All month, Dave Kurlan, Frank Belzer, Chris Mott, and I have been writing on Sales Architecture as part of an ongoing series on what it takes to build a world-class sales organization.
We’ve touched on issues of enablement, management, infrastructure, and other critical areas this month as well. These articles have been written in support of our upcoming webinar that you won’t want to miss if you are a business leader or sales leader who believes that sales could be a lot better at your company than they currently are.
In this fast-paced, one-hour webinar, we're going to cover sales architecture and other related issues in more depth. If you're the person who needs to get the sales organization right, this webinar is for you.
Here is the webinar agenda:
- Sales Process - Optimizing Conversions
- Sales Methodology – Why It Matters
- Sales Messaging - How to Get It Right
- 3 Critical Conversations
- Executing in a Changing Economy
- Sales Model – Making It Scalable
- Channels - Optimizing Your Traction
- Sales Training - Critical Components for Maximum Impact
- Organic Sales Growth and Its Impact on Sales Architecture
- Overlooked Conversation Between Sales Managers and Salespeople
- Do Technical Salespeople Need Sales Training?
- Why Doesn't Sales Methodology Get More Attention?
- Getting a Sales Organization to Buy-In to Sales Training
- Marketing and Sales Feedback Loop Can Help You Grow
- Five Things VP’s Must Do To Insure Sales Enablement Has Impact
- Sales Execution - What Should You Pay Attention To?
- You May Be Expecting Too Much From Sales Training When...
- What is the Best Sales Model for Your Sales Force?
Today, I want to talk more about how sales and marketing must work together. It's sort of nuts, in today's market, to let these two organizations work in a vacuum. They must continually feed each other valuable market information in a healthy, robust, iterative process of information gathering and feedback.
Far from silos, the line between these two organizations has been mixed together like chemicals in a flask, producing a new kind of hybrid organization within the existing company structure. Sales leadership and marketing leadership must have the right chemistry to drive results for the organization. Let’s take a look at some of the questions we need to be asking:
Who are our customers?
So what are some of the ways that sales and marketing can help each other? Of primary importance is answering the question of who we are targeting. Who is our customer and what are their issues? And another important and often overlooked question is who do we want as customers in the first place?
What is our strategy?
How are we getting in front of our customers? How are we getting their attention? What role is marketing playing and what does the handoff to sales look like? Ideally, not only is marketing feeding the front end of the pipeline, but they are also planting seeds in the minds of your prospects, or more accurately "suspects." These seeds or issues then serve as a conversational starting point from which the sales staff can probe further. When marketing points out a source of frustration or a missed opportunity, it preframes the discussion for your sales people.
How do we gain traction?
No, not the kind where they drill holes in your head. But more like a good snow tire. Can sales move the prospect through the sales process effectively? How can marketing help? How far along the sales cycle is marketing bringing the prospect? And how far should the salesperson back up the prospect in the process to ensure that the bases are properly covered?
Marketing might be setting the stage, but sometimes they've shared so much information that it creates a false impression in the mind of the salesperson that they are further along the sales cycle than they really are.
How many of your sales people will recognize as a mirage, when a prospect only appears to be in a later stage of the sales cycle, but really isn't? How many of them can properly bring this prospect back to an earlier point in the cycle, perhaps somewhere near that point discussed above where marketing might have identified a key source of frustration? If you're not sure, you can click here to find out.
How do we get the business?
Finally, how are we getting the business? Where do we fit in the market? What kind of feedback can sales bring back to marketing to adjust the message and continue an iterative process that improves your results and desired outcomes with time?
Not long ago, marketing created the brand, researched the market, and positioned the products. The job of sales was to close the business that marketing teed up for them. The problem is that communication wasn't strong enough nor frequent enough, leading to complaints from both sides. "The leads were no good." Or, "Why can't those guys close the business?"
Today, a more iterative approach is needed. The market is changing rapidly. Marketing must solicit from sales real-time information gleaned from all interaction in the field to constantly adjust their message and ensure that their positioning statements are resonating with their intended audience.Join me and a panel of sales experts for a powerful, one-hour webinar that will address the topics that the Kurlan team has been writing about this month. The webinar is on February 5th and we will discuss, "Leading Your Ideal Sales Force - Part 1"at 11 AM Eastern Time.
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Diagram credit: Dennis Connelly, Kurlan & Associates
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