How to Get Marketers to Think Like Salespeople… and Vice Versa

Marketing and the Mysteries of the Sales Team

Understand the company’s sales compensation structure and its effect on salespeople

One of the main differences between marketers and salespeople is the way they are paid.

Most of us know that companies define a more complex compensation structure for the sales team, usually based on a commission or percentage of each sale. This means that salespeople do not necessarily know what each salary will be like; moreover, it is well known that salespeople are motivated to meet and exceed their quotas.

These factors can influence salespeople’s behavior: as a result, they can be more emotional, volatile and determined (and therefore sometimes act unexpectedly).

On the other hand, marketers tend to earn a steady salary (perhaps with merit bonuses) and are likely to feel relatively safer in their income.

To promote understanding, we recommend conducting a “compensation session” for marketers to help them understand how sales compensation structures work and how they motivate sales, in addition to marketing. This session can be interwoven individually or together in a series of “Sales 101” presentations.

Understand why sales accounts are different from marketing accounts

One of the most important marketing activities is to generate and send guidance to the sales team.

For most marketers, this is a numbers game – they want to use their marketing skills to get the most leads, which they then pass on to the sales team with the idea that the more you can drive, the more sales they will have to do it. work with. Sellers are then responsible for converting leads into customers or paying accounts.

What marketers may not know, or even understand, is that the sales team is looking for very specific leads, those that meet the criteria of each salesperson and have the best chance of becoming an account for that salesperson.

In other words, marketing tends to see the complete picture and sales tend to separate the image from what is most appropriate for each salesperson.

To better understand this dynamic, a session on how Sales manages accounts can be part of another educational session or (again) perhaps as part of a “Sales 101” series.

Understand why the sales industry sometimes needs to fill the gap

The world of marketing – at least compared to the world of sales – can seem predictable and stable.

Marketers are constantly reaching out to potential customers through a wide variety of channels; from email and social media campaigns to webinars and interactions at trade shows. But they are not responsible for closing transactions and opening new accounts.

On the other hand, the salesperson’s place on the sales team – as well as his salary – depends on his ability to win new customers, which means that he sometimes has to take risks and shake things up. This can make a salesperson deal with a potential customer in a very direct way … to the point of looking like a confrontation. They can tell a customer something they don’t want to hear or take the calculated risk of signing a contract.

For the marketer, such behavior can be reckless or even alienate the customer to show their opinion. However, salespeople are expected to take these types of risks and learn the techniques from their managers and mentors.

Taking calculated risks can be a good thing … and marketers should consider using a sales page to get a little more aggressive.

Sales and the need to have a broader view of the marketing function

Just as marketing can use a basis of sales empathy, the sales department can learn to put itself in the place of marketing to increase the overall effectiveness of both teams.

Shift your storytelling

Most marketers understand that marketing is a mix of art and science: it is data-driven and it is emotional. As a result, they are known for their ability to incorporate nuanced, humanized, and personalized stories into their communications. It makes potential customers feel understood, accepted, and valued.

Salespeople will be smart to become more personality-oriented with the narrative – and their messages in general – and adjust their skills to take into account things like personality changes and differences in influence.

Also, salespeople can improve their presentation by understanding the depth that marketers use to personalize communication and create a story that is told in a consistent and personalized way for each intended buyer. We did this by recently launching a “Value Selling Manual”. The first stage requires sales team members to “certify” each person before and after the sale we encounter.

These “intentional practice” structures require ongoing training and an audit to ensure a standard level of competence in all customer-facing functions.

Understand a day in the life of a marketer

Often, sales do not have a clear understanding or appreciation of all aspects of marketing functions, including goals, challenges, or even day-to-day functions. Many sales teams also tend to think that marketing exists only to help them find opportunities and close deals, when marketing, in fact, conducts a series of functions within companies.

Accept the data

Sales can tend to work based on intuition and intuition, especially when separate quarterly sales are expected, a philosophy that generally shifts to day-to-day efforts and closing deals.

It is not surprising that many more “ha-ha” moments for the company come from marketing than sales, although the evolution of sales teams is beginning to blur the boundaries.

The conclusion

Some days, sales and marketing seem laborious. Other days, it seems that the marketing is from Venus and the sale from Mars. But by creating a learning culture that applies formal and informal methodologies, your sales and marketing teams can understand each other, share goals and work together more effectively for the benefit of the business.