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Susan Payton: The Peanut Butter and Jelly of Your Bottom Line

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Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Good sales is a team sport, and working together, sales and marketing can be a powerful force for your business.

As a marketer, I’ve helped sales take a corporate account from non-existent to closed in less than two months. I’ve worked with sales to position a product at the forefront of a trend that continues to drive sales today. And I’ve seen the ugly consequences of sales disconnected from marketing.

But working together, sales and marketing are like the peanut butter and jelly of your bottom line, making revenue more frequent and more profitable.

The real trick is coming up with effective, non-invasive ways for ensuring this partnership happens. So I’ve come up with a list of tactics I use to get marketing and sales better aligned to boost sales and profits.

Extend an Invitation

The most powerful way I’ve seen sales and marketing work together is by inviting marketing to existing sales status calls to learn and ask questions. For example, a target who was a casualty of the Great Recession was mistakenly kept on the sales pipeline list and sales passed her by, since she was no longer at the company. As a relationship marketer, I asked, “Where did she land?” This question and a close partnership with a salesperson resulted in a new corporate client in less than two months that would not have happened otherwise.

Ask for Help

During a casual conversation with a sales person last year, he admitted having bad luck getting responses to emails. Having just finished a project to optimize his company’s email marketing, I shared with him some best practices I had picked up over the course of my contract. I also recommended Yesware to help him identify if the problem was open rates or if the content wasn’t compelling enough for people to respond. The results were significant, and he started getting better results right away. He’s now a big A/B testing evangelist and always sharing best practices with his marketing team.

Share Client Reactions

There’s nothing like client feedback for a marketer, and sales people usually have a good sense of what’s working and what’s not, often directly from the mouths of customers. Have sales share this with marketing so they can continue improving. And what client doesn’t like to see their feedback and suggestions incorporated?

Bring Them Along

While sending feedback from the field is helpful, there’s no comparison to the unfiltered voice of the customer. I recently went on a sales call, and while the salesperson did his presentation, I was able to observe reactions and more importantly hear the questions first hand. I learned so much from those questions that I’m convinced questions are windows to a customer’s soul. This meeting led to new key messaging and sales support materials that have helped my client shorten their sales cycle and tell a clearer, more valuable story that resonates and educates.

Ultimately sales and marketing are just different sides of the same coin and bringing them together will only help you get more paper.

Originally published at: Egg Marketing & Communications

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