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

Contents

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

The Architecture of a Sales & Marketing Strategy 🙇‍♀️

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

  • how to achieve an overarching goal
  • a high-level proposed course of action to handle market changes and reduce negative impact

2 Situation Analysis

  • the company overview: strategic goals, current processes, assets and offerings
  • 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

Figure 4. Goal-setting template including overarching focus goals, and concrete performance objectives
  1. Monetary goals
  • Increase annual net revenue by 30%
  • Technical support costs down by 20%
  • Steal 15% of the customer base from direct competitors
  • Increase Enterprise sales
  • Sell 2 million units in APAC by Q4 2022
  • 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

🌎 Target market(s)

🎯 ICPs

  • industry in which it operates (e.g., banking, IT consulting, HR)
  • size of the organization (startup, SMB or corporation)
  • circumstance which makes it an ideal buyer (e.g., “automating recruitment processes”)
  • Target market: United Kingdom
  • Industry: banking
  • Size: SMB
  • Circumstance: need to automate their recruitment process

🕵️‍♀️ Buyer personas

  • Background 👉 title, weight within the company
  • 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

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

🤩 Positioning

🛍 Brand

  • Brand design 🎨→ carefully craft the identity and meaning of your brand associated with your offerings, that needs to be implanted in the customers’ minds.
  • 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

  1. Integrated Marketing Design & Communications (IMDC) 👉 based on my experience advising growth companies, I find the sweet-spot is to put Design & Communications all under the Marketing department, under the same Marketing strategy
  2. 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
  3. 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 🦚
  4. 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

  • People 👩‍💼 → your greatest asset: who are they and what is going to be their role within your master plan. You should also include any subcontractors (e.g., marketing agencies) who are going to assist the in-house team in executing your marketing plan.
Figure 6. A ring-based chart represents a team avoiding hierarchies. And it’s cool too! 🌻
  • Time ⏳ → what are the milestones and the timeline for achieving intermediate goals. In other words, your plan’s roadmap.
Figure 7. Example of a Marketing plan (roadmap) for the next 9 months
  • Money 💰 → your budget structure and how it is going to be allocated across different dimensions: functions, time, business areas, etc.
Figure 8. Example of a Marketing budget comparing YoY changes.

7 Control

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

Figure 9. Control (KPIs) linking back to the entire G-STIC framework
  1. If your metrics are not meeting the target, go up 🔼 one step in the G-STIC, that is, to the Implementation part. Something you are doing must be wrong.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Set up tracking meetings to check the progress with your team (either weekly, monthly or quarterly). Always focus on the ones that don’t progress and try to steer your daily activities on fixing those ones 💪
  2. 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.

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Claudio M. Camacho

A family guy in the tech business 👨🏻‍💻 Executive Director | Strategic Marketing Management ➡️ www.claudiocamacho.com