Most enterprise salespeople don’t realize that their marketing team is the key to steady deal flow, or that marketing can help them consistently deliver on the sales plan. I speak from experience.
Before joining Fathom, I was an enterprise sales representative at a Fortune 500 company, and I thought our marketing department was simply overhead. I knew exactly who the decision-makers were among our clients/prospects and focused intently on them.
Enterprise salespeople are self-confident creatures who feel compelled to carry the full burden of the client engagement process towards closing a major deal. We love doing all of the heavy lifting. Classic enterprise salespeople have relied on the tools of phone, email, lunches and some social media—but not the marketing department—to engage our decision-makers. We do our own flavor of nurturing, but it’s very hard to maintain and scale, especially when a major opportunity heats up and all our efforts are focused on winning the business.
This intense focus on one deal comes at the expense of losing touch with the other great upper-funnel prospects in the pipeline. Upon closing that one great deal, we feel like we need to start again to prime the pump to get our deal flow going again.
Why hasn’t sales leaned more on marketing?
History has a lot to do with the scenario above. The marketing team provided support with newsletters, templates, sales collateral, branding, the website, and event planning, but we rarely invited them directly into the sales process. They were simply support (overhead) with only a cosmetic contribution to the sales process.
Not so for today’s data-driven marketer! Marketing plays a critical role in deal flow by keeping our best prospects warm and engaged with compelling content and intelligent messaging strategies, enabling sales to focus its energy on closing the hottest deals.
Modern marketers are sales’ BFFs
By leveraging marketing automation technology (including statistical signals) and relevant content, the marketing team is now prioritizing and leading the sales process.
The automation-supported marketer changes everything. Not only is marketing part of the process, it sets the entire tone and can manage the funnel to keep deal flow intact. With a relevant message track and cues from a scoring model, a prospect is well nurtured until signaling readiness. Marketing can ensure there is no gap in deal flow for sales. We can pick up where we left off and keep our flow.
Salespeople, go buy your marketing partner a Frappuccino. They are your key to success.
And for a little nuts-and-bolts guidance on how to achieve that sales-and-marketing handshake, read Act-On’s “Introduction To Integrated Marketing: Sales and Marketing Alignment.”
Jeff L. Herrmann is the Chief Revenue Officer at Fathom, which he joined in 2011 to lead sales, marketing and business development. Today he continues Fathom’s progress on a solutions-based approach to drive growth and results for clients. He previously worked for the Nielsen Company, where he served as Senior VP of Digital Solutions, working with clients ranging from large-cap Fortune 100 companies to start-ups seeking funding. Regarded as an industry expert on the digital media ecosystem, Jeff has presented at conferences across the U.S., UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan in the past decade.