Are your company revenues beginning to fade? Do you have a particularly difficult-to-sell product line? Uncertain if your product(s) are poorly designed or if it is simply competition eating your lunch? Do you wonder if you have weak leaders or weak sales professionals?
Consider: “MAINSTREAMING”.See my END NOTE below.
Mainstreaming: temporarily kicking your product and service marketing LEADERS out of the office and onto the streets without the protective cover of accompanying sales representatives or entertaining customer executives. I’m talking about temporarily mandating that your leaders hit the streets, going face-to-face with purchasing agents, not executives, and, thereby, adding more manpower and muscle to the selling effort. Make ’em SELL alone! Even your sales directors/managers. This includes filing sales reports and creating positive sales results in exactly the same way as your company’s sales reps must do.
Why should marketing management and other marketing leaders remain the “privileged class” of sitting in their offices “planning” when your company is going through tough times? [For clarity, marketing includes the selling arms, too.] Tough times demand that everyone associated to the selling effort be asked to “Man the canons!” ….including sales manages and directors and vice-presidents! MAINSTREAMING.
When a company’s top line is hurting badly pulling out all the stops ought to include turning marketing/sales executive office time into selling time. There is much to be had by implementing a temporary mandate to mainstream.
- It instantly provides more selling power without investing in additional manpower.
- It helps to prove to all direct reports hat even during “tough times” your company’s products can be sold. It removes excuses.
- If the product or service truly CAN’T BE SOLD, you may learn that the product problem rests with having engineered a product of “Managerial Ego” rather than a product that meets customers requirements. [Click here to read more about dangers of Managerial Ego.]
- As a CEO, this mandate may cause weak leaders to be exposed. And that may be useful to you come next performance appraisal on those leaders.
In the role of leadership, I’m hard core, street-toughened. I used “Mainstreaming” quite effectively. Here are just some of the benefits I enjoyed because of mainstreaming:
- Discovered clear issues of one major product line and redirected national selling strategies to make it succeed.
- Re-engineered a product line to sell it into an entirely new market segment.
- Commanded more respect from the sales team.
- Increased the love, passion, and innovation related to my own job(s).