24 Apr What Sales Really, Really Needs from Marketing
Good afternoon Sounding Board readers! After tweeting about this event for weeks I’m excited to be live blogging from the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit today. If you couldn’t make it, be sure to follow @mamsummit or #mamsummit for updates on all the sessions!
My first panel today is “What Sales Really, Really [really really really really] Needs from Marketing,” moderated by Fred Diamond, President of DIAMOND Strategic Marketing.
Here are a few highlights from the panel:
We’re talking more about how to market to millennials, and how to prepare for that. Where do you see that landscape going? Are you starting to see your contacts more as Gen Y and if so how has that changed how you’re selling?
Kevin– Our customers have gotten younger but more than that they’re inundated with information. If I can’t read an email in two scrolls on my iPhone I’m not going to read it, I think that’s how millennial are thinking as well. Less is more.
Dan– Customers are sick of being told that you know what they’re doing and how they’re thinking. Social interaction is creating a huge opportunity for sales. I haven’t seen Gen Y filling the higher decision making roles yet, but they’re definitely influencing boomers adaptation of that technology.
Gary—I think at the technical level we’re very adept at figuring out what they want. Millennials are used to having information at their fingertips whenever they want. Even in my “age group” we’re all savvy. We can all get to information quickly. I think it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’re not on point with your marketing and messaging for the Internet age you’re just not there.
Where do you think marketing should report? To a CMO or as a part of the sales team? What do you think the marketing budget should be?
Gary — I really don’t care, at the end of the day I just want them embedded in my group getting their day-to-day direction from me. In terms of budget, it really depends on your product and where you are in terms of brand awareness. Pixia is in early development so we have great brand awareness in pockets, but not all over.
Fred — What should a marketing budget be? Back in the 90s it was as much as you can get. Today it’s as little as you can spend with the biggest return. Results have to be measurable.
What kind of video platforms do you think are key to engaging prospects? Video whitepapers?
Kevin—Video is a great asset. We have a YouTube channel on our website. When people ask for references, when we respond to inquiries we send them a video. If we could have a nice library of videos of customer references that would be a really great and powerful tool.
What is marketing doing today that they should absolutely STOP doing?
Dave—-Think through what a salesperson does in the process. If you’re adding steps that don’t help close the deal then they should be cut.
Gary— Any campaigns without legit input from the sales side about what is going to get people in chairs and paying attention.
Audience Question: What are things you’ve found most effective once the sales process is engaged?
Dave—constantly monitoring competitive websites. We need to know what our competitors are doing and sales guys need to stay current and up to date with what’s going on in the industry. No surprises.
Gary— Instant information has become the most valuable tool. Knowing when someone downloaded a whitepaper so I can follow up with more information and continue the conversation etc.
Kevin—There are so many tools out there that you need analytical tools to balance it all out. It requires 22 touches to make a sale, now we can track what has gained value, what is and isn’t working, and how to advance our process to make it better for everyone.
“The question shouldn’t just be what’s my budget? It should be what’s my budget plus who else can I bring to the party. I encourage you to figure out effective partner participation. Who are your logical partners and how can you work your budgets together effectively”
“The most important things within a sales and marketing team are collaboration, communication, and trust”
“Whether you’re in product marketing, field marketing, branding….it doesn’t matter. You can’t understand what’s going on from a marketing standpoint until you can understand what the customers are thinking and responding to.”
“Some sales people are lazy but not all sales people are lazy. Selling in the environment we’re in now is much harder than it was 5-10 years ago. Our buyers are going to training more than we are to make us feel like a commodity and I think that marketing and sales have to realize that the people we’re selling to are going to know a lot more about us than we know about them.”
“No two sales are alike, you can’t treat any sale the same as the one before.”
This group provided a great discussion about tools and processes from three true leaders in sales who truly understand marketing. Were you here today? What did you think?