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Sales-SMBSales and marketing are the two departments responsible for growth – and as a result, they’re the backbone of small-to-medium-sized businesses looking to expand. But the problem for many SMBs is that these departments don’t work together to drive sales and they often don’t work effectively.

Here are ten sales and marketing mistakes that SMBs often make (and some which big businesses are guilty of too) and how you can avoid them like the plague:

  1. Not embracing social media [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]Not embracing #socialmedia - one of the top ten sales & marketing mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia #SMB[/tweetthis]

There came a point, quite a few years ago now, where it was no longer acceptable for a business not to have a website. We’ve now reached that point with social media.

The biggest mistake an SMB could make would be to not engage at all on social media. Nearly as bad would be to have a social media presence and then either do nothing with it, or to use it purely as a marketing channel, which just alienates customers.

Watch this video by Jeanne Bliss to see how social media could grow your company.

  1. Sales and marketing not working together [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]#Sales & #marketing not working together - one of the top ten mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia #SMB [/tweetthis]

Both sales and marketing have the data and knowledge to help each other. But too often they don’t. Sales departments feel like marketing teams are out of touch with what’s going on, whereas marketing feels like the sales teams are too focused on individual customers and out of step with the larger market.

In short, they both under-value each other. And in reality, they both have valuable insights, which if shared would enable marketing to generate better quality leads and sales to engage these leads with the understanding and insight they need.

  1. Not listening to customers and prospects [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]Not listening to customers & prospects - one of the top 10 sales & marketing mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia[/tweetthis]

This is quite a basic mistake – but very common in businesses of all sizes. Both the customer service team and the sales team are in regular contact with your customers and you need to be sure you have a way of collating the feedback you get, every step of the way.

Too many businesses either blindly continue with a product or service that disappoints, or they simply don’t have the right technology for analyzing this data.

  1. Chasing the wrong leads [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]Chasing the wrong leads - one of the top 10 #sales & #marketing mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia #SMB[/tweetthis]

You need to have a clear picture of the kind of customers you want to attract – and these should be people that are most likely to be interested in your products or services.

Once you know the kind of leads you want to generate, you need to establish the best marketing tactics for generating these. Too often marketing departments will focus time and energy generating leads, which are unlikely to convert – either because they have the wrong target customers in mind or because they’re employing the wrong tactics.

  1. No lead capture on website [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]No lead capture on the website - one of the top 10 #sales & #marketing mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia #SMB[/tweetthis]

Many businesses have amazing websites, which are sure to impress prospects, but have no way to capture information about these potential customers.

Depending on your target customers, there are plenty of ways to capture the details of those who visit your website – from free content such as whitepapers (accessible via email capture forms) to competitions, where you need to provide your name and email address to enter.

  1. Not maintaining relationships [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]Not maintaining relationships - one of the top 10 #sales & #marketing mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia #SMB[/tweetthis]

As SMBs try to expand quickly, there can be more of an emphasis on attracting new customers, rather than maintaining relationships with existing customers.

However, it costs considerably more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. And no business can expand if they’re losing customers as quickly as they are gaining them.

  1. Too much strategy, not enough tactics [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]Too much strategy, not enough tactics - one of the top 10 #sales & #marketing mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia #SMB[/tweetthis]

Marketing teams can often get carried away with their overall strategy, without putting enough thought into how they will actually achieve this – and most of all, actually getting it done.

The primary function of marketing is to provide qualified sales leads and make it easier for customers to buy. You need to ensure your marketing efforts have this clear focus, and that you focus on how you will achieve it.

  1. Too much jargon in marketing and sales messages [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]Too much jargon - one of the top 10 #sales & #marketing mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia #SMB[/tweetthis]

How often have you opened an email to find it so full of jargon that you immediately switch off? Many SMBs feel that in order to be taken seriously, they need to use the language of the industry. When in fact, nothing will make you stand out more than clear, plain English communication.

Write your marketing and sales messages as if you’re talking to a person and not a corporate entity.

  1. Using the wrong measure of success [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]Using the wrong measure of success - one of the top 10 #sales & #marketing mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia[/tweetthis]

There are seemingly lots of ways to measure the success of your marketing efforts. For instance, how many people downloaded your whitepaper? How many people opened your newsletter? Plus many more.

However, there is only one true measure of success and that is: how many qualified sales leads has your team generated? You need to stick to the end goal when measuring success and not get distracted by other statistics.

10. Not embracing new technology [tweetthis display_mode="button_link"]Not embracing new technology - one of the top 10 #sales & #marketing mistakes SMBs make. Via @NewVoiceMedia #SMB[/tweetthis]

Too many SMBs feel that the latest technology is either not necessary for them or simply too expensive. However, with cloud services on the rise, there’s no reason why SMBs can’t have the same technology as their larger competitors – just on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Read our whitepaper, Small Business Guide to Cloud Communications to find out more or take a look at ContactWorld Quickstart, our contact centre solution aimed at small businesses.

These mistakes are often why many businesses struggle to grow. And while larger companies are guilty of a few of these too, they have a larger budget to absorb their mistakes, whereas small businesses have little room for error.

Have you ever made any of these mistakes? Share your experiences below.

Image from Pixabay

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About Olivier Gachot

Olivier Gachot is EVP of North America Sales at NewVoiceMedia, responsible for accelerating growth through new customer acquisition and maintaining successful and trusted partnerships with existing customers. He is a proven leader in building and transforming SaaS companies at scale on a global basis. His 20+ years of experience include leading several companies from early years to successful IPO and acquisitions.

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