How to End the Sales & Marketing Argument

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, May 11, 2015 @ 07:05 AM

argue.jpeg

Republicans and Democrats argue all the time.  Fans of long-time rival sports teams argue too, regardless of whether the rivalry is at the high school, college or pro level.  Players argue with umpires, referees and judges.  Kids argue with their parents and everyone argues with their cable company and wireless phone providers.  So why is it so hard to understand why marketing argues with sales?Marketing generates leads and Sales tells them how bad the leads are. Worse, they fail to generate leads and Sales tells them how useless they are.  Sales follows up on the leads, gets traction with only 5 out of 100, and Marketing tells them they suck at lead follow-up and selling.  There must be a better way...

Both departments share the blame.

Marketing must stop confusing requests for free anything as leads.  These requests are simply people that requested free stuff.  They could become a lead at some point, maybe even tomorrow, but they sure as hell aren't leads right now.

Sales must finally learn, once and for all, how to more effectively follow-up on today's web-generated leads.  It's not the same approach as call-ins, write-ins, or bingo cards.

One thing that can help solve the problem is to put qualifiers on the (not leads) contacts.  Then, when a competent person follows-up, the contact can be objectively, rather than subjectively qualified.  The problem with this is that we should not be qualifying the opportunity, only scoring the quality of a contact.

Contacts can be awarded points for:

  • being an appropriate person by title,
  • being the right size company,
  • being in a targeted vertical or geography,
  • participating in relevant or related activities,
  • having appropriate interest, and/or
  • being in an appropriate timeline for buying.

They should not be qualified for whether or not they have the money to spend, whether or not you can speak with a decision maker right now, or whether or not they are ready to buy.  It's too early to be asking those questions and when salespeople or appointment setters start asking those questions, even a good lead will turn bad.  

There's a good reason why those types of qualifying questions can't be asked until a compelling reason to buy has been identified.  Until that point, a prospect has no incentive to share the answers to those questions because it's a waste of their time and salespeople are disqualifying a disproportionate percentage of opportunities because they jump the gun on qualifying.  On the other hand, at least those who are doing the disqualification are making an effort to qualify - even if they are too early...

There will always be some friction between Sales and Marketing, but the two can get along, collaborate and work together if they can agree on 4-5 subjective qualifiers that can place proper expectations on what constitutes a lead, who should follow-up on leads, and what that follow-up should sound like.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, marketing, leads, lead follow up, sales follow up

The $9 Million Cold Call - Do Salespeople Still Sell That Way?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

cold callerI just completed an interview on behalf of a client and learned that this candidate landed $9 million in brand new business, from a brand new account over a period of 18 months from - are you ready - a cold call.

I'll be the first to admit that cold calling is more difficult than ever.  It's more frustrating than ever.  It's less productive than ever.  But that does not mean that your salespeople should stop making calls.  Hardly.  Finding new opportunities is more important than ever, but there are alternative methods so that calls are more productive, less frustrating and more effective.

Wasting time trying to reach prospects that never seem to be in?  There's a tool for that.

Trying to figure out how to get someone to take your call?  There's a tool for that.

Frustrated with going back and forth trying to find a mutually convenient time to meet or talk?  There's a tool for that.

Trying to generate more leads?  There is a tool for that.

Need a more salesperson-friendly, elegant CRM replacement/Pipeline Management solution to track progress?  There's a tool for that.

As a matter of fact, there are so many new tools available that it will make your head spin.  The key is to understand which tools will actually help you find/reach/connect/schedule/track new opportunities, as opposed to tools that are more versions of noise - novel or fun to play with but with little gain in productivity.

In the end, your salespeople still need to pick up a phone and make a call.  If the prospect isn't expecting the call, it's a COLD CALL.  Today, there are finally tools to make that a more enjoyable, productive and effective experience.  Is your sales force taking advantage?

Failure to take advantage of new tools, methods, and alternatives to cold calling is a combination of stubborness and sales obsolescence.   

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force development, Sales 2.0, crm, essential sales tools, leads

Salespeople Should be More Like Children

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, May 27, 2009 @ 22:05 PM

Our son wrote a book today.  He illlustrated it too.  No big deal? He just turned 7.

He loves to read and apparently, he must have felt that there weren't enough new books arriving in his room so he decided to create a Pokeman book to read instead.

I can't wait until he's old enough to sell something because this behavior translates!  When there aren't enough new leads coming in he will simply create his own.

Don't you wish all of your salespeople made it that simple?  

Don't you wish all of your salespeople understood the urgency of new opportunities?

Don't you wish all of your salespeople would simply generate their own without giving it a second thought?

Don't you wish they would do that without you having to set expectations for them, without having to tell them how many, show them how, remind them, remind them again, tell them you're not happy, remind them again, show them how again, reset expectations, make calls with them, coach them, remind them again, reprimand them, etc.?

Wouldn't it be nice if all of your salespeople simply made it their number one priority to find the opportunities required to keep their pipeline stuffed with quality opportunities?

If they had a stuffed pipeline, would the deals that have been put on hold due to spending freezes be such a huge disappointment?  No way.  Those delayed deals are only big disappointments when there aren't enough opportunities in the pipeline to make up for them.

It really is simple. It's like the 70's again. Just roll your own.


(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales, selling, Salesforce, Sales Force, leads, Children, new business, salespeople

Easier Than Selling Free Services

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 22, 2008 @ 17:09 PM

This post puts a different spin on selling...

Topics: sales leads, sales, cold calls, leads

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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