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Do we really need salespeople anymore?

Chris Field
Chris Field

Do we really need salespeople anymore? Of course we do – but it’s a discussion worth having, given how many salespeople still say marketing is fluff.

I’ve said before that marketing is coming to eat sales’ lunch. Prospects are shopping up to 90% of the sales cycle remotely – through the internet, media, their network – and only marketing can really monitor their progress through that journey and provide the metrics to validate it.

Sales, naturally, really only want the leads for prospects to agree to meetings, but few salespeople are journey mapping in the way marketing does. In fact, I have seen examples of marketing getting into the pre-sales cycle and only backing off at the actual pitch stage. After all, we’re not here to take commission off salespeople. Although, I have been tempted!

I am the sales guy at Fieldworks, so I am feeling the same pain as my clients’ sales teams. I’m on both sides of the argument so I realise that, as I keep saying, sales and marketing need to work together, but there is a lot of difficulty on the way to achieving this, given how they have both worked at opposite ends of a barge pole for so long.

Bringing people who think, speak and act differently together is never going to be easy, and I’m not going to suggest otherwise, but need each other. We absolutely do.

Think for a second about the vast resources and effort required to bring in new business and you can quickly see that taking people out and replacing them with automation is not going to work, unless you are selling mobile phone accessories to consumers.

In high value, senior decision maker, long cycle sales, into a competitive market, sales and marketing need to work even more closely together to bring home the bacon. The journey is already complex, at times messy, and bloody hard work, but remember how we all feel when the business comes in. It’s worth the effort.

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