We all know that customers are changing the way they buy. It’s driving profound change in the way sales and marketing need to engage customers. Traditionally, we have been somewhat at odds with each other, working in our own silo’s.
Marketing would conduct all sorts of programs to increase awareness, drive demand, generate leads. Marketing would hand those off to sales—sales would reject them, we would go back and forth a little, a few leads would be qualified and then sales took over, marketing’s job was finished, the ball was in sales court, it became sales’ responsibility to close the customer. Marketing’s role was relatively independent of sales, and the processes were executed sequentially. Often one could be successful—achieve their own metrics or goals, while the other might not.
Things have changed. Customers are buying differently. The game has changed for marketing and sales. My friend, Rich Bravman describes the new marketing and sales as something like a basketball team.
Each person on the team has a role, the team moves up and down the court together, passing the ball to each other, running plays, all trying to get someone in the best position to score. The team works together, defending against the opponent, each person taking a role, whether it is to cover a specific opponent or cover a zone. Fluidity and adaptability is key to the success of the team. The ball always is passed to the person that can move the ball further down court or is in the best position to score.
The new sales and marketing is much like playing basketball. Each of us has our role, but we need to work together through the entire customer engagement cycle. Our goals are aligned—we are all working together to make goals and to win the game. Our roles are intertwined, we work together through the entire process, passing the ball back and forth. We pass the ball to the person who can move it further down court, position us best for making a goal. It may be sales in some cases, in others it may be marketing.
Plays become more dynamic—changing to fit the situation. It’s no longer a sequential process, but interleaved. In the new sales and marketing, sales must engage sooner—and differently. Marketing stays engaged longer. We pass the ball back and forth to each other, we go down court together, we are aligned around our goals and metrics.
Are your sales and marketing teams aligned and playing the new game?