Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Sales And Marketing Lines Blurred Again - Part 2

In my previous post, I discussed the nature of sales process and CRM. The point of my post centered on how the great salespeople have a natural tendency to build networks of people that help drive their success. And that marketers have a bad habit of getting in the way of that!

In this post, I hope to center on messaging. To start, how many times have you seen a sales rep hold up marketing collateral and say, "really, we are sending this out? What does this even mean?" The sales rep is commenting on the gloriousness that marketers can't help but add to marketing materials (some call it fluff). Yes, we are addicted to it! However, the fluff doesn't sell, nor does your grand vision. What sells are stories about users engaging with your app, and simple bullet lists about features. Does your app do x, y or z? Yes or no? The best collateral is binary and simple, not so confusing that people lose you on the paragraph about how you want to change the world (so stop saying that shit).

Messaging is about clearly communicating to an audience that wants to hear you (where marketing can assist, greatly). It is telling great stories, and exciting people to spend another five minutes with you. It is 100% sales! Yes, I'm selling you to stay five more minutes because I might entertain or educate you to buy something (or spend your time doing something). That's not marketing, that's selling! 

And so the lines are blurred again... Marketers have an even tougher job now. We are burdened with two very important tasks... 1, trying to support the sales team with wonderful collateral and 2, developing a work-flow to support lead generation. If marketing is doing anything else, I'd suggest either firing them, or calling them Product Marketing (where the focus might be on developing spec sheets for the products you're selling to support engineering). Whatever the case, we need to think more about selling and less about brand. Frankly, your brand attributes are truly developed when someone takes a risk with your product or service (they either buy it or will spend time with it - that's consumers taking a risk). If your product delivers on the FEATURES and not the LIFE-CHANGING reality you've pitched, then you've won a fan, and grown your brand.

A few things to think about in developing messaging:
  1. Does it sell? If you're messaging comes off as "afraid to present a price" then you've lost! Present a sell, or the process to exchanging money for your product. 
  2. Does it excite? Any great sales rep makes you feel wonderful! They get to know you personally, and not only that, excite you to talk more. The nature of your collateral needs to focused on creating an exciting feeling - I want to buy now! 
  3. Does it inform? Sales is about exchanging binary information (this product does x, y and z). If your collateral isn't informational then you're wasting my time as a buyer! 
  4. Does it get to the point? See above... Don't waste my time! 
The best marketers aren't actually marketers, but advertising reps! When you think about it, marketing is just a big harry process map. What advertisers learned was how to sell products and services, not how to present silly vision maps about changing the world. Check out the video people from one of the best ad men ever! The point he makes is selling makes the world great (at least that's what I got out of it). 

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