A family run business in the care home sector with 36 years’ experience. They have a team of 20 employees, largely based within their Bedfordshire head office and some field based. Their annual turnover is £5m. They operate in a highly competitive marketplace with lots of companies offering similar products and where price is an important factor. In addition to care home products, the company offers servicing packages for care home equipment, giving them a distinct advantage over their competitors.
Marketing expertise had traditionally come from within the business, with one individual managing all elements of the marketing mix. A lack of structure, direction and communication within the sales function often meant the team were unclear as to where growth was likely to come from.
An external business consultant had identified marketing as a key requirement for growth and recommended a complete review of the marketing function by an experienced marketer from outside of the company. The client enlisted the services of Rachel Allen Marketing to align the sales and marketing functions and develop and deliver a plan to achieve growth.
Throughout the 18-month programme with Rachel Allen Marketing, the business is now ready for growth with a stable platform from which to build on:
- Strategically aligned sales and marketing functions, reviewing sales process
- Delivered sales and marketing plan and created campaigns to generate qualified sales leads and achieve sustainable growth
- Systematically reviewed all customer touchpoints
- Strengthened proposition, branding and messaging, drawing out key benefits and supporting with proof points
- Improved sales team structure: implementing sales territories, prospect classification and tracking
Improved sales team structure: implementing sales territories, prospect classification and tracking
Initially, the sales team didn’t have clearly defined sales territories. After an initial review, they can now clearly see all of their customers, prospects and target customers within the CRM system. Rachel recommended that customers were classified as gold, silver and bronze with a targeted sales and marketing approach to meet the needs of each customer type. Both internal and field based sales team have a clear process for managing and tracking leads effectively, with sales lead conversion improving by 54% as a result.
Using targeting to identify sales opportunities
Rachel introduced a clear process for customers and prospects to be defined in the CRM system, allowing the team to target with appropriate messages. The sales & marketing plan now includes a systematic approach for high, medium and lower value customers, plus prospects and suspects. The database now includes 19,000 care homes to allow the team to target relevant customers in their territory, based on size and type of care home. Following Rachel’s recommendations, the sales team can now target prospect customers based on size and type.
Implementing a systemised approach to managing the sales and marketing function
Rachel recommended that the client’s database has been cleansed and restructured allowing for clear segmentation and targeting providing the sales team visibility of pipeline opportunities. Numerous un-utilised areas of the CRM system are now being used, allowing the sales team to have a record of every single interaction a customer has with the client, to support marketing efforts.
Development of sales tools and marketing materials
As part of the project, Rachel has now delivered a range of sales enablement tools to support the sales team, including:
- 400 page fully priced catalogue of the product offering
- New ecommerce website
- Sales presentations supporting new business pitches and meetings
- A revised offering to reflect both the client’s product and service offering
- Sales campaigns generating high quality leads
Creating a marketing function to provide ongoing results
The initial brief included a review of the current marketing function, streamlining and improving processes where possible and creating them when they didn’t exist and leaving a stable platform for the client to continue with in the long term. A full time executive has been employed to manage and deliver the marketing plan on an ongoing basis and they will benefit from process documents to ensure the consistency of marketing delivery, an end-to-end process for delivering campaign, an ROI template for campaigns allowing identification of campaign effectiveness and a budget template for forecast planning, providing complete clarity over marketing spend and budget/forecast planning
Improved management processes
Common with many family run businesses, there was a lack of structured communications in place. Following recommendations from Rachel, the client has now put in place:
- Monthly sales meetings reviewing progress, priorities and best practice
- Quarterly all staff meetings
- A structured approach to recruitment and staff appraisal
- Overall improved internal communications which has improved staff morale
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