Factor your sales force into the branding mix

Building relationshipsDon’t be afraid of giving your sales force the major task of branding your company. More and more we are hearing branding pundits expound on relationship-building as a powerful brand-building activity.

I think this admonition is particularly viable in business-to-business markets.

I’ve previously blogged about North American Manufacturing, the leading company in designing, manufacturing and marketing combustion systems and components. They’ve captured this large market share because their technical experts are customer-focused. They visit customer installations, providing advice, troubleshooting and spreading the “gospel”.

Yes, they have trained experts in sales, too. Almost every one has a technical degree and many have had experience on the customer side before joining North American. With the company technical resourced behind them, these sales people are in a position to over-deliver service and technical support. It’s like the old days when IBM was the preferred vendor because of the enormous amount of service in the form of systems engineers and field engineers that IBM brought to customer problem-solving.

So, along with providing innovative products, most of which germinated in engineering after multiple exposures to customer real-life environments and problems, North American Manufacturing and many other leading B-to-B marketers excel in building relationships and great loyalty.

Let the sales force be a major brand-building factor. All you need do is provide them support and confidence they will be able to deliver on your brand promise.

Martin Jelsema

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