Marketing is from Mars, Sales is from Venus

Some things are predictable. Politicians lie. The sun rises in the East. Sales and marketing don’t get along. The misalignment between sales and marketing is legendary to the point of cliché. The reasons are both obvious and not-so-obvious, yet all distill down to perspective. Neither sales nor marketing can change their perspective, nor would that be desirable. But one of the two teams can adapt. This will not end the misalignment, but it will increase profits. Perspective A definition of the word perspective is “the faculty of seeing relevant data in a meaningful relationship.” The gotcha word is “relevant”. What is relevant to a salesperson struggling to make their quarterly quota is different than what is relevant to a CMO trying to enhance a brand. People with different perspectives rarely unite. Airlift a rural bible-belt citizen into a San Francisco transgender convention, and there will be little shared perspectives at … Continue reading

Handling Influencers
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A guest post by David Greer and excerpted in part from his book Wind In Your Sails. Buying power has shifted from companies to purchasers. There is too much information available today on the Internet for anyone to think they can hide information from buyers. While buyers always had a process, in the past marketers could get away without knowing those processes in exacting detail. Today you cannot market and sell without knowing how your prospects buy and what are the key drivers for them to make a change. In the middle of the sales process, strategic thinking has an incredibly important part to play. In order to understand a prospect’s buying process, you must start with the numerous stakeholders. Many of them have veto power in the process. In my book, Wind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Success I feature the strategies that Guy Smith (head … Continue reading

Complex Customers

Executive assistants have veto power over multi-million dollar software sales. Complex selling involves a lot of complexity, none more complex than having to deal with many different stakeholders with very different motivations. Once two or more people collaborate on a purchase decision, they raise questions, voice objections, derail progress and drag-out your sales cycle until the Second Coming. Sometimes the lowest caste can kill a sales single handedly. IT techies are the worst in many respects – having been one in a former career, I can attest to their ultimate veto power. Tell an avid Windows admin that you want to install a Linux infrastructure and you’ll meet a wall that howitzers couldn’t knock over. Techies know nothing happens without their expert participation, and they gladly use their veto power to guard their empires. Marketing and sales need to manage the sales cycle, engaging stakeholders at points in time when … Continue reading