Focus on Helping, Not Closing


The division of roles between sales and marketing in the B2B space is often a confusing one.

Sometimes sales people complain that they are succeeding despite the best efforts of the marketing team. They complain of worthless leads and waste too much time talking to people who are not ready to buy.

Brian Carroll is an executive director of MECLABS — a company that studies and analyses sales. He says the two groups need to work in tandem through more of the sales process. And, if you are a sales person without marketing support, you need to adopt a marketing approach to sales. That means spending more time building a strong relationship with a prospective client, rather than focusing too much on closing.

In today’s BTalk he explains how most decisions are made by groups of people within a business, in a meeting where you will not be present. That means you have to focus on influencing each person involved in that meeting, through human interaction and the delivery of relevant supporting material that they can use in their own decision making process.

Marketing people can help by ensuring approaches are made to the right people and that relevant content is available to move people along the sales cycle. If you’re in charge of marketing, perhaps you should also be responsible for ensuring the systems are in place to track progress through the sales cycle so you can track the optimum mix of communications at each stage in the cycle.

As you’ll hear, it’s possible to apply a lot of science behind lead nurturing — just so long as, on the surface, your conversations appear natural, unscripted and relevant.

First published on CBS News

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