Ok, calm down, wait a minute, pull yourself together…. I was just kidding, Jim. (Jim is my best marketing buddy. That’s us is the picture. JK)
If you’ve been in sales for any length of time, you’ve likely told that joke at the company sales conference. If you’ve been in marketing for more than a day some pompous salesperson likely shared that little nugget with you during orientation.
There has been a divide between sales and marketing for as long as I can remember. If you ask marketers they’ll describe salespeople as ‘reckless, golf-loving, over commiters with huge expense accounts’. Those salespeople would likely reply that ‘marketers are flyer printing, color coordinating prudes, that care more about the trade show banners than revenue’. The finger-pointing that goes on when results are missed far exceed any hi-fives or back slapping that might come after a solid year of target attainment.
Those days of conflict should be long gone. Today, marketing should be ‘the tip of the spear’. I am here to say that if you are in sales and you don’t have a solid marketer or marketing plan in front of you then you are wasting precious energy.
As a salesperson you compete for three things in every deal- time, attention, and resources. Too many salespeople struggle getting a prospect’s attention. Many salespeople aren’t skilled in this area either. They resort to repeated calls or visits hoping to wear down the resolve of the prospect. I read once that it takes 12 touches to get a ‘yes’ from a prospect. What??? Who has that kind of time? Not me. I’m all for persistence, but doesn’t it make more sense to Win as fast as you can? Of course!
Today’s marketing is pretty bada$$. Digital marketing, automation, lead scoring, and crm enhancements make the marketing departments of 10 years ago look like something out of the Jurassic era.
Flyers, cold calling, and door knocking are….well….dead. I know, that’s a lot to take in. Breathe…. If you feel anxiety right now it’s because you aren’t well-connected with a solid marketing plan.
Lets change that. This week, let’s connect with marketing. I promise it will be a worthwhile investment. Seek out you CMO and ask for whatever is hot right now. You will not be disappointed. Ask Marketing to partner up over the next 90 days.
Here are a few ways they can help:
Customer personas: Marketing has already dialed in on who wants to buy from you. Couple this with an Ideal Customer Profile and you will be more productive with less touches.
Business cycle predictability: Marketing has tons of data on who buys and when. If you get your hands on that, you might find yourself being in the right place at the right time.
Web to lead marketing: There’s a good chance Marketing knows exactly the right moment to send something to your hottest prospects that will get a response. They have the tools and the know how. Put them to work!
Web forms: These prospect magnets can be used anywhere. Blogs, white papers, websites…the possibilities are endless and every one of them is a lead. Ask for them all to be sent to you.
Lead scoring: I bet your CMO has already developed this and is looking for a sales partner to test it with. Whether it’s in your CRM or not, the results are the same- the higher the score the less you’ll have to nurture them before close.
Digital campaigns: There is nothing like having a ton of work done on your behalf and getting it done in a nano second. Marketing can do that for you. Remember those 12 touches? Marketing can take the first 6 or so off your hands. They can reach out to the right people, at the right time, about the right stuff. Then all you have to do is sell. Sweet, right?
I could go on and on and on. This is literally the tip of the iceberg. Marketing capabilities are growing fast. Social monitoring, IP tracking, and AI will accelerate marketing advancements even more.
Now, I suppose you may talk to your Marketing folks and perhaps they haven’t gotten to this point. There will be some companies that are slow to adopt. Then you should research a few of the things above and ask Marketing for them. Partner with Marketing to create these things. Believe me, they will appreciate your help.
Take some time this week and partner with Marketing. Make the investment. Break down any barriers that may exist.If you are in an organization that has this sales and marketing thing dialed in, call me or message me. I’d love to hear about it.
You need a good marketing engine to drive sales. Let’s get it going.
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Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!