The Only Way to Get Sales on Your Side for B2B Demand Generation

Pink Elephant

Even the most tightly targeted and timely marketing content won’t inspire the sales team to employ it if you forget (or ignore) this one critical task.

A recent ITSMA sales enablement article rightly clarified the obligation of marketers to:

“…provide salespeople with the tools to connect customer needs with the company’s solutions. Marketers must create content that makes it easier for salespeople to uncover customer needs, outline capabilities that solve the need, and articulate the value.”

You know I stand by the truism that “content is king”—and its sister axiom “context is queen”.

But I don’t believe that providing the best content is the only, or even the primary, way to ensure that your sales team will consider it valuable in their conversations with customers.

(Isn’t that normally the big pink elephant in the room? You can lead sales to fantastic content, but you can’t make them use it?)

If you want sales to support and use marketing programs, there’s only one way to do it:

Get salespeople involved early and often.

Sounds…obvious, doesn’t it? But as you probably know, it’s harder than it is obvious.

What makes it a lot easier is planning your sales enablement strategy with this upfront, ongoing involvement in mind.

In my experience, these are the five points in a program where you should invite sales participation:

  1. Align marketing and sales on the ideal audience: attributes, insights, pain-points, title, etc.
  2. Engage the sales team’s help in building your lists.
  3. Discuss success metrics from the get-go and revisit the topic throughout the program. Let your salespeople  determine how and when leads will be passed to them.
  4. Expose your salespeople to the campaign elements-in-progress early. Get them comfortable with the messaging.
  5. Align on the sales team’s role in the touchpoints and follow-up.

Bonus: Per the recommendations in the ITSMA sales enablement post – make sure your salespeople have the proper tools for follow-up.

Have you had great success (or not so much) with this route? Tell us all about it in the comments.

3 Responses to The Only Way to Get Sales on Your Side for B2B Demand Generation

  1. Bill Booth says:

    Running a field sales force that represents dozens of good DME medical products for specialty clinics requires good tools and resources from the vendors we represent. The medical industry could learn a huge lesson here. This type of marketing investment is almost nonexistent and many times we are very unclear how our vendors want the products and programs positioned. Seldom is there any communication by the marketing department, only a translation from senior sales people in the form of an email. Each Rep has their own take, their own spin, their own experiences to convey and we never send a consistent message in the field. It would be great if medical marketing (Durable Medical Equipment vs. Pharma) would get out of the 1970s. Doctors and other professionals want to know about documented patient outcomes, gold standard case studies and intelligent content that is relevant. And they want it delivered in a consumable format. And yes they are on the web and internet. HELP – BNJ can you do for Medical what you so innovatively did for the IT market?

    • Thanks for the note Bill. Yes, often marketers forget one of the most critical ingredients…supporting sales! Often this alignment needs to come from the top down (which requires sales and marketing executives – and/or corporate executives understand the importance). Honesty, the proof is there (let me know if you need a specific data point to indicate the increased sales potential for organizations where sales and marketing are aligned)! In a later post, I’ll definitely make sure to include this stat…plus additional thoughts for Medical. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: