This is lesson number nine from Lisa Shepherd’s new book on B2B marketing, The Radical Sales Shift. The lesson reveals a secret of success for marketing companies and marketing managers. How do you achieve success in your work with clients? It has less to do with quality of work or quantity of results than you'd think. In fact, success has everything to do with the short-term speed of activity.
The marketing managers interviewed in The Radical Sales Shift revealed that neither quantity of results or quality of work are the biggest indicators of a satisfied client. In fact, marketing companies and managers who work with and in business-to-business organizations are more likely to achieve success by producing tangible and visible accomplishments quickly. When they do this, they lay the groundwork for greater success down the road. If they don’t do it, they often don’t get the opportunity to deliver success down the road - because they’ve been told to hit the road.
Here’s the secret of success for marketing companies and leaders: use a First 100 Days approach.
The First 100 Days
Many of the twenty marketing leaders interviewed in The Radical Sales Shift spoke about the need to get specific things accomplished in a short timeframe in order to set the marketing function up for success and leverage the energy and excitement their client (or employer) has for marketing in this “honeymoon” phase.
Every company has a different set of activities that make the most sense and deliver the most value in the early stages of marketing. There are no set recipes, but here are some activities that marketing leaders consider for the first 100 days:
- Marketing Strategy
- Brand Update (not necessarily an overhaul – often a refresh will do)
- Website Overhaul
- Collateral Update
- Sales Process Definition
The challenge for marketing companies and managers working in B2B organizations is to accomplish some foundation activities (like strategy), as well as tangible outputs (like collateral) in the first 100 days in order to be perceived as delivering Quick Wins. Because of the limited knowledge about marketing in B2B, it’s essential for marketers to deliver results relatively quickly in order to gain credibility.