From the very beginning of my days at North Star Marketing, one thing that made me successful then and still today is my respect and love for sales people. As a marketer, that is unfortunately unique. It is with that spirit that we have developed marketing with an eye towards today’s marketing and sales landscape.
Today’s marketing and sales landscape
Sales people struggle with the limited amount of hours in a day and all they are required to do. They are constantly balancing selling activities like hunting and farming with non-selling activities like trainings, internal meetings, reporting…and the list goes on and on. Sales leaders are always challenged with how many “heads” they need to keep pace with aggressive revenue targets. In light of every board meeting where efficiency and scalability are at the forefront, most organizations instead end up with a cost structure that increases at the same rate of its revenue growth, never allowing for an increase in profits that could come with efficiencies. The reality however and for good reason is that the art of selling (relationships and trust) is still a critical ingredient that is here to stay and will not become extinct anytime soon.
At the same time, marketing must take direct responsibility for helping sales to sell more. The good news is marketing has all the tools available to them to advance their campaigns to be customer centered, data driven, engagement oriented, and focused on telling stories that build relationships and trust—just what sales people want to have happen with their prospects, but struggle with finding the time to do so.
But who really cares about yet another discussion about the on-going disconnect between sales and marketing? There are plenty, literally thousands of articles that look at this topic from many vantage points however very little in terms of actionable suggestions on how these two distinct silos act as ONE. I don’t question the reality of the challenge, but I do believe that we must change the lens in which we look at the problem and push for a simple solution. For this challenge, I would like to layout a simple but actionable “what if” proposition.
“WHAT IF” you became obsessed with helping an individual sales rep sell more–understanding their strengths, their typical prospects and what the rep is passionate about? What if you took all the great innovations that exist in the marketing space (marketing automation, direct mail, email, digital marketing, thought leadership, social media, etc.) and apply it to an individual sales person? Yes, a person…not the organization. What if a sales rep could work with marketing to build individualized propsecting campaigns and messaging that when mixed with best-in-class technology, created an always on sales rep that could change the sales efficiency equation forever? What if you became obsessed with how you might truly amplify a sales person leading to more engagements, more meetings, more proposals…and yes, more sales!
Well, the time has come! There are no more excuses. Today’s sales exec must rethink marketing and the marketing exec must rethink sales.
It’s now up to you whether you keep this “What if” challenge in its simple form or introduce all the internal complexities that prevent progress…and in doing so, fuel the hundreds of more blogs, whitepapers, etc. we will all have to read about sales and marketing alignment.