Last Friday was National Cream Tea day when we were encouraged to celebrate taking a tea break accompanied by traditional scones topped with jam and cream. The combination might seem overdone but it’s delicious and works on so many levels.

Taking the break helped me reflect on the week: I’d been in discussions with a company who are experiencing problems bringing in sales and orders. I’d spoken with several members of the company and was impressed by their dedication, resolve and loyalty.

When problems occur due to weak sales and orders it can be difficult for owners or managers to identify what is needed to resolve the issues. Individuals or departments may be blamed for failing to meet sales targets that are unrealistic and unsupported. Owners and managers may be criticised for lack of understanding and weak communication.

A sales team needs to be supported by marketing. The two work together. Like jam and cream on a scone.

How can your team sell your products or services if there is weak, or non-existent, marketing?

So, what do I mean by marketing?

There are many long definitions but, in a nutshell, marketing is the process of getting customers interested in your services and products. You do this through conducting market research and analysis, and by really understanding what your ideal customer needs.

Market research reveals which types of marketing are best for your business. It tells you what is best for your own brand. It can include video marketing, traditional print marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, blog marketing and search engine marketing (SEM).

If you are aiming to increase awareness of your product or service and generate new orders and sales, you might use any combination of these marketing types (platforms) to support your sales team.

For example, a marketing campaign for a company introducing their service or product to customers could include posting an informational video on Instagram, an explanatory brochure which is downloadable from their website, and search engine marketing to bring customers to the educational pages of their site.

Combining the two forces: the skill of the sales team and a well thought out marketing strategy will help your customers, your staff and your business.

And, if you would like the scone recipe, just let me know!