Six things I learned in a sales bootcamp that can help marketers
Earlier this year, I was invited to apply for HubSpot’s Pipeline Generation Bootcamp. We are fans of HubSpot and I wanted to learn more about how I could effectively explain the platform and inbound methodology to our current and prospective customers. I didn’t realize how much I would thoroughly enjoy HubSpot director Dan Tyre and his take on “smarketing” (“you put your sales in my marketing”). I took away a lot of things from Dan and the cohort of 1618 “lions”, here are six that bridged the gap between sales and marketing:
Personalization – Sales and marketing both use personas. Sales often has direct 1:1 conversations with prospects, meaning that they have to personalize their connection with prospects and quickly make their content relevant to the individual. Marketers have the opportunity to better utilize personalization in their content to help customers make the right product choice.
Your brand positioning matters – The better you can be about focusing what it is that you stand for, what it is that you are offering and whom you are offering it to, the easier it will be for you to find and communicate with your prospects and the happier your existing customers will be. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Salespeople know this. They actively eliminate barriers to their sales. Marketers can be better about focusing messaging to attract the right kind of consumers. They can eliminate the “friction” in customers’ buying process by improving the user experience.
Have a helping mindset – No one wants to be sold to; not by marketers nor by sales people. Most everyone likes to be helped. Listen to your customers. Provide them with resources that can help them. Even if it means buying from someone else. (Remember Santa Claus in “Miracle on 34th Street”?) This might actually get you more business in the long run through referrals and word of mouth.
Image resource: commonsensemedia.org
Practice gratitude – Saying “thank you” and meaning it is powerful. It builds loyalty with existing customers and helps prospects know that you are looking to help them. Anne Lamott’s “Help, Thanks, Wow: The three essential prayers” are relevant to all human relationships, including sales and marketing.
Do the work – Everyone thinks that they can “do marketing” since everyone receives marketing in some fashion. The reality is that it takes work. You have to put in the time and effort. Plans must be made and execution must follow. Measurement and accountability are paramount. The same is true for sales. A sales professional who doesn’t know their product, who doesn’t take the time to understand their customer and their needs will not succeed. Putting in the time to do the work helps both marketers and salespeople succeed.
Inbound philosophy – That’s the common theme. If you create valuable and relevant content and provide it to your customers then you are engaging in inbound. And both sales and marketing benefit from the concepts of inbound.
And a seventh for good measure:
“Pipeline is freeing” – This quote is thanks to Alex Langshur at Cardinal Path. He wasn’t part of this session, but his concept is the point of the bootcamp. Our clients know this. They invest in both sales and marketing to make sure that they have a strong pipeline of customers to allow them to maintain or grow their business at the level they would like. We help them analyze and build these pipelines to allow them to hit their goals and objectives. We build strategies and create valuable content to allow their prospects to engage meaningfully. We don’t tell our customers to sit by their phone and hope that it rings – and they wouldn’t need us if that’s all it takes for them to succeed. The same is true for our own business. By connecting and helping more great people, who are looking for performance marketing solutions, we can grow ourselves.