open, click and response rates.

  • Statistically, how many of the recipients are even in the market for your product or service?
  • Again, statistically, how many are ready to buy now (or soon?)
  • Again, statistically, how many are sufficiently convinced to make contact based on the contents of a single email?

The answer- not many get to the green square in this process.

email broadcast decision tree

Email Broadcast Decision Tree- Click to Enlarge

Fewer than 1% of email recipients even click a link to find out more. Fewer than that will make a phone call, complete a we form, or otherwise attempt to contact you.

We know companies that have sent a series of three to five email broadcasts to “highly targeted” lists of hundreds of thousands of aviation prospects, resulting in “one or two phone calls but no sales.”

Sound familiar?  How can this result be improved?

We have four suggestions:

  1. Have a clear, low-risk “call to action.”  For example, offer a downloadable report or video with a high perceived value.  An ebook that explains a concept or solves a problem works very well.   As an example, ABCI produced an ebook for Dallas Jet International, Anatomy of an Aircraft Sale
    (see www.AircraftSalesInsights.com/Freebook to download this example.)
  2. Use the call to action of the email broadcast as the beginning of a long-cycle sales process, rather than a “random act of marketing.” In the aviation industry, we find that even qualified prospects may take weeks, months, or even years before they are ready to make a purchase. The challenge is to build a pipeline of a sufficient number of such contacts, and to keep in contact with them in a cost-effective way. In the process, provide materials that help them become an educated, confident customer by the time their budget, regulatory or bureaucratic roadblocks are cleared.
  3. Use a diversity of media. Email has its advantages – we use it because it’s fast and inexpensive. But it’s also the least credible media with decision-makers in the aviation industry.  We know it often takes MANY contacts with a potential customer to make a sale, so we use marketing automation technology and a variety of media, including email, postal mail, magazine advertising, trade shows, social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing joint ventures with noncompeting companies as appropriate for the prospect and sales objectives.
  4. Use the phone, and personal contact!  Sales in aviation industry also take a lot of relationship building on the phone and often one or several sales presentations in person. 

Therefore, we use lead scoring tools to help our sales folks know where their time and travel budget is spent most productively. We also provide mystery shopping and sales coaching to role-play and help your team get even more effective with powerful sales techniques.

Email Broadcasts are great as a part of a results-oriented, performance-based marketing system. Click to enlarge

Email Broadcasts are great as a part of a results-oriented, performance-based marketing system. Click to enlarge

Four Things to Consider when Choosing a Marketing Company

If you're in the aviation industry, there are many factors to consider when you're choosing a marketing company to help you sell more products or services.

What’s the best structure for a Sales and Marketing team?

We are often asked – “What’s the best structure for a sales and marketing team?”

The short (and vague) answer is below. A longer (and more helpful) answer follows.

The best sales and marketing team is one that is as small and inexpensive as possible, while supporting a healthy pipeline prospects that makes as many sales new and repeat sales as possible.

We realize this article may raise a few hackles.

After all, there are a lot of very talented and deserving sales and marketing professionals looking for work, and if you have an opportunity to employ one or more of them, then good for you, and good for them!

But most companies these days simply don’t have the luxury of offering employment to as many people as possible.

We’re writing this article to clarify our position. We had some great conversations last week with a VP of Sales who was kind (and honest) enough to share a concern that there may be a  perception that ABCI intends to replace existing sales and marketing teams. An article we wrote last July (Thinking About Hiring Sales and Marketing Personnel? Read this first) probably led to that perception.

One of the primary factors we evaluate in our Flight Plan process is strong, existing leadership in sales and marketing.  A  great corporate partner with the knowledge and authority to provide good input and make quick decisions and approvals is vital to our ability to get good results.

We certainly don’t intend to replace an existing team that has great product knowledge, sales skills, and relationships with existing customers.

On the other hand, if you’re starting a new company or rebuilding a sales and marketing team after a lean period (haven’t we all been in “rebuild” mode since about 2009 or so?)  hiring a bunch of new people may not be the best strategy.  Instead, work toward a strong anchor or core group and add flexible products and services as needed.  After all, most companies have variable (rather than constant) needs of services from great marketing strategists, website developers, graphic designers, CRM (customer relationship management) software experts, and IT problem solvers.  It’s better to have access to great professionals when you need them without having them taking up your cubicles and parking spaces full-time.

Our most successful projects have occurred in one of several situations:

Our Business Jet Program is ideal for medium to large companies that have a strong Sales Team to provide personal contact with promising leads and maintain strong relationships with existing customers.  We really enjoy working with a strong Director or VP of Sales and Marketing that can provide coordination and leadership. Obviously, ABCI doesn’t know your customers or your product as well as a great salesperson or Marketing Director who has been working exclusively with it for years.

Our TurboProp Program is ideal for small to medium sized companies. Our biggest successes have come from companies that have strong sales and marketing leadership.  Even if the main salesperson and marketing director is also the CEO!

Our Light Aircraft Program works really well in organizations where there is good leadership in sales and marketing, everyone in the organization is involved in sales, and at least one person can devote at least half  of their working time to sales, marketing and follow up efforts.

Our Marketing Master Class works well in any organization of any size.  Any company can benefit when all of the employees involved with sales, customer service, or product delivery have some knowledge of sales and marketing basics.

What's the best structure for a Sales and Marketing team?

Click to enlarge

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