Sales Brainstorming Ideas
A sales brainstorming session can produce ideas for better promoting your product or service, and thoughts on how to expand your distribution, motivate your sales team, improve your brand and cross-sell. Don’t limit these sessions to sales people -- inviting your marketing, product development, information technology and finance departments gives you quick access to information that helps the creative process continue without taking breaks to find answers to team-member questions.
Many marketing plans revolve around the unique benefit that separates a product or service from its competitors. The sales and advertising departments use this benefit to convince customers and clients you can help solve a problem or satisfy a need. Discussing your key benefit during a brainstorming session can help you determine new ways to send this message, examine whether you can expand your target customer profile or add one benefit or more to what you sell.
Have your team discuss all of the possible ways you can sell your product, including ones you’re not using. Ask the team to list the advantages and disadvantages of each potential distribution channel. Include online sales at your website or using a partner site, direct mail, getting into catalogs, using wholesalers and distributors, direct sales to retailers and direct-response ads on TV, radio and in print publications.
Have your finance team discuss your overhead and production costs per unit and your break-even point at different sales volumes. Show your desired profit margin per item and compare it with your current pricing structure, which might set prices higher than your desired profit margin to allow sales to offer discounts. Discuss everyone’s thoughts on demand responses to price changes and how they would affect gross profits and the company’s brand, or image. Review the effects of bonuses and commissions on profits to help the sales department set realistic sales contests.
Have team members give their ideas for advertising and social media campaigns, consumer promotions, public relations efforts, cause marketing and event sponsorships. You might start the discussion, asking for team members’ thoughts on each, or ask them to come to the meeting with ideas. Hold this part of your session after you have discussed your costs and margins, which can help the team determine which activities might provide the best return on investment.
You might wish to divide your brainstorming meeting attendees into two teams, with one team defending each idea and one team acting as Devil’s Advocate to try and shoot it down. This will help you objectively identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of each idea without requiring a formal SWOT analysis. Use this technique last, after everyone has thrown out their creative ideas to prevent people from becoming gun shy about making suggestions or offering ideas.