Sales or Marketing?
Would you describe your company as a Marketing led company or a Sales led company?
Does this really matter in the long run?
We believe it’s really important in a modern selling context.
Let us expand some thoughts.
Do you hear your sales team say things like “we’ll get Marketing to do that” or, “that’s the role of Marketing”.
The question I’m posing might resonate with you if you’re hearing anything similar to those statements.
You’ll likely have a less than effective sales process and sales professionals.
Are you missing the nuance?
I would suggest that if you treat the two departments as separate functions, you are missing an important nuance of what we see as a critical success factor in modern selling.
We argue that the role of Marketing and Sales have blended and merged so much that you could consider them “different sides of the same coin”.
We’re not talking about Sales and Marketing Alignment. We totally subscribe to the strategic importance of that.
We’re talking about the operational effectiveness of your sales and marketing activities and how some specific activities should become integrated into your sales process.
Why is this important?
Well, fundamentally because your buyer expects a modern seller to also be a marketeer.
Yes, your customer expects it.
If you have this “I’ll get Marketing to do that” kind of a mindset, you’re missing the opportunity to develop meaningful dialogue with you Prospects and Customers.
Back in the day – 1990
When working for Shell some 30 years ago, you would find me Prospecting walking the streets of Sheffield, selling Industrial Lubricants to the Steel/Engineering sector – I was that traditional seller.
My pilot’s briefcase was full of brochures of every product we sold, my technical specification book and even samples of some products.
The graft, the hard yards.
Just think about this, yes I knew they were Engineering companies and that they most probably would use Industrial Lubricants but how could I research them before I “knocked” on the door?
Remember the internet and mobile technology wasn’t what it is today.
I just had to “ask” the question and do the calls.
Actually, in those days because the buyer also had a lack of information, they were much more open to having a “chat”. From these chats came the opportunity to solve problems, add insight and ultimately sell.
But you through technology advancement you can see the potential we now have to improve the sales and buying processes.
The key question, is have you done anything about it yet?
I mean really, have you?
Have you just got yourself a website but prefer the traditional approach of a bygone selling era.
If so it’s likely you’ve missed some of the key changes that have happened.
I’ll take a moment to share how your buyers behaviour has changed.
This should clearly show you how operationally your sales and marketing activities should now be seen as dependant on each other in ways they never were before.
Buyer Behaviours are always evolving
57% of a buyers buying decision is made before they invite a seller to “meet”.
What a significant statistic this is.
The question to ask is where do they go to make their decisions. Simply put they research you.
They are looking at your digital footprint. What others say about you and your Leading Voice position.
If you do not see your sales professionals working the early stages of the sales process hard, you’ll likely be seeing them miss more sales opportunities than your competitors who are active in this space.
90% of every decision starts online.
Let’s think about your last 5 purchases.
I guess even more so at this moment in time. When did your purchase decision begin.
I bet it began online.
You read a few reviews, looked a person profile, checked out something about the company or looked at their website.
Why do you think your buyer would be any different?
The days when we used to think that our B2B buyer came to work and left their B2C behaviour at home has gone.
If you are not recognising that you have to give your buyer want they want to help them buy you’re missing out.
Their buying journey no longer starts by a seller “door knocking”. Read Face to Face Selling is Dead
The job now is to feed the buyer with what they want, “information”.
The role of a seller is to now turn that information into tailored insights….Are you seeing how sales and marketing are working together yet?
More millennials involved in the B2B buying process
Research has confirmed the growing responsibility and authority of millennial B2B buyers. 73% of the respondents said they were involved in B2B buying decisions.
With approximately one-third (34%) of the respondents reported being the sole decision-maker for their department.
Many B2B businesses are making a key mistake of approaching the same ‘buyer’ from 10 or 20 years ago. The reality is that ‘digital native’ millennials are changing the nature of B2B purchasing.
According to research by Merit, up to 73% of B2B buyers are now millennials
And the last stat for you.
According to a new report, millennial consumers (18-34 year olds) are notably impacted by internet influencers and the people they follow on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
The key question I pose to you here.
Are you acting now and adapting your sales and marketing approaches to talk to this new breed of buyers?