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In this episode of the CPSA Sales Hacks show, we will discuss why there has historically been a disconnect between the Sales department and the Marketing team. We’ll consider how sales and marketing efforts have evolved so that, today, they should be much more inter-dependent, and ways to get your sales and marketing pros on the same page.
Our guest on this episode of the CPSA’s Sales Hacks podcast is Jamie Shanks, author, speaker, CEO at Toronto-based Sales for Life, and one of North America’s leading Social Selling experts.
Listen to this episode of the CPSA Sales Hacks Podcast and discover:
* Why does a misalignment still persist between sales and marketing?
* How can you “Moneyball” your marketing?
* Do sales and marketing teams need to do more to have two-way conversations?
* Aren't today's best salespeople and the future of most salespeople actually also marketers anyway?
Want to hear more? Check out these bonus soundbites:
* How can we change things? What can be done to better combine marketing and sales efforts?
* What are the KPIs associated with salespeople compared to those in marketing?
* Who should lead sales funnel decisions? Sales or Marketing?
Read the edited transcription:
Bill Banham: Jamie Shanks, welcome to the show.
Jamie Shanks: Thank you so much for inviting me.
Bill Banham: Okay, so today, we are talking about a really exciting topic, certainly to me, as somebody who's been in sales and marketing, and that's the misalignment between the two departments. Firstly, why does a misalignment still persist between sales and marketing?
Jamie Shanks: A lot of it has to do with compensation. A lot of it has to do with job description as well. As a marketer, number one, I am not being compensated for the closing of deals. Number two, I'm being measured on the creation of new leads. My performance, my bonuses, if I have any, but most importantly, my budgets, are situated around the creation of lead flow or brand and awareness. So if I'm being measured against something, my job is to bump up against that. What do I do? I collect lead flow from various sources; trade shows, online events, conferences, anything I can do to create leads. But my job is done when you, as a leader, as a CEO or a CMO, you create me a goal, and I hit that goal. That goal was I needed to create said number of leads, and I sling them over the fence. I'm not being compensated if the seller can't do things with them, and so now let's put ourselves in the other side of the fence.
As a seller, I am many times, reliant on lead sources coming from variety of different ways. I see leads coming from marketing. Marketing feels that their job ended at the creation of a lead. I, as a seller, pick up these leads, and I discount many of them. I say, "These just aren't that great," but I am on the hook with a quota. I have to close deals. If I don't feel that the marketing leads are very strong, it's detracting from my time management, so I don't focus on the marketing leads as much. I'll go source my own, which I trust better. I run with them, and I'm really frustrated that marketing doesn't see my problem. I have a quota. I have to live and die on that sword. Yet, they are not partnering with me to deliver very specific leads I need in my very specific account base or territories, to hit my goals. So it really comes down to compensation and that service level agreement, or direction and accountability on each other's goals, which many items are very misaligned.
Bill Banham: Let's dive a wee bit deeper if we may into sales people's attitudes and appreciation of good content. Is the misalignment caused then, in part because of a continued lack of appreciation from sales pros, that good content drives inbound leads?
Jamie Shanks: Most sellers have no idea that where many of the leads come from is this circular motion of; you share content, content gets in the hands of sellers, sellers pass it around the office, our buyers, those buyers then download information and become an inbound lead, and it ultimately comes back to sales. If you were to ask a seller what they really think of content, they'll say, "Well, I'm too busy. I don't have time," and "too busy" and "I don't have time" is code in sales-speak for, "I don't see value," because I only have 168 hours in a week. I can't be bothered to sit down and share content and leverage content, when I do not see a direct correlation to revenue.
This in lies now, marketing's fault and problem, for not articulating and demonstrating empirical evidence, that in fact content being downloaded by the seller's customers, is in fact influencing and attributing deal flow. That sits in technology like marketing automation, or in your CRM, that if you as a marketer can show evidence that before a seller gets on a sales call, during that sales call, after sales calls, that customers are on your website, downloading content, reaching out and extending their digital hand into all this marketing information, and that content is helping the customer along a journey, you will completely change a seller's mindset around the value of content. But if you can't show it empirically, sellers won't see that direct correlation. They'll say, "Well, I'm just doing this as a branding exercise for the company, and it's not really being fruitful for me."
Bill Banham: As a relatively new fan of the wonderful sport of baseball, not that I live over here, are you talking a little bit here about this idea of Moneyballing your marketing?
Jamie Shanks: 100%. I'll give you my business as an example. In my business, the average enterprise level customer, so a billion dollar company or larger, will consume 7.4 marketing assets, before they buy from us, on average. Infographics, eBooks, webinars, videos. 43% of that content consumption will happen before my sales team picks up the phone and contacts the customer for the very first time. 75% of that consumption will happen before we've done a discovery call, let alone even a proposal. That's how much learning a customer does behind the scenes. Great companies, our customers who have turned their marketing team into what we'd call an insights factory, or you calling it Moneyball, get to understand that this is happening in their accounts. They can get that information in the seller's hands.
Bill Banham: I think what we're getting at here is if you're better able to share information, you can perhaps work more harmoniously, because you're getting buy-in from both sides. Let's dive in even deeper into that. What does a good conversation between the two departments look like Jamie? Do sales and marketing teams need to do more to have two-way conversations where they're sharing data, discussing upcoming campaigns? The salespeople are offering that qualitative feedback. The marketing people are giving the quantitative.
Jamie Shanks: There's two steps that I recommend. The very first step is the marketing team extends their hand and the olive branch first. Marketing goes to sit down with sales. They do a bit of an exercise. That exercise is they interview the sales team, sales leaders, and understand and reverse engineer sales quota attainment. Meaning, how many deals does it take on average for you to hit your sales quota? What is the average size of a deal? For every five leads you work on, how many turn into a customer? Basically reverse engineer. If you had a $1 million quota per sales professional, or you have a $10 million quota as a sales organization, and you reverse engineered everything, what percentage or expectation did sales have, that marketing was supposed to deliver?
You reverse engineer it by accounts, so if we need 20 new accounts this year to hit our goal, and we look at how many proposals that would mean, how many sales qualified leads, how many sales accepted leads, all the way back to marketing qualified leads, that will be a number. I'm looking at the board in my business. That number is 450 sales qualified leads my business needs to fuel this year. Then my marketing team knows how many marketing qualified leads, and sales accepted leads need to be generated on top of that.
Then marketing has to looking themselves in the mirror and say, "Wow. Do I have the resources, or even the capacity to even be able to help the sales team hit their anticipated sales quote attainment, based on what they thought was going to be delivered from us?" In my company, 1/3 of a seller's pipeline will be delivered through marketing. Our marketing team has to reverse engineer what is expected from a resource and delivery standpoint, to get our sellers on plan essentially.
Long and the short is the very first thing that has to happen is marketers have to understand that, and the delta between those two numbers. Are we dramatically understaffed, under resourced, under capacity of the ability to even deliver what sales needs? Because if you can't deliver that number, sales will never like you, so it doesn't even matter at that point. That's the first meeting that I think needs to happen.
Bill Banham: We're coming towards the ends of this interview. One last question for you though. I'm just gonna kind of spin things on their head a little bit with this one. What would you say if I suggested that today's best sales people, or the majority of tomorrow's sales force, are kind of actually marketers too anyway?
Jamie Shanks: They are. We would call that micro marketers, or “smarketers". The reality is the best sellers understand that they are the CEO of their own territory, that marketing's job at most companies is a branding exercise. They are looking at the overarching brand of the organization. Of course, a division of that typically is their content marketing team that delivers leads. But the average marketing team isn't thinking of you, Johnny, the sales professional, whose responsibility is Alberta as your territory. That's not what a marketer does. You as a seller are responsible for coming up with the accounts you want to go after, the game plan, the storyboards, the marketing kind of plan for your territory.
If you're going to be a great seller, you need to put the left brain and the right brain together, and think of how am I going to attract buyers in my territory, geography, vertical, whichever you're segmented. That's what a great seller is. Great sellers are becoming marketers.
Bill Banham: On that final note ladies and gentlemen, we'll just leave it there I think. That's a good way to get us all thinking about the future of sales. Jamie Shanks, that just leaves me to say, thank you so much for being the guest today.
Jamie Shanks: Thank you for the invite.
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