People.ai

You didn’t think we’d post about the biggest misconceptions the sales team has about marketing without sharing the sales team’s side of the story, did you?

The sales and marketing divide isn’t just caused by the sales team’s lack of understanding around the value of the marketing team. It’s also due to a few key misconceptions marketers have about sales. Read on for the most common.

Myth 1: Sales is just a numbers game—so, the more leads the better

To be fair, marketing often gets this impression from being given goals like “generate 250,000 leads in Q4 and 10x the pipeline.” Realistically, how many companies are the right target for your company’s product or services? And how many contacts would you be able to reach within those companies?
The sales team doesn’t necessarily need a larger quantity of leads, they need a steady stream of the right leads. That requires sales and marketing to work together and use data to identify the characteristics of their ideal leads, and the ideal customer journey to close them.

Myth 2: Sales spends all of its budget wining and dining prospects

I’m pretty sure some marketers think the life of a salesperson was all hip cocktail hours and Michelin starred restaurants 24/7. Yes, we do spend a good amount of time and budget getting to know prospects face-to-face over a meal. But it’s not all French Laundry-level eating. And the fanciness of the restaurant isn’t the point.

We pick a restaurant for a sales meeting that’s nice enough they won’t say no, and quiet enough we can actually talk, because the whole point of the meeting is to understand how we can help the customer. What are the challenges their business is facing? Who else do we need to engage with in the organization? What blockers exist for the deal? Although you can sometimes glean this information from phone calls and emails, there’s still no real substitute for an in-person conversation.

Myth 3: A good salesperson can sell anything— they don’t need sales enablement

Ah, the enduring myth of the natural born salesperson. In addition to any innate talent, a salesperson also needs the right tools and training to get the job done. It’s unrealistic to expect a new salesperson to join the team and immediately hit the ground running. We need product knowledge, competitive battle cards, demo training, and solid messaging to do our jobs.

And that’s why we need a collaborative relationship with the marketing team, who can help to deliver that critical enablement and help us nurture relationships from leads to customers.

Myth 4: All of today’s selling happens online

If the amount of email we all send and receive each day was any indicator, you’d think that there’s very little reason for salespeople to ever get up from the laptop. But selling is and always has been a relationship game. That’s why you’ll see us attending industry events and visiting customers and prospects in person, despite the expensive video conferencing setup in the boardroom. While all things digital have transformed the selling process today, there’s still no replacement for face time. (see Myth #2!)

Myth 5: Sales will do anything to close a deal

I’m sure many of you remember that scene in Glengarry Glenn Ross (NSFW) where Alec Baldwin tells the sales team that the only thing that counts is getting customers to sign on the dotted line and they should “always be closing.”

So here’s the thing. Yes, your sales team is incentivized to close deals. But they’re rarely going to lie, cheat, or steal their way to get that closed deal. Sure, there is always some salesperson somewhere who makes a bunch of promises that the product and success teams can’t deliver on. But if over time you are only bringing on short-term deals that end poorly, you’re not going to be part of the sales team for long.

To find out how to harness the insights from your sales activity data to close the sales and marketing divide, schedule a People.ai demo today.