You know a lot about marketing, but for some reason your business just isn't seeing your true value. Both your CEO and CFO seem to consider you an expense, and the VP of Sales never seems satisfied with your great work. Something must be done!
So how do make them see your incredible value? Transform yourself from a budgetary liability to an invaluable asset through the power of teamwork.
Think of the VP of Sales and the entire sales team as your VIP customers and strive to provide extraordinary customer service across the board. This is the cornerstone of marketing rock stardom.
Check out these top trade secrets on becoming a marketing rock star for your team:
1. Ask the sales team for their "Marketing Wish List"
There's a famous quote that asks, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" Assuming time and money are of no consequence, ask the sales team for their full wish list of wants and needs. This engages the team in your planning process and campaign focus. This also allows you to work directly with the VP of Sales to secure budget approvals from the client. Finally, it helps you communicate back to the sales team which items were not approved for the budget. This open communication shows the sales team that the items they wanted were not approved by the client, as opposed to the idea that you simply disregarded their requests.
2. Understand the team's selling roadblocks
This may sound simple, but the answers may surprise you. Some reps may just need more content or collateral so they spend less time on custom presentations, while other reps may tell you they need more leads. Understanding these differences can help you modify or update your marketing plan and priorities, as well as give you a better understanding of the skills and capabilities of individual reps.
3. Get specific about results
Most sales teams are laser-focused on the current quarter and achieving their sales quota. Your tangible marketing results will be a certain amount of pipeline, content pieces, or other marketing support. Show your value by drilling down on exactly how many leads marketing will provide and at which sales stage you will provide them. Set parameters and create clear definitions of when sales will take ownership of an opportunity and how you will support their goal of achieving their targeted close rate, or a marketing “quota”.
4. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
A critical element of ensuring your client's success is telling your sales people what you need from them to achieve ideal results. This can be as simple as having the sales team update the CRM on lead follow-up so you can track what's working and what isn't. In some cases, this requires the commitment and support of the VP of Sales to drive consistency.
5. Establish checkpoints
Ideally, you should provide weekly reports to the VP of Sales on your progress towards the campaign goals, in addition to regular meetings. If you're falling behind, own it and provide an action plan for getting things back on track.
6. Blur the lines of your job description
Spend time with your sellers and their customers. This may be as simple as asking to "ride along" to client or prospect meetings. Understanding their process will help you be a better marketer and shows your commitment to the client.
7. Respect your sales team’s time
Think critically about every question you ask your sales team. Their time is best spent with customers and prospects, not on administrative tasks. Be thoughtful and intentional with your inquiries. This means not only respecting their time as professionals, but also showing interest in their opinions and feedback.
8. Communicate more! (Yes, it's that important.)
As marketers, we communicate what we are doing for our customers, but we can often forget to share what we are doing for our colleagues. Share monthly updates with the sales team on what you're doing and the results you're achieving. Don't be afraid to shout out the good work you and others are doing!
Good luck on your transformation. Comment below and let us know what your rock star marketing secrets are!