We’re two weeks into 2020 and if you’re a growing business, you’ll be feeling the pressure. A new year brings with it new goals and new challenges, so a strong sales and marketing strategy is crucial to ensure your team’s focus and the ultimate success of your business this year. These 5 stages are the ideal way to outline your vision for the year and make sure you get exactly what you want:

Stage 1: Why

Your ‘why’ is what makes your company unique. It is your brand guidelines, your vision, your mission statement and what gets you out of bed in the morning. It is the first step and might seem simple, but it is often the most tricky to nail down. Discuss with your team members, your leadership and even outside help – the more eyes the better. Whether you are a virtual assistant business or a coffee salesman, defining why you do what you do is crucial. Once you have this nailed, you will find more clarity in the rest of your strategy, because virtually every activity and every tactical move you make in your business’ journey needs to tie into your why, so think wisely.

Stage 2: What

What do you want to achieve this year? These are your goals, your targets and your aims. They can be as granular or as high level as you want, but they need to be tangible and achievable. There is no use in setting yourself up with super ambitious targets that can’t be achieved – remember you are still beholden to current staff levels and your current budget. There is no use setting a target for 4 million new customers if there are a few leaders and an assistant on the team running with a shoestring budget. If you need help, you can download our free 2020 goal planner here to help you visualise your targets for the year.

Stage 3: Who

Who are your dream customers? These profiles and personas are very valuable to help provide focus and efficiency to all your sales and marketing activities. If you have noticed that women under 40 are the quickest to close but men under 40 are the highest spenders, you need to know to devise a strategy that will help you achieve your goals with the right kind of customers. Do they need phone support? Are they digital people? Asking questions about their behaviour is crucial to nailing down how you will target them. These don’t need to be fancy or particularly granular – you don’t actually need to know what kind of TV programmes they like unless you plan on advertising there – but they do need to be accurate. These are tools to help your sales and marketing teams find the right leads and speak to them in the right tone. It is always worth discussing with your entire team – remote staff and office-based - as everyone will have different touchpoints and therefore different insights into who you want engaging with your brand and how they behave as demographics.

Stage 4: Where

Where will you find these perfect people? These are your channels, and it is worth doing plenty of research. You need to find out where your target profiles live, work and spend their time. What publications do they read, what websites do they visit, do they spend time on administration? Time spent here will save money down the line, as you will be spending your precious funds in places you know will reach the desired audience. Blanket and broad approaches to prospecting rarely have the desired effect and are expensive lessons to learn.

Stage 5: How

How are you going to reach these people? This is what you would call your plan of action or your tactics. This is your sales team getting on the phone and getting out networking – it is your marketing department producing quality content for social media, running successful email campaigns and producing valuable, relevant collateral for your customers to absorb. By this point, you should have a very clear idea of the plan, it is simply a case of getting out there and growing your business. This is where it can be useful to consult with experts – whether for cost-cutting purposes or extra boots on the ground, sometimes you are limited by your resources. If you need help with anything from social media management to research, bookkeeping to web development, you can outsource. Our SmartPAs can handle anything and are here to help you achieve your business goals.

So there you have it – a simple 5 step strategy to make 2020 your best year yet. To coin our founder’s favourite phrase; vulnerability is a sign of strength. One important thing to remember when designing and following your strategy is that if you need help, it is important to ask. Don’t let pride prevent your business growth, so get cracking, and when you identify a skills gap, just get in touch.