3 min read

The one thing that’s ruining your relationship with sales

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Hi marketers. You guys are awesome and I just want to start there. But we need to have a serious talk. Please examine the following statements to see if they sound familiar to you:

  • Top-of-funnel leads are converting from x campaign but bouncing when they get to the CTA
  • Sales are down because MQLs aren’t converting to SQLs

Do you see a problem here? In case you don’t, here’s what’s happening. This is what sales hears when you say things like the above:

  • Blah blah leads blah blah blah blah blah
  • Sales are down because marketing speak marketing speak marketing speak

This is not because sales is dumb or marketing are know-it-alls (though, we do know a LOT). It’s that sales isn’t in marketing. They don’t know the language. And there’s a lot going on in marketing and the bigger and more complex the marketing organization, the more complicated the shorthand language gets.

I was just working with a client, who shall remain nameless, but a large-ish tech company. My team was there to help the marketing team sort out and solve the disconnect between sales and marketing. At the end of a data download meeting, we were given an acronym cheat-sheet to help us understand what we had just heard.

Hmmmm… if they need a cheat-sheet even to talk to other marketers, how do they talk to sales? I think maybe I sense the problem here.

Tailor to Your Audience

You guys know how to do this. It’s what you do all day. Just apply it to the inside of your organization the same way you do externally. Think about what matters most to your target audience. Sales is interested in sales! They want to make their numbers, keep their bosses from breathing down their necks and maybe make that incentive trip or bonus at the end of the year. How are you helping them do that?

5 Ways to Quickly Win Over Sales

  1. Ask if you can sit in on some sales calls – this will help you understand what they do all day, hear directly from prospects and help you get to know the team personally. Plus you’ll earn some serious street cred from the sales team – promise!
  2. Talk to them about what matters to them – how are you helping them make their number?
  3. How can you save them time – more time means more dollars
  4. Really, really listen to what is keeping them from making sales, the objections they hear, the stumbling blocks they face. How can you help?
  5. Snacks – never hurts to bribe…

The bottom line is you know a TON about marketing – so much that sometimes you might short-hand your speech into acronyms and jargon. But keep in mind that some of your sales team might be new, might be inexperienced, might know nothing about marketing so you need to speak english and take the time to really connect with them. You’ll be collaborating in no time, which will make your job oh so much easier!

Marketing jargon cartoon

Cartoon from Sean R Nicholson






Featured image by Ayana T. Miller