An Actionable Sales & Marketing Strategy Template for Growth Companies 🌱

A strategic guide to Sales and Marketing Alignment 👉 How to bridge the gap between business objectives, inbound sales and performance marketing

📥 Download the full template here, if you are too impatient to read this article through → www.claudiocamacho.com/resources/smarketing_template.pdf

Contents

  • Architecture of a Sales & Marketing Strategy
  • Executive Summary
  • Situation Analysis
  • Goals
  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Implementation
  • Control
  • Conclusion

The Architecture of a Sales & Marketing Strategy 🙇‍♀️

It’s that time of the year when the executive team gets together to review the company objectives for the coming year. As a Head of Marketing, your job is to build a marketing plan that will make the company achieve those objectives within a given timeline. Because both Marketing and Sales will be measured on revenue generation and working side by side, how different should a Marketing and a Sales strategy be? They shouldn’t 🙅🏼‍♂️

Figure 1. Skeleton of a simplified Sales & Marketing Strategy template
Figure 2. List of most popular strategic frameworks (Kellogg School of Management)
Figure 3. G-STIC framework by Alex Chernev (Strategic Marketing Management, 2nd Edition)

1 Executive Summary

Here’s where your actual strategy document starts. The executive summary is the preamble for the marketing plan, which includes a description of the current market situation and the potential changes that will affect the business in the future.

  • a high-level proposed course of action to handle market changes and reduce negative impact

2 Situation Analysis

This section is a deep-dive into the Executive Summary, and aims to provide an overall evaluation of the company and the context in which it is operating, as well as identifying the markets in which it will compete 🥊

  • the market overview: characteristics of the market the company is targeting with this plan, including its size, needs (product-market fit) and competition landscape

3 Goals

The goals section is the most important one. It will be the foundation for the strategy and the details of the entire action plan. Here’s a representation of how to structure goal setting:

Figure 4. Goal-setting template including overarching focus goals, and concrete performance objectives
  • Technical support costs down by 20%
  • Increase Enterprise sales
  • 10,000 less support calls globally by Q4 2022
  • 1,700 new customers subscribed in competitor-attack campaigns by Q4 2022
  • 200 new paying Enterprise accounts by Q4 2022

4 Strategy

Once the goals are clear and sliced into concrete objectives, it’s time to document the actual strategy. The Strategy part of your document should include:

🌎 Target market(s)

The target markets are usually defined by geographic regions. Choosing a specific region or a limited number of regions is the first step to segment your target audience, and it will help you later when creating the Marketing Mix (i.e., your tactics). Lead generation campaigns, SEO, influencer marketing and basically anything you do will depend on the region, its language and its behavioral characteristics.

🎯 ICPs

ICP stands for Ideal Customer Profile, and it is the next level of granularity in your marketing strategy. Once you have chosen the target market, you have to define who are your ideal buyers.

  • size of the organization (startup, SMB or corporation)
  • circumstance which makes it an ideal buyer (e.g., “automating recruitment processes”)
  • Industry: banking
  • Size: SMB
  • Circumstance: need to automate their recruitment process

🕵️‍♀️ Buyer personas

Buyer personas go one level down within the ICP, describing all the people profiles within that organization who can influence and make the final purchase decision.

  • Demographics 👉 age, gender, income, lifestyle
  • Identifiers 👉 anything that describes their way of thinking and acting — e.g., impulsive, data-driven, etc
  • Goals 👉 how is this person measured within their organization (e.g., keep employees happy)
  • Challenges 👉 what are their biggest concerns and fears (e.g., getting the wrong hires)
  • What can you do? 👉 [INSERT HERE VALUE PROPOSITION]

📦 Value proposition

Your Value proposition is what you offer to your customer to suffocate their problem 🧯 A fully documented Value proposition includes the list of all benefits and characteristics of your product or service, which will help your Buyer personas achieve their goals, and overcome their challenges.

We provide a [INSERT PRODUCT OR SERVICE] for [ICP] to [EFFECT] [CHALLENGE] and (achieve) [GOAL].

For example:

🤩 Positioning

Strategic positioning defines the (fewer) characteristics of your product or service that set it apart from the competition. In other words, your positioning tells what is very unique and special from your value proposition, that nobody else can offer. This is also sometimes referred to as Unique Selling Points (USP).

🛍 Brand

Last but not least, a proper Marketing Strategy should cover how the brand is going to support the rest of elements in the overall plan. The importance of the brand comes from the fact that purchase decisions are 80% emotional and 20% rational. Therefore, a brand can make a huge difference in customers’ buying decisions, plus it’s the most sophisticated tool for positioning yourself among competitors in a globally commoditized market 🏭

  • Brand communications 📢→ how the brand design is related to customers needs and continuously deliver that brand design to the customers in ways they understand, to keep (and refresh) that image in their mind.
  • Sub-brand strategy ⬇️ → only in the case you have multiple brands/companies to manage, you’ll have to choose between one of the main branding strategies: master brand (one brand for all), free-standing brands (each brand runs independently) or endorser brands (e.g., 7Up by Pepsico).
Figure 5. Sales & Marketing Strategy checklist ✅

5 Tactics

In the “Tactics” section, it’s important to describe what kind of marketing activities will be carried out during the execution of the Marketing plan. Tactics are the actual marketing campaigns and projects that will go into execution or, in other words, the actual implementation of the Marketing strategy.

  1. Data-driven orchestrated inbound & outbound sales efforts 👉 your CMO and Head of Sales should be obsessed with collecting, analyzing and exploiting all the data you can from your customers and their behavior. Using a systematic approach, you can leverage your customers’ data and create powerful parallel strategies for inbound (marketing) and outbound (sales), to reach out to customers in a way they won’t be able to refuse
  2. Pick your fights 👉 there’re way too many different things you can do in Marketing, so make sure you choose the ones that work best for your company and your target customers. The mantra is: customers don’t like to be sold, they like to buy. So find the channels where they love to hang out, understand what makes them initiate a purchase, and then place yourself in front of them at the right time, in the right place, using a perfect selection of tactics 🦚
  3. Comms for branding and positioning 👉 there’s too much noise in this world. So, whenever you communicate something (on your blog, social media, PR, event or any other campaign), make sure you focus on articulating the differences, the uniqueness and why you are the special provider and rest are the average ones. Set yourself apart with every communication you do, the race for distinction is a fierce one in today’s market.

6 Implementation

As the really good saying goes: “Any vision without execution is just daydreaming” — And this is what makes the difference in a great CMO: the execution plan 🚀

Figure 6. A ring-based chart represents a team avoiding hierarchies. And it’s cool too! 🌻
Figure 7. Example of a Marketing plan (roadmap) for the next 9 months
Figure 8. Example of a Marketing budget comparing YoY changes.

7 Control

Now that you’ve built a solid plan for your Sales & Marketing team(s) to go forward with, it’s time to build a measure and control framework. A Control framework will enable you to track progress and success, as well as being able to detect any flaws in the plan along the way, and be able to fix them on the go 🔧 As someone on the Internet said 💭

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

A Control framework allows you to evaluate the progress towards your goals. Therefore, such framework has to be designed, aligned and executed completely in line with the original goals set in the Goal section at the beginning of your plan, following the G-STIC structure 👇

Figure 9. Control (KPIs) linking back to the entire G-STIC framework
  1. If your Implementation is fine and you’re resourcing all well, but still your metrics are not following, there must be something wrong with the chosen tactics. In other words, go up again one level and check your selected Tactics.
  2. If your Tactics are the correct ones, then you keep going up one level and check your overall strategy (target market, ICPs, buyer personas, etc). In the worst case, your goal must have been too ambitious, and you’ll need to settle with a more attainable goal 📉
Figure 10. Example of OKRs and how they can be formulated, to keep track of progress.
  1. Leave all vanity metrics (yes, the ones you get from your marketing tech stack and tools) to every function manager → content metrics for the Content Lead, Ads performance for the Advertising Lead, etc. You, as a CMO or CGO, should focus on the KPIs that contribute to the overall goals.

Summary

  1. When it comes to designing and implementing a Marketing strategy, remember to build it together with Sales from day 1. In other words, always build one unified Sales & Marketing Strategy, in one single document.
  2. G-STIC is a very powerful framework that will help you align Sales and Marketing together, and with the rest of the organization. Always start defining the goal, then agree on who to target and how, list the resources you need, and set up a way to track progress and steer.
  3. Your Sales & Marketing Strategy should clearly contribute to the overall business goals, and get approved by the CEO and, ultimately, by the board of directors.
  4. I can’t stress enough how important are the Goal and the Control parts of your G-STIC. Having realistic and ambitious goals with a systematic control framework in place will get you really far. All in between goals and control is then much easier to adjust, improve or change.

Download 📥

You can download a PDF version of this template here👇

Chief Growth Officer @ Fidelix 🚀 Executive Board Advisor | Leadership | Strategic Marketing Management | Digital Transformation ➡️ www.claudiocamacho.com

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