While studying English at BYU, I got a unique chance to work with the test preparation department doing sales and marketing. It was there that I learned how exciting it can be to increase sales and help more people.
Back then I didn’t see a clear distinction between marketing and sales. One was always helping the other (we were a small team & shared roles). But now most employers draw a line in the sand and say, “You’re either a marketer or a salesperson.”
Whether you agree with that idea or not, I think there’s still a lot that these two departments can learn from each other.
Here are a few reasons I love the way marketing approaches things:
When I worked at Insidesales.com, I was always amazed at how brilliantly the marketing team was able to tell the story of the birth and growth of predictive analytics. They painted a picture of a world where sales reps don’t have to guess what to do next.
Seriously, just check out this video. The first time I saw it, it gave me chills!
What can sales learn from marketing?
We need to share the vision.
My old sales coach, Steve Frame, used to talk about the conversation we need to have with prospective clients. You need to discuss where they’re at today, where they’d like to be, and how you can help them get from the former to the latter.
I don’t think we do this enough in sales. This is how you go from selling a product to building a brand. When your customers buy into the vision, you won’t have customers calling for a refund every time there’s a hiccup in product performance. Because they believe in the long-term vision. They believe in where you’re going.
We need to think bigger.
Instead of talking about how features can solve a current problem, we need to think about how we can help improve the lives of our customers.
If you got an inbound lead thanks to some brilliant marketing and then you do a “deep dive” into the solution presentation that focuses exclusively on features/benefits, you’re missing the bigger opportunity.
I’m not suggesting you tell a prospect anything untrue. If your Gmail plugin can’t get that VP of Operations a huge raise, a yacht, and a beach house, don’t paint that picture. Just help them to see the holistic view of what happens when your product solves their problem.
What happens when your product solves their problem?
While I love to develop sales processes and coach teams, I’m a salesperson, first and foremost.
Here are some of the things that I love about the sales mentality:
(I’d bookmark it and finish watching after you finish the article.)
So what can marketing learn from sales?
Be clear about value.
I visit a lot of business websites as part of my daily routine. It’s remarkable how few have a clear value proposition when you arrive on the home page. When you see one, you know it’s there (again, see Close.io for a great example).
All the beautiful videos and clever social media posts in the world detailing the whycan’t help you if your target market doesn’t understand the what of your company.
Be specific with details.
I learned this from the Sales Lion, Marcus Sheridan, who teaches about content marketing. One of the main tenets of his marketing framework is to give the customer the information they want up front.
So talk about price. Talk about features. Do more than paint the picture – give the customer enough information to make their first decision, whether that’s opting into your email list, calling to ask a question, or making a purchase. Don’t make them work for it.
There’s a lot more that can be learned from marketing and sales working together. Hopefully this primes the pump and gets you excited to talk to “the others” at your office.
If you’ve got personal experiences to back this up, or you want to refute a point I’ve made, I’d love to hear from you. Comment here or reach out directly.