Last week’s blog talked about what Sales can learn from Marketing. On the flipside this week we will discuss what Marketing can learn from Sales.
Sales reps and marketing creatives have their separate roles, yet they benefit greatly from working together to affect the bottom line. When it comes to customers’ wants and needs, it behooves marketers to listen to those with their boots on the ground—sales reps.
Sales reps are out in the field, face-to-face and ear-to-ear with customers. They have a better, more honed understanding than Marketing does of the art and science of verticals. Fluent in the various dialects of industry, Sales possesses a great sense of how different target markets need to be communicated with. This is something they can share with marketing creatives, who in turn can tailor collateral to speak to different verticals in ways that are understandable, relevant, and effective.
What Floats the Boat?
Marketing may know how to launch a message down a channel, but that “boat” can drift out to sea and become no more effective than a message in a bottle if it’s sent down the wrong channel for a particular industry. For example, older, more staid industries might not cotton to getting “new fangled” email blasts. They might only respond to good old-fashioned mass mailings, bells and whistles not included.
There’s such a thing as going overboard, too, and Sales can be a life-saver if Marketing starts circling the drain of the creative process. Sales can see the big customer picture; sometimes they know when enough is enough. Too, Marketing may set their sights on false indicators. For example, increased web traffic doesn’t necessarily translate to increased leads.
Speaking of channels—the other kind—Marketing benefits from tuning in to hear what’s fresh out there in the world of hands-on selling. The invaluable information Sales picks up is what the clients’ need are at a particular point and time. That’s huge. Sales reps are talkers. They’re also good listeners, and their job is to listen to the customer. Marketers, take note of specific conversations that your peers in Sales have had with actual customers. If you fail to listen when Sales communicates the customers’ needs, you could waste time and resources, taking the “mark” out of “marketing” by missing the mark.
Speaking of the Customer…
Sales knows from negativity when it comes to customers. They get an earful about customers’ objections and frustrations. This type of behind-the-scenes knowledge can be communicated to creatives and make marketing materials shine with just the right polish to push customers to their happy place. Marketers, think of sales reps as the mouth piece of the customer. You’re already familiar with user testing, so take the time out to interview sales reps about the common concerns of clients. Then you can take that data and incorporate it into your blogs, newsletters, and other tailored pieces of collateral.
You Do for Me; I Do for You
Marketers open doors, but they don’t close deals. Sales puts the ink on the agreements; sometimes that means negotiating first, another thing in the wheelhouse of sales reps. In contrast, good sales outcomes are heavily reliant on good marketing practices. Combined, it’s all of that which strengthens the bottom line. There’s a necessary connection between Marketing and Sales, so let’s put our differences in the recycle bin and repurpose a beautiful partnership.