Sales and Marketing: should we talk at, to
or with each other?
I keep hearing, we all keep hearing, “Marketing doesn’t give us enough good leads” and “Sales doesn’t follow up enough on the leads we give them.”
We all dissect and come up with 100 excuses as to why this occurs and we each complain to each other and to our bosses.
While not a new subject, it is still an issue today even with all the inbound and outbound marketing and sales tactics available to companies today. The choruses, as noted in a Pardot infographic, still exist: “Marketing keeps sending me leads that aren’t ready to buy.” “Sales… always prefer their own leads.”
Plus, there are other sources that try to work at suggesting clear differences between the two functions. Such as, “marketing” is a longer term brand building process and focuses on strategic intentions where “sales” is focused on the immediate challenges and developing relationships with customers and prospects. Maybe this is structured so that responsibilities, staffing, structure and measurements can be set up apart from each other. Yet, at the same time, other choruses sing the tune that marketing works when relationships are created with the buyer and that sales works when helping prospects and customers think about and solve issues that are long-term in nature.
Marketing and Sales Enablement: It does work.
Why are there a lot of discussions about this subject? Because when the two forces are working in sync more sales, more growth, more leads, more quotas nailed and more revenue is achieved. Easy to see stats can be found here.
So what’s to be done?
1. Review, Remind, Repetition
There are literally, or so it seems, an infinite number of suggestions centered on helping sales and marketing people find ways to work well together. Reminding, reiterating and reinforcing how it can work, does work and should work should be an on-going internal business strategy.
HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform, suggests regular meetings and communications, and coordination between content development and customer priorities among an array of other suggestions. And, to consistently do these activities.
Oracle, which provides cloud applications and platform services, suggests creating shared definitions (define who is a contact, what is a qualified lead and opportunity and what the sales stages are) and a shared set of metrics to define the sales/marketing pipeline. And, to consistently follow these definitions and metrics.
Talk. Just talk. Before, during and after any internal strategies are written in ink.
Talk with each other. Both the reps and the leadership folk from Sales. The managers, analysts and leadership folk from Marketing. Often. Casually and formally. With and without stats. With and without scripts. In their offices, not yours and when on the phone, not on speaker phones. At lunch. Not after work if hanging out socially. That’s time to get to know each other as people.
Ask for input and put the caveat out that to not say “I need better leads” or “Why are you not following up.” Instead, focus any input to specifics.
For marketing people, review lead scripts, web content in development, webinars in development, videos in development, best practice documents in development, talk about marketing automation in their terms not marketing terms, make them part of your team, your process.
For sales people, review customer issues, pain points, objections, challenges. Provide examples of good leads and leads that did not go further in the sales process. Review presentations, key messages that resonate, how to respond to objections and issues. Make them part of your team, your process.
Let each see, even bless, what you’re doing.
Review stats, theirs and yours. Also, industry stats. Let them know that this marketing and sales thing that you do works and that it takes two to make it work.
When there’s a trade show or national sales meeting, it’s another opportunity for face time. Another time to get the input from each other and from those who are out in the field.
It’s all about talking, not texting or typing, whining or complaining, just talking.
Are you talking with, at or to your sales folks?
It should be with. Let me know if you are.
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