Hi! Dave Conklin here! I work with C-Level executives and business owners of $10 million dollar plus companies to help them develop and implement business growth strategies. If you’d like to talk about your business, let’s do it! Call me at 717-951-8349 and set up an appointment. One more thing, I put a video together for you at the bottom of this article if you’d rather watch than read. Now, here’s the article. 🙂
Even the savviest marketing team doesn’t guarantee your company optimal growth. That’s because today’s marketing team concept seems to lag when it comes to defining teamwork and collaboration. Recognizing your company’s need for strategic collaboration throughout production, marketing, sales, and service might be the boost your profits need.
Old Business Growth Strategies – The Marketing Team Concept
Whether a business has ten employees or ten thousand, its separate departments or divisions dictate how day-to-day business functions. When looking at profitability and growth, the focus is often the marketing department. This team holds ultimate responsibility for branding and promoting the business and its services.
Odds are, your marketing team receives a product or service concept from the design or engineering department with very little background. Their task is to promote your product or service and bundle it up in a package that the sales team can work with.
Today’s concept of the marketing team puts your product or service on a conveyor belt through each of your company’s departments. Each department receives a turn but only interacts during the hand-off. This approach to marketing teams compartmentalizes each department, breaking down the processes that create the most opportunity for growth.
The Growth Team Concept
On the surface, it might seem apparent that the marketing department and customer service department have nothing in common. One deals with promoting your business and streamlining advertising and branding. The other handles incoming business and diverts it as necessary.
However, the new growth team concept takes into consideration the commonalities between the two departments and creates ways for each to benefit the other. Letting customer service staff in on some marketing secrets helps them develop a better angle from which to approach guests. Feedback from customer service personnel can help the marketing team tailor their campaigns and zero in on specific target markets.
In the old model, marketing and customer service were steps away from one another, and likely never interacted at all. This is also true of other teams which would benefit from more overlap, including tech support, sales, and even product designers.
The marketing team concept sequesters those brilliant marketing minds away from other influential forces within your business. With each department focusing on its own role at each product stage, no one is looking at the bigger picture and considering how to best meet company needs.
What’s in a Growth Team
Involving all departments throughout the product or service development process is vital to growth. Rather than separate departments focusing on their own goals, a growth team brings all those collaborators together.
Letting each department exert its own influence allows for changes to product or service design, preventing failures due to not only engineering issues but also customer preferences. While each department has a specific contribution to the end product, bringing them all together breaks down barriers in the creative process.
Based on company consultations, here are a few key points to consider about each respective department within your organization and their strengths in a modern growth team strategy.
- Leadership– As the main decision-makers in your organization that start the ball rolling when it comes to designing new products or rolling out new services, leaders also need to listen for feedback that can impact the success of new or existing products.
- Engineering– When preliminary plans become a reality, engineering teams may prefer to sacrifice function for form. Marketing, sales, and tech influences can keep product development moving forward.
- Marketing– This team’s responsibilities lie in generating leads and creating a cohesive branding package for your organization and its products, but true feedback comes from support personnel who hear directly from customers.
- Sales– Proffering the product with its complete marketing package to customers and sealing the deal isn’t always straightforward. Sales staff need to understand the product and its nuances to promote it to customers better.
- Tech– Tech’s responsibilities are more than resolving email glitch issues. They can have valuable input that pertains to the function of processes and products, plus connectivity solutions that make a product a referral source.
- Support– As the main point of contact with the customer, the support or service department has the unique ability to direct customer feedback along the appropriate channels. Ensuring that those channels receive the feedback is a huge challenge in the current marketing team structure.
How to Create a Growth Team
Keeping an open mind is the first step in creating a functional growth team that sends your profits soaring. Unconventional solutions can come from unexpected places, but hopefully, those places are your company’s department teams.
Establishing a collaborative round-table type setting where all departments have representation alters the assembly-line structure that the old marketing team was part of. Rather than piecing things together as the product concept moves along, the original concept takes on adjustments in its beginning stages.
Growth teams follow a five-stage process that groups multiple departments based on the product and customer needs at each stage. These recommendations aim to keep the right people in the know for optimal outcomes in both earning leads and closing sales.
In the initial design stages, all departments (leadership, engineering, marketing, sales, tech, and support) need to have a voice. This can avoid major errors that lead to stunted sales and complete marketing flops. Each department offers its unique perspective of the product in question and improves on it before it reaches the customer.
Generating awareness for a product or service is a task that’s not just for the marketing team anymore. Sales and tech departments can also lend their expertise on how best to showcase products for lead generation.
Combining ad analytics with online sales support, for example, helps address defined customer groups. Integrating social media allows companies new ways to perform outreach and capture leads. Without tech and sales, marketing is aiming into a void and hoping to hit the right target.
The next step in generating customer interest and nudging them closer to a purchasing decision depends on the abilities of the marketing, sales, and tech teams. Feedback at this stage allows for adjustments to the marketing pitch that the team uses and the technology that generates feedback.
Tech personnel can utilize website analytics to suggest changes to marketing techniques based on client interest (or disinterest), allowing your company to modify its approach on the fly rather than after months of failure to close on a sale.
The moment of sale requires more than sales staff who have a way with words. Part of selling effectively involves understanding what the organization is selling, and what problems and challenges arise after the sale. Sales, marketing, support, and tech staff must communicate to decipher whether customers are satisfied or not, and why.
While sales staff might consider a successful sale a job well done, the tech department’s data and the support staff’s feedback may tell a different story. Considering all these viewpoints gives a well-rounded look at what’s happening after the sale. Plus, when a product or service itself serves as a referral source, the true measure of the product may lie in its analytics after the fact.
All businesses strive to improve their processes, services, and products. The ideal way to begin this improvement is through accepting customer feedback and acting on it. This demands that support, engineering, marketing, and sales reconvene to hash out any remaining issues.
For example, support can transmit feedback to engineering, who can then make improvements to the product to customer specifications.
The Bottom Line
The modern business growth stragegy concept is an adaptive approach to teamwork and department integration regardless of your industry. Transitioning to this feedback-loop strategy not only unites your company’s separate divisions into one team, but it also stands to boost your profits over time. There is some great info at Growth Hackers as well.
Here is a video that breaks this whole thing down.