On the phone the other day a client (who shall remain nameless) said he would be asking sales what they want marketing to do for them. After recovering from the immediate and serious threat to my self-control, I gently cautioned my client against this dreadful tactic.
That’s because sales will always answer that question with “We want highly qualified leads that are ready to buy.” If your B2B sales group ever responded differently than this, then I’d like to move into the netherworld in which you live. Under most circumstances, the LAST thing you ever want to do is ask sales how to market.
However, there are four areas in which the insight of sales is invaluable, because . . .
Sales actually talks to customers and is therefore a vital resource to helping you understand the pains, hot buttons and objections that your marketing messages must address.
Sales must help marketing build a profile of your best prospects by industry, title, decision-maker, influencer, company size, etc. This information is what marketing uses to choose the best channels and marketing techniques for reaching qualified prospects.
Sales is critical in establishing your system of lead scoring (A, B, C, D leads) so marketing can know where leads are in the buying cycle, how they should be nurtured, and when they are ready to be turned over to sales.
Sales must assist in tracking by providing marketing with the outcome of the leads it has turned over to them — closed or lost.
Of course, sales must be kept in the loop on what marketing is doing, but beyond that and the above, smart marketers keep sales a safe distance away.