Can You Teach a Sales Pro Some Marketing Tricks? #CMOTalk

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Can You Teach a Sales Pro Some Marketing Tricks? #CMOTalk

Sales and Marketing. It’s no secret that these departments often have a rocky relationship—but if they can figure out a way to collaborate and play nicely together, the end result is a what they’re both working toward—an increase in growth and profitability. In this episode of #CMOTalk, host BMG’s Shelly Kramer and guest Joel Capperella tackle one of the most difficult dynamics in business—the relationship between sales and marketing teams. Here’s the issue du jour: Sales needs the leads. Marketing brings the leads. But research shows that only 25 percent of MQLs end up being turned into SQLs. In this show, Shelly and Joel delve into the disconnect between sales and marketing, and ask the age-old question, “Can you teach a sales pro some marketing tricks?” We think it’s possible, and even better, a huge win for business when you can make it happen.

What Does Marketing Do, Anyway?

Joel and Shelly discuss the fact that the role that marketers play in today’s business world has changed, but that in essence, it’s pretty simple. Marketers’ jobs are to develop programs and initiatives that attract leads, score, qualify, and nurture those leads, then send them to the sales team when they’re ready. Sounds pretty efficient, no? Then why are only 25 percent of those leads converted?

Why Low Conversion Rates?

There are a variety of reasons for low conversion rates. Some of the problem lies with the marketing team and maybe a lack of a marketing automation platform (MAP), or the absence of integration with a MAP and CRM system. It could be that there’s not been an investment made in the right technology to allow leads to be scored. It could be a lack of sophistication and expertise when it comes to email marketing and other marketing “touches.” It could be because the sales team wants to chase leads, all leads, with a full steam ahead attitude, instead of being patient and understanding the need to score and nurture leads until they’re willing to buy. And not all customers are ready to buy the minute they become aware of the product or service you’re selling. There are many factors that contribute to low conversion rates, and fixing that is the key to success.

How Do We Fix This? Teach Sales Pros Some New Tricks!

So, we know there’s a disconnect between sales and marketing, and a lack of communication, understanding, and collaboration. How do we fix this? Shelly and Joel discuss a number of things, including doing more to educate sales teams about the processes their marketing counterparts go through in order to find and deliver leads, including making sure that your sales team understands the value of social media, as well as the role content plays in assuaging customer pain points. The right media mix also plays a role, and Joel and Shelly spent some time discussing that, and providing some great ideas to get you started. And when it comes to media, making your sales team look like super stars is one way to hit it out of the park.

And Marketing, Learn from Sales

While there’s no doubt your sales team can learn a lot from the marketing team, marketers can likewise learn a lot from sales. Sales pros are on the front lines, day in and day out, with direct contact with prospects and customers. The more information sales teams can share about these interactions, the more ammunition marketers have to fine tune their processes and help their sales counterparts be more successful.

Bottom line, Joel and Shelly share many valuable insights, for both marketing pros and sales pros, and remind us that while sales and marketing are two very different departments, they’re part of the same team. When they collaborate and work together, volume goes up, profitability increases, and everyone wins. Here’s the video for you to watch the show in its entirety:

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Shelly Kramer:  Well hello there.  Welcome to this week’s CMO Talk.  This week I’m thrilled to have Joel Capparella.   Joel spends a lot of his time thinking about the same things that I am passionate about and it’s all about sales enablement and how to make marketing teams stronger and more effective and deliver better results for sales teams and all of those gory things, those gory details.  So, Joel, welcome.  It’s great to have you.

Joel Capparella:  It’s great to be with you Shelly.  I’m looking forward to our chat.  I like the show so I’m happy to be part of it.

Shelly Kramer:  Absolutely.  What we are going to dive right in.  This week is something that Joel and I have spent some time talking about.  You know, as marketers, a lot of what we are doing is focusing on the sales funnel and focusing on what it is our sales teams really want and expect from us, which is, bring me the leads.  While we spend a lot of our time looking at the funnel, developing content for different parts of the funnel, all of these different things, actually, what is happening is in many instances our sales teams aren’t using that.  So, Joel, let’s talk about that.

Joel Capparella:  Yeah Shelly, you are right.  I keep my eye on the data that is out there as far as what’s really happening.  And if you think about it, marketing automation has really matured over the last 10 years.  I think Hub Spot was founded in 2007.  That’s hard to believe but companies like that have been around for about 10 years now and it’s been great for marketing.  I think we have all gotten better at driving our leads into a funnel, to nurture them along until we get them to that holy grail of converting the marketing qualified lead over to a sales qualified lead and we all know it and we all kind of chase that metric.  But along the way, even though the volume that quality has improved if you look at the details of some of the data as I was referring to early, in particular Hub Spot’s 2016 State of Inbound Report, it was interesting because it was the first time they actually asked sales what they thought of this whole thing.  Even the best organizations that are using content to drive demand and leads, their sales forces are only turning to inbound generated leads, content oriented leads, about 25% of the time.  So, that’s the best of the best.  Think about that.  They are using those leads about a quarter of the time, the other 75% they are prospecting on their own to get leads into their sales pipeline.  So, there is something there, right?  We have gotten better at the automation.  We have gotten better at the quality and the volume but there is still that disconnect.  We probably weren’t tracking that stat 10 years ago, but I don’t think it’s too bold to suggest that even the best marketing organizations in the world in 2007 probably had about the same level of effort as far as sales is concerned, focusing on the leads that they were generating.

Shelly Kramer:  Yeah, I wouldn’t think that I would expect those stats to be all that different in the last number of years.  But I think that based on my experience and what we see with our clients, and many of our clients are very, very large enterprise companies who are doing a good job at some things but they are doing a less spectacular job at some of the other things.  And by that, I mean, I think that in general sales teams continue to be very disconnected from the role that social and social selling can play.  We are working with an enterprise level client out of Chicago that we are doing some marketing automation and some emails campaigns for and part of our strategy is positioning certain members of the sales team as thought leaders with regard to certain things, you know, stuff we all do all the time.  But I skip over and look at LinkedIn profiles and they universally suck.  LinkedIn profiles are written like they are looking for a job.  These are people that are career business development and sales executives who, the furthest thing from their minds is looking for a job.  They want to kick ass at what they are doing now and yet their LinkedIn profiles are terrible.  They are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars sending sales teams to conferences without ever stopping to look at connecting the dots of, oh, I meet Joel at a conference.  For a lot of us, the first thing we do when we meet somebody new is stalk them online.  What does his LinkedIn profile look like?  What is he doing on Twitter?  Is he what he says he is?  Is he as capable as he says he is?  What do people say about him?  And so I feel like that stat is very real, but I think that it is also largely do to the fact that there continues to be a huge disconnect between what we know is marketing best practices and the things that we can do to deliver those MQL’s and those SQL’s to our sales teams, but I think that we have to have some help along the way from them as well.

Joel Capparella:  I agree. I absolutely agree with you.  I can give you a perfect example.  On Monday, this week I think it was, talking to a potential client, they are one of the largest enterprise software companies in the world, like you would know them if I mentioned their name.  They have an awesome engine, they have an awesome marketing engine.  The young woman that has built it knows what she is doing and they’ve got a great return on the investment they are making in those marketing campaigns.  But I’s exactly the same thing where there’s this disconnect between what the message is.  Now look, it’s harder I think, on enterprise, because it’s a complex product mix.  Marketing the product mix with large companies, they struggle, that’s another thing I see more frequently is they struggle with not just the messaging but they have to juggle the product management equation, and the road map, and selling what they have today vs. where they are headed tomorrow, and on and on.  So, it’s tough for them to boil that message down from a macro to a micro, and that’s the marketing challenge, right?  What I saw with this client is exactly what you just suggested.  The faces of their solution aren’t coming from the solution architects and those that are closest to the customer or the customer service reps or the account reps.

Shelly Kramer:  And the problems.

Joel Capparella:  Exactly.  It’s coming from the marketing team and some of the people on the exec team, and even though they can talk, it’s like a guy who knows wine great.  You know what I mean?  He knows how to taste it.  He knows how to discern different bouquets and what not, because he has read the book.  But he’s really not every drank a glass of wine.  Right?
Shelly Kramer:  Or he doesn’t like it.

Joel Capparella:  Yeah, or he hates wine, right?  So, that’s a big thing I see in those larger companies especially is that the sales guys are the ones closest to the customer.  That’s their job, to talk to them on a regular basis.  In today’s day and age, they are usually with that customer not just for the sale.  You know 10-15 years ago, they used to check out and let the implementation team take over if we are talking about software or some big solution.  Well today in the SAS world they are with them in perpetuity and they care very much about that recurring revenue because their compensation is tied to it in many cases, right?

Shelly Kramer:  Right.

Joel Capparella:  But we don’t tap into their expertise and I think that’s part of marketing’s job is let’s make them the stars.  Let’s make them the face of who we are in this industry.

Shelly Kramer:  You know that’s exactly right Joel.  And the other thing that we see that happens all the time is that there is still a big disconnect both from the part of the sales team as well as from the part of the marketing team.  Sometimes the bigger the company the more of a problem that this is.  For people like you and I, we’ve been doing this for so long, it’s easy to go – how hard is this?  Marketing messaging needs to be about customer paying points, it’s not sales jargon, it’s not buy my stuff.  It’s really showing that as a sales team, as a marketing team, we understand what you go to sleep at night worrying about.  We understand what your business goals are.  We understand what your pain points are and we can help you.  And you should trust us because we are talking about these things.  We are helping other people with these things.  The selling part of that equation needs to be so much further down in the messaging.  We see this in our mid-sized customer base and we see this in our enterprise level base as well and it’s just such a disconnect between the right kind of messaging to be producing, the right kind of messaging.  We are working with another client and we are doing some marketing automation things and we are talking about lead processes and one of the things we are looking at is okay, so we can tell who hits our website from what company and the sales team is like, just get me their number and I will call them.  And I’m saying, here’s the deal.  I don’t want to talk to you.   I will go out of my way to avoid talking to you.  Just because I visited your website, just because I looked at your solution, doesn’t mean I’m ready to go on a date, you know?  I need to know more.  So, sure you can drop me into a nurture program and sure you can continue to touch me in certain ways or through retargeting or whatever, but don’t try to rush it.  And so I think that the data doesn’t surprise me at all just based on what we see all day every day in that the sales team wants to sell, and they really in many instances, don’t want to take a lot of time to develop relationships through using things like marketing automation and different content for different stages, and really understanding that a lot of what we see is kind of like bam, bam, bam.  Let me get this one.  Let me get this one.  Let me get this one.  I think that gets in their way a little bit.  We’ve been talking about the same things and having the same conversations and talking about the same messages for a very long time now.  None of this is new.  None of this is new news.  So it really to me becomes a challenge of, you know, I keep telling our clients we have to make the sales people the stars.  We have to do all the work for them.  We can’t expect them to sit down and write content for the corporate blog.  They are not going to do that.

Joel Capparella:  Absolutely.

Shelly Kramer:  That’s what we have to do.  So putting strategic plans in place that allow the marketing team to handle those things and to look at social profiles and social performance.  We do a lot of management of key senior executives’ social media profiles for our enterprise level clients.  We handle growing their LinkedIn connection base and sharing content.  It’s like a ghost writer sort of thing.  We do that on a regular basis and once they start seeing that work and once they start seeing that if they are not just posting brand centric messages once every 2 weeks, cool things can actually happen.  When you can show your sales team that same thing it changes the playing field and it really allows you a huge amount of differentiation between your competitors because there are so many people who aren’t doing this.

Joel Capparella:  Absolutely.  That’s what boggles my mind sometimes it that there never before in the history of humanity have we had so many simple to use media options at our fingertips.  You know, think about it.  Twitters only 10 years old.  Facebook has only been open to the public for about 11 years or so.  Those things didn’t even exist a decade ago, right?  But today with live video and what we are able to do on the social side we have the opportunity to literally own a slice of media that is our perspective.  What I have experienced Shelly, and I’d be curious to see what you guys run into is that it takes strong vision and leadership here.  Because these media options exist and because all that messaging is important, look, I don’t think the nature of sales species is going to change anytime soon.  They are always going to want to call the prospect as quickly as possible.  They are measured by their pipeline.  That’s what I think marketing people need to understand sometimes is that an MQL to an SQL, that ratio might be good for you and your major business objectives, but your sales partner, even if you have a service agreement written with them, they don’t care about your ratio.  Because their management, if it’s a good sales management, doesn’t care about the lead until it’s at a certain point in the sales funnel.  In other words, is it a huntable account?  Should we be hunting that account?  Is this a good use of our time?  Do they have a budget?  And all these other things that they ask to make it measurable in the sales funnel.  I mean, marketers have to understand that. The sale species will always, forever, until the end of time, care about that sort of metric.  So, okay, what do we do with this right? Okay we have these media options?  We have to be able to share with the sales force.  I think it’s high time to understand look, can we improve the demand generation?  And can we improve our use of automation?  Yeah, sure.  I think we can.  Is that the perfect use of our time?  At this moment, I don’t know that it is.  I think if we start to capitalize on our social, not just from the tick-tacky tips, tricks and hacks sort of way that you read about so often, but in a deep embedded, we are going to put our DNA into our media footprint, and who we are and what we do and the problems we serve and our willingness and want to be helpful to our industry is going to be clearly seen through the way we manipulate media.  And, this is the key for sales, we are going to empower and unleash sales in order to capitalize on that so that they, as we’ve both said, can be the stars of this grand narrative that we are weaving for our industry.

Shelly Kramer:  Right.  No, I think it makes perfect sense.  So, what’s the best media mix?

Joel Capparella:  That’s a great question because I think that’s the big struggle as far as what the right mix is, to me, what I always encourage, lets’ go back to the large enterprise client I was talking about.  They have a great engine and they have good creative.  They can handle video okay.  They don’t do live video but they do well produced video.  They a good, big creative budget.  But you know what it feels like to me when you look at their footprint, if feels very like…

Shelly Kramer:  Produced.

Joel Capparella:  Yeah, produced. It doesn’t feel genuine.  There is a layer of insincerity on top of it.  It feels like, remember the marketing slicks that the sales guys used to demand back in the day?

Shelly Kramer:  Exactly.

Joel Capparella:  Everything looks and feels that way.  So for them, the mix for them, and we chatted about this with them.  Take advantage and test things out as far as, like dive in.  Obviously, we know video is very hot, so start to make some mistakes there. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes there.  Let’s peel off a layer of the production value and make it a little more sincere.  One of the things we talked about is hey, every time a solution engineer or architect, and these are the guys that if you don’t know in the software world or the SAS world, are explaining or demonstrating the software so that it fits the solution needs of the customer.  So you typically don’t see them when you are signing up online but you will see them on big enterprise deals.  These guys are out there talking whether it’s online or in person.  So every time they come up with a demo or deal record them.  What was the big problem?  What was the issue?  What was the aha moment for the customer?  Whatever it is.  And you might not use all that but if you gather information then you have it and you are able to reproduce or repurpose it.

Shelly Kramer:  I think that what we forget is that our customer are real people.  There aren’t many among us anymore who take something out of the box and A) don’t expect figuring out how to use it to be intuitive but B) we’re not hunting for the instruction manual.  We are looking for video content that talks us through.  So when you have something that is instead corporate, slick, produced, when you have a real person who talks the same language that you do, who’s not beautifully presented, who is just an ordinary, average person talking to customers who are ordinary, average people, I think that resonates and I think that allows you to put a human face to your brand.  That makes a huge difference.  I have a good friend of mine, Jake Jacobson, who used to work for Garmin, and he, it was probably as long as 5 or 6 years, but at the time it was kind of a revolutionary thing.  Garmin makes many things, but one of the things that they are known for is their high-end sports watches.  This was before Apple Watch came out and before the Fitbit craze and all that.  Jake did a series of videos demoing the watches, and here’s what you do when you are trying to do this, and if you are training for a triathlon here’s what you do.  I don’t know how long he was with Garmin but it was a number of years and he would find himself in an airport and have people come up to him and go – “you are Jake the Garmin guy.  Awesome!  I love your videos!”  He’s just a guy.  He’s a marketer.  He has a great personality.  He understands the value of social. He kind of led the team in that direction.  He’s been gone from Garmin for a number of years now and people still recognize Jake the Garmin guy.

Joel Capparella:  Yeah.

Shelly Kramer:  So I think when you can break down some of what you are doing, and some of your product mix, and think about how you can use a concept as simple as Jake the Garmin guy, I think it can really go a long way.  And it’s a missed opportunity.

Joel Capparella:  I completely agree.  This might be a cliché but I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk.  Some people like him and some don’t.  His Entrepreneur Talks, that’s not why I’m a fan of his.  Why I am a fan of his is because what the man does is he manipulates media better than I think anybody on the planet.  So I pay attention to what he does.  For some of you that don’t know Gary, he’s the CEO of Vayner Media.  It’s a large advertising firm in New York and it was only founded about 4 years ago.  His story is an interesting one and I would encourage you to look him up if you don’t know him.  But what’s interesting is that he does this daily blog called the Daily V.  I tune into it so I can see what he’s doing.  It’s all about his traverses and his hustle mentality and that’s all great and good motivating stuff.  But what I find fascinating is that he is continually profiling the people that work for him.  The people that produce that video, he’s always calling them out and naming them. You know who they are and he makes them stars and puts their stars next to his.  He did an entire episode with his Chief Heart Officer.  This was a woman who was hired and put into place because they were having some growing pains at the organization.  They’ve got 3 or 4 offices.  1 in London, 1 in LA, all over the country, right?  He was having some growing pains so in March of last year he announced her and he did an episode on that.  Then, about 2 months ago, right before the end of the year, the entire episode of his daily blog was committed, and I forget her name at the moment, was committed to this woman who was the Chief Heart Officer.  Now look, does that sell his media services?  Does that advance his entrepreneurial goals or sell more books for him?  Maybe, maybe not.  But what it does do, with his elevation of people who work for his organization, with his elevation of telling people that this Chief Heart Office is important to us, it communicates who they are and their culture.  Oh, and by the way, it clearly makes a statement to people of talent that he wants to come into his walls because if you know anything about Gary Vaynerchuk and Vayner Media they don’t pay the highest but they have some of the best talent, right?  So he is using that media and manipulating it to put his stamp on the employment brand of who he is and what it’s like to work for him.  It’s amazing, amazing stuff and few people recognize it because they are so tuned into his personality and what he’s doing.  I don’t know the man but I would be willing to bet that it’s a concerted effort to do all those things.  Does it help him sell?  I’ve got to believe it does at the end of the day.  That’s how aggressive we need to be, if I can say it that way, when we look at how we’re handling media and the great news about any of this is it doesn’t have to be massively produced. It’s way easier and better to make a couple of mistakes here.  Because if you’re committed to it, and that’s why I think it takes leadership, but if you’re committed to it then it’s going to really do what we talked about in the very beginning, give the sales team the ammunition they need build out their own network, to do their own prospecting, because they are going to do that anyway.

Shelly Kramer:  Yeah, I agree.  Absolutely.  And I think that for people like us who are accustomed to being on video or are accustomed to being out there, we understand that, I mispronounced your name at the beginning of this show and we could have started over and I could have gotten it right.  But you know what?  I mispronounced your name.  I fixed it, you know?  It’s not that big of a deal?

Joel Capparella:  That’s right.

Shelly Kramer:  It happens all the time, right?  So I think that we are very comfortable with that because we are immersed in this space and in that world.  We really understand the importance of being real.  I think that brands for so long have viewed that any type of media as having to be so slick, so perfectly produced.  Every time I see a client video I’m thinking oh my God I feel asleep at 4 minutes in.  Or you go to their website and they have their videos in long version and short version.  It’s like, is there 1 person in the entire world who has ever clicked on the long version?  I cannot imagine so.  You know what I’m saying?  Sometimes it’s just those little sound bytes.  Cisco is one of our clients and we are doing some work with them on their collaboration platform which is called Cisco Spark.  I’ve done a series of little video vignettes where I just record like 45 seconds of video talking about a hack, or something else that I have explored on the platform.  I do that video and put that video on Twitter.  The views that video has gotten and the performance of that video far outweighs anything that the company has produced because it’s just me, ordinary, average person talking about whatever.  And you believe me because I have that credibility. So I do think there are some great ways that brands can embrace this.  Again, it’s a little bit of a head scratcher because what we are talking about, this is not new ground.  This is the same message that we have been telling our clients for the last 5 years.

Joel Capparella:  You are right.  I know.

Shelly Kramer:  It is a slow progression and I do believe we are seeing people getting there.  It is those brands who step out on a limb and who understand that and are willing to take some risks, I think, that ultimately stand to reap the greatest benefits.  The reality of it is for people like you and people like me, it’s also job security because there is always a need for what we do and what we can bring to the table, so I won’t complain about that.  It would be nice to see a greater understanding of this and a little bit more adoption and I think that when brands do this is what they will see is, again, so much opportunity for a competitive advantage and that’s the kind of thing that gets me excited.  You know?  I want to win.

Joel Capparella:  Yeah, I agree with that.  As you were talking there I was thinking about your example with Cisco and the little things you discovered on the platform.  That may actually be a good place to start.  I had Jay Baer on my podcast last year when he released Hug Your Haters and it was a fascinating discussion because at the time, and if you haven’t read the book it’s about Customer Service and handling it in the social world and embracing the people that complain the loudest.  In part of our discussion we talked about the curation of support that happens today.  There are tiers of support that didn’t even exist 10 years ago, where most companies will encourage you to go look at their online forums and then when you get deeper into the problem maybe it’s an online chat, and then maybe it’s a phone call.  But that is the last stop is the phone call.  And that’s all well and good, but there is gold to be found in those forums because that is where the real use of the product is happening.

Shelly Kramer:  Right.

Joel Capparella:  It’s where a lot of the drama is unfolding.  And that’s where I think the disconnect happens a lot of times because the good marketing teams have an eye on it and care about it.  But look, let’s be honest, they are so busy doing other things that they probably are relieved that they don’t have to keep an eye on customer support and curation of the online forums.  If you are watching this or listening to this and thing gee, I like all this but where can I get started to create content that is aligned with our story and our narrative but also empowers and enables our sales team?  I would suggest diving into those areas of your online support forums because you are going to find some really good gold.  And what’s awesome about that is it should also help Product Managers of the world too, right?  They have a bevy of use cases that are in there as well.  So you find things in places you wouldn’t normally expect to see them.  But you are right.  It’s puzzling to me because here we are, it’s 2017 for God sakes, right?  None of this is new.  It’s great for folks like you and me, but I cannot figure out why there hasn’t been more development in this area.  I think some of this has to do with the disruption is really unsettling, even today.  The disruption and the accessibility of media and how we do it and how it impacts our business model.  It’s hard to break things and do things new so I think that might have something to do with it, but who knows?

Shelly Kramer:  I think that part of it has to do with the progression that we have seen is social media.  It’s so important.  Everyone needs to be on social and content marketing is so important and everyone needs to embrace content marketing.  Because of course content was just invented, right?  Not.  And then it has progressed to leads, leads, everything has to be tied to leads.  But the reality of it is so many brands, very large ones and very small ones, think they have social covered by sending 1 tweet a day and they have content covered because they are publishing crappy content on their blogs 3 times a week, that, by the way, nobody is reading. I wonder why?  They have case studies and white papers all gated down on their sight and nobody is accessing them.  But they are there on the website, right?  So they are thinking, I’ve got this box checked, I’ve got the content box checked, I’ve got the social box checked.  And they just suck.  You don’t have the box checked.  You don’t.  It’s really understanding how all of this stuff works together and how your social, how your content, how your email, how your marketing automation.  And the other thing is, we write a lot of content for our clients.  One of the first places I head when I’m about to start ideating some content?  I spend an afternoon with the Customer Service team.  People on the front lines, taking the customer calls.

Joel Capparella:  Yep!

Shelly Kramer:  Fielding the customer emails.  Because you know what they know?  Everything that the customers care about.

Joel Capparella:  Absolutely.  And they have heard it a thousand times too, right?

Shelly Kramer:  Right!  So, it’s like, where do you start?  Absolutely the forums are a great place.  If you have a forum you should be hanging out there.  But if you don’t have a forum or even if you do, go spend time with your Customer Service team.  They know all the great things about your products and they know all the crummy things about your products.  They know what the pain points of customers are.  It’s those things that you sometimes don’t get from your sales team and that we, as marketers, need to understand to help us do a better job.  But I also would say that we can’t stop beating the drum about the importance of connecting all of these things.  Social plays a roll, and looking at your sales teams LinkedIn profiles, and any other social profiles and helping them understand the role that they play.  Helping them understand how to find tune them.  If they don’t know how or don’t have time to, do it for them.  Making them the hero’s and building them up as thought leaders, as problem solvers, I think that will go a long way towards success when it comes to not only success with all these initiatives, but with the adoption.  That’s where we will start to see those numbers go up in terms of how many sales people are really buying into what we are doing, the strategies that we are putting together as marketers, and the tools that we are giving them.

Joel Capparella:  I agree with you about spending time with the Customer Support team.  One of the things I always do with my clients is say hey, do you have an Inside Sales team? The larger ones always do.  I say, well, can I sit with them.  It’s funny because the Marketing firm is kind of puzzled, like why would you want to do that?  But that’s one of the first things I will do is listen in on their calls and some of them record their calls for training and quality purposes so I will get some of the recordings.  We talk about the customer service side of the equation and finding out what the customer are really wrestling with and struggling with in trying to do and what they care about.  Sitting with the sales team all you have to do is listen to 2-3 of them from the best Inside Sales Rep or Business Development Rep, because they all have a system.  They aren’t reinventing it when they call.  They know where they need to get the guy or gal in the pipeline.  They know exactly how to do it, the questions to ask, the objections to overcome.  I listen to that.  And now you know that White Paper that nobody is reading that is 30 pages long that no one will ever download and even if they do no one will read it?   Well now I can find, okay, these objections that you always run into?  I know this is buried in the White Paper, so we are going to pull it out.  We are going to put that into a blog post.  We are going to put that guy, maybe you, or maybe a customer, talking about it for 30 seconds and maybe turn it into a funny meme or whatever nonsense that might be.  We are going to have you write about it on LinkedIn and lo and behold now you are really getting a lot out of what you are developing on a regular basis.  It will prove fruitful because that development rep, when I hand it to him and say you know that objection you get?  Here’s that piece that addresses that exact thing.  And by the way, it’s here, here and here.  And we’ve written some emails that maybe you can use.  And another thing too, more and more of them are starting to use CRM for their purposes, not just their bosses, to build their own sequences.  If you arm a good Business Development Rep or a Sales Rep with that stuff and he or she is going to do great things with it.

Shelly Kramer:  All you need, I think, is a handful of those success cases to help start turning the rest of your business development team onto, you know, this really works.  It really works.  The good thing about sales people is we are all competitive.  I may be a marketer, but I’m a sales person too.  Well, we have had a great show today.  Thank you so much Joel, for joining me and for sharing your expertise on this topic.  Obviously, it’s something that we both are immersed in on a daily basis and care a lot about.  You have been awesome.  Thanks so much.

Joel Capparella:  Shelly, I really enjoyed it and want to thank you for having me on.

Joel Capperella brings over 20 years of business developing, pipeline building, revenue increasing strategic marketing execution. He helps create habits that connect story to sales which helps his clients get more. More marketplace awareness, more conversations with the right people, and more revenue more quickly. He has worked with companies of all sizes. From juggernauts like SAP and Oracle, small startups with new injections of cash, and the entrepreneur.


Photo Credit: Fundamental Advisory Flickr via Compfight cc

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”

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