Want to Know What Your Customers Are Saying? Instead of a Focus Group, Try This

Want to Know What Your Customers Are Saying? Instead of a Focus Group, Try This

Want to Know What Your Customers Are Saying? Instead of a Focus Group, Try This

As marketers, we never know how our message is received. Yes, we see the likes on social posts, hits on blogs and clicks on emails. We monitor our analytics, track our leads, measure ROI…but we don’t quite get a glimpse into the emotional response that a marketing message elicits. How can we get this information?

Ask Your Sales Team!

Who better to ask for input than the very people selling the products or services you’re marketing? Your sales team is talking to customers day in and day out, answering their questions, solving their struggles and fulfilling the promises made by marketing. Plus, we all know salespeople love to talk, right? I’m half-kidding, but in all seriousness, you should really set up ongoing meetings with your salespeople. If you have a huge sales staff, perhaps select the members who are most inclined and/or available to participate.

What’s on the Agenda

As a Marketing Director at Time Warner Cable, I held weekly calls with all of our sales managers to receive feedback on advertising campaigns, pricing, promotions, etc. I would ask them things like:

  • What types of calls did you get from our recent campaign(s)?
  • Do you feel like these leads were truly interested in our service/product? If so, was there anything specific they mentioned?
  • Did our marketing tactics help you close the sale?
  • Were the prospects educated about our offering, or did they need more information?
  • Did you receive many calls that were not relevant? If so, where do you think we can improve our messaging?
  • When you are reaching out to current customers, have they seen our campaign? If so, what did they mention about it?
  • What types of questions are customers and prospects asking about our business?

If you want to take it a step further, also consider listening to actual sales calls to get a better understanding of what customers are asking in response to a given ad. Pay attention to how the reps are responding as well, so you know where they could use some support from your brand messaging.

More Direct Than Data, More Affordable Than a Focus Group

It’s great to dissect data and dig deep into analytics. If you’re able to wrangle customers and organize a focus group, more power to you. In most organizations, though, the sales team is sitting on a gold mine of information for marketing. They’re an accessible and insightful focus group, right there on the front line.

In my experience, sales teams offer not only the best feedback on current marketing campaigns, but also fantastic ideas for future campaigns. Any question or concern they receive from a customer is a potential opportunity for marketing. Better yet, you already know the topic is of interest because it comes from a real-life scenario.

Remember, marketing supports sales and sales validates marketing. If you’re a business owner or executive, it’s extremely important that these two departments are partners and not silos. See how Skach Marketing Group can help sync your sales and marketing.

Cindy Skach

Cindy Skach brings more than 20 years of delivering measurable results through strategic marketing to clients. Her sales experience allows her to appreciate the value of digital marketing and build a team accordingly, while her marketing experience enables her to understand and relate to a sales team’s needs. Collaborating with many agencies over the years equipped Cindy with the insight and business savvy to launch Skach Marketing Group.