Business Strategy and Sales Specialist joins IMEC Team of Regional Managers

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Jun 22, 2018 9:29:00 AM

Dean Harms is the newest addition to the IMEC team, bringing a strong background in business strategy, marketing and cross-functional improvements to northern Illinois organizations. As a Regional Manager with more than 30 years of experience working in OEM & MRO markets, Dean has a passion for engaging customers through diverse channels of communication in order to provide them with the best possible solution.

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Help Us Welcome Two New Members to "Team Marketing"

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on May 30, 2018 11:33:00 AM

This month, IMEC welcomed two new Marketing Coordinators to our statewide team of excellence-focused specialists.

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Smarketing: Funny Name, Serious Benefits

Posted by Mary Mechler on May 29, 2018 10:19:00 AM

If I asked you to think of the two best things ever put together, you might immediately think of pairings such as peanut butter and jelly, biscuits and gravy, or fish and chips. But what combination really surpasses all others? Smarketing.

Smarketing  is the term used to describe an integrated sales and marketing team that effectively works together in a harmonious fashion. It has a funny sounding name, but when Smarketing is in full effect, the impact is serious.

Smarketing may not seem as ground-breaking as fish and chips on the surface, but consider this: Are your company’s sales and marketing teams rarely on the same page? This could be detrimental to your organization as it is nearly impossible to increase revenue and expand your client base when these departments are not integrated. Revenue and client growth can only happen when both teams work together toward shared goals that benefit the entire company.

Once a company acknowledges the importance of this partnership, they can start working on making improvements in their planning. This process might begin with asking the question, how can both teams work together more efficiently? The answer lies in communication. Tear down the silos! If your company is fortunate enough to have a sales and marketing team, it could benefit your team and your company to open up communication and discuss the following topics. Or, if you make up the entire sales and marketing team, then have this conversation with yourself (just make sure no one else is around to witness you talking to yourself).
  1. Understand what a perfect client looks like. Where are they located? Which industries are they in? How are their decisions made? Who makes the decisions, and what are the most common objections?  Have the sales and marketing teams work together to determine what the perfect client looks like, get a list together and determine who your top 100 prospective clients are.  
  2. Sales Team: Show the Marketing folks what the sales funnel looks like. How many touches (any time a prospective client sees your name) does it take for a client to agree to a meeting? How many meetings does it take to provide a proposal? How many proposals does it take to get a sale?  After you do the math (see, you thought you would never use algebra in your sales career), the marketing team will know exactly how many touches it will need to make in order to hit the sales goals of the company. Hopefully by going through this exercise, efficiencies and bottlenecks will be identified.  Now you are getting somewhere...
  3. Get together and discuss what and how frequent these touches should be.  Examples of touches are phone calls, educational blogs, emails, LinkedIn connections, educational events and postcards. Both teams should work to determine the frequency of touches. With an established, consistent plan for implementing touches in place, potential clients will be made more aware of your services for when the need eventually rises (also referred to as drip marketing). 
  4. Build a robust website. It is up to the marketing department to make sure prospective clients have positive experiences with your branding and website. Beyond having an initial touch, prospective clients will look at your website and determine if they want to meet with your sales team based on what should be a professional, educational, easy to navigate and inspiring website.
  5. Have a story. Why choose your company over the competition?  Let prospective clients know why they should work with you. Leave out phrases like "we have the best people, best product/service and best on-time delivery." These characteristics should be assumed about your company, as you wouldn’t still be in business if you didn’t offer good service. Ask your employees to think of a few important elements to add to your story, and share it with your friends, family and business confidants to test its effectiveness.

With all of this integrated communication and work in place, there is no reason your company shouldn’t succeed in reaching prospective clients, getting leads and staying competitive. 

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Innovative or Die

Posted by Jim Dunbar on Jan 24, 2018 12:44:28 PM

Innovate or die. This may sound like a particularly harsh term but when you look at Toys ”R” Us as an example, it rings all too real. They just recently had to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy and are in real danger ofcompletely disappearing from the retail landscape. When you don’t change and adapt, the world passes you by.

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Market Monitoring - As Easy as 1, 2, 3...4

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Sep 28, 2017 10:19:49 AM

Written by April Glosser, Thrive Market Intelligence

Effective Market Monitoring can provide early warning of threats, advance notification of opportunities and deliver a significant advantage over your competitors.

Here is a quick 4-step process to begin Market Monitoring in it’s simplest form:

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Market Monitoring - As Easy as 1, 2, 3...4

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on May 7, 2015 4:09:42 PM

Written by April Glosser, Thrive Market Intelligence

Effective Market Monitoring can provide early warning of threats, advance notification of opportunities and deliver a significant advantage over your competitors.

Here is a quick 4-step process to begin Market Monitoring in it’s simplest form:

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Is your company's market position helping you flourish or flounder?

Posted by IMEC on Jun 23, 2014 1:00:45 PM

Global competition, OEM pricing, delivery and quality demands, and other threats to a profitable market position require more strategic marketing plans that focus on the right products and services reaching the right customers in the right way at the right time. Without planning, success can be a result of luck.

Companies need to have a balanced distribution of profitable customers, products and sales methods focused on value to the customer, and a position in the marketplace that supports their strategic plan.

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