5 keys to growing your sales and marketing into an organized distributed sales forcePosted on July 30th, 2019 by Jay Thomas
Are you park of marketing for a distributed sales force?
Only 1 in 7 local advertisers take part in distributed marketing. They’re neglecting $14 billion in “free advertising,” that is, these marketing budgets are left lying around unspent.
As businesses grow, sales and marketing become more complex. It’s no longer a matter of having the best salesperson. Instead, leadership is worried about team efficiency, compliance, and security. This is especially true for those with distributed sales and marketing teams.
Distributed marketing teams include both internal and external resources. This presents unique challenges when trying to maintain a consistent brand message and avoid liability issues. Distributed teams may include external sales agents, marketing consultants, product resellers, and retailers. This diversity has big advantages for your brand but can have negative consequences when mismanaged.
The right strategy can help you leverage the advantages of a distributed team while minimizing the risk to your brand. As a result, your marketing will be consistent, and effective across the board.
Distributed marketing yields growth, consistency, and profit
Only 20 percent of B2B firms say they have control over the relationships with their sales partners. As the demands from customers and the number of marketing channels grow distributed marketing can help you manage growth and take control of your operations.
One disparity between corporate and local marketing teams is brand consistency. Around half of corporate marketers say they are “very effective” at delivering messages at the right time and in the right channel. For local marketers, the amount drops to 23 percent. In contrast, distributed marketing levels the playing field by giving local teams the resources they need and corporate teams the control to protect their brand.
This marketing strategy is gaining popularity. Over the next two years, 88 percent of marketing leaders say they’ll use or plan to use a distributed marketing platform. How can you keep your organization ahead of the curve?
5 keys to growing your distributed team
To satisfy demands from customers and increase your marketing channels, you need to grow your reach. Use these five steps to grow your sales and marketing with a distributed marketing model:
- Form strong alliances. Distributed marketing requires shared responsibilities and strong relationships. You can grease the wheels by using technology, such as Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA). However, you still need a base of trust. Build trust through a shared history of working together and business contracts.
- Scale at the right speed. For many businesses, rapid expansion can be just as disastrous as contraction. The sudden growth in volume or output through distribution is challenging. Organizations need the right staff, technology, and resources to support new growth.
- Work smarter, not harder. Many industries benefit from automation, and marketing is no different. You can automate features of sales and marketing, such as compliance, content recommendation, and reporting. And email, social media, and chatbots are now routine, but other operations are less streamlined. For example, most companies aren’t taking full advantage of TCMA. While about half of all brands are using TCMA, only 17 percent feel they’re getting the most out of it.
- Ask why you want to grow. Dig deep and find out why you’re trying to grow. Is it because you want to edge out competitors? Help more people? Improve the customer experience? In a distributed model, it’s crucial that you understand your goals before trying to scale your team. This will ensure brand consistency while leveraging a multi-level brand management model.
- Know your industry. Is this strategy right for your organization? For example, a national healthcare organization with large budgets, busy enrollment periods, consistent branding, and a wide geographical spread is a great candidate. However, it might not work for industries or companies that only make a few large sales each year. Distributed systems are increasingly adaptable, but they don't suit every situation. Speak to an industry expert if you get stuck.
Make sure your marketing is distributed, not disorganized
Distributed marketing doesn’t mean your efforts have to be disorganized. These tips will help your team build trust and scale the right way. Stay ahead of the curve and get your organization ready to scale by understanding your roadmap and leveraging technology.
We know this can be intimidating. The lack of control over operations, marketing direction, and funds keeps many organizations in the past. But, the rewards far outweigh the risks.
A distributed model brings better alignment of your content and funds. Field reps, partners, and franchisees all benefit from corporate resources and work more efficiently. This efficiency allows you to scale at a fraction of the cost and grow your business to new levels.