Sales and marketing alignment is a challenge that has come about in recent years. Especially as the sales industry has undergone a technological revolution, it is even more critical than ever to unify the sales and marketing teams. Maribeth Kuzmeski, interviewed by John Golden, discusses some changes that marketing people can make to help unite these formerly separate entities.
This expert sales interview reviews sales and marketing alignment, including:
- The importance of marketing supporting sales
- Incentives for marketing
- How integration can produce successful results
- Why the message matters
How Marketing Supports Sales:
“My definition of marketing is to get people to want to buy the product or the service,” said Kuzmeski. That all happens through the support of the sales staff.” Typically, sales and marketing have been responsible for different parts of the sales funnel. Marketing gathered leads at the top of the funnel, and salespeople walked the lead through the sales process until closing. Today, both organizations require a hands-on approach throughout the entire sales funnel. The sales job is getting much harder, and they’re required to be more competent and proficient in areas that they never had to be before. They even engage in some targeted micro-marketing of their own. This creates lots of opportunities for the marketing team to support the sales team, and salespeople need marketers now more than ever. “It’s the marketing departments job to say, how can we help sales do that better,” said Kuzmeski. “How can we provide tools or guidance to help them do their job, which is to sell, better?” Getting these two groups unified is most critical to see more culminating results.
One tactic for encouraging this unification is to compensate marketing similarly to how salespeople are compensated. “I think that if marketing people were compensated based on sales, then everything would be different,” said Kuzmeski. Today, marketing people are often compensated based on the work they produce. The salespeople will sometimes give the feedback that it’s not wanted or needed. If marketing people were incentivized based on the sales, they would create more materials that were better for the actual salespeople and helped them do what they need to do which is to close deals.
The Importance of Contact:
Many marketing people are in marketing because they didn’t want to be a salesperson. This creates some resistance to going out into the sales field. “Marketing people, if they’re going to be effective, need to be out in the field and seeing what’s actually happening. Instead of insisting that they have no control, go travel with a salesperson and see what they’re saying and doing,” said Kuzmeski. This gives marketers the opportunity to see what’s happening in the world of sales and gives them more insight and information on how to target their marketing to what will be most effective. “Once they’re out in the field, they go,’oh, I see what you mean now.’ A lot of times marketing people will sit in the home office and do the work they’ve been asked to do, and do it very well, but there’s a disconnect. Even if they’re not compensated differently, they have to be in contact,” said Kuzmeski. That is one concrete change that marketers can make today. They can get engaged and involved right now.
The Message Matters:
“It’s about the messaging,” said Kuzmeski. If marketing is doing the research and understanding the best messages for salespeople to use in the field, they’re doing their job. The messages can be used in many places, like a website, or social media, or in an email, or a brochure, but the point is that they’ve done their research to figure out the best way to communicate a research-based message. The research has to be based on what the consumers actually feel. This research isn’t to over-script the salespeople, but rather to give them the best practices so salespeople can use them as they see appropriate.
For more information on how marketing and salespeople alignment can be more unified, watch the expert sales interview!
About our Host:
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.