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“Marketing bit me!”….”Well, sales was looking at me funny!” December 3, 2008

Thanks to years of working in corporate marketing departments I am keenly aware of the sibling rivalry between sales and marketing teams. Ask the sales folks why their numbers are taking a dive and they’ll say the marketing group is to blame because they don’t provide the resources needed to sell successfully. Ask the marketing team who’s to blame and they’ll quickly point their fingers towards the “lazy” sales team who isn’t using the quality resources they are given to their full potential. Simmer down kids, blame doesn’t increase sales so it’s time to share your legos and play nice. Here’s a few tips to get you started:

  • Define Ideal Leads- Prevent the ever-so-convenient complaint about the quality of leads (there’s always that one guy who laments that the leads are just BAD- even if your company sells Bacon of the Month subscriptions and you hand him a list of active members of the “Bacon Lovers Who’re Ready to Buy” association). Bring the sales team into a meeting to define exactly what a qualified lead should be. Include factors such as industry, company size, budgets, titles, purchasing timeline, etc. You’ll focus in on a precise target to which you’ll aim your lead-generation campaigns. Giving the sales team a voice during the lead definition process ensures a shared victory for sales and marketing teams when sales go through the roof, or a shared sense of responsibility if  the target is missed.
  • Don’t Forget the Steps Between Lead Generation and Closing- Simply handing over a list of smoking hot leads to the sales team isn’t enough. The steps the sales person takes after initially contacting the prospect will make the difference between a lead closed and a lead lost. Once ideal leads are identified, every person involved in developing collateral for the sales team must understand the prospects’ buying process. Understanding the needs of who you’re writing for is essential to knowing what to write. Each touch, or contact, must add value through its ongoing relevance to the targeted prospect. Arm your salespeople with a variety of resources that establish your company as an expert in the industry- articles, whitepapers, case studies, company blog- and prospects will begin to view your salespeople as a trusted resource. A relationship will form and sales will indefinitely follow.
  • Foster Open Feedback Throughout the Sales Process- If a salesperson fails to close a deal it is essential that they communicate why they lost it. The old adage “you win some, you lose some” is true- but in order to win more in the future you need to understand why you lost some. A solid CRM system will keep everyone in the loop but the system is worthless unless the sales team diligently updates it. Ask the sales managers to require ongoing updates on the status of their sales team’s leads but expect pushback- even the best salespeople tend to be a little lax on the organization side. Just remind them that they can cite “crappy collateral provided by inept marketing team” as reason for a lost sale and they’ll be more likely to participate.

To the marketing team, sales is the pesky, messy little brother. To sales, the marketing group is the overbearing big sister. Love ’em or hate ’em you can’t live without ’em. So stop pointing fingers and start working together as a singular team with the common goal of increasing sales. The whole family will be healthier, happier and more productive for it.

If you blame others for your failures, do you credit them with your success?”- unknown

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Happy Turkey Day November 26, 2008

Filed under: Holiday — papercutstar @ 3:49 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Just a quick note to say thanks to all of you who tune into my blog. I hope you have a relaxing Thanksgiving with your families! Enjoy it. Now go….

turkey-says

 

Holiday Inspiration December 18, 2007

Dad: Born-again Pilot, InspirationDad flies a Zodiac

In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is common to lose sight of what’s important. As you elbow your way towards the last Wii on the shelf or shed a tear over your checkbook thanks to all of the holiday cheer you’ve purchased, take a moment and think about the real meaning of the season. As for my family, this Christmas we are finding inspiration and joy in focusing on the positive. And, each day we are learning to realign our priorities by watching my Dad, Max Borner, who is pictured above before take-off on his first flight as a pilot since his early twenties.

In March of this year, Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer. Since that day, my mother, 3 siblings and I, along with countless friends and family members as far away as Switzerland, have all climbed aboard with Dad to take on the insightful journey that is cancer. Our weeks have been filled with fear, anxiety, disappointment and all of the other yucky emotions that you would expect to feel when dealing with a disease of this magnitude.  What we did not realize we would feel in such enormity is the endless hope and pride that pours into our lives each day that we open our eyes.

You see, Dad has redefined fighting cancer. The imagery I associate with that phrase involves him in a boxing ring with a cancerous tumor, throwing all of his energy into knocking that sucker out and focusing on little else until the referree lifts his arms and declares victory. Dad’s reality is a bit different. Sure, he is undergoing the chemo treatments and popping the laundry list of medications prescribed by his team of doctors to beat the disease, but he is combining that regimen with the best self-prescribed treatment available–he is living with cancer. Although Pops has a perfectly valid excuse to lay down and resign to moaning and groaning, he has chosen instead to get out there and do the things that inevitably bring a smile to his face, some of which include; cheering on the grandkids at gymnastics meets and soccer matches, working 40 hour weeks, taking long walks with his dogs, stringing up Christmas lights and giving my Mom a good run for her money as always.

As if he’s not active enough, most recently, Dad decided it was time to renew his pilot’s license. Back in the 60’s, Dad was a pilot with the Swiss Air Force (you know, that intimidating, neutral one) until he made the big leap across the pond to marry my mom. He held fast to his love for planes but time for flying was scarce after he and my mom had the four of us. Years without flying turned into decades and the free feeling of taking flight became a distant memory.  It was a surprise to us all when Dad recently announced that the time had come for him to take to the sky once again. He has flown with an instructor twice over the last month and has said that the years without flying seemed to melt away as soon as he climbed into the cockpit. Each time he describes flying, you can feel the positive effect that it has on him and the hope that it brings him. Dad’s happiness is inspiring and infectious and it spreads throughout my family and beyond, reminding all of us what this crazy journey is about.

So, when the holiday blues threaten to put a damper on your outlook, take a moment to remember what’s important and get out there and do the things that make you happy. Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire someone else to do the same.