Closing the gap between marketing and sales

Guest Post by Deborah Brown, Peppercom

December 8 - gap Years ago, I remember the marking manager of a client desperately ask, “Can Peppercom please help us? I don’t know how to get marketing and sales aligned. There’s virtually no communication and sales is off saying what they want to customers, while marketing is trying to instill consistency with our messages.  What do we do?” Several weeks later, with a sales consultant, Peppercom developed “Pain –Based Selling,” a program that aligns marketing and sales and closes the gap between what salespeople believe is keeping their customers up at night and what actually is. And, about a year later, co-founder Steve Cody co-authored a book on the topic entitled “What’s Keeping Your Customers Up At Night?”

Now, fast forward about seven years. And, guess what? Sadly, very little has changed. To be fair, there is some alignment in certain companies, but from my experience, it’s still very limited or – in other companies – doesn’t even exist. It seems absurd when the two disciplines can greatly benefit from one another. At Peppercom, we try to go on sales calls with clients so that we can understand how messages are resonating with key audiences and get feedback from customers and prospects. Even this is often challenging to schedule. Yet, when we do go on sales calls, we can immediately uncover important information that can further strengthen existing marketing and communications programs or give us ideas for future ones.

I’d like to pose this question to you:  Can your company survive if sales and marketing are on different teams? 

That’s the focus of a FREE webinar from Peppercom this Wednesday, December 9th , from 1pm-2pm EST.  “Coach Nick” Papadopoulos, Sky’s The Limit Corporation Founder and author of the sales book “Championship Selling,” Steve Cody, Co-Founder of strategic communications firm Peppercom, and Matt Schwartzberg, President of A-1 First Class Viking Moving & Storage will discuss this question and the formula for success in 2010. The panel will be moderated by Sam Ford, Peppercom’s Direct of Customer Insights and research affiliate with the Convergence Culture Consortium. The panel will discuss proven strategies for breaking down the walls, how to take advantage of the first signs of economic recovery, the difference alignment has made for A-1 First Class Viking Moving & Storage, and much more.

Please click here for more details.

It’s critical for marketing and sales to understand each others' role and value. Bridge the gap….before it’s so wide that your company falls through it into oblivion.

6 thoughts on “Closing the gap between marketing and sales

  1. Recent approaches in marketing is the relationship marketing with focus on the customer, the business marketing or industrial marketing with focus on an organization or institution and the social marketing with focus on benefits to the society.[8] New forms of marketing also uses the internet and are therefore called internet marketing or more generally e-marketing, online marketing, search engine marketing, desktop advertising or affiliate marketing. It tries to perfect the segmentation strategy used in traditional marketing. It targets its audience more precisely, and is sometimes called personalized marketing or one-to-one marketing.

  2. You make excellent points, Robert. VIP’s with blogs and twitter accounts shouldn’t receive special service. Comcast and JetBlue should provide it across the board. As for customer service, I’d love to have the opportunity to work with an organization to help close the gap between the experience one receives from customer service and a social media representative. Sadly, customer service is a numbers game, with the goal being to handle as many calls as possible. The same organization will take great pains, though, to engage in deep, ongoing customer conversations in the social media landscape. The smart corporations are the ones who will figure out a happy medium.

  3. Just listened to the webinar. In regards to Comcast what about the 1000s of customers who had the same disruption in service but do not have a blog? In regards to JetBlue what about the 100s of people who had the same delays but do not have a twitter account?
    Interesting enough you and your colleague became a VIP customer because of your voice. But what happens next time. Will your contact help you out everytime you have a problem with customer service? Will your colleague’s contact be meeting him/her at the airport every time there is a delay? Even if the anwer is yes how many people can JetBlue and Comcast do that for in order to keep them saying bad things about them?
    You talk about value added. How about focusing on helping customer service become rock stars. The fact is most of the times they are dealing with someone else’s problem. In your situation I think JetBlue would have been better addressing everybody’s fustration, not just yours. Perhaps JetBlue should hire amazing commedians and whenever there is a delay or a major problem they should dispatchthem them to the gates with the the goal to make people laugh, happy and forget about the screw up. I think we all realize that screw ups happen. The value add could be that the screws ups don’t have to be frustrating and agonizing. The problem with Comcast is that when there are major disruptions in service there customer service department gets overwhelmed with calls. They jusy don’t have the man/woman power to pick up the phones. They need to figure out a way to ramp up the number of people amswering the phone (instantly) when there is a problem. The technology alreaady exists to do this and is currently being employed by many of the fast food companies with their drive thu. I would hate to think I need to get a twitter account and a blog before someone makes me feel like they care about me.