As a sales consultant and trainer for the past 24 years, I’ve worked in pretty much every conceivable industry. I’ve seen the good (even the great), the bad and the ugly and have always attempted to add my two cents so that my clients’ marketing endeavors are aligned with and support their sales efforts.

But here’s the truth: It is in the smallest minority of cases that the marketing and branding folks turn the talk to sales. It’s almost an afterthought, and the feeling conveyed is that it simply gets in the way of the sexy creative stuff that gets marketers so revved up.

The fact is that the sales efforts have to be considered right from the get-go. If not, that sexy and compelling marketing campaign just might not equate to dollars, cents and new business. But when marketing and sales are deployed as an integrated program, two parts of a whole, the results improve exponentially and everyone wins.

So why is it that so many companies and marketing firms don’t address specific sales issues in the planning stages of a marketing campaign? It’s a mistake for sure. And to make certain that you don’t fall victim to this same problem, consider the following:

  1. Have you created the requisite follow-up and follow-through program for your lead generation marketing program?
  2. Are your sales reps well trained, and do they exhibit all of the sales competencies required to pull through the business?
  3. Have you established a tracking and measurement system for your marketing and sales efforts? (Lots of inquiries but no closed business means something’s off kilter.)
  4. Do you have adequate staff to handle inquiries, orders, leads and appointments?
  5. What ROI did you project? Are you on target?

It’s pretty simple: If you want to realize the best results and ROI from your marketing endeavors, you must make certain that your sales follow-up operations are firmly in place. If you see gaps, then take the necessary actions and make adjustments before the results disappoint you.

And remember, a team effort will reap rewards for everyone.

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Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to: http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.