MD of Sky-Messaging, Thomas Kritzer, explains why multiple sales strategies are necessary in today’s competitive business environment.
Sales is a meandering curve, believes the MD of Sky-Messaging, Thomas Kritzer. Sky-Messaging is a unique marketing platform that promotes brands through banners flying over high-traffic areas behind small planes.
“We’ve learnt that ongoing sales success is a combined effort. You can’t just have one strategy and hope. You need a few multi-faceted strategies.”
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One of the key areas that Kritzer has helped him build the business is social media – not as a marketing platform for the brand, but rather as a strong value-add to customers.
“The sales function doesn’t operate in isolation from the rest of the business. We know that word-of-mouth referrals and repeat customers are the core of our business. We’re aiming for a turnover target of R50 million within the next 12 to 18 months, and we can’t do that without satisfied customers who are able to track the success of their campaigns.”
The system is simple. Sky-Messaging uses strong back-end technology to ensure its clients can track their campaigns. An in-house geonotification system supports this aim.
“Clients choose where the aircraft flies based on peak traffic areas, LSMs, and who is being targeted by the campaign. You can then track where the plane is (and has been) through geonotification, and use social media to get people to look out for it, tweet pictures of it to win discounts, awards and so on, and generally draw more attention to the campaign. This creates an integrated campaign that encourages the customer’s clients to engage through social media.”
It also encourages Sky-Messaging’s clients to carefully consider who their own customers are, what traffic they’re stuck in, and what would engage them on social media – all useful information for their own sales strategies.
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“This particular value-add creates customer buy-in and has worked very well,” says Kritzer. “One, because clients can track customer responses, and two, because it’s automated, so it can be set up and forgotten about.
Keeping on top of leads
A second strategy is more focused on traditional sales strategies. “We have in-house software that tracks every step in our sales process. Everything is captured: Who the target is, when contact was made, what the next move is – everything is tracked with follow-up flags, and these are automated and pop up to remind our team when a follow-up is due. And we always, always follow-up. We don’t wait for the phone to ring. We’re pro-active.
“People do spend money. That’s a fact. What you need is for them to spend money with you. People also like to spend money with people they like, so we take the time to build relationships. We’re professional and serious about what we do.
“Our average turn-around time is two to four weeks, but can take up to two years. We understand that the timing needs to be right for these campaigns - companies are sometimes waiting for budget again, or a promotion, a new product range, or a relaunched website. That’s why follow up is so important.”
Showcasing the product
A third focus is putting the pitch into context. “We do something unusual, so we always try and put the pitch into context by creating mock-ups and routing examples. We showcase what we can do with the available spend and we make it as real as possible.
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“We hold our clients hand through the entire process. The general public doesn’t understand what goes into it – what banners work, how planned it is, where the plane goes, how it’s tracked and so on. We need to really show people how to use the platform.”
With turnover showing impressive year-on-year growth, it’s clear these tactics are paying off.