Overview of the Business Communications Sectors
From a sales and marketing viewpoint, companies within the business communications sectors involve those that provide customer facing consultants, agents, specialists and experienced personnel. They exist to assist businesses improve their customer facing activities. Most business owners recognise the value of effective dialogue, and so either employ customer facing staff or do the job themselves. Yet, many micro-businesses don't have the time or abilities, and so procure the business services of a specialist business communications company...
Nearly all companies that sell to other businesses need customer facing staff. Many fast developing companies do not have the capacity to scale staff internally and so choose to outsource this function to customer service representatives based in call centres located elsewhere. The customer service representative plays such a vital role in interacting with customers on behalf of an organisation. Their primary role is to take orders (either face-to-face or on the phone), deal with customer enquiries, capture sales leads, ensure timely merchandise deliveries, and help chase up unpaid invoices. Likewise, the growth of cold calling (using low-cost and offshore call centres), provides a quick way to launch a campaign. The alternative ordinarily involves recruiting, training and developing sales staff or customer services staff in-house.
Similarly, many firms use public relations consultants to assure a target audience gets timely updates regarding marketing initiatives. A public relations consultant can help firms establish the most appropriate marketing communication methods (such as using the right trade magazines or local newspapers or social media). A publicity consultant usually has the expertise to design effective press releases and advise business owners on key campaign messaging and replies to questions from the media. Much of the work is highly practical, saving small business owners valuable time.
Many businesses employ the services of a corporate image development agency to help make growing businesses appear unique and distinctive. These agencies provide fresh pair of eyes to identify the key values and uniqueness that a company possesses. This insight can be invaluable in helping to communicate those values to help generate new business customers. For example, the launch of a new product to existing customers, or a repositioning of an existing brand to new business customers, requires careful business communication and positioning. The image consultant can also help build business reputation, as well as motivate employees. This is achieved through logical communication of a firm's business values and approaches.
Many owners of the small companies do not have enough direct selling experience, or feel inhibited about cold calling, or asking for order. Consequently, many companies employ direct sales professionals to convey key business messages in order to build a pipeline of potential orders. Many companies offer a variety of sales roles and commission schemes aimed at motivating the sales professional. Usually, smaller firms tend to offer target related commission only roles. Whereas, more founded organisations may choose to rely on a reseller model in which trusted business allies are authorised to sell products or services in exchange for a pre-agreed percentage.
Another form of focused business communication company is a retail merchandising services provider. These tend to be procured by large organisations with multiple shops or chains of outlets. Within the retail sector, a merchandising services provider aims to help proprietors of shops and other retail outlets to develop effective shop layout and floor plans, manage stock locations, train in store managers, and assess consumer behaviour. In addition, services may also include analysing product ranges, implementing stock management solutions, or even project managing the implementation of an entire shop refit. With so many high street shops being forced to close due to online competition, many shop owners desperately require support from specialist merchandising providers to help radically alter their business proposition.
Lastly, another example of a business communications provider is a public affairs consultancy. This type of specialist aims to observe ongoing regulatory proposals and advise a client on potential responsive expected. It may also include composing press releases and briefing the media on impending events and campaigns as well as establishing good communication ties with public bodies ( such as local authorities during a planning application process). Essentially, a public affairs consultancy helps to improve all aspects of dialogue with influential stakeholders (who may prevent sales or future business activities). Many consultancies provide political lobbying services. Whereas, most offer trade advice to private clients in sectors of the economy that are highly regulated (such as recycling waste or financial services).