“The war of sales vs marketing is both legendary and debilitating. And yet it’s probably fair to say that the future of your company lies in your ability to make the two work better together.”
Geoffrey James wrote a great and succinct piece today on “Why Sales Hates Marketing: 9 Reasons- Here’s why your marketing team and your sales team can’t get along. Hint: The sales team is probably right.”
This is probably the best summary we have ever seen on the challenges that a company faces in the in B to B marketing and we felt like it was appropriate to reduce the blog entry from a Top 10 to a Top 9. We also felt like it made sense to simply include Mr. James thoughts (although redacted in quotes below, to include his fix and then to include our best practices as a sales and marketing outsourcing company that builds b to b demand generation engines as part of sales machines.
We agree with every point Mr. James makes below and before we jump in would like to recommend you read it in its entirety. There is another link at the end of this blog.
1. Marketing Acts Superior
“Many marketers have business degrees, so they think they’re better than sales reps who don’t…” The Fix: Make certain that every marketer you hire has at least six months of experience selling something.
When building a b to b demand generation engine we think it makes sense to take it a step further. The manager running that machine should have experience selling media and advertising.
2. Marketing Doesn’t Believe in Sales
Marketers are often taught in b-school that good marketing makes a sales force unnecessary. However, unless a product is a plug-and-play commodity, your only differentiator is how you sell it. The Fix: Make it clear in the charter of the marketing team that they are there to support the sales team, not to replace it.
3. Marketing Thinks Selling Is Easy
…Many “demand creation” activities don’t create all that much demand–especially in B2B, where customers generally ignore ads, brochures, and such. The Fix: Have the marketers make sales calls–or field inside sales calls–so they can see how hard it is.
Design your b to b demand generation program anchored in what the customer is telling your sales reps. Make these feedback loops a required part of your inside sales teams comp plan.
4. Marketing Avoids Being Measured
…Marketers generally get paid when they produce leads, brochures, white papers, and so forth–even if none of that activity results in a single sale… The Fix: Compensate marketers on the ability of the current sales team to generate revenue and profit from the sales leads that marketing produces.
If your products price tag is 20K or greater and you are doing more than 20 deals per year (I know this is somewhat weak but we are talking minimums) you need to implement a marketing automation platform like Pardot. (as full disclosure we are a Denver CO Pardot Partner). This software gives you the ability to measure marketing’s digital content contribution to the sale. If you need a hard ROI calculation at other figures we can help you run those.
5. Marketing Claims to be ‘Driving Sales’
…I’ve heard this phrase dozens of time from marketers who are trying to take credit for sales, even when they had absolutely no impact on making those sales take place. The Fix: Make Marketing subservient to Sales on the organization chart.
Once again implementing a marketing automation platform will allow you to measure marketing’s contribution.
6. Marketing Pretends It’s Strategic
Brand is a reflection of product and service. If those are good, the brand is good; if not, the brand is bad. The Fix: Reward marketers for behavior that directly results in a measurable increase in revenue and profit.
Not to keep hitting on Marketing Automation but it gets rid of some of this issue. We also recommend that you have your inside sales team become involved in helping to create your digital sales content map DISCUSSED IN OUR BLOG ALIGNING SALES AND MARKETING YOUR B 2 B DEMAND GENERATION blog series.
7. Marketing Wastes Money
…Sales is perfectly capable of wasting money (big time)…there’s also no question that marketers often expend cash on fancy brochures, advertisements, and trade show junkets that have little or no business value. The Fix: Give the sales team veto power over all pricey marketing activities.
There is no reason not to market test all of your content digitally. As an outsourced sales organization most of our clients have failed before they get to us and over 50% of the time we generally find that about 70% of the material (especially designed for print) has lost its initial impact within 6 months. We are living in dynamic times which requires a dynamic approach to content.
8. Marketing Pretends It’s Engineering
While marketers often attempt to set a firm’s technical direction, most of the time, the marketers have never even spoken to a customer–and have no idea what’s technically feasible. The Fix: Let your engineers do the engineering.
B to B demand generation is not about engineering it’s about stage management. Your demand generation strategists job is to move the actors the customers wants to see on an off the stage. Stage management is about 60% science (driven by data); it’s knowing what to put the spot light on during the sales process. It’s about 30% listening (where do you get the applause and who comes back from intermission) and 10% heart (caring about getting the prospect to the proposal). Closing is about 33% product knowledge (knowing your lines inside and out), 33% business (being able to make the business case) and about 33% art (charming enough to take center stage when required).
What you want from demand generation strategist is the ability to listen to the customer, the skill to analyze the numbers and the ability to clone the closers. You need your demand generation manager to manage that stage.
9. Marketing Argues About Lead Quality
Marketing frequently provides Sales with lists of unqualified or under-qualified leads, and then accuses Sales of being clueless because it can’t close the deals…..a lead is only good if it’s possible (or even easy) for the sales team to close. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time. The Fix: Reassign (or fire) marketers who can’t provide leads that the sales team can close.
Gabriel Sales can cover all or part of your outsourced demand generation and sales and marketing outsourcing needs. We invite you to learn more about our approach that lets sales reps skilled in marketing help to bridge the gap between customer feedback and marketing and our tactics for helping our clients drive sales and marketing alignment. We do this out of self- interest as a sales outsourcing firm because when sales and marketing is aligned you have happy customers and happy customer means more closed business and everyone wins.
Thanks to Mr. James for providing the material for us to comment on at: on “Why Sales Hates Marketing: 9 Reasons- Here’s why your marketing team and your sales team can’t get along. Hint: The sales team is probably right.”
To learn more about how Gabriel Sales can help you can CONTACT US or check out more tactical tips in the B2B Demand Generation Education Resources section of our website.