By: GreatAmerica on June 30th, 2022
5 Financing Sales & Marketing Tips Featuring Jackie Schmid
Updated 6/30/2022. Originally published 6/14/2022.
Sales and marketing work hand-in-hand, no matter the type of product or service you are selling. At GreatAmerica Financial Services, this relationship is imperative to the success of our customers. As sales and marketing professionals, it is our job to communicate, educate, and empower our customers to offer financing to their customers, the end user. We thought this would be a great opportunity to speak with the Connected Technology Group’s Director of Strategic Partnerships at GreatAmerica, Jackie Schmid.
Before we dig into Jackie’s marketing tips, let us first talk about her journey to sales through marketing. Jackie started her career at GreatAmerica in 2011. GreatAmerica was an attractive company to Jackie because of the stability as well as a few connections with current employees (family and a long-time friend). She initially joined the sales support function, but quickly transitioned into marketing as the Connected Technology Group’s Strategic Marketing Director in 2013. Before joining GreatAmerica, Jackie worked in newscast production at the local CBS and FOX stations. That experience gave Jackie an especially unique skillset which she later applied as she began building a digital presence for GreatAmerica through marketing emails, website enhancements, and blogging.
After 10 years in a marketing seat, Jackie transitioned to her current sales role, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Connected Technology Group. Through this journey, she brings a notable perspective to her sales team, helping them understand the value of building brand awareness and gaining strategic relationships through creative marketing. While Jackie has been in this seat for only 10 months, she has already achieved a coveted GreatAmerica sales honor; membership in the 100% Club. This is a club honoring sales team members who have achieved their fiscal year-to-date goal each month. Award recipients enjoy perks like lunch with the president (and other like-minded sales team members).
“This is a great story as Jackie made the move from marketing to the sales team with about 7-8 months left in Fiscal Year ‘22. It was not an easy decision for her to make the move and she had some big shoes to fill. But as always, Jackie rose to the occasion and did a fantastic job making the transition while continuing to grow the territory without missing a beat,” said Lee Rozeboom, Vice President and Managing Director of Sales, Connected Technology Group at GreatAmerica.
There’s a lot we can learn from Jackie’s journey. So what are her top 5 sales and marketing tips? Read on below.
1. Keep a Sharp Focus on the Storybrand Framework
During Jackie’s tenure on the marketing team, she read a book called, “Building A StoryBrand,” by Donald Miller. This book outlines the seven elements of great storytelling to grow your business. One key takeaway from the book is making your customer the hero of the story, not your brand.
“Brands tend to think about what do I want? And what do I want you to do? As opposed to how am I helping you? In terms of the relationship with our customers, StoryBrand has helped me understand and articulate to my partners that I care about their relationship with their customers and so it extends my value. I’m able to develop the ability to extend my value from just ‘here is how I’m going to help you’ to ‘here is how I’m going to help your customers,” Jackie explained.
2. Hone Your Project Management Skills
As a strategic marketer, project management is a key to success as you need to have a strong grasp on what you are doing and what tasks others surrounding you are doing to move toward the same goal. Particularly when you have a handful of projects going at the same time, you need to establish processes to work efficiently. In sales, you should bring project management skills to your tasks or work to establish these skills.
“In sales roles, you are typically so busy learning your customers and how they do business, what they do and what value you can bring. If you can incorporate project management into your sales roles, you will work more efficiently and avoid letting tasks fall through the cracks.” Jackie suggests.
Focusing on the customer relationship management software your company utilizes is a great place to start. For example, if your organization uses Salesforce, you can opt into trainings and credentials through their Trailhead here.
3. Craft a Compelling Message in Email to Get Someone to Take Action
In sales, you are communicating with customers via email daily. It is imperative your messaging is captivating enough to warrant a response. This is something both marketers and sales professionals know, but apply in different ways. In sales this also translates to strong verbal communication skills that still encourage customers to take action.
Again, we look to software training to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in marketing. HubSpot features blogs and resources for marketing professionals (many of them are free and beneficial regardless of your status as a HubSpot user) including 8 Tips for Writing An Effective and Compelling Email.
4. Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams
Aligning your sales and marketing teams is often easier said than done, but it is necessary for collaborative success. Sales and marketing alignment, or smarketing, refers to sales and marketing teams that share resources and use streamlined processes to focus collectively on the larger, sustainable goal of efficiently increasing revenue.
Jackie explains, “The more times salespeople engage with marketing, and the more ideas we provide to marketing, the more value we're going to get out of marketing. Sales should think of marketing as a service to be leveraged for enhanced results. Collaborating in this way is so valuable and can even lead to increased revenue. ”
Alignment can take many forms. Much of this collaboration can be achieved through brainstorming or idea sharing sessions across departments. It’s also important to implement a content marketing strategy including various forms of content like e-books, guides, checklists, case studies, blogs, videos and podcasts. If sales and marketing departments are communicating and collaborating effectively, the content should speak to and address needs and answer questions for your customers and prospects. In fact, sales and marketing alignment can help your company become 67% better at closing deals, and can help generate 209% more revenue from marketing, according to this HubSpot article.
5. Present a Monthly Payment Option
Don’t make the mistake of assuming your customers won’t value a financing option. Too often we hear our customers say, “our customers don’t need financing, they have plenty of cash on hand.” When this happens, they may be forgetting their customers and prospects have business goals they could use their cash for beyond the technology solution they’ve sold them; think hiring and retention, starting a new project, marketing efforts, and more. Sometimes in sales, we forget to make that final ask and financing is no exception.
Jackie urges you to ask, “If I were able to give you a monthly payment option for this, would you be interested?” This question will enable you to really make an impact with your customer relationship.
Read about other key questions to strategically ask customers about their budget in our blog, Creating Simplicity in a Complex World.
Bonus Tip: Register for the July Sales Simplicity Seminar
Another way to increase your odds of success for any given opportunity is by examining your sales process. Join us July 12 and 13 for our Sales Simplicity Seminar to learn how to implement a solid, proven sales process that drives real results. In-person and virtual seating available!
GreatAmerica is the largest independent, family-owned national commercial equipment finance company in the U.S. and is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. A $2.4 Billion company, GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and has a staff of over 600 employees with offices in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to financing, GreatAmerica offers innovative non-financial services to help our customers grow. www.greatamerica.com