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We looked at how you can optimize your CRM through Sales Enablement and discussed the 3 biggest pitfalls so many companies experience as they try to claw their way to the top. In addition to those core components we outlined, there are a few additional things you'll want to consider as you revamp your sales and marketing strategy for your business.
Sounds obvious, sure...BUT have you ever been on a first date with someone who is a chronic monologuer? From the moment they pick you up, through cocktails, dinner and even the walk home they only talked about...THEMSELVES? You start to wonder if they even have any interest in knowing you at all and what you are looking for in a mate. Then they have the balls to try selling you on a second date with a follow up of "man that was fun tonight." No it wasn't. It was punishing.
If you begin your first Sales Call with an MQL by touting the attributes of your product, why this person should buy and a canned pitch, it will fall on deaf if not defensive ears. As Gwen Stefani said "Don't Speak" - try listening. Ask questions of your prospect. Get to know what drove them this far down the path with your company and what solutions they are seeking. How have they been attempting to overcome their challenges but failing? What job might your company be hired to help fulfill? Then repeat what you have heard to ensure your lines of communication are in check.
KEEP SMARKETING MEETINGS SMALL
As you start to better align your sales and marketing teams remember that many hands don't always make for light work. It is important to have representatives from both Marketing and Sales in the room, but we urge you to keep it small. Be cautious about the personalities you invite too. Here's why.
These meetings should be a safe place where both parties, however disparate they may be at the start, can discuss and solve problems, procedures and other bumps in the road. You need to create an environment where everyone participating feels safe enough to share their opinions, be honest and even discuss some tricky topics. This is a working session, not a celebratory meeting to talk of accomplishments or to impress the higher ups. Everyone needs to leave the meeting feeling as though issues were addressed and plans are in place to move forward in a better direction. Collaboration is KEY!
This is NOT the time to invite your CFO or CEO. That may lead to team members "dressing to impress" rather than giving you the down and dirty on what is and isn't working. Unlike your 2nd grade whole-classroom-has-to-come birthday party, don't be afraid to disinvite either. If someone isn't providing any valuable feedback, or is a pushy, leader type who can't let others get a word in edgewise, say goodbye. This is a place where all meeting participants need to let their underbelly show.
CREATE A JUDICIAL BRANCH
So you have a small, Smarketing meeting and yet you still have conflicts that you can't resolve between these two entities. Most of the time, these issues revolve around one thing - leads. Why did marketing pass on that lead when, from a sales perspective, they clearly aren't qualified? Why didn't sales pick up the phone and call the lead I sent them as soon as it hit their inbox? I've sent you a million leads! You've sent me terrible ones! And the list goes on...
If you have...
- already created universal understanding about what a qualified lead is
- written your comprehensive and clear Service Level Agreement (SLA)
...then it is time to create a Judicial Branch. Pull together senior level Sales and Marketing executives, maybe even your CEO or COO. This group is tasked with reviewing every lead that the Sales team rejects by sending back to Marketing or those that they choose not to call. The Judicial Branch will then determine if the decision to cast off the lead, made by Sales, was valid or not.
The Judicial Branch isn't meant to shame Sales or Marketing, but rather to work with both teams to find the broken links and help create solutions to fix them. Both parties feel accountable and ideally work that much harder to ensure success in customer acquisition. Less tattle tailing and more working together is key!
Bottom line, bring your people together. Practice listening to both leads and your co-workers. Be responsive. Be open. And if you need help with these things, consider signing your team up for an improv comedy class. For real. The main focus is not about being hilarious (which is a great byproduct), rather it's about listening and answering. That's a skill that can always use sharpening.