Are Marketing People Academic, Paper-Pushers, and Irrelevant?

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

Marketing People

I hope this got the attention of marketing professionals. If not, please send this to them.

In case you’re wondering, those are not my words but quoted from a CEB survey of sales professionals when asked about their thoughts on marketing colleagues. This never-ending battle between Sales and Marketing is a little tired and repetitive now.

What did our friends in marketing have to say about sales? They called them simple-minded, cowboys, and incompetent. Ouch, someone get the bandages.

Who suffers in all of this? We all do. Sales gets sub-par marketing qualified leads and marketing gets lots of negativity instead of constructive feedback.

Marketing friends, if this context generally describes the company you work for, then it’s time to listen up. Here are 4 practical tips to better align yourself with sales:

There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Information

It’s better to provide more information about the lead than not. Assuming that the sales professional knows little to nothing about that lead is a good starting point. What really helps? Information like:

  • Where in the sales cycle is the prospect?
  • If you’ve got a marketing automation platform, share the score of the lead. It will help put things into perspective for sales.
  • What channel was the lead captured from? If through a webinar, try and provide some perspective on what the prospect may have said. If through a web form, let the sales professional know that, too.

These may seem like simple things, but you’d be amazed to learn how many marketing departments do not provide any information like this to sales.

Provide Competitive Intelligence

You don’t need to be the NSA to have fun with intelligence gathering. Here are some small nuggets to share with sales about leads:

  • Is there a known competitor in the account?
  • Have you sniffed out any valuable information that can help assist your sales professional to better position your brand and offerings?
  • If there is a promotion that could help better prepare sales to make an impact, let them know.
  • What content has the lead read on your website (assuming you have a marketing automation platform)? Or, what content are they likely to read and who are they following on their Twitter and LinkedIn?

Toot Your Own Horn

It’s not polite, and our Moms always told us not to brag, but if we don’t do it, who will? Always be prepared to share neat and concise stories of success with your new prospects.

Think about this:

  • The majority of B2B organizations still follow a traditional territory model. So a sales professional may not know the lead they’re receiving is in the same vertical as 5 other success stories in other territories.
  • Do you have case studies/success stories/testimonials and generally other marketing assets that can help the sales professional tell the story better and faster?

Campaign Your Success

Similar to the point above, Marketing should build solid assets that discuss major wins and campaign around this. This can help sales professionals tremendously as it will lessen the burden of proof for your company as a whole.

The Bottom Line

Social Selling is a great way to get marketing and sales to work together. All the ways outlined above are embedded at the core of a well put together Social Selling methodology. To learn more about this, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. In the meantime, check out our blogs our 10 Steps to Building a Social Selling Machine.

Amar Sheth


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