What can sales and marketing teams learn from romantic relationships?
Quite a bit, according to Cynthia Beiler, president of Leveraged Mind Consulting. She offered a proven process for “finding the love” to a packed crowd at the October AMA Craft Marketing session at Vintage Brewing on Whitney Way.
When both sides value each other, they can create high-performing growth for their organization, she said. And that benefits everyone.
Understanding Sales and Marketing
Cynthia’s a realist. She’s worked in both roles and knows that sales and marketing folks bring different mindsets to the table. In many cases, the two groups often work in silos, with limited knowledge of the other team’s goals and concerns.
“The marketing team focuses on understanding the customer and product,” she said. “Often, they have no clue about salespeople and what they need.”
Successful organizations connect marketing initiatives and sales execution. That’s the formula for fueling growth. With a strong relationship, organizations can see the following results:
- Direct Links to Return on Investment
- Increased Close Rates
- Decreased Cost of Sales
Necessity of Sales
Want a strong bond between marketing and sales? Then one side isn’t more important than the other. It’s time to integrate the relationships to create a powerful partnership of growth, Cynthia said.
In ideal relationships, each side is important. But Cynthia also reminded Craft Marketing attendees that top managers often come from the sales side.
Match Your Message to the Pipeline Stage
Want to become more valuable in your organization? Cynthia encouraged marketers to learn about pipeline management.
If you don’t know an organization’s pipeline management philosophy, find out.
“Learn what’s important to the sales team in your organization,” she said.
“Companies can exist without marketing, but they can’t survive without sales,” Cynthia asserted.
For example, when marketers talk with the sales team, they can ask where they need help on the customer journey. Each of the following steps may require different messaging or collateral:
- Lead Generation
- Qualify Leads
- Sell to Qualified Leads
- Achieve a Sale or Deal
- Contact and Client Support Post -Sale
Listen to Understand
When marketers align with sales, a different conversation occurs.
Get curious about a sales person’s priorities. Be interested in their sales world and they’ll tell you, she said.
Become familiar with the sales-based Key Performance Indicators. Can you read profit and loss statements? Discover the realistic sales quotas, as opposed to the tough-to-meet aspirational ones.
Mind the Gap
Want to develop a stronger sales-marketing relationship? Look for a neutral individual to create a bridge between the two worlds. It could be a marketer willing to work with both sides to help an organization reach its growth objectives.
Cynthia shared a success story regarding the integration of sales and marketing. She interviewed a divisional president in the food industry whose firm embraces both sales and marketing. Marketing personnel participate in some sales calls and attend quarterly business review meetings. That firm is growing beyond the industry standard.
What’s ahead for marketing compensation?
Sales personnel typically receive compensation based on sales goals. What they earn is based on what they sell, which places them under considerable pressure. On the other hand, marketing staff typically earn a fixed income not related to sales.
At Cynthia’s brother’s firm, marketing personnel also receive variable compensation based on sales. It’s not a large portion, but a marketer’s income does relate to sales growth.
How Can You Build Synergy?
Cynthia encouraged marketers to become a catalyst for change. Give sales what they need, and you’ll create a strong bond, she predicted.
Want to enhance the sales & marketing relationship? Then follow Gandhi’s advice: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Don’t Miss November’s Craft Marketing!
Special thanks to Cynthia and all in attendance. The event was made possible by sponsors Winbound and Thysse.
Plan on attending the Nov. 19, 2019, Craft Marketing session, also at Vintage Brewing on Whitney Way. Doug Voegtle, IdeaStalker, will present on “The Name Game: Strategies for Naming Your Product, Service or Business.” Register here.
Leslie Blaize, Certified Professional Services Marketer, is the owner of Blaize Communications. She crafts B2B content with a focus on the Architectural/Engineering/Construction industry.