Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

Three Questions to Align Your Strategy, Marketing and Sales

June 28th, 2016

When the business strategy isn’t linked with sales and marketing, the result is that marketers and sellers end up working harder, not smarter. This has a multi-billion dollar impact. Most companies struggle with this according to the Frank Cespedes, author, and Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School: “Selling [or marketing,] no matter how clever and creative, can’t generate good financial returns unless it’s connected to strategy.”

I met Frank while we both spoke at an event in Santiago, Chile. We had a memorable time sharing ideas and research. I thought Frank had a practical approach to aligning sales and marketing. So, I reached out to him and interviewed him about what he’s learned through his research for his most recent book Aligning Strategy and Sales.

[Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for length and grammar only.]


Brian Carroll: What inspired you to write about Aligning Strategy and Sales, which is the title of your new book?

Frank Cespedes: Despite decades of attention to so-called strategic planning, there is remarkably little research about how to link strategy with the nitty gritty of field execution, especially sales efforts [and marketing]. American companies annually spend about $900 billion every year on sales efforts. That’s not marketing, that’s sales, that’s compensation, the travel, incentives, the infrastructure, etc. and to put that in perspective, Brian, that figure is more than three times what they spend on all media, Super Bowls, everything. It’s more than about 40 times what they spend on digital marketing, and it’s more than 50 times what they currently spend on social media. This is a big, big gap.


Can you tell us more about your background and where all of this came from?

I was an academic at Harvard Business School for about 11 years working my way up the hierarchy and always was doing research in sales-related areas. My research started with distribution channels, B2B distribution channels, morphed into sales. Then I ran a business for 12 years. And then I came back and said, “I’m teaching strategy. I know something about sales. Let me see what people have written about it.”

What I found was this gap, so I figured two things. One is I don’t think the world needs another book about strategy, and I don’t think, to be blunt, the world needs yet another selling methodology, but there just isn’t much if anything about linking the two and that was the gap that I set out to address.

Read more…

Independently Owned and Operated

August 23rd, 2012

One of the prizes of winning the MarketingSherpa Reader’s Choice Awards is the chance for a guest post here on the MarketingSherpa blog. Today’s post is from gnome Flash blogger Emily Taylor. Please note, at gnome Flash, they use toys to represent themselves instead of the traditional bio picture.

It is too easy for a brand to lose its artisanal flare as it grows into a larger organization or corporation. The American spirit purveyor, Jack Daniel’s, has made a commitment to taking an equally homegrown approach to their campaigns. They have a series of videos that document the making of promotional posters by local artists that harken the Americana of the brand.


Jack Daniel’s meets The Signpainter from Travis Robertson on Vimeo.


Jack Daniel’s meets Jon Contino from Travis Robertson on Vimeo.


Jack Daniel’s meets Helms Workshop from Travis Robertson on Vimeo.

Related Resources:

much ado (via gnome Flash)

brand recognition (via gnome Flash)

Kodak’s Award-winning Online Launch Campaign (Great Creative on a Tight Budget)

How Annies Homegrown Uses the Web to Generate Consumer Passion for Boxes of Macaroni

Inbound Marketing: Social media strategy planning tool

August 23rd, 2011

“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there.”

– John Kotter, professor, Harvard Business School

Are you a true marketing leader?

Does your marketing department have a well thought-out strategy with clear marching orders? Hopefully that question is a gimme, but here’s a harder one…

Have you set the strategy for your social media marketing?

Developing an effective and methodical social marketing strategy was the most frustrating challenge to social marketing effectiveness, according to the Marketing Sherpa 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report.

And for good reason. Social media marketing is a huge paradigm shift for most marketers. It is a change from the command-and-control days when marketers owned the airwaves and printing presses because they had the power of the purse.

Social media has democratized the means of communication. Now, every customer is also a publisher. And the best you can hope to do, as overused as this saying may be, is to join the conversation.

Social media strategy planning tool

Of course, that doesn’t mean that creating an effective social media strategy is impossible. And anything you invest resources in, even if you’re just incurring a soft cost like your own time, should have a plan of action designed to achieve a goal.

If you don’t know where you’re trying to get and what you need to do to get there, then why even bother? Read more…