In my line of work, you have to say a lot of things that most folks find distasteful. This one elicits sneers, jeers, fears, and tears every time: Marketing is not a sales-support function. Sales is a marketing-fulfillment function.
Salesperson: What do you mean there’s no collateral? I need sales tools.
Big Cheese: You have four — a computer, a phone, a car, and a vocabulary.
In the good old days, salespeople thought their collateral would do their selling for them. Hand out a few brochures. Mail out a few sell sheets. And the buying world would beat a path to their doors.
Then Al Gore complicated things exponentially by inventing the Internet. After that, salespeople thought their websites would do their selling for them. Plaster up all the cool stuff they can think of. Post a few sell sheets for download. And the buying world would beat a path to their email inboxes.
Salesperson: What do you mean the website won’t generate leads? I need prospects.
Big Cheese: If you think leads are prospects, you need more than a website.
Then the results came in … or didn’t, as it were. Here’s why:
- The salesperson didn’t know the prospects. They were just data items on lead-scoring sheets. No familiarity. No sale.
- The salesperson didn’t map out a discussion. No direction. No next steps. No sale.
- The salesperson didn’t have any questions. No questions. No apparent interest. No sale.
- The salesperson didn’t ground the pitch in the prospect’s reality to create credibility. No credibility. No sale.
- The salesperson relied on collateral (features and pricing), rather than need. No value was developed. Without value, the price was too high. No sale.
Most salespeople assume God quit after he invented SalesForce, Marketo, Pardot, Infusionsoft, ONTRAPORT, HubSpot, and the myriad other outbound marketing/marketing automation platforms. He didn’t. In fact, God was positive those platforms couldn’t sell anything to anyone. That’s why he invented salespeople.
Marketing is not a sales-support function. Sales is a marketing-fulfillment function.
Do your homework. You, God, and the Big Cheese will be happier.
Salesperson: What do you mean he didn’t like the PowerPoint? I put everything in there I could think of.
Big Cheese: He said you showed him what you wanted to show him, not want he wanted to be shown.
Salesperson: How was I supposed to know what he wanted to be shown?
Big Cheese: I rest my case.
Image by OpenClipartVectors, courtesy of pixabay.com.