So you are in the group of sales and marketing folks who totally understand how important a well honed sales message is. Your message has been crafted by a multifunctional team that includes sales, marketing, and subject matter experts. Congratulations!
Are you infusing that message into the field? Probably not. A recent Corporate Visions survey found that 35% of companies have an established message development process but don’t apply the message consistently.
Why create a provocative sales message but not complete the cycle of training sales staff how to deliver it, or not create the tools to support the message through thought leadership? Why pay a guy like me to bring that message to light if the message isn’t used?
20% of all companies think that everyone in their company just delivers any message that they think is best?
Think of your message that you have developed as a hub in a wheel. From it emanates all of the sales enablement tools to deliver the message to prospects (playbooks, presentations, collateral, whiteboards and proposals), and all of the thought leadership tools designed to position the company in a certain way and generate sales leads (blogs, publicity, web sites, and advertisements). Take your message and think about how you will translate it tangibly or tactically in each "spoke." Lets make sure that message finds its way into your sales infrastructure.
Focus on two things. 1) Tactical execution. 2) Change management.
You’re organization is resource-short. To make sure things happen tactically -- hierarchically plan which tools you need to develop first, one at a time, so that implementation really happens. “First things first,” as they say.
Getting your team to actually use your brand new shiny marketing tools is tough. People are inherently risk-averse. Change management needs to be thought through. Once your tools are made, take the time to create excitement around each tool and teach your team how the tool will help them close new business. Think through what steps you should take to reinforce use of the new marketing tool. Training, rehearsal of use, incentivizing use, and tracking of use are four good categories of change management that you should be thinking about.
Remember, tactically execute one item at a time so that it really happens, and plan to help your team utilize the tools.
Why aren’t your marketing efforts bearing fruit? You are trying everything. Creating brochures, developing mounds of content for inbound marketing, and slick sales presentations. Yet you are either having issues generating sales leads, or initialing productive sales dialogs.
My contention is that a wide majority of folks I meet have a disconnect between the needs of the sales team and what marketing is doing to help. In a recent Corporate Visions Survey of B2B managers, only 10% believe that they have complete coordination between demand generation and sales enablement.
“Marketing” has lost its way. When you pare everything down, is your marketing team actually working hand-in-hand with the sales team to fashion the actual verbal conversation that will make the sales staff effective when they speak to prospects? This is the foundation of leveraging creative and strategic marketers for the purpose of strengthening sharp sales hunters.
The marketing team needs to take a step back, reassess the purpose of the work they are doing. The real purpose is to help sales get leads and convince prospects to purchase. If you can get your marketing and sales professionals to reconnect and start from square one you may find that your sales engine will start to produce like a well-oiled machine.
By bringing marketers into the sales dialog planning process, you will integrate their ability to identify opportunities and create meaningful content – starting with the sales conversation.
Creating a sales conversation is not a creative process. It is a collaborative process that is highly strategic. It actually starts with working together to gain a clear understanding on product, prospects, USPs and conversation maps.
Once that strategy and conversation is created. Then the media ecosystem you create will truly support much of your sales efforts.
Seasoned marketer of complex products, services and technologies.