Cease Fire! Five Things You Can Begin Today to Tighten Sales-Marketing Alignment

Cease-Fire-4There they were in the middle of my desk…

… a little stack of computerized forms which I had received from someone in marketing. HP had conducted a tradeshow somewhere in the world, and a handful of people from Dallas had wandered into their booth. The slips were a signal to me to call these visitors and inquire about the multi-million-dollar purchase they were clearly poised to make.

Marketing had done their job. They had planned and conducted the event, and had carefully collected the names and contact information of all the visitors, and put them on my desk. Now it was up to me!

I knew from experience that the vast majority of those slips had been generated because the visitor wanted to get whatever tchotchkes we were giving out, and not because they had any near term need for our products and services.

When I was a new salesman, I would feel guilty about the stack, and I might even call one or two of them. Typical response: Barely any memory of the trade show. No interest in more discussion. What a waste!

As I became more experienced, and more bold, I would let the stack sit there for about a day for before I moved it quietly, but directly, into the wastebasket. That was the view from my foxhole, in the passive-aggressive war between sales and marketing.

Of course, marketing had a view from their foxhole! They had worked very hard for months and spent huge amounts of money to conduct that event. The least “those salespeople” could do would be to follow up on the leads. No feedback ever came back. Why bother? Why spend all that money? What a waste!

Sound familiar?

There is a better way. But sales and marketing have to crawl out of their foxholes, and talk about it. They need to change what they talk about, how they cooperate, and the actions they both must take to build the company brand, and generate short term business.

In this video from my blog and several which follow it, my colleague Susan Tormollen and I discuss how sales and marketing can work together to win. … how to spend most of our time battling the competition, and not each other… and how we did it at a new business unit of HP.

Cease fire!

(See the blog history for  follow-on posts 2 and 3)