Know Thy Other Customer. The “other customers” for those of you who missed it, and don’t intend to go back to it, are the sales people that you work with – and on behalf of. (If you are in marketing and you don’t think you work on behalf of sales, then you may want to rethink your career choice.)On January 30th I wrote a post called
For those of you who understand that the purpose of marketing is to drive sales, and that in a complex sale that usually gets done through salespeople, this is part 2 of that line of thought.
As stated in the first post, to be good at marketing you need to have a good understanding of how your salespeople perform their roles – the processes they follow (or don’t follow but are supposed to), their strengths and weaknesses, what obstacles they face, and their world in general. That said, not all salespeople are what I would consider an “expert” in sales. I mean no disrespect. I don’t consider myself an expert either.
So, in order to produce tools that help your salespeople sell effectively, you first study your salespeople, and then you study sales.
I probably subscribe to as many sales blogs as I do marketing blogs. I also regularly visit sites that specialize in sales training – many of whom have resources such as white papers and recorded presentations on sales techniques. See No Training Budget? No Problem? for some thoughts on taking responsibility through your own professional development by taking advantage of freely available resources on the internet. The same applies to your on-going sales education.
Your first priority should be whatever sales philosophy your sales organization subscribes to e.g. Miller Heiman, Spin Selling or whatever. But, don't stop there. Here are a few sites with great free sales resources.
SellingtoBigCompanies Jill Konrath also has a great book by the same name.
TheSalesWars - This is a blog I ran across not too long ago. I'm not sure it will help you with specific ideas for selling, but I think you'll find the writing enjoyable and it may help you get into the mind of a salesperson.
If any of you out there know of other great sites, let us know. I’ll check them out and if the site is legit, add your comment to this post.
All the best!