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.

 

Your Price Is Too High!

Your Price Is Too HighWho in sales hasn’t heard these words?

Buyers have many ways of saying your price is too high:

  • “We are reducing down to only two suppliers. If you want to be one of them, you’ll need to sharpen your pencil.”  
  • “I don’t care about service, delivery or quality.  Price is all that is important.”  
  • “My guys sell what the customers want.  They don’t see the difference.”
  • “I need an incentive to cut off a long-term vendor.  You must be lower if you want me to do so.”

Remember, it is the buyer’s job to discount your value, while simultaneously securing it.

The forgotten elements of price that are part of your value

Overcoming Price ObjectionsMost everyone thinks of the invoice price and terms.

But these forgotten values of price are part of the total picture that you must paint for your merchant.

In other words, this is part of the value you are bringing, not just a price.

  • Growth rebates
  • Promotional allowances
  • Show specials
  • Special buys
  • Advertising allowances
  • Co-op plans
  • Pallet configurations
  • Terms
  • Dating
  • Price protection
  • Rebates
  • Pick-up allowances
  • Guaranteed service cycles
  • Merchandising allowances
  • Service
  • Packaging
  • Stocking allowances
  • Customer accommodations
  • Inventory consignment

And more that are unique to your industry.

Each of these elements makes up your pricing – and your value – to the buyer. Don’t forget them when negotiating and remember they all are eating away at your account profitability.

Your price is too high really means “You haven’t shown your value to me”

I Said Your Price Is Too HighSurvey after survey of retailers, dealers, distributors, contractors and homeowners shows that price is rarely the key driver in the decision process. In fact, it is usually 4th or 5th.

Make sure that the customer has truly earned and justified the price they need. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples and considering all of the forgotten elements of price. Understand what you are up against by asking smart questions and getting all the facts.

Once price is relinquished make sure you have gained something for the value you provided. Finally, communicate thoroughly, professionally and always be reinforcing your value.

Being competitive is more than just price

Lowest Price Is Not Always BetterWhat added value can you offer?

  • What else can we bring to the party other than price?
  • How can we help grow the customer’s sales?
  • How can we lower their cost?
  • Can we use any of our unique capabilities to keep from cutting the price?

Marketing is all about 4 P’s, only one of which is Price

Marketing MixMake sure you spend as much time understanding pricing as any other one of the P’s.

Pricing deserves respect, attention and creativity. You will be rewarded with greater profitability and be more competitive as a result.

Good Selling!

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

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

Does This Sound Like Sales & Marketing Pixie Dust To You?

B-Thru-B - Sell Thru Not ToHow well do you know your customers business?

When you understand your customer’s customers – and the frustrations they face in delivering solutions – you can change the conversation. You can move from selling to problem-solving.

Which, in turn, will make you a partner and member of your customer’s sales team. You become important to their success and not just a vendor.

Does this sound like sales & marketing pixie dust to you?

Mark Mitchell, who you know as the chief strategist of Whizard Strategy, has identified that too many building materials companies are focused on B2B marketing.

The problem with B2B is that most companies don’t do it correctly. They abbreviate the rules of successful B-to-B marketing and focus on the (to) part. Their goal is to sell a product (to) a customer. Their job is done when the sale is made to the customer.”

If the customer orders too much product and it doesn’t sell, it’s not your problem

Yes, there are some companies who don’t make this mistake and are excellent B-to-B marketers.  I find that those companies are the exception.  Most companies are too focused on their own success.  They forget that the success of their customers determines their success in the long run.

Thru is a much better word

B2B-PosterWhen you approach selling with a B-Thru-B approach instead of B-To-B, you are forced to think about how to make your customer more successful with your products. You have to look beyond them to their customers.

You have to know your customer’s business. You have to know their customers.  Many companies say they want to partner with their customers.

When you take a Thru your customer approach, you have a much better chance of becoming a partner.

Be sure to read Mark’s complete article, Selling Building Materials – A Better Way or request his free poster.

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.