Have you ever asked your sales reps what they think of marketing? More often than not you will hear one of these common comments:
- Disconnected and out of touch with reality
- Slackers with no quotas
- All fluff, pretending to be strategic
- Creators of pretty brochures
Being in marketing myself, I cringe at every one of these generalizations but I do see where the sales reps are coming from, since I used to be a sales rep and sales leader myself, not too long ago.
In far too many companies marketing and sales share an uneasy relationship, lacking channels of communication, feedback loops, trust, and transparency. Interactions are limited to one-off emails and looking away from each other in the hallway. Sitting in its ivory tower, corporate marketing designs campaigns, sending them to reps once they are ready to go with no input from sales on what would resonate with the customer. Every now and then sales asks marketing to create a new brochure and marketing will either decline to do so or create something altogether different. For decades now, the relationship remains strained, limited in scope, and unchanged.
When I switched over to marketing after 10 years in sales I was very conscious of this divide and did everything I could to stay connected to sales and more importantly, the customer: organizing sales roundtables, running surveys of sales reps, and going on ride days with reps, sitting in on sales meetings, and listening in on customer calls.
In an era where marketers are being urged to deliver tangible benefits and shoulder revenue responsibility, no longer can marketers afford to live in a cocoon, weaving campaigns and promotions, demanding budget, and promising little beyond branding.
It is time to put yourself in front of sales and make them value you. Marketing can truly be the hero with some attitudinal shift, the right business goals, new tools, and processes. To bridge the gap in your organization, come join us for a MarketingProfs webinar on Accelerating Sales: How Marketing Can Be the Hero on August 12th 1 pm ET. Register today!