Sales enablement: Is marketing really from Mars and sales from Venus?
CMO.com just reported the results of Q2/Q3 research on marketing effectiveness. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of marketing’s effectiveness in closing the gap between marketing and sales.
For as long as I’ve been in marketing (and that’s a long time), the only time I’ve seen sales and marketing get along is when sales was dictating what to do, to marketing. But is that really marketing’s job? To deliver only what sales wants? Not in my world.
I think there’s an answer to this continuing drama, and it requires first and foremost that both departments actually respect what the other brings to the table. And a good understanding of the goals and objectives of the leaders in an organization. If marketing isn’t respected at the top, you can bet your annual salary the sales team is going to follow suit. So as a marketer that’s your first job—to understand the mentality of marketing at the highest levels in your organization. That will drive how you play your role and hopefully a decision on whether or not you are in the right company for your skill set.
If you’re a marketer lucky enough to find a company that understands and values good marketing, then you need to get busy closing the sales enablement gap. Jill Konrath, consultant and author of Selling to Big Companies, has written a really good ebook on how marketing can close that gap. I highly recommend you find a way to adopt Jill’s recommendations.
One addition to her recommendations that I’d like to add: When you create tools for sales, remember they need to put customer-facing words in their own voice to be viewed as authentic. They’re not robots who parrot your words, they’re people who have their own way of phrasing concepts. So give them concepts and facts, not scripts to memorize. Bullet-point key information and give them an example of how they can use that information in their sales process. If you’re a super control freak, test them on their delivery. Ask them for a presentation to hear if they’re grasping the concepts and using the facts you’ve provided. Sales people are way more effective if they can take marketing’s contribution and make it their own. Design your tools to make that happen.
Mars and Venus orbit the same star. Mars isn’t pushing Venus along its path. But what happens on Venus could have an impact on Mars. So the answer to the question in this blog title is, YES! Marketing is from Mars and sales from Venus. Marketing (Mars) can be successful in its mission (Orbit) if the sales team (Venus) doesn’t explode. As above, so below.
Photo: Collision, maxisciences.com