How can sales & marketing get along?

How can sales & marketing get along?
by Lynn Wittenburg – January 2014

I’m often asked how sales & marketing should work together and if they can. There always seems to be tension between the two in most sports organizations, even though fundamentally they should be integrated.

Since I spent eight years selling tickets before crossing over into the world of marketing, the answer seems pretty simple to me. So here goes…..

For the Marketers

Remember you are there to SELL. That’s it. Pretty simple. No matter what industry you are in, you are selling something. In sports, it’s tickets, partnerships, merchandise, your brand (and on and on). You serve SALES. PERIOD. END OF STORY. In fact, you serve your entire organization. So,

Step 1: Understand their goals and objectives.
Step 2: Meet with them regularly in case their goals/objectives change. And not just with the managers. Get to the people ACTUALLY answering the phone.
Step 3: Repeat this until you get it and adjust accordingly.

For the Sales People

  1. Remember YOU are there to SELL. So, focus on your job. In sports, sales is still a numbers game.
  2. Track every sale you can. This really helps marketing since DATA DRIVES DECISIONS.
  3. Give Marketing constant feedback on what is working and what makes the phones ring or makes your job easier.
  4. Know the Marketing Campaign and incorporate it where you can.

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My sales pet peeve

Often, sales people go by gut. Here’s a sample conversation:

Salesperson: “The phones were ringing like crazy today”
Me: “Really, how many calls?”
Salesperson: “I don’t know; a lot.”
Me: “Well, what made them call?”
Salesperson: “I don’t know. I didn’t really ask.”
Me: BANGING HEAD ON DESK UNTIL I NEED ASPIRIN with thought bubble rising to the ceiling, “You think it could have been marketing?”[/dropshadowbox]

To sum up for both:  CONSTANTLY COMMUNICATE

I can’t promise if you’re in sales you will always get someone in marketing who understands selling and truly knows their job is to help you. And I can’t promise  the marketing department that sales will ever get the big picture and all you are tasked with. When you are focused on building the BRAND, not every message will be a sales one. That’s a good thing that salespeople don’t often get.

But, I do know this: Organizations cannot survive without these two departments aligned and working as one team. So, start talking. Tweet @LynnWitt below or post to your LinkedIn page!


Cover photo courtesy of Certified Su.

Leading: Popping the Self-Delusion Bubble

Leading: Popping the Self-Delusion Bubble
by Dan Rockwell – February 2013

Waking up

I woke up this morning disturbed at the subtlety of self-delusion. The trouble with delusion is illusion.

What do you call someone who believes they’re:

  1. Supportive but demanding, instead.
  2. Humble but in reality, arrogant.
  3. Listening when they’re talking.
  4. Able to do everything “right” while others fall short.
  5. Informed when they don’t know.

You call them deluded leaders.

Deluded leaders falsely believe intentions automatically translate into behaviors. You intend to be supportive so you must be supportive, right?

Deluded leaders believe they’ve mastered the things they tell others to do. Consider the pursuit of excellence, for example. Are you always improving the work of others but doing things the same yourself?

On excellence

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Mike Mahoney
Mike Mahoney

“When you get feedback on your performance remember that it is business, not personal, so don’t get defensive. It is hard for people to bring up negative things so appreciate they cared enough to help you correct your behavior and make the necessary adjustments.”
[/dropshadowbox]
How do you respond to:

  1. Suggestions about your behavior?
  2. Criticism about the way you handle tough conversations?
  3. Improvements suggested by underlings that impact you personally?

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving for better. Can you name one thing you’re striving to improve in your leadership? Can you name three things you’re doing to improve it? Do those under you know and participate? Or, are you deceived by intention.

You pursue excellence for others but not for yourself. The discomfort others feel in telling you the truth says you aren’t approachable. When was the last time you invited someone to speak into your frailties?

Get real

Leaders serve.

You’re not special, better than, or more important. Thinking you are deludes you.

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  1. Conform to them rather than demanding they conform to you.
  2. Focus on them; stop expecting them to focus on you.
  3. Their success is your success.
  4. Fuel their passions not yours.
  5. Serve them; they don’t serve you.[/dropshadowbox]

Leaders who don’t serve rely on authority and coercion. They pressure rather than enable. Saying and telling aren’t serving.

I don’t know how you feel. But, I feel better. I needed that reminder and I bet you did, too.

Discuss with your team

How can leaders address the self-delusion issue?

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