Many industry providers who are offering unified communications or cloud-based services today are small to medium sized businesses, who have come primarily out of the large carrier mold which we have seen is in rapid decline. Many larger and publicly traded carriers (AT&T, Cisco, Avaya, CenturyLink and others) have substantial marketing and communications departments that have little or no interaction with the sales teams. Now that the landscape is changing dramatically, it’s a good time to look at the enhanced business proposition and increased sales opportunity incorporated with a strategic communications plan.
Building brand awareness (equity) is not second nature to most sales organizations. They do one thing, and they do it well… sell. They develop prospect channels, build relationships, update websites, engage social media, attend industry conferences and network like mad, but in the final analysis, very little time or effort is spent on building the company brand or gaining credibility. A motivational speaker once pointed out that it is a lot easier to sell a company named IBM, than it is to sell BMI. Why? Credibility. There are two ways of approaching this, while contributing to the bottom line: Business awareness, and communications outreach.
On the brand awareness side, how are you viewed as a company? Are you a good corporate citizen that gives back to the community? Are you a steady employer, offering a positive work environment where employees thrive and are happy? Is the leadership team productive and insightful? Are there growth opportunities within your organization?
These questions and a host of other factors communicated properly to a specific, external audience will be key when building brand equity. Once again, perception is reality.
On the communications outreach side, it is important to incorporate your sales prospects and other stakeholders as part of your news and information distribution strategy. This approach puts timely and effective content directly in front of prospects, perhaps even prior to them having heard from you. Effectively communicating solution differentiators and advantages, explaining new product and service offerings, and keeping both current customers and prospects up to speed on company news and information are all contributing factors to bottom line sales.
By implementing your company’s brand awareness and strategic communications outreach, not only will you build your company’s credibility, you will also enjoy increased sales and revenue in the process.