22 Apr Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit 2016 – What Sales Needs from Marketing
My last session for the day is a topic I’m always interested in (and one MAMS includes every year) – What Sales Needs from Marketing Today. Moderated by Fred Diamond, co-founder of the Institute for Excellence in Sales the panel featured Brian Green, SVP, Sales & Solution Development, Learning Tree International; Darrell Gehrt, Vice President of Sales, CrowdCompass byCvent; and Bryan Mowell, Vice President of Sales, ADP.
The session kicked off with our panelists being asked exactly what they believe the role of marketing to be. The panelists rattled off quite a list that included creating brand awareness, staying ahead of the market, knowing competitors and at the end of the day, driving revenue. However, there was a bit of a kumbaya moment with everyone agreeing that sales and marketing are partners in crime in conquering the sales world.
When the discussion turned to what three things are keeping the sales leads up at night most of it wasn’t necessarily related to marketing. In fact, the number one answer across the board was talent. In addition to talent the panelists listed wanting to know what they can do better, do they have enough opportunities in their pipeline to achieve their goal, do they have the right tools to get where they want to go and how quickly can they generate and distribute worthwhile content?
Next our panelists addressed the (dangerous) question of what is marketing just completely wasting its time on? I’ll let the answers speak for themselves (and will be kind and not name the guilty parties)…
- Not recognizing that the level of effort being expended is not just to generate numbers. All leads are not equal.
- Compensation plans that incent marketing on number of leads. Instead incentivize them on pipeline build.
- Multi-touch marketing campaign that take time away from selling executives on the team.
It wasn’t all bad news though. When asked what marketing should be doing that they aren’t the panelists mostly discussed things that weren’t being done when they got to their organizations but that are being done now. Some of those helpful things marketing could be doing include:
- Not just providing leads but rather the tools to help accelerate the process. Content and collateral that doesn’t just list product features but rather helps to educate buyers on how they go through the journey (think white papers).
- Always be looking ahead. Know where the market is going and what the next big thing is. This helps to prepare the sales team to get ahead of what’s coming and be proactive rather than reactive.
- Competitive market analysis that actively provides competitive insight.
A fairly common theme throughout the session was that it’s not just about leads. One of the panelists pointed out that in his organization 80% of the sale has already been done by the time a lead gets to him and his team because of the content and material put out. His team isn’t asking for more leads but rather for more help nurturing those leads.
And last but not least, if you take only one thing away from this whole blog post and session, let is be these parting words on what our panelists would like for marketing to understand about sales:
- We are all under the same pressures but for sales it’s a very revenue driven scenario so the more marketing can help connect them with customers and demonstrate an awareness of marketplace demands the better the partnership can be.
- Knowing what else marketing can deliver besides leads. Understanding an awareness of the sales cycle and how marketing can help at different points in the sales cycle and what kind of content can help keep the process moving forward.
- Constant communication. Marketing is the first step in the sales process so the more the two organizations can connect on a regular basis the better life will be for everyone.