by Donal Daly
There are few distinct viewpoints in business that are as polarized as those of marketing and sales professionals. Marketing is glamorous, sales less so. Sales are measurable, marketing less so. The uneasy relationship between sales and marketing is widespread and infects almost all types of businesses.
The truth, of course, is that mutual respect and understanding, and a shared perspective, between the sales and marketing teams is essential if you want to be sure you have the right products to sell, the right marketing messages, and ability to call on their support when you need it. When that happens, uncommon sales velocity occurs, and more deals are won faster—and that’s a good thing.
So, from a salesperson’s perspective—here’s a list to consider.
- Selling is hard. Harder than you may ever realize. So if I seem stressed, cut me some slack.
- Selling is personal. When I make a promise I have to keep it. If you force me to break that promise (by changing processes, features or a rollout schedule) I will never forgive you.
- I’m trying to change people’s minds, one person at a time. So unless you give me a smart sales process to follow, I can’t tell you when the sale will close. (You need to follow the process as well—so then we will both know what works and what doesn’t.)
- I love selling. I particularly love selling great stuff, well marketed. Don’t let me down. Don’t ask me to sell lousy stuff, poorly packaged.
- I’m extremely focused on the reward half of the equation. Salespeople love to keep score, and that’s how I keep score. So don’t change the rules in the middle, please.
- There is no comparison, none, between an inbound call (one that you created with marketing) and a cold call (one that you instructed me to create with a phone book.) Your job is to make it so I never need to make a cold call.
- I need you to fill the top of the funnel—you know that. But your deal doesn’t stop there. I need marketing support to help move deals through the funnel.
- I know my job is to work my network and keep my customers happy so that I can find opportunities on my own as well.
- Sometimes customers lie when they turn me down. They make up reasons. But every once in awhile I actually learn something in the field. Ask!
- I know that sometimes you’d like to get rid of me and just take orders on the web. But that’s always going to be the low-hanging fruit. The game-changing sales, at least for now, come from real people interacting with real people. Here’s a short book about that.
- Selling is hard and unpredictable. But I also know that you’ve got to be prepared to measure and predict and plan. That means that I can’t keep what I’m doing a secret. I need to provide feedback to you.
- I also know that the two worst pieces of feedback I can give you—because neither is really actionable or especially effective—are a) lower the price, and b) make our products just like our competitors.
- When you work hard and deliver real opportunities to me, my job is to follow up promptly. Sometimes I don’t do that—sorry.