In her Software Advice blog item “Tailwinds for Marketing Software”, Lauren Carlson makes several excellent points regarding the growth of this relatively new software niche. She correctly notes that marketing software providers are doing well directly due to the difficulty of B2B sales and hints at a checklist for sales effectiveness.
- Explanations, not jargon
- Storytellers not pests
- Track and audit sales process steps
Just look at her first three insights:
1) Buyers want content of real value. Change the medium and the lesson is the same. Sales managers and execs should learn whether sellers have cut out the jargon when engaged in buyer-seller conversations.
For example, can they explain why or how offerings are “integrated”, “user-friendly” or “”robust”?
2) Buyers are increasingly wary of the phone. Has your phone been ringing off the hook this election cycle like mine? Sellers need to appreciate that buyers take this “at-home” experience to the office and treat their phones like a germaphobe handling a tray at a cafeteria. Like I tell my clients, “if inside sales was easy, everyone would do it.”
3) Desire for Marketing Accountability. As far as I can tell, starting about ten years ago sales process engineering went mainstream, and this was a good thing. Now it’s Marketing’s time for the examination. What the process folks are finding is that “Wanamaker’s” quote – Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half, should be treated as heresy. So, if marketing is tracking their effectiveness, sales has to as well.
The checklist item for sellers:
Are we tracking and auditing our sales activities in the same fashion as marketing tracks their efforts? Are we using the same terminology and metrics?
One last thing... I would add another area of angst for sales due to the automation of marketing processes. Salespeoples' behaviors and activities are being scrutinized more than ever. For years, salespeople complained that marketing doesn't produce enough good leads. Well, with good marketing processes automated with the technology Carlson discusses, this sales whine rings hollow.
So, the question to ask if your company has automated a good marketing process becomes: Do your sellers appreciate the pace and quality of the marketing's output or are they sabotaging it and annoying prospects?