How to make the switch from marketing to sales


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I’m seeing an increasing number of marketing professionals make the leap to direct sales in recent months. It’s a smart move, both for disciplined individuals who want the upside of variable income as well as those smart folks who know they’ll be better long-term marketers with direct sales experience. Below are several recommendations for those making the jump from marketing to sales.

Keep watching (and learning from) your numbers
As a marketer, you’ve been used to watching the metrics behind your campaigns, the conversion rates of your lead generation waterfall, and so on. Use those same metrics to manage your own sales pipeline and performance. How many leads do you need to create an opportunity? How many return calls to a prospect does it take to reach them live? How do you manage your own daily activity to hit the pipeline growth and closed business goals in front of you?

Take the customer’s perspective
Marketing doesn’t work unless you’re speaking the customer’s language, offering benefits that solve their problems. There is no more acute place to recognize this than the sales floor. Marketers may occasionally get credit for producing materials that don’t hit the customer mark, but sales professionals rarely get that kind of leeway. Taking the customer’s perspective is the only way to efficiently find and close business as a sales professional.

Values first
Lead with features and you’re dead in the water. Talk about product details too early and you’ll lose credibility with the prospect, let alone their business. Lead with values. Benefits. Outcomes. Responses to the customer’s needs, problems and priorities. Ask questions to identify or confirm these if need be, but let your sale be about the value first.

Writing skills are crucial
Successful marketers are also typically good writers. And the written word is still a critical tool for every sales professional. It’s how they persuade and sell not just in email and written communications, but it comes across in how they organize their spoken word as well.

Practice social selling
Not enough sales professionals have tested, let alone mastered, the art of finding buying signals and qualified prospects on the social Web. Use your knowledge of social channels and identifying the keywords, phrases and qualifying statements/questions by prospects to gather a steady stream of new future sales for yourself.

Nurture marketing = Nurture selling
Most prospects are qualified but not ready to buy. This is the basis for lead nurturing programs on the marketing side, but the same methodology applies to your sales pipeline. Deals will take much longer than you think (or expect, or hope). Prospects will take longer to re-engage, get back to you, get in the mindset to buy. Be patient. Work a bigger pipeline. Stay with them. Because when they do close, you want them closing with you.

Learn from the masters
Sit down with established, successful sales reps. Ask questions, sure, but more importantly watch them in action. Listen to them on the phone. Watch how they manage their day. Learn from their focus, their instincts, their discipline.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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