It seems more companies now than ever face a marketing v. sales debate.
It usually goes like this:
Marketing: "This sales department just ignores the leads we send them. They don't take advantage of the new collateral we've developed. And they certainly don't appreciate all of the work we did on the new brand. Why don't they get it?"
Sales: "Those marketers just don't get it. We want leads. Qualified leads. But they never send any. They're too busy building a brand. Customers don't care about a brand. Why do they keep wasting their time?"
High IMPACT Salespeople don't join in the debate. They don't point fingers. They don't cast blame.
Instead, they take action.
Regardless of what you sell (and the demands placed on you by "management"), you have some degree of flexibility in the "marketing activities" you can take on as a salesperson.
In most companies, the Marketing Department is tasked with a shotgun approach: Tell our company's story to as many people as possible. Share our offerings with a wide range of people.
Sales, on the other hand, is asked to tell that story to individual people (or people within companies) in order to gain their commitment to use, buy, or implement their offering.
In my opinion, we (sales) got the better end of that stick. I'd rather get the immediate feedback of a prospect than wait around for market research results. But, that's why I'm in sales. Regardless of which you prefer, the lesson here is that there can be a blurry line between "marketing activities" and "sales efforts."
Prospecting -- how and where you look for new opportunities -- could be termed "marketing," but you still do it.
For example, where do you go for referrals? People who've already bought things from YOU. That's not "marketing," that's a prospecting strategy you can employ to grow your book of business.
But we don't have to stop at Referrals…
What about collateral development? Is it possible for you to develop some material that supports your case? Yes.
Or article writing? Could you put together an article about your offering that provides some good, neutral information? Yes.
How about developing an email newsletter of your own? Might you be able to write a monthly newsletter and send it to your prospects and customers? Yes.
High IMPACT Salespeople just take action. They drive their own results.
Earlier this week, I was in Las Vegas for Selling Power Magazine's Sales Leadership Conference. It was for sales leaders who wanted to create more effective sales teams that yield higher productivity, sales, and customer satisfaction.
- We need to listen to our customers.
- We need to listen to our partners.
- We need to listen to our sales teams.
- We need to listen to the marketing department.
- We need to listen to others in our companies.
- We need to listen to our customers’ customers.
Our host, Selling Power Magazine Publisher Gerhard Gschwandtner, opened by telling us that he believes: