As depicted in this vintage 1980’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial sometimes when seemingly different worlds collide good things can happen.
With marketers now assuming full responsibility for converting their opportunities into revenue, success is most likely going to happen, after having “their special brand of chocolate” mixed with some “sales peanut butter.”
While I am firmly in the camp who believes that accelerating and closing a sales pipeline requires an entirely different business model and skill sets than generating initial hand raisers; that conviction withstanding, companies benefit immensely when sales and marketing efforts come together.
Marketers “throwing opportunities over the fence” and patting themselves on the back for a job well done just further alienate their salespeople and continuing that practice won’t help move customers to revenue closure.
For most sales situations a freshly supplied customer opportunity is the start of the sales journey and not the final destination. No matter how apparently qualified a lead may be, these newly minted opportunities are still miles away from sales closures.
To move opportunities to closure marketers must move beyond anonymous persona’s and into the sales trenches with their sales brethren.
Getting more deeply involved in the selling process is especially crucial for marketers supporting sales opportunities characterized by complex solutions with complicated decision cycles.
It is why I vehemently maintain that, under these types of scenarios, it requires a separate and dedicated organizational focus.
Understanding decision-making processes and role gaps in supporting current opportunity decisions are essential knowledge gaps to solve by marketers to bring current opportunities to sales closure.
While getting into the business of sales is a new paradigm for most Digital Marketers and can feel awkward and intrusive if these marketing opportunities are ultimately going to lead to sales, then they need to be evaluated and nurtured in the context of an identified decision-making process.
To gain the necessary insight to move these opportunities to deal closure sales organizations must be equally open to having their marketing departments “dip their chocolate” into “sales’ peanut butter.”
It is critical that marketers and salespeople work collaboratively while further blending their talents to achieve their common objective.
As a marketer, I don’t want to run deal cycles, but if I am ultimately responsible for closing these opportunities, I need to have insight into the current unknowns.
Simply put, I need to know what we know and don’t know. For example, what is our strength of engagement with those five or six different purchasing roles, often cited by the industry pundits, as being involved in most purchasing decisions today?
This type of question and others are the unknowns organizations must answer and confirm to bring opportunities to closure.
While intent signals indicate who may be interested, it does not mean those individuals are qualified to influence or make a purchase.
As simplistic as it seems, the companies that understand, address and ultimately satisfy decision making gaps eventually win.
The most significant obstacle to successfully accelerating pipeline is that most acceleration programs take place in the absence of the necessary dialogue that needs to occur between the marketing and sales departments.
As a result, Marketing too many times spends precious resources reaching out to and nurturing to the unknown. Not every responder and hand raiser is of equal value; someplace within a company’s acceleration pipeline strategy, they must accurately assess what they have before they decide what to do next.
By blending the unique talents of sales and marketing focused on a common goal; like the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, companies can create something equally unique and as enduring for their companies.