Iterative Marketing Podcast Episode 44: Changing the Relationship Between Sales & Marketing

Changes in consumer behavior have impacted both sales and marketing in positive and negative ways. This podcast explores how sales and marketing must adapt to meet the demands of this new consumer behavior — and gain a new appreciation for each department’s role in the organization.

In this episode, we discuss…


Consumer Behavior Impacts Sales & Marketing (2:51 – 15:19)

  • Consumers interact with sales much later in the buyer’s journey as one of the last touchpoints.
  • 4 forces have changed this relationship:
    • The Internet provides greater access to information for the buyer to do their own research. Learn about marketing’s Zero and First Moments of Truth.
    • Globalization and virtualization level the playing field between industries. Example: 99Designs’ impact on graphic designers.
    • The expectation of personalized service changes how we interact with products.
    • On-demand culture has a lack of patience for the back-and-forth of sales
  • Consumers used to reach out in Think state, but now waiting until Do state.
    • Study: Buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57% of the purchase process is complete.
    • The consumer feels in the “driver’s seat” when reaching out to sales and is armed with information and possibly talking to other vendors.

How Change Impacts Future of Sales & Marketing (16:09 – 23:34)

  • Sales
    • Sales being present earlier in the buyer’s journey will help influence consumer opinion
    • Adding value beyond the product or service occurs in multiple sales approaches: consultive selling, SPIN selling, and becoming a “trusted advisor
    • Personal experience shows sales teams understand these concepts but are not applying them
      • Sales losing the opportunity to be an influence earlier in the buyer process
      • Puts greater demand and pressure on marketing
    • Sales should not only talk with prospects sooner but offer a personalized experience
  • Marketing
    • Continues to generate demand and deliver leads to sales
    • Needs to bridge the gap with sales as an overlap, not a hand-off.
    • Technology helps us through marketing automation
    • Working with sales produces a win-win for all sides
      • Marketing can influence the decision-making process
      • Consumers can access resources they want in their own time
      • Sales reserve their time for following up with leads ready to buy now

How Marketers Can Make This Change Positive For The Organization (23:35 – 37:21)

  • Our mindsets must shift from pushing a product or service to supporting the needs of the prospect
    • It’s not about what we or sales want to say, it’s about what the prospect needs to hear. Example: Customer-centric messaging
  • We can accomplish this shift in a few ways:
    • Understand the different interpretation of shared vocabulary like lead, contact/person, targeting, account/company
    • Understand how sales thinks
      • Example: sales is focused on closing the deal while marketing is interesting in changing hearts and minds
      • ABM (Account-Based Marketing) is a great opportunity to align marketing activities with sales activities
    • Align goals and agree on standards by defining SQLs, MQL, setting up SLAs, and creating a feedback loop.
    • Generate shared vocabulary through Personas and Customer Journeys
    • Generate shared vocabulary through Personas and Customer Journeys

For more information on the charity in this episode, please visit The Mission Continues.

The Iterative Marketing Podcast,  a production of Brilliant Metrics, ran from February 2016 to September 2017. Music by SeaStock Audio.

Learn more about Iterative Marketing and listen to other episodes on Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.

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