How To Close Your Sales And Marketing Chasm
“Everything that needs to be said has been said already. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” – Andre Gide.
Yes, I’m banging that bloody drum again.
Why St John??
Because I continue to see the extremely frustrating fiefdom and patch protection that is sales and marketing.
Between the two lies a TON of lost cash.
Sales say marketing are a “cost centre” whilst they proudly call themselves a “profit centre”.
Marketing say sales never follow up on the leads they generate, and sales say their leads were sh*t e.
Marketing have always seen as good at spending money and sales have always been good at making money.
And so the childish, pickering blame-game of bullshit goes on…
A lack of attribution and accountability is where the true tension lies between the two.
Sales have always had to live or die on their numbers.
There’s no where to hide come Monday morning sales meeting.
However, marketing can contribute and play a bigger role – if executed well.
If your rural marketing machine is good it can make sales superfluous, as management guru Peter Drucker said:
“The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous…to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him or her and sells itself.”
Your rural marketing could achieve more accountability and attribution by using:
- highly-targeted lead capture and nurture digital campaigns
- opt-in forms
- high-value lead magnets
- building brilliant brands that defend margin
- implementing intelligent click funnels
- seamless e-commerce experience
If your rural marketing team isn’t delivering qualified leads for your sales team, then greater accountability and scrutiny needs to be brought to bear.
Marketing also needs to know they have a professional responsibility to add value rather than have their salaries propped up and paid for by the profits of their sales team peers.
The same goes for the sales team.
Nothing breaks the heart of an engaged and invested rural marketer who works hard to generate hard-fought leads to find out they are never followed up by sales.
That’s a crime that can never go unnoticed.
Where significant sales revenue comes unstuck is when marketing and sales team don’t work together for a common cause.
All the predictable “them vs. us” symptoms turn up:
- turf wars and patch protection
- fiercely-defended fiefdoms
- ‘famous-person’ syndrome (“I know better than you” / “I add more value than you”)
- poor communication flow
- lack of information flow and knowledge transfer
- competing alternate agendas (for their good vs. the common good)
- division and indifference in strategies
- department power and ego battles
- bickering that distracts from core business
Rural sales team can help their rural marketing teams by feeding them rich insights and intel from the front line.
If sales teams want sales support, they need to provide the ingredients to make it happen.
Marketing can’t dream up material out of thin air if rural sales team keep complaining about a lack of case studies, imagery or testimonials.
It takes two to tango.
Marketing can repay that favour by using these insights, intel and ingredients to create compelling and meaningful marketing material that creates a list of qualified leads.
Don’t separate sales and marketing planning meetings unless you want to reinforce the divide.
You want joined-up thinking because knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied.
Report on both sides too: leads generated at what cost and leads converted and at what cost.
Dual reporting keeps each other party accountable for attribution and on an equal footing.
This openness and transparency will foster greater goodwill, understanding and appreciation of what each other does and why.
Two brains have always better than one.
You can have the best of both worlds.
Rural sales and marketing teams working together and feeding each other can be a powerful and profitable combination, giving you a major competitive advantage over peers who can’t.
Phil Jackson, champion coach of the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers defined his level of team development from a stage 3 team being: “I’m great, you’re not” into a stage 4 team “We’re great, they’re not”.
That’s what you need to see and hear.
My advice and experience having worked on both sides of the fence is this:
Focus on centralised sales and marketing rather than seperate sales and marketing silos.
If not, leads, revenue and important customer insights will fall between the stools costing you major money and multiple headaches.
Do the right thing and align the two.
Each needs each other.
You’ll be glad you did.
I’m on a mission to elevate the world’s perception of rural sales reps.
I do this by teaching and training rural sales teams and their managers new skills that increase their confidence and capabilities so they make more sales.
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P.S. Whenever you’re ready…here are 4 ways I can help grow your rural business:
1. Grab a free copy of my How To Succeed In Rural Sales book – it’s the roadmap to helping you make more rural sales quickly, simply and easily. Click here
2. Join our How To Master Rural Sales Psychology Group – our private Facebook community where I share a ton of free tools and resources. Join here
3. Sign up for our exclusive Rural Sales Success® Programme – we will teach you and your team how to become rural sales rock stars. Get a sneak peek of the programme here
4. Work with me – if you’d like to work with me and smash your 2022 sales goals, grab a slot and we can talk here