‘Smarketing’to the rescue | SalesAndMarketing.com
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‘Smarketing’to the rescue

TV tech supplier tunes up its sales and marketing teamwork and reaps instant rewards.

Businesses with mature sales and marketing organizations are seeking ways to improve their efficiency and generate more leads and customers. A big step in achieving this involves improving sales conversations, moving beyond price, brand and product quality.

That was the objective set by Kevin Joyce, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Montreal-based Miranda Technologies, a supplier of hardware and software solutions to the TV broadcasting companies. After arriving at Miranda Technologies in 2010, Joyce set out on a mission to accomplish three key objectives:

•  Move from a products company to a solutions company.

•  Move from a transactional company to a strategic company.

•  Move from “products and technology” to “customers and markets.”

“We were a solid company — in the top three to five in most categories in terms of sales — but we needed a new energy to take us to being a top performer,” Joyce says.

The Shift to ‘Smarketing’

Once he analyzed how Miranda engaged with its market, Joyce says it was evident that the sales team was “too transactional.”

“If somebody needed a screw, we gave them a screw. If they needed a nut, we gave them a nut. We fulfilled the transaction as opposed to taking a far more strategic engagement where we’re looking at the challenges of our customers over a longer period of time, engaging with them much earlier on,
and solving problems.”

A first step was to pull sales out of its silo. To accomplish this, Joyce embraced the concept of “smarketing,” or making sure that sales and marketing teams are well aligned and communicating with each other.

To lead training on its new approach, Miranda Technologies enlisted Corporate Visions, a globally recognized provider of marketing and sales training. The Miranda sales and marketing teams were put through Corporate Visions’ system of “power positioning” and “power messaging.” The result: improved communication between marketing and sales, which ultimately produced better conversations between sales reps and customers.

As Joyce explains it, the power messaging system gave Miranda’s marketing team a better understanding of the conversations sales reps needed to have with prospects to improve their performance. Sales calls were less about what Miranda’s products do and more about what they mean to the customer.

Miranda Technologies incorporated the power messaging and power positioning system into its sales and marketing process in January. Corporate Visions had a third-party company measure the impact of its training through surveys of Miranda’s sales and marketing teams (82 percent responded). The follow-up showed that within three months of the training, 91 percent of respondents said the new process made a difference in their performance.

Joyce says his reps attributed $7 million of revenue on the books since the training directly to the power messaging training, and another $19 million in new opportunities. (Miranda Technologies reported $181 million in revenue last year.)

“Being able to speak the same language is rare for three divisions,” Joyce says, referring to his sales, marketing and product management teams. “All three feel they can do their job better.”

The training integrated marketing into the sales process and empowered the marketing team to expand its role beyond producing brochures and planning tradeshow strategy.

“It rewired everyone’s brains to tell why [our products] matter to customers and not what the product does,” Joyce says. “It sounds so basic you’d think sales and marketing would have evolved on their own. In the end, it was all about making the company more efficient.”

Kevin Joyce will make an in-depth presentation on the Miranda Technologies success story at Break the Status Quo Barrier, an annual Corporate Visions conference on aligning marketing and sales teams. The conference is scheduled for Sept. 18-20 in Chicago. Sales and Marketing Management readers can attend for $299 – a 50% discount on the regular conference price. Visit http://win.corporatevisions.com/smm2012 for more information.