Lifting revenue… if only the sales team could talk
by Jason Watson
Your teams are busy. Productivity is up. You’ve streamlined everything. Yet revenue isn’t lifting. What’s the problem?
Ask yourself this: Whilst your teams are busy performing their responsibilities, are they talking to each other?
Usually, the sales team, being closest to the customer, knows the most about the customer. Problematically, sales don’t relay this knowledge to the marketing team.
The direction of travel
The process is clear-cut: Developers perfect the product, marketing draw in the customer, sales close the deal, and the relay-race continues.
By now, you and your leadership crew have perfected this process. You’ve committed to ongoing training and you’ve invested in every tech solution there is for streamlining, maximizing efficiency and paving the way for a smooth customer journey. The direction of travel is linear, but the knowledge sharing needs to go full circle.
Where does the disconnect lie?
Marketing professionals are creative, we’ll give them that. It’s their job to think fast, react to trending topics, craft beautiful assets and lure the customer in with the promise of something great. But who is their informant?
Given that your salespeople are far too busy chasing quotas, it’s unlikely they’re spending any of their precious time giving the marketing department the lowdown on everything they need to know about the customer.
This leaves one option: your product team. Marketing can learn all sorts from them, how the product works, its key features, updates, and they can compare all of this with your competitors’ offerings.
As a result, marketing outputs speak to the many – and not the individual. Buyer personas are often theoretical, not based on reality, and for an industry that preaches so heavily about the importance of personalization, you’d think their key messaging would be based on solving problems for real customers, not fabricated ones.
It’s not your marketing team’s fault, though. Nor is it sales’; they’re incentivized by the model your CRO has set, afterall. The problems lie deep in the culture of your organization.
Only a CEO can rectify systemic issues
Have you ever heard this at a C-Suite meeting?
CRO to CMO:
“We get what you are doing and understand what you need from us to do it, we get how what we tell you makes it better, and how it helps create leads, build better customer relationships, and grow sales. The Sales Team are using the collateral you’ve produced to help them sell more and they are totally bought into the process.”
The reason you’ve never heard a conversation go like this is because sales and marketing are no longer linked. They are siloed.
Salespeople are not using your expensive marketing resources to help them sell, because they are not what they need or what customers are interested in.
Sales haven’t told marketing what their customers are interested in and so marketing have gone to the only other place they can, product management. Hence, the ‘leads’ that end up with sales have already made up their mind about what they need.
The solutions to these systemic issues are not straightforward but are linked to both culture and behavior. Real change is required – something that only the CEO can make happen.
Facing a hard truth: Sales know more than you about how to generate more revenue
Strategically there are three ways of growing revenue. You either:
- Increase your prices
- Sell new offerings to existing customers
- Move into new markets
How can sales help with this?
- They understand the value that a customer is getting and can tell you if there is an opportunity to increase price
- They can tell you what customers want
- They can help you to identify new markets
Rebuild the connection between sales and marketing
Making use of the insight your salespeople have is invaluable. But getting your salespeople to talk is difficult when their focus is set on chasing more tangible results. This is where you step in, and build an insight engine.
Step 1. Rebuild the connection between sales and marketing. Create a culture of collaboration.
Step 2. Get your salespeople to tell your marketing team what their customers actually want!
Step 3. Get your marketing team to listen and create campaigns based around that intelligence.
Complete all three steps, and your revenue will lift.Tags: Jason Watson