February 28, 2019

Sales vs. Marketing – Get the Message

Vicki Cline

Vicki Cline
Owner/Sales Co-Sourcing

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Many companies leveraging technology are working under the impression that by providing content in the right format placed on the right sites will automate sales.  Brainshark research from the “State of the Sales Rep” shows that, of sales reps who receive content from marketing, 42% say that marketing “rarely” or “never” makes them part of the development process. Sales reps also report that they end up creating 51% of the content they use on their own.

Many sales reps are still creating their own support materials.  Are they using the messaging so painstakingly prepared by marketing?  Without being equipped with the right messaging, sales out of necessity will generate their own content. 

During a conversation with a prospect or a client, sales is actively involved in relaying messaging.  Will the message be in line with the company’s vision and position in the marketplace? 

“The divide can look like a lot of finger pointing.  Sales, marketing, and product teams believe they are delivering, but the reality is that they are not on the same page and haven’t agreed on a common approach on how we go to market in an integrated way.  I think that kind of misalignment is not uncommon, and it certainly isn’t healthy for business”.    Dawn McPhall, Sr Director, Integrated Marketing, Brightspace.

 To bridge the divide between sales and marketing organizations, focus on what salespeople need next and what is the structure for building and deploying messaging?  With sales and marketing working together, they can develop a playbook.  The playbook should not only contain roles and responsibilities for each member of the selling organization but lays out clear objectives for each member of the team to support the sales and marketing strategy with targets and performance matrixes.   The playbook should also include what to know, do, and say and where to find the information.

In a perfect world of sales and marketing working together, sales enablement, the next steps to completing sales massaging falls on the shoulders of sales individuals and sales management.  Salespeople will be responsible for practicing the use of content and messaging and sales management is responsible for coaching their staff through conversations at different levels of the prospect’s organization.  Sales enablement will only be effective if value messaging and coaching are connected and reinforced.

It’s no secret that the relationships between sales and marketing isn’t always perfect and that alliance between the two departments can be a challenge.  The success of both teams is extremely interwoven so by working together on a playbook, bringing marketing messaging together with prospect/client interaction, the results can speak for itself.

Comments? You can contact me directly via my AdvisoryCloud profile.

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