Like many other sales people, I often attend trade shows to meet with clients and cultivate new prospects. The attendees at the shows I attend are often marketing and sales executives, which is great for me to make new contacts and learn about their company. As a seasoned sales executive I typically approach someone and ask a few questions about their business to understand what they do and see if they need our expertise. These questions often lead to a conversation about their sales and marketing teams, how they work together, processes and technology they use to manage their business, and I have learned quite a bit about how companies conduct business. I would like to share what I have learned from these conversations and experiences with you in this series of Tales from Trade Shows.
I approached a large booth of a large manufacturing firm recently, and introduced myself to a woman who said she was the marketing manager. We talked about the company, their marketing and sales departments, and when I asked who was responsible for the platforms they used for sales she let me know that it was her. This led to a line of discussion where I asked more specific questions in regards to which platforms, and who used them? After a bit she told me that she uses Pardot and Hubspot for marketing, awareness building primarily, but was not sure what the sales team used for their work.
I asked if she thought her marketing efforts supported sales? To which she responded "I hoped so", which led me to ask how the leads they gathered from her efforts, including this show, were filtered to the sales team? She said that marketing usually emails or sends each regional manager these leads and let's them distribute them to their team. This led me naturally to asked if company had any lead nurture process to follow-up with these leads? Her response was a bit surprising, she was unsure what that meant. After giving her a quick description she explained that marketing does their best to build awareness. I explained how Bottom Line Strategy Group helps our client's utilize their technology to do lead nurturing and lead qualification so sales can be more efficient and effective. At this point she became a bit defensive and said that is her job.
This conversation happens all too frequently, and presents a significant sales challenge for us. On one hand we are a threat, because like the woman in the example above, employees do not want to appear that they are not fully capable of utilizing the platforms their company has invested in for them. On the other hand, if someone is willing to learn and engage, we can be a great benefit to them, making them look like rockstars, and show impact to their company goals.
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Published by Rich Rutherford on
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