Salespeople are from Mars. Marketers are from Venus.
Those are the words of B2B marketing influencer, speaker, and author Pam Didner, who shares secrets about the divide between sales and marketing during our Spirited Conversations virtual event series.
So why does this divide exist, and how can you close it? Learn how to support your sales team below.
Marketing and Sales Differences
Pam outlines some key differences between marketers and salespeople:
- Marketers focus on the top of the funnel; salespeople focus on the bottom.
- Marketers talk about the entire ‘buyer’s journey’; salespeople focus on individual steps in that journey or the sales ‘stages.’
- Marketers focus on end-users; salespeople focus on decision-makers.
- Marketers consider buyer personas; salespeople don’t focus as much on people or market segments.
There are similarities. Both marketers and salespeople:
- Facilitate the purchase cycle
- Drive conversions
- Educate and help customers
- Solve buyers’ problems
- Focus on growth
But it’s the differences you should care about.
How can marketers like you recognize these differences and provide sales teams with the support they need?
Understand Your Sales Team
Marketers often use buyer personas — semi-fictional representations of their target audience — to influence campaign strategies. (Think Sally, 45, from Kansas.)
“But what if you created personas for your sales team?” suggests Pam. (Think Julie, 29, from the Sales office.) “This tests how much you understand your salespeople. What are their personality traits? What kind of content do they like? How do they do their jobs? How long have they been with their company?”
The way you write these personas, Pam says, should give you clues on how to support your sales team.
Start a Conversation
Get to know your sales team — or “sales peeps,” as Pam calls them. Ask them questions so you can better understand what motivates them.
- How do you handle rejections?
- What is the biggest deal you closed in the past five years?
- What content do you find the most useful?
And the most important question of all:
- What can I do to help?
“It’s kind of like a therapy session,” says Pam.
Make It All About Them
Rather than giving salespeople long lists of marketing content, structure these resources differently.
Pam says to do this by sequencing the sales journey as you understand it — the salesperson contacts a lead, qualifies a lead, demos a product, closes the sale, or whatever. Then attempt to understand your sales team’s actual processes and provide them with resources that complement these processes.
Pre-engagement scripts for the contact stage, for example. Or testimonials for the demo stage.
“Make it all about them,” says Pam. “Identify the different sales stages, then determine what you can do to help based on your role and responsibility.”
Structure Content in a Way Sales Teams Understand
Giving your sales team a list of content based on your perception of the customer journey or experience complicates things, says Pam. Structuring resources to support different sales stages makes more sense.
For example, provide case studies and white papers during the prospecting stage. Or email templates and how-to guides during a pilot prep.
“Map the content at the different sales stages in a way that salespeople can use,” says Pam. “You can map content by persona, product, or vertical. Think about how your sales organization is structured.”
Support your sales team by understanding them better, starting conversations, making resources more relevant, and structuring content differently.
“Keep your friends close and your sales team closer!” she says.
Watch Pam’s presentation here.
If you’d like to attend one of our Spirited Conversations virtual events, keep an eye on LinkedIn to register.