When advertising customers complain that they are not provided with the service they need, sometimes it’s because salespeople are more focused on meeting a sales quota than effectively engaging with customers. After asking HDS’s Eileen Licitra about this issue, she explained a few of the causes, as well as Virtanza’s unique method for addressing them.

Eileen, who works alongside salespeople, says that ineffective products, combined with the wrong sales incentives, are major contributors to the problem of customer dissatisfaction in the world of advertising and marketing products and sales. Of course, hitting sales goals is important for any company, but it’s also important for salespeople and company executives to explore who the customers behind these numbers actually are. In fact, salespeople are often deemed successful for simply reaching or exceeding their revenue goals. Pushing the product and gaining as many advertisers as possible (even if those products are not right for their business goals) are habits that have been going on for quite some time.

Eileen explains that wanting to meet or exceed a revenue goal is not the problem; the problem is the process itself. “You want a culture that’s going to support the customer, relentlessly deliver value, and measure results on the customer’s terms,” she says. Realizing you can hit these numbers more easily if you actually engage the customer with the right questions is key. She adds, “Many salespeople will tell you they are ‘engaged’ with their clients, but if you drill down to what they mean, few are engaged in the sense that they really understand the key drivers of their client’s business.”

I then asked Eileen about ROI strategies for marketing. Marketing ROI should always tie back to a customer’s business and strategic goals. An important question to ask is “What are the key metrics we’re going to use” when evaluating marketing and advertising effectiveness, even for small local businesses. For example, Virtanza coaches media salespeople to begin every client engagement with the right questions: “What are your growth objectives? What do you want to improve? How many more customers do you need each week or each month to reach your goals?”

So what else makes the Virtanza sales program unique and different from these other media sales services? “It focuses on a different means to an end: Virtanza doesn’t dismiss meeting and exceeding critical revenue goals; in fact, Virtanza encourages sales leaders to raise the bar and generate higher revenue per sale,” Eileen says. The difference is in the process: it begins and ends with an advertiser’s objectives. The right advertising products and marketing campaigns are the tools to get businesses to attract new customers, increase revenue, and grow market share. As a result, media salespeople achieve higher revenue results.

Finally, I asked Eileen how to predict a marketing campaign’s success. She explained that one of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is not testing marketing campaigns. First, understand the best channels to reach the target customers you are looking for and what products and services they are most interested in. Then test different ad elements, including headlines, copy, offers and promotions to see what delivers the best results. What types of messages resonate best with the customer you’re trying to reach? Testing will help you develop highly effective campaigns that deliver the returns – brand awareness, more customers, increased revenue – that your advertising and marketing clients are looking for.

Check out this post to read a previous interview with Eileen.