staffdigest published a 2011 Business Planning Guide in September 2010. They publish one every year. It’s geared toward readers with more than one branch (profit center). This wonderful guide takes the reader through a detailed process in order to develop a business plan. I try to let my customers know about it when it comes out. Whether you are a newer business or a “tried and true” operation of many years, this guide is a very useful tool. Many people take a look at it and realize how they have gone away from some of the basics that have made them successful. They say, “We used to do that. I wonder why we got away from it. We should start doing that again.”
Part of the guide focuses on marketing. What I like to do is translate that into ways that people can use automation to help accomplish their marketing goals. With all of the wondrous software marketing tools available, it makes sense to incorporate marketing and automation.
Marketing Wonder Number 1: Targeted marketing and sales campaigns always yield greater success. Before you market, analyze the situation and set goals based on what you conclude. The staffdigest Planning Guide suggests that you “utilize sales statistics to pinpoint trends and potential problems in sales, recruiting, and customer service.” Print reports to analyze what you have sold in the past two years. Also check reports on lost business. Was it a recruiting issue or was the customer unhappy with your service? Take note of any trends and come up with a game plan to address problems. Structure a marketing plan based upon fact and experience. Check out which months yield the highest sales amount from specific clients. All of this information should be easy and quick to get from your staffing software.
Marketing Wonder Number 2: The staffdigest guide suggests that you “penetrate four large customer accounts.” Run a search on your staffing database to see who the large accounts are. If you are not housing this type of data then start now. Focus a campaign toward this type of business. Assign call tasks through your software and run reports to check on the status of this campaign. Run sales analysis reports periodically to see if more of this type of business is being procured. Make adjustments as required. At the end of the year, run reports to gauge the total success and make necessary adjustments.
Marketing Wonder Number 3: Per the staffdigest guide, “target and develop eight large prospects.” Run a search to see how many “prospects” fit this profile. Set a goal for the number of these that you would like to target. Use your software to task out calls to update the information on the prospects that you have in your database. Procure a list of such prospects and import these into your database. Once your targeted prospects have been updated and identified, create an email, mail or call campaign in order to connect with the prospects. Remember, campaign effectiveness is enhanced if you email or mail and then follow-up with a phone call. Set follow-ups in your software with the same criteria as the mail campaign.
Marketing Wonder Number 4: “Coordinate sales training, sales contests, and monitor sales activities and results,” the staffdigest guide suggests. Keep in mind that you purchased staffing software to improve operations with an end result of generating revenue and reducing costs. Are your sales and marketing employees using your software? Is everyone trained? Good staffing software is fairly extensive and contains many features. There is a strong possibility that your people are not aware of everything that they can be doing with the software. Are you using the software to constantly monitor marketing and sales activity? If your people are not utilizing the software, chances are that you are unable to identify sales and marketing issues through reporting. Implement a training program for your staff and with written guidelines for system use. Then create goals and sales contests that you can monitor with regular reporting.
Marketing Wonder Number 5: “Develop a year-round multi-faceted temporary employee recruiting program,” is another tip from the staffdigest guide. This is essential in order to be prepared to fill orders. There is nothing more frustrating than to have a perfectly good order that you can’t fill. You never want one of your good customers branching out to another firm because you could not help them. Yet, this happens often in the industry, primarily due to poor recruiting. Keep in touch with excellent candidates by sending emails from your staffing software or send a periodic postcard to keep in touch. Connect from your software to social networking tools and find spectacular applicants that you would never have encountered otherwise. If you make the recruiting process as efficient as possible you will bring in more high quality applicants. Simplify the application process with on-line applications. Busy applicants looks for convenience. Post job opportunities from your staffing software to Facebook®, LinkedIn® & Twitter® to attract applicants.
Marketing Wonder Number 6: The staffdigest guide encourages you to, “Look for companies moving to your area.” Find out who these companies are, immediately get them into your database and assign someone the task of communication. Set up an identifier for these companies and monitor progress through system reporting tools.
Marketing Wonder Number 7: “Look for companies that have landed accounts – both government and otherwise,” says the staffdigest guide. With add-on business comes more work and the possibility that they will need either temporary or direct hire employees. Focus on these companies by targeting them in your system for calls and other correspondence. Some systems offer special reporting to track specific leads and forecast projected revenue. As a basis for reporting monetary projections, gather a list of essential facts about their needs (i.e. # of people, hours, rates, etc.) This helps you understand the account better and allows you to focus on the more profitable business opportunities.
Automation can help you identify key information for marketing goals and planning. It can also help you streamline your sales and marketing efforts and monitor activities to ensure that goals are being met.
This article made an appearance in the January 2011 issue of staffdigest Magazine. www.staffdigest.com
Terri Roeslmeier is President of Automated Business Designs, Inc., software developer of Ultra-Staff staffing software for the staffing and direct hire industry. Ultra-Staff is a staffing software business solution with components for front office, back office and the web. Terri’s email address is TAR@abd.net or for more information on Ultra-Staff go to www.abd.net