Sales and marketing need to work together to ensure that leads close, says Steve Parry, president of sales development consulting firm Sandler Training by Sales Productivity. He speaks to a sold-out BMA Colorado audience on June 27, discussing “Five Reasons Why Your Leads Don’t Close—And What to Do About It.” He caught up with BMA Buzz to discuss the mindset that can help marketers lift their sales counterparts over the hurdles.
BMA Buzz: The idea that sales and marketing should better collaborate is a recurrent theme these days. What is driving this?
Steve Parry: I came up in business in a sales-driven organization. Marketing was for collateral and helping with trade shows. Brand and message weren’t so important; our products were our brand and message.
Having been around sales and marketing for nearly 30 years, I believe, now more than ever, [that] sales is a subset of marketing. A cold call is marketing. When someone picks up, that is sales.
Brand and message are key [factors], especially when having to communicate passively through new media. Given all the noise, direct communication is much harder. Cold calling still works. The ratios are just tougher—as with all media outreach.
BMA Buzz: What do marketers need to understand about the sales process?
Parry: That there should be one. Clear, defined, linear with stated objectives and accountability. That the initial piece of the sales process, the sales or prospecting plan, is a combination of direct and indirect outreach in which marketing must play a key role.
BMA Buzz: What are the top things that marketers can do to help sales overcome hurdles?
People make buying decisions emotionally. They justify intellectually. Features or benefits don’t sell. The marketing message has to affect the prospect’s emotions and not be focused on the product or service.
Marketing helps facilitate the conversation. The sales people must be able to have an effective conversation. If sales people don’t understand the message and if they are not trained in their company’s sales process, success ratios fall far lower.