By Jessica Williams
Sales and Marketing have historically run independently with varying degrees of cross over. But the debate over which ‘comes first’ in business is as timeless as the Chicken and the Egg argument. Undoubtedly one of the most controversial subjects in these two sectors and one we have embraced since our inception.
So, let’s break this down…
- Which comes first?
- Can one function without the other?
- Which should you first invest in and who should you hire first?
With c5.94 million SMEs* in the UK according to the Federation of Small Business statistics for 2020, employing over 16.8 million individuals and accounting for 3/5 of all employment – it is time to consider this age-old dilemma from their perspective. In the current climate and with limited resources and budgets – which one comes first? Both roles are crucial to achieve the businesses objectives of growth, so who should you pick in the line up?
Well here comes the controversial part – and dependent on whether it be a Sales Professional or a Marketer you speak to, will of course depend on the response. You will most likely be expecting me to say Sales. However, I would indeed always and without doubt hire a marketer every time before taking on a sales professional if I had to choose between them.
We as, salespeople (whether we like to admit it or not!), are dependent on our friends in the marketing team, for how can we fully utilise the organisation’s brand profile; and what if they haven’t got one in the first place? It is far harder for me to connect, promote and facilitate introductions for an unrecognised organisation, new to market or a start up. Marketing is the first step of the overall process and an essential one at that. Sales professionals, in my experience, are far less successful when working in silo. So, when designing and developing a sales and marketing process, it is essential you take an integrated approach.
From designing the client profiles to developing early or introductory campaigns, social presence, membership profile and a prospect database; Sales and Marketing should always work hand in hand. They are of course two separate functions with a different skill set although often with similar deliverables for the client or business. Measuring the success of these two functions collectively and in line with the overall ambitions of the organisation is an area to consider to create a more harmonious blend. Initially though, take the cost savings and develop a strategy before hiring either and then ensure you hire at the right level to execute your objectives.
Just Williams, now 6 years old, started life as a sales company. Working with our clients and through extensive research and feedback, we rebranded to a Sales and Marketing organisation in 2020 to combine these two essential functions under one roof. This created the cohesive approach that is perfect for many SMEs looking to embark on a sales and marketing journey in a cost effective, efficient and productive way.
So, if you’re looking to venture into new markets, increase your brand profile and essentially win work – its marketing first and foremost (unless you sign up to our Hybrid solution!).
FSB SME Definition 0-49 employees https://urlshortner.org/DUzGy
Do you want to be part of a growing, exciting team? We’re looking to hire a Business Officer to join Just Williams as we continue to expand and support new clients across the country. Please carefully read the Person Specification and Role Description below and if you would like to apply please send a CV and cover letter to Emma Storey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing Date: Friday 25th June at 1pm.
This newly created role for Just Williams is testament to the organisations’ growth and ambitious nature and provides a fundamental support function to the day to day running of both the sales and marketing function. We are looking for an individual keen to work for a business who supports growth, continued professional development and who has a positive ‘can do’ attitude.
Experience in a similar role is essential.
The ideal candidate for this position within Just Williams will encompass the values of the business and deliver them in an effective and professional manner on a day-to-day basis.
• Be inquisitive and have a willingness to learn,
• Be proactive and have a ‘can do’ attitude,
• Have the ability to adapt to a range of situations,
• Be professional at all times and have an excellent telephone manner,
• Be punctual and organised to achieve deadlines,
• Be a team player but able to work alone,
• Be reliable, diligent and self-aware,
• Have a good eye for detail and have a meticulous approach to their work product,
• Have a mature attitude to work and professional relationships,
• Be an advocate for excellence,
• Have experience of 2 years + in a similar role.
The role of Business Officer is an essential one, providing day to day support to both our sales and marketing teams and most importantly, our customers. You will be responsible in supporting and engaging with all parts of the business to ensure we remain as efficient as possible; and deliver exceptional customer service at all times, through proactive sales engagement, telesales, appointment setting and marketing support for our clients. Working with the management team, you will support business activity in both a sales and marketing context.
Key responsibilities include;
1. Management of own workload and time efficiently and effectively,
2. Be able to effectively engage with a wide range of internal and external providers,
3. Proactively develop and manage sales opportunities,
4. Make appointments and facilitate introductions through but not limited to, telesales
5. Utilise networks to drive business visibility and presence
6. Manage and maintain CRM systems,
7. Create and support marketing and sales content
8. Social Media Support and engagement
9. Support the development of the Just Williams Sales Academy online
10. Attend networking events and support MD in promoting organisation
The successful candidate will have at least 2 years’ experience in a similar role along with a passion to continuously learn and develop into future roles within the business. This role presents an opportunity for an ambitious individual who wishes to progress within the company. You must be IT literate with good general knowledge of Microsoft Office programmes, have a warm and enthusiastic personality and confidence in all oral and written communication.
The position is fast-paced, and the postholder will be expected to manage their workload effectively both remotely and from our office in Stockton on Tees.
The successful candidate will have a positive mindset, excellent attitude, effective time management skills and resilience. These are all essential requirements for Just Williams staff.
A clean driving license is essential.
Status: Full Time Monday – Friday 37.5 Hours per week
Application deadline: 25/06/2021
Expected start date: 26/07/2021
Salary: £19,000 – £22,000 (Real Living Wage)
Company Benefits: Birthday Leave, Free onsite parking, Generous Christmas Leave Allowance, Learning Development Support and Resource, Equipment and Office Refreshments provided, Company Pension, Flexible Working and Team Social Get Togethers.
• Remote interview process
• Personal protective equipment provided or required
• Social distancing guidelines in place
• Virtual meetings
• Sanitisation, disinfection or cleaning procedures in place
The Future of Marketing
Well – that is a question… what is the Future of Marketing?
Truth is, Marketing means so many different things to so many different people that whatever the ‘future’ of Marketing looks like; it almost certainly looks different to different people. I believe we will see a rise in AI and responsive collateral – probably much sooner than we think but there are, however, a few universal truths that from our experience are timeless – and will shape the future of a very complex field and be applicable in virtually every sector.
My 3 H’s.
Honesty – Humanity – Humour
This may seem like a lofty collection of alliteration, but in our experience, you can boil down a significant chunk of marketing activity into each one – or a combination – of these areas. First up, let’s talk Honesty.
If there is one thing we can all agree on is that whatever field of Marketing you are in – digital, content, design etc – whatever your collateral, it absolutely has to be honest. And I mean honest as in factually representative, and truthful. Obviously by the very nature of Marketing we are aiming as ‘selling the dream’ and so we are trained in finding those silver linings or focussing on those pain-killing aspects of our products; but never should we mislead. Over the past 18 months I believe we have learned a lot more about ourselves as people and as businesses; we have spent time becoming more attune to what really matters and because of that we have subconsciously become more astute to what we are being fed through media outlets. Being honest in your marketing activity will get you noticed, much more than if you cover everything you put out in a sugar-coated goo that customers see straight through if they do spend with you in the end.
Obviously, there’s a fine line between being honest in your marketing and being TOO honest – but inevitably that will come down to the type of brand you are portraying. But one way to ‘future-proof- your communications is to keep them relevant to what is happening within your business and team; but without spilling your guts all over LinkedIn daily.
Humanity – ‘Oh for the love of humanity!’
In a similar way to being Honest, the Humanity elements of Marketing have increased massively over the past 18 months. In a world where we were bombarded with news of deaths, rising infection rates, lockdowns, and general misery – the humanitarian marketing won out. Think back to early Summer 2020, the best and biggest stories were about PEOPLE. The survivors, the volunteers, the families, the businesses, and the increase in indie pop ups. This visibility of the actual humans in our businesses must be a key figure as we move forward. We have spent so long talking about ‘survival’ in both the business and personal senses that we all feel closer to those we follow online because we acknowledge their humanity, their struggles and ultimately, their successes too.
Again, the catch here is to not make your marketing ALL about your people (unless that’s your field of course) but learning about the people who help a business tick, the people who have put their blood, sweat and tears into an organisation, the aspirations of these people are genuinely of interest to people. So, if you do not already do it – try to think of how you can humanise your marketing, without overshadowing your key aims and objectives. It adds a beautiful layer of complexity to what you are offering and will help set you apart from your competitors.
Humour – do you ‘geddit’?
Ok – this is a risky one… Some companies use humour very, very well. Think about organisations such as Innocent for example. Their tongue-in-cheek marketing for their smoothies and juices is unique, sets them apart and engages thousands of followers every day. But can you transfer that same humour to say, a petrochemical processing business? Probably not.
My advice is to always know where the line is for your business, but if you can introduce even some slight ‘light-heartedness’ (if it’s appropriate for your brand!) then I say, go for it. Following from Honesty and Humanity, people are reacting very differently to communications now than say, 2 years ago – they respond to what engages them, and in my experience that is what makes up my 3 H’s.
Remember, every part of your business is unique. From your product or service to your team – even down to your Coffee vs Tea debates in the office. You will have competitors, we all do; but what is crucial is to remember what makes us stand out from the crowd and keeping on with that in our Marketing. Yes, the Future of Marketing will probably include a lot more digital elements, but always remember that even in a digital world, People and Personality is what we are all responding to.
The Future of Sales
The world of Sales has never been an easy arena to contend in, unless of course you are producing the world’s first vaccine to Coronavirus. The last year has stretched sales professionals across the globe to adapt, diversify and evolve. From networking events morning, noon and night ensuring a weekly supermarket shop was a thing of the past – to online, working from home and desk bound.
With many organisations still monitoring sales activity and success based on the number of meetings – irrespective of the output, do we have an over reliance on such activity? With the option of face to face all but removed, we’ve had to get more imaginative – well at least we should have. It saddens me although does not surprise me that I’m sure like me, you’ve received more than ever cold, unwarranted and multiple invitations and subsequent messages on LinkedIn. Interestingly the approach seems to be if they don’t respond, just try again and again, each message getting a little more curt and opting for shock tactics. Our sales people are trained for a face to face era not the one we are living in and will not do for some time so how can we adapt?
Omnichannel or Out
Whilst an omnichannel approach is indeed a hugely important factor in the future of sales, this tact surely cannot be sustainable and begs the question, have we forgotten how to interact? There’s a Maya Angelou quote I use in every single one of our Sales training webinars and have done since we launched in 2019. ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you made them feel’. This couldn’t be more reflective of the times and goes for all forms of communication especially as we are deprived of face-to-face contact. Coronavirus has enabled us to engage with people across the globe from the comfort of our own homes. It has opened new markets to us, new networks and new opportunities. It has taught us that one size does not fit all and engagement is indeed a personal thing. So what have we truly learnt and adapted to?
Stop / Start / Continue
Try this – not only from a business perspective but also from a sales perspective. How will your sales teams adapt? What lessons have they learnt from lockdown, how have we become more efficient?
I’ve listed a few of mine here to get you started;
|· Attending all events everywhere, at all times of the day!
|· Taking initial prospect meeting virtually
· Using LinkedIn far more effectively
|· Networking virtually UK wide
· 30 Minute meeting slots
Relationships have never been more important and so as we have been deprived of face-to-face contact, how do we even know if we can sell face to face, build rapport or will we reenact the LinkedIn direct messages and just cut to the chase? The last twelve months have taught us more than ever to focus on our existing customers even more. With statistics from both the Harvard Business Review and Forbes claiming the cost to retain a client versus acquiring a new one is anywhere between 5 – 25x – it’s non-negotiable.
New versus Old
So why do we always chase the new? We spend so much time in our personal and professional lives looking for more, we often forget those right in front of us. Business Development is an important aspect of course but surely working with your existing customers to further develop your relationship and also their spend is equally important. These customers can help guide your product development, innovation, become your own brand ambassadors and sales force.
The Future of Sales
- KYC – Really get to know your customers better than ever before. We often presume our customers know us and our products inside out – but do they?
- Omnichannel or Out – Engagement on multiple levels is essential. One size does not fit all.
- Add Value – We operate in a world where we are rarely if ever the sole producer of what we do; so adding true value is non-negotiable.
- STOP / START / CONTINUE – Have a go yourself…
- Retention – what’s your plan?
Founder – Just Williams
We are hiring!
It is such a good feeling to be able to grow our team and welcome someone new into our business. This is a brand new role and we are looking for an exceptional candidate to join our fast-paced, passionate team. So, if you’re interested, apply via Indeed (using the link below) or contact us with any further enquiries.
Sales and Marketing Executive
Salary: £19,000 – 22,000.
This newly created role for Just Williams is testament to the organisation’s growth and ambitious nature and provides a fundamental support function to the day to day running of both the sales and marketing function. We are looking for an individual keen to work for a business who supports growth, continued professional development and who has a positive ‘can do’ attitude.
Experience in a similar role is essential.
For the full specification and information please visit Indeed here.
It’s so easy isn’t it, to look at your ‘To Do’ list and completely underestimate how long certain tasks are going to take. And every single time you do that, it knocks you back in time, confidence and productivity.
When this happens – how do you react? Are you a proactive sort who goes straight into action mode? Are you tackling it head on with a ‘silver lining’ attitude of everything being completely fine? Or, are you like most of us; cursing the additional time taken because you’re already completely stacked with tasks that even the slightest bump in the road means yet another late night…?
No matter which persona you inhabit, one thing is universal – and it is that we all know (on some level) what caused that underestimation. Was it a lack of resource? Were you part of a chain of information that broke down? Did you just not realise exactly how long that task would take “in real life”? And the first step to avoid repeat instances of that is to be completely honest with yourself.
Honesty and Accountability should be tattooed onto everyone’s psyche by now as it’s something we all admit to having or wanting from our colleagues. But are we honest and accountable when we look inwards? I realise I’m proposing quite a lot of introspective questions in this piece, but it’s important to make sure that we are infallible (where possible!) so we can avoid any future underestimations!
From time to time we will all fall down; the important part is the getting back up and carrying on. And preferably doing that with a little life experience from it too. So, if your ‘To Do’ list is never ending, or is constantly being pushed further back so you can handle more immediate concerns – be honest with yourself – find out what is needed or what isn’t working and fix it.
Perhaps we can help. If you are overstretched, or your business would benefit from additional solutions – we can help. We have spent years coming up with options that help rule out or minimise all of those ‘underestimations’, so if you’re ready to make your life simpler and business more effective – get in touch today and know that Just Williams is always here to support you. Check out our latest vlog on Linked In where we celebrate passionate businesses coming together to support each other and the exciting new Peer to Peer opportunity with Tees Valley Business and Teesside University! View it here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6755513154660290560
It seems a strange thing to be talking about after such a challenging year… But today we want to talk about the feelgood factor!
Being able to celebrate the good things should be easy – right? But after everything that we have all experienced this year we think we should spend some time today talking about everything that can contribute to a great #FeelgoodFriday.
Making a great new connection, being acknowledged for doing a good job – or even just knowing that something you have done has made a difference to someone else – there are SO MANY ways to get the feelgood into your Friday.
Today, we are celebrating that Just Williams has secured a brand new client on our Hybrid package! This is a great piece of news for us and we can’t wait to start work with this exciting company (we’ll tell you more when we can…). But it’s through hard work, determination and a great team that we have been able to talk about this today. In a really challenging climate, being able to sign a new client to a 12 month contract is really, really exciting.
So whether you have had a ‘win’ at work this week, you’ve managed to reconnect with a colleague or friend – or even have managed to bring back the Elf on the Shelf for your kids – let’s celebrate it together.
It’s important that as we acknowledge how trying this year has been, that we can focus on growth, security and every bit of good news that we can. So, join us – celebrate your wins with us this #FeelgoodFriday!
Sales Academy Turns One After Super Success of First Year
During these times we are all looking for something to celebrate – but when a fledging enterprise reaches its first significant milestone; it should be shouted from every rooftop!
The Just Williams Sales Academy, based in Stockton on Tees, celebrated its first birthday at the beginning of November, marking an unusual but exciting year for the business. Offering a wide range of Sales and Marketing courses – both face to face and online – the Academy has now had over 1,000 sessions accessed and is helping deliver its continued goal of ‘professionalising the sales industry’.
Managing Director of Just Williams, The Academy’s parent company Jessica Williams said; “It’s been a huge year in more ways than one! We have been thrilled to have been able to deliver effective face-to-face training before the impact of Covid, but our ability to flex to an online market so soon has been so exciting too”.
“Sales is often seen as a ‘dirty word’, with some salespeople giving others a bad name with unethical tactics or private agendas. But The Just Williams Sales Academy was born out of the desire to professionalise Sales; and to start breaking down the stigma that is sometimes attached to it”.
In a world where everyone has been forced into virtual environments The Just Williams Sales Academy has eased the difficult conversations about continued development for staff across the Tees Valley; offering accessible, interactive – and above all else – effective training in a challenging business climate.
Head of Delivery for Just Williams, Emma Storey said; “I love what The Academy is achieving. The feedback we have had from learners has really validated the need for this sort of training and helping salespeople either succeed or grow has been a real pleasure to be a part of.”
For more information on The Just Williams Sales Academy, and the training it offers please contact the team on 01642 955862 or visit www.justwilliamsltd.co.uk/sales-academy
Libby Hampson, Associate at Ripple Partners, has been a member of the #JWBookClub from its beginnings. This is what she had to say about it.
“Where do I start? The books? The group? The enthusiasm and energy behind everything Jessica and Emma do? The discussions? The general support, fun or the feeling of just being part of something which our virtual get togethers engender?
I’ve been told not to make this into a sales pitch, but it’s difficult not to!
I never, ever thought I’d enjoy talking with a group of people (many of whom I’ve still never met in ‘real-life’ but now feel I know really well) via Zoom on my laptop about books and authors I’d never heard of and sharing how we could take some of the ideas off the page and put them into action in our own business networks. More than anything I owe you a huge thanks for helping me to start reading again – the looming of the next meeting keeps me on track and I’ve enjoyed and felt a great sense of achievement in reading several books now from cover to cover (something I haven’t done for a long, long time).
It might sound as though I do lots of this sort of thing, but believe me I don’t. Joining in with virtual meetings is not my natural habitat and being brave enough to voice my own opinions is something I’ve tried to avoid for most of my career. But the welcome and camaraderie from everyone in the group is catching and been a great incentive to hook me in and keep me coming back for more. We’re all having to learn to be open to new ideas and to try doing things in new ways at the moment; for me the JW Book Club has been one of the really positive things to come out of 2020 – thanks Jessica and Emma for everything you’ve put into making it happen and for introducing me to so many wonderful people online – and thank you to everyone in the group for coming together and making it happen.”
Wow! Thank you so much for these kind words, Libby.
Do you want to join the #JWBookClub and have similar experiences? It’s free to join, no obligation and is full of great people! Simply email email@example.com or register via Eventbrite for each session.
Hartlepool College of Further Education are shaping a generation with more than just qualifications.
Education is a huge part of our lives. Moving from primary school and playground games to further and higher education; caps and gowns and certificates as scrolls. Many of us are privileged to have had access to different levels of study and what that means for each individual is different. But Principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education (HCFE); Darren Hankey spoke to us via Zoom to discuss their learners and the college’s reaction to the Covid 19 pandemic.
It is with a small smile that Darren said that it was a “heroic team effort” that allowed the college to pivot almost overnight to the lockdown restrictions from Government in March. He talks about his team responding so quickly to use of their Virtual Learning Environment, to get learners working remotely, with a genuine pride that is touching. It is clear that he cares deeply about the team, the students; but also the community that it represents.
“Once the students were working as best they could from home, there were other things we were doing – our kitchens are open to a community group in order to provide meals for vulnerable people and a member of staff took home our 3D printer to make visors for the NHS”. Given the recent focus on diversification in different businesses, this is a great example of working together for one community, “and it’s just that, ‘community’. We’re right in the centre of town, it’s like a big village mentality – all supporting each other, and that’s the attitude we try to instil in our learners”.
HCFE has roots dating back to 1849, making it arguably one of the longest serving colleges in the region (if not the country…!) but it’s Darren’s team principal of ‘HARTS’ that will lead the way in continuing the legacy of further education in the town and beyond. HARTS is a progamme of Hard Work, Ambition, Resilience, Thankfulness and Self Awareness that the HCFE team embed into all their work and teaching. “It’s not just about getting qualifications, it’s about ‘education’ as a whole; about building character as well” said Darren.
In a world that is changing day-by-day it is reassuring to hear what the HCFE and Darren are doing to ensure the future of their college, safeguarding their current learners needs as well as helping to produce generations of learners with more than a paper scroll and a passing grade. These learners travel from all over the region to experience the college, its enviable facilities, its outstanding reputation and relationships with the giants of industry – but more than that – they travel to Hartlepool for its heart.
Talking of themselves only as the ‘current custodians’ of the college Darren’s team are working hard and making exciting plans for their future – and with a team in place that have reacted so effectively and considerately to one of the greatest challenges of our time; we are excited to see what the NEXT 170 year brings for this amazing establishment in our region.