It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when products, services, and solutions were only sold in a physical sense. Salespeople were seen as the single gateway and go-to experts before, during, and after any sale took place.
When it comes to sales reporting, there are an endless number of metrics you can track -- you know this. We're all swimming in an overwhelming sea of data -- all of which has the potential to help you improve your sales process, and then there is an overabundance of tools to make it happen. That's why one of the most pressing issue sales managers face today is setting up their reporting is understanding what will give the greatest amount of insight and take the least amount of effort from the sales team to track. We know from first-hand experience; this is a problem we've had to solve for ourselves.
When I started in the marketing industry, I would’ve never guessed I would be anywhere near sales. Sales was intimidating, fast-paced, and frankly just not where I wanted to live. I wanted to be a marketer. It didn’t take long after working with clients to achieve their marketing goals that I learned two things: Marketing can bring in all of the leads in the world, but if they don’t increase the bottom line...it doesn’t matter. The only way to increase the bottom line is to make sure that sales closes the deal, which means sales and marketing have to work together.
It’s widely accepted that the internet has enabled changes in buyer behaviors which have disrupted traditional marketing and sales approaches. The exploding universe of sales and MarTech software tools has enabled methodologies like inbound marketing. It’s allowed companies to deliver better experiences to prospects and buyers, but it’s also often created internal friction.
I’m not a parent. In fact, given that some of my friends lovingly refer to me as a “hospice for house plants,” putting a child in my hands may not be the best idea. (Fun fact: Did you know that a cactus dies from the bottom up?) Yet, with today’s topic, I feel a bit like a parent trying to corral two squabbling siblings. They know they need to work together, but still they “just don’t wanna.” In this case, the two siblings in question are marketing and sales. Even though it's easy for both to complain about how hard it is to create content that both teams find useful, if they would just work together, things would immediately improve.
Sales and marketing are becoming synonymous and discussed in tandem more and more. People are finally catching on to the idea that these two seemingly divergent departments actually have a lot to offer one another (although we’ve been telling you this for a while)! To help support our argument even more, consider these statistics:
We all know account-based marketing is nothing new. It’s been practiced for years. At the early stages of inbound marketing, traditional marketing tactics including account-based marketing (ABM) were looked down upon, but, now that inbound marketing isn’t the shiny new object, many sophisticated marketers are talking about how old-ish school tactics are helping them get in front of prospects that inbound just can’t reach.
This year, INBOUND 2016 has been a blast. It has also solidified one major concept in my mind. “Marketing and sales can no longer be considered separate groups.” Here’s why: When we made a purchase in the past, we were attracted by marketing and educated by sales. We learn the basics from marketing, but ultimately interact with sales to determine if the product or service we chose was, in fact, the best choice. The thing is, this has all changed.