09 Apr, 2024

The importance of effective sales and marketing to drive growth

Establishing a robust sales and marketing function is a critical element of a business growth strategy. While many companies initially rely on the merit and quality of their products to generate sales, they can struggle to progress due to a lack of core structure and strategies for sales and marketing.

Given the solution-oriented and technical backgrounds of many founders, there is often a skills gap in these areas. This gap means money is left on the table with significant target markets going untapped and competitors (sometimes with an inferior offering) capitalising on missed opportunities. The following case study highlights key aspects of a recent sales and marketing development project conducted by our team for an Irish agribusiness exporting to over 20 international markets.

  1. Basic business structures: We reviewed the current senior team structures and sales and marketing responsibilities to identify gaps and development opportunities. We developed KPIs for the organisation and built a digestible and concise plan for the remainder of the year using the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) model. Our recommendations led to a new senior leadership team meeting structure which ensures management are aligned and sales are a priority.

  2. Sales data analysis: By analysing sales data across various markets and customer segments, we provided the client with valuable insights into the highest-value and most profitable markets and customer segments. This allowed us to drill deeper to uncover the underlying reasons behind the company's success, enabling the client to replicate successful strategies across markets and augment strategies that were not generating sufficient value.

  3. Market research: We conducted independent interviews with the clients’ current customers. These conversations provided insight into the clients’ customer management operations, unearthing the true issues and opportunities. Customer interviews were supported by secondary research, including a competitive landscape review which helped the client to identify direct and indirect competitors, benchmarking attributes and shortfalls.

  4. Asset development: Through market research and assessment of current sales and marketing assets, we identified gaps in materials, which included sales decks, video content, photography, client testimonials and website collateral. We provided the client with copy recommendations, website story boards, video design briefs and redesigned sales decks. We also developed a marketing plan, enabling the client to engage with their B2B customers in a meaningful and strategic way.

  5. Sales training: We delivered tailored sales training workshops to key personnel in the organisation, equipping them with the confidence and skills to sell their products across different markets.

  6. Next Steps (CRM System): We also suggested next steps to the client for further steps in improvement of their sales and marketing function. This included the implementation of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to manage their customer relationships. We regularly help companies with CRM system implementation as it enables companies to build data on their current, lapsed and prospective customers over time, ensuring continuity and retention of IP when staff depart, and providing valuable metrics on sales and marketing efforts, offering insight into where time and money is best spent.

To have a conversation about how developing your sales and marketing efforts could help your business, please call David Leydon, Head of Food and Agri Business on (087) 990 8227 or email davidleydon@ifac.ie.