Salespeople depend on a consistent flow of sales opportunities in order to be successful. A tactical approach to sales campaigns will not produce the number of opportunities that they need. Only a small group of senior executives from various parts of the firm can examine the external competitive landscape, draw on the company’s internal resources, and develop compelling campaigns.
Roff-Marsh calls this group the promotions committee and says that its success is a vital component of successful campaigns. Let’s look at how Roff-Marsh explains the work of the promotions committees.
The campaign process is coordinated as you’d expect by the campaign coordinator. However, the most important resource in this process is not a person but a committee. We call it the promotions committee. In addition to the campaign coordinator, the promotions committee includes a number of senior people. Typically these people are the head of marketing, the head of sales, and the head of new product development. In small organizations the CEO should definitely be a member of this committee too. The job of the committee is to conceptualize campaigns. In this context think of a campaign as an initiative, like a military campaign as opposed to a piece of promotions collateral. Each campaign has three critical attributes. First there’s the offer and the market segment, what you’re selling and to whom exactly you intend to sell it. Second is the ultimate proposition, a proposition so powerful that your prospect will ultimately be compelled to purchase. And third there is the initial proposition, the initial commitment will be asking the prospect to make at the first point of contact. These three decisions provide the campaign coordinator with what we call a campaign concept.
Most companies find it challenging to form an effective promotions committee. But it’s a critical component of a successful campaign strategy.
You really must understand that sales opportunities are primarily the result of the ingenuity of this promotions committee. It’s up to this committee to formulate compelling offers, to match these offers with appropriate market segments, and then create traffic stopping propositions to solicit prospects engagement. The campaign process is a powerful one, but for it to function effectively you need regular committee meetings. You need members of the committee to be high-level individuals who are fully engaged. And you also need a feedback loop to enable a process of ongoing improvement. This feedback loop ensures that the campaign process is an ongoing experiment, one that evolves with each iteration.
The feedback loop is super important for two reasons. One is that markets shift and the promotions committee has to respond to changing conditions. And second, most executives have little experience with the creation and execution of successful campaigns. They are climbing a steep learning curve and they need constant feedback to see how they are doing.
Successful campaigns will require a number of departments within your organization to work closely together. The most effective campaigns are the result of engineering, production, logistics, finance and sales all working together to formulate offers that your customers can’t refuse and your competitors don’t dare emulate. This takes practice, a lot of practice. The feedback loop is important because it enables a process of ongoing improvement.
Companies need a promotions committee to formulate and execute promotional campaigns. Just as a committee of executives makes important decisions about policy and investment in production and new product development, a similarly strong committee needs to be in place to make important decisions about sales campaigns.