Sales and Marketing can no longer be two trains passing in the night, as so many VPs of Sales we know lament. The cost of not fixing this misalignment is now too high. Bridging the gap between Marketing and Sales must be a priority.
Customers are changing what they buy, how they buy and what they are willing to pay for it. In general more people are engaged in the buying decision than ever before and they are more concerned about economic value. They expect sales reps to function as trusted advisors, as opposed to, product facilitators.
This means that salespeople must operate differently. As shared by Lynn Vojvodich, the CMO and EVP of salesforce.com, salespeople must know more about their customers – specifically:
- Who they are
- What they buy
- What they like
It’s hard to imagine getting this right without a high level of cooperation and collaboration between Marketing and Sales. The relationship between Marketing and Sales can no longer be limited to Marketing throwing leads and product brochures over the fence and Sales failing to follow-up.
If sales reps are to win where customers expect trusted advisors, then the collaboration between Marketing and Sales must exist throughout the sales cycle and be characterized by a relationship where each is helping the other do what they need to do. It is all about cooperation and collaboration and integration – the cost and negative consequences of standing alone are now too high.
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