When Sales and Marketing Collide

Sales and Marketing CollideDoes it ever seem to you like sales people are from Mars and marketers are from Venus?

Sales people feel they must translate what they see as marketing’s one-size-fits-all approach into a practical message tailored for their unique customer while the marketing team often believes the sales people themselves are the problem because they are not following their product positioning.

What’s behind this communication gap? Language.

The Language of Sales and Marketing

Language of sales and marketingSales and marketing have different views of the world.

Salespeople say:

Marketing people do not spend enough time in the field. They don’t take specific customer complaints seriously enough. Marketing needs to create a system for better field communications.

Marketers say:

Sales is always asking for information that they have already received. We spend much effort gathering and writing up product and competitive information, send out that information, and reps call a week later for the same information. This takes time away from other important tasks we have.

Salespeople say:

Marketing should be more demanding with R&D and manufacturing to alter product designs and production schedules.

Marketers say:

We are under-resourced: too many sales chiefs and not enough implementation people.

Salespeople say:

Biggest frustration to our sales reps is lack of timely information.

Marketers say:

Our success depends on fulfilling customer expectations for tomorrow, not just today.

Salespeople say:

Sales reps’ compensation should not be penalized for price erosion…that’s a product issue out of our control.

Marketers say:

Sales is happy to criticize, rather than accept responsibility and suggest constructive improvements.

Let’s face it, sales gets input straight from the horse’s mouth, the customer

straight from horse's mouthEach customer is supplying a valuable piece to the puzzle. It’s important that each sales person capture that input and makes sure it gets back to the marketing team.

Every customer has their own set of individual issues. Marketing is capturing the insights from all of sales. They are sifting and prioritizing those that are important locally, regionally and nationally. From those inputs, plans and strategies are being developed that cover all the bases, not just one account.

Customer responsiveness, urgency, and speed really are the goals of marketing

mistrustMarketing isn’t being slow ― they are being thorough and deliberate. The reason is that marketing isn’t the only department required to create a new product. That involves most of the rest of the company from ops to finance.

Whether you label it as healthy tension, territorial friction or a downright conflict of personalities, anyone who’s spent time working in marketing will be familiar with the terse, often challenging and almost always character-building relationship with sales.

Good Selling!

Greg Bonsib is an author of the new Mighty Guides Ebook Data Disruption.

 

5 Ways To Make B2B Communications More Effective

 five quick tips for making your communications more powerfulWhat is your one competitive advantage – smarter? faster? cheaper? – or the most service-driven player in the field? You need to find it and communicate it. Because being all things to all people went out with floppy disks and slide projectors.

This insight comes from Bill Faust, managing partner at Ologie. I’m sharing his original article combined with an updated version from the Ologie site: Think B2B doesn’t apply to you? Think again.

Use these 5 tips to power up your B2B marketing

5 Tips fopr making B2B communications more powerfulCommunicating with a business audience is very different from talking to consumers. And this is important because just about organization has to do both.

Here are five quick tips for making your communications more powerful, B2B or not.

1. Simplify the complex

Channel Marketing Can Help You Through The Customer MazeDon’t hide behind your jargon. Every potential client or prospect wants the plain truth – straight talk, simple terms and no-nonsense explanations.

Regardless of how complex the product or service, avoid the temptation of using complicated explanations and overly technical copy to make your selling point. You understand it, your customers might not.

Break it down into simple chunks and focus on the benefits. Skip the laundry list and focus on the relevant results. Walk step by step through your business. It’s complex information. Show them that you’re smart enough to keep it simple.

 2. Focus on the benefits

In any industry, it’s easy to get caught up in who you are and what you do: your products, your services, your offers, your approach, and your capabilities. But your clients would rather hear about what’s in it for them. As you communicate, stay focused on the benefits—what you will do for clients. You’re bound to make more connections that way.

3. Consistency, consistency, consistency

Consistency Consistency ConsistencyIn real estate, it’s location, in B2B it’s consistency. Consistent execution. Consistent branding. Consistent focus.

This is especially true for communications. From your website to collateral to PowerPoint presentations, show a clear and consistent image with a single, powerful voice. One-eyed branding. There’s too much competition out there already – don’t add to that by looking like two companies instead of one.

4. Make the intangible tangible

confused-manNo matter what you’re selling, from legal advice to IT consulting to business insurance, there are ways to make intangible products and services tangible.

Use narratives, metaphors, analogies, and case studies. Lean on video, photography, and infographics. Make what you do more tangible, and you’ll quickly transform your communications.

Remember; just because you get it doesn’t mean your customers do. You live it, every day. And, believe it or not, that can be a disadvantage.

So think like your prospect.  Get in their head. Step back and ask the dumb questions. The same questions your customer is probably asking all the time. After all, a little naivete can go a long way.

5. Be bold and behold

keep-calm-and-be-boldB2B doesn’t mean your marketing has to be like watching paint dry. Differentiate your company and your offer by being bold and taking some chances. Stand out in the crowd. Use your communications to get noticed and get your message to cut through in a crowded marketplace.

Many marketers assume that they have to be emotionless, or they won’t be taken seriously. Nonsense. Most B2B marketing requires communicating with senior management. Don’t underestimate them. They’re educated, sophisticated and well-traveled. They get humor and subtle messaging. They appreciate the unexpected. They look for out-of-the-box thinking. Show all of that in your communications.

Use your communications to stand out in the crowd, and you’ll get your message across. The safe road isn’t always the one leading to prosperity.

Good Selling!

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.

How Inspired Is Your Brand?

Steve JobsDo you market to your employees as powerfully as you do to your customers?

It seems that marketing teams are always customer facing. Sure that’s where the sales dollars are, but why stop there?

Employees can be your best marketing ambassadors. In fact, they can be a social media powerhouse for you.

But there are some brands that shift the focus. Brands like Apple or IKEA. Those brands create a powerful force through their employees.

What happens when the marketing team focuses first on employees and then on its customers?

How Inspired Is Your Brand?Patrick Neeman posted How Inspired Is Your Brand? Read Apple’s Onboarding Letter . He found an old blog post from a new Apple hire and reposted Apple’s welcome letter.

Like most great communications, it’s short and simple. Which only makes it more powerful:

Here’s what Apples’ onboarding welcome letter said

There’s work and there’s your life’s work.

The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over all. The kind of work that you’d never compromise on. That you’d sacrifice a weekend for. You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don’t come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end.

They want their work to add up to something.

Something big. Something that couldn’t happen anywhere else.

Welcome to Apple.

Apple is not alone. IKEA is another standout in harnessing the passion of its employees.

Does your company even come close to something like this?

Good Selling!

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.