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Art + Acumen Issue 7: Creating “Extreme Relevance”

The Secret to Successful Sales Activation

In a world where extremes oftentimes become the norm, throwing another “extreme” idea into the conversation usually doesn’t separate you from the rest of the crowd. Except when it comes to sales activation. There’s a secret to make your sales team ultra-effective: extreme relevance.

The idea of extreme relevance can be pinpointed to the intersection of business practices and cultural practices… where functionality and practicality meet. And to be honest, it’s at the very heart of the best sales activations; yet, it’s rarely used is most sales efforts. Instead of starting at the position of extreme relevance – driven by what’s happening in the businesses and lives of the customer – many brands kick off their sales efforts with product features, financial goals or incentives. So it’s no wonder why even the best products or the most creative marketing efforts don’t always generate the best sales traction.

At CLUTCH, we aim to change that for our clients. Extreme relevance guides our efforts and is the secret to sales success. We’ll share a little more about our approach in this issue of Art + Acumen. If you find yourself intrigued, facing a new product launch later this year or just looking to make some existing products more successful, be sure to reach out and let us align your sales and marketing efforts to achieve extreme relevance with your customers.

Oh, one more thing. You’ll see this issue of the newsletter is a bit shorter. Dare I say sharper? We’re going to be hyper-focused on one key practice in each issue, so expect shorter, but more frequent insights from the CLUTCH team this year!


Achieving Alignment Between Sales + Marketing

The idea of brand relevance is complex and multi-dimensional. Transactional, or low-relevance products often equate to little or no brand loyalty; whereas high-relevance products are often researched and contemplated prior to purchase and can lead to high brand affinity. When it comes to sales activation, the idea of creating “extreme relevance” is a bit different.

Extreme relevance is the very heart of sales activation and is found when business and cultural practices intertwine or intersect. Your sales team will be inherently more successful when your business or product meets a customer’s need at the right time and in the most useful way. And for that reason, extreme relevance can be secured when we focus on three main ideas.



Without answering all three of these questions and ensuring that your answers are a resounding “YES!” for your product, your sales team will predictably face challenges when trying to meet their goals. So what can you do?

First, realize that not everything in your plan needs to be treated equally. Assign budget to the most impactful, most opportunistic efforts to support the sale. It may require significant resources to be put toward training your sales team, or it could be as simple as priming the market for the solution you’re ready to offer.

Second, lay a strong foundation for sales, which could include everything from positioning your product for the current market, to marketing and advertising efforts that are focused on timely situations and pain-points the offering fits into or solves. In B2B efforts, it can take more than 13 touches before a sale is made, so plan appropriately.

And finally, have a plan for sales leads. Prepare and support your sales team accordingly as well as your distribution partners. Make sure they know their responsibilities and the expectations of them to take a lead and nurture it through to a sale.
Creating extreme relevance takes a balance of market insights, understanding of what the customer is going through and trying to accomplish, positioning strategy and integrated marketing and sales plans. But it’s the surest and shortest way to success.


It Takes Time to Make a Sale

According to Online Marketing Institute, it can take more than 13 touches to make a B2B sale. THIRTEEN! Now, that doesn’t mean that every prospective customer needs to be called 13 times before a sale is made. These touches are a combination of marketing and sales tactics. What it does mean, though, is that companies need to invest in a number of efforts and give themselves reasonable time to hit sales goals. Achieving 25% market share overnight is unreasonable, as is expecting a sales team to close a deal in one call on their own. Leads have to be continually nurtured to grow into a sale. As you’re building out your sales goals for the year, or even quarter by quarter, remember what it takes to move a prospect through the funnel and turn a lead into a purchase.


Here’s what’s new…

  • In March, we welcomed Bailey Munday to the CLUTCH Team. Bailey is located in Visalia, CA and will support our Reputation + Influence team and our West Coast-based clients. As one of the most complex and unique areas of U.S. agriculture, California is an area where CLUTCH has consistently grown and sees many more opportunities for our clients’ success.
  • New year, new hires! We’re growing again and are looking for talented and passionate people to join CLUTCH. Find our job openings here and reach out to any of our team members with questions.

What to Expect in the Next Issue

  • In the next issue of Art + Acumen, we’ll focus on brand journalism and how it can pay dividends for B2B businesses and organizations.
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