Editor’s Note: Today we welcome Bill Carmody to our blogging community. I first noticed Bill’s crisp, direct, and useful sales outlook on LinkedIn, and immediately approached him to contribute to the Pipeliner sales blog. He and his team are impressive, both in their passion and in their curiosity. This is the first (of many!) posts for the benefit of our readers.
When sales and marketing are working together in perfect harmony, it’s a wonderful Kumbaya experience. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Typically, sales tends to struggle to see the true value that great marketing brings to the sales organization.
Of course, not all marketing is great, but effective marketing does actually drives sales. If that’s not happening in your company, then there’s a bigger issue that needs to be addressed.
What Every Salesperson Needs To Know
1. No one wants to be “sold,” but everyone likes to buy.
The old-fashioned high pressure sales tactics no longer work. Even when you’ve “won” the sale, you’ve likely damaged or lost the longer-term relationship. Marketing helps by creating the impetus to buy — a mindset that makes it easier for sales teams to add value without having to be aggressive in order to close the deal. When a qualified prospect is interested in buying (from a marketing initiative), they are receptive toward a knowledgeable salesperson.
2. People buy on emotion and backfill with logic.
Marketing provides the emotional ecosystem — the “sex appeal” that tugs at the heartstrings. Before you buy a car, for example, you have to be a little bit in love to justify your purchase. This is true with any sale that’s not an impulse buy. Before you purchase, you need to “feel” connected and know that the product is right for you. Marketing plays an important role in that emotional connection.
3. Great marketing tells a great story.
Behind every great marketing campaign is a simple, compelling story. This is part of why we survived as a species all these tens of thousands of years. It’s part of our survival instinct. From Subway’s story about Jared’s weight loss success from eating their sandwiches to Apple’s “Think Different” message, to De Beers reinforcing the idea that “Diamonds are Forever” — these stories help us make buying decisions with confidence.
4. Big Data can help determine when a person is “sales ready.”
We’ve all heard a lot about “Big Data.” Your marketing team can use data to strip out the “noise” and focus on helping you know when a prospect is sales ready. Adobe has built entire ecosystems around these triggering events (which is why they spend a lot more of their resources on technology than on the creative suites that made them famous).
5. There is science behind the art of persuasion … much of that is marketing.
In his latest book, Robert Cialdini identifies 52 small changes that you can make immediately to ignite big influence and the desired results for your business. These small changes do have an impact on sales growth, but most of them are marketing techniques with a proven sales impact. Sales teams are the beneficiaries.
6. Word of mouth marketing can be grouped into 6 steps.
Jonah Berger wrote an enlightening book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, which explains why people choose to share their opinions online and in real life. He’s got the answers about why people choose to talk about brands, products, and services — and the book contains a myriad of examples of great marketing that inspired buzz.
7. Marketing helps prospective buyers “know, like & trust” you (or at least your company).
Before buying anything from you, people need to know, like and trust you. If I’m going to buy anything from you, I need to feel like I know who you are. I need to be sure I like you — and ultimately that I feel I can trust you. Marketing helps get you closer to these goals by building the brand and providing the social proof needed to establish these core elements.
8. Marketing can make your job a lot easier.
Marketing is like having a really great “wingman” (or wing-woman) who introduces you at a party. Even if you’ve never talked to a prospect before, marketing has smoothed your path and established “emotional firepower” long before you’ve ever met. This thought leadership and positioning, done correctly, has created a solid foundation for building a relationship.
9. Marketing people love and respect salespeople.
The marketing team knows that the sales team drives the revenue that pays their salaries. They want to support sales’ ability to drive sales. Marketing people, more than any other department, understand the challenges of sales and respect the salespeople who deliver the results.
10. You need each other.
Simply put and most important of all, marketing can’t do its job effectively without the support of inside sales teams. Working together is much more powerful than contention. The flip side is also true — sales without marketing is difficult. Without marketing, you’d have to make up for lost ground – tackling the tasks of telling the story, being persuasive, qualifying the lead, determining the emotional connection, objection handling — and everything else. It’s a lot harder to grow the company — and the revenues — without the support of marketing.
The bottom line is this: Marketing provides the air cover for salespeople on the ground working hard to close deals and increase revenue. It’s a partnership worth the investment.
Peace image: Wallpapersinhq.com