OK, maybe hate is too strong a word… but sales people are emotional…anyway…I’m just a lowly junior advertising account executive. So, why listen to me?
Well, for one thing, I just spent two years getting my MBA in marketing from a business school you’ve probably actually heard of. And now that I’m in the business, I get to see how well real life stacks up to what I learned in B-school. Or doesn’t.
And I see a definite disconnect.
How the undeclared war between sales and marketing can derail the most brilliant branding campaign ever.
Trust me. I’m very observant and see and hear things that busier people miss. And I’m low enough on the totem pole that I’m not threatening to anyone. So let me rephrase my question.
Do you feel that your sales people hate you? Do they seem to be ignoring you? Do they seem to be giving you a hard time?
Picture yourself in this scenario, which I saw recently as I was trolling a big technology trade show. There you are – armed with your very cool trade show booth with all the bells and whistles. A video, a computer monitor with interactive software, the works.
You started the day feeling great. After all, you just spent 12 months of your life doing impeccable research and developing a whole new marketing campaign with utterly brilliant new messaging, a killer website and all new sales materials that you brought to hand out at the show. You’re the master of integrated marketing. A digital diva.
Then you overhear what one of your sales reps is telling your customers – and the world comes crashing down on you. What he’s doing bears no resemblance to the stuff you just spent a year of agony creating. He’s handing out sales sheets you’ve never even seen before. As you look around, you’re mortified to see the other two sales reps are doing the same thing.
Your first response is, “How dare they, those arrogant little twits! I sent them copies of everything last week. If my boss sees this, I’m toast.”
Maybe they are arrogant twits. Maybe they’re so busy they overlooked your broadcast email when you did a data dump of all the new stuff. Maybe they don’t like you because you’re obnoxious, poorly dressed or have bad hair. Maybe it’s something else.
Maybe the culprit is that you all are not aligned.
Before your eyes glaze over at the thought of another business lecture, relax. Like I said, I’m just the low guy on the totem pole around here. I’m not selling anything.
But I‘m thinking you might want to check out something that could help avoid a potentially career-wrecking, relationship-destroying tradeshow debacle like the one I just described. Is your reputation worth a few minutes?
I plan to continue sharing my views on what works and what doesn’t in the world of branding and marketing as long as I have even one reader. Please stay tuned. Or if you have a particular topic you’d like me to expound on, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.