Imagine you’re the marketing director for the Dunder Mifflin paper company (from TV’s “The Office”). Your team of creators and strategists has developed a comprehensive digital marketing strategy and some riveting, kick-butt content that’s really going to move the needle for DM. However, it won’t see the light of day and perform its magic without buy-in and participation from the sales team. And you’re dealing with old dogs like Dwight Schrute who are averse to learning new tricks. What can you do?
3 Ways to Get Sales to Use Marketing
There’s a sure-fire, three-step method to light a fire under even the most stubborn, stuck-in-his-Dwight-Schrute-ways salesman. It starts with M and ends in ONEY.
1. Dangle the Carrot
Hit the sales team between the eyes with the promise of more money. Bigger paychecks, that kitchen remodel, a new boat, more tuition for the kids, whatever. Explain how the marketing department, made up of really impressive pros who know what they’re doing, have developed all this juicy stuff to help the sales department line their pockets with more green.
All they have to do is grab hold of it and push it through their social media platforms and emails. They don’t have to abandon their normal sales nurturing process. They simply need to merge the old with the new, and ding-ding-ding, the cash register rings.
Be transparent by showing them all the data and analytics going on behind the scenes. Share successful case studies, both internally and from other companies, to demonstrate how THIS STUFF ACTUALLY WORKS! You work in marketing, which makes you a salesperson in your own right. So, you need to sell to sales.
When you unveil your master marketing plan to the sales force, you’ll see some eye rolls. Some will slump slightly in their chairs. Others will sigh. A few will groan. It’s an “Ugh, now-I-have-more-things-to-do” moment. This is when you tell them how SIMPLE you’ve made it for them to execute the distribution of the content (and reiterate, of course, that it’s going to make them more money).
Launch the marketing initiative with calendars that you’ve pre-prepared for the sales team. Feed them scheduled emails and online content with easy links that they can share with their existing customers and prospects. Provide them with email templates and sample copy that they can use to create more personal, detailed and timely correspondence with their customer base. Make it as simple as possible for them to accept the content and send it out into the world.
3. Shake Hands
Nothing constitutes an agreement like a firm handshake. Use it, both figuratively and literally. When you apprise the sales team of the digital marketing campaign and how important it is for them to participate (remember the more money thing again), create an up-front agreement with them to cooperate.
But don’t stop there. Develop ways that all involved must MAINTAIN the agreement. Create an in-house leaderboard, perhaps with sales incentive prizes attached. This way, every member of the sales team can track their own participation and see their standings against the others. The slackers will no-doubt hate this leaderboard, but it’ll give them the kick in the butt they need to actively participate. After the agreement is firmly in place, everyone can shake hands and come out selling.
Dan believes that marketing has one purpose: to generate sales leads. He is certain the best marketing tactics and sales people are decision-making facilitators, not yes getters and being customer-centric is the only way to be successful in the long run. Dan started Leighton Interactive in 2009 with a vision to help high-growth companies attract and close more ideal customers.
A perpetual student of sales and marketing, Dan focuses on two things: finding clients with problems Leighton Interactive solves and talent with the expertise to solve them.