How to make the switch from sales to marketing


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Yesterday we covered several recommendations for marketing professionals making the jump to sales. But it works the other way as well. In fact, I’d argue some of the most successful transitions have been from sales to marketing, especially in B2B situations. Why? Here are six best practices that have driven success from those who head from sales to marketing.

1. Live and die by your numbers
In B2B marketing, it’s a very good thing to think about your work product and output as binary and metrics-driven. Define, up front, what your goals are and focus everything in that direction. Make adjustments on a regular basis based on what’s most effectively driving you to those numbers. In sales, the “my numbers drive my income” mentality is as real as it gets. Don’t hit your number, don’t get paid. Most marketers are on a more stable income, but the “numbers” mentality definitely drives more focused behavior.

2. The goal is the close, not the lead
Too many marketers assume their job is done when the lead is delivered. Not so. Nobody makes money until the lead is closed, and smart marketers both learn from what happens after the lead is delivered (to make future lead production better) and work collaboratively with sales to provide tools, messaging, case studies and more to increase both immediate and long-term lead conversion. If you’re coming from sales into marketing, continue to assume the goal is the close, and nothing before that.

3. Be scrappy and fire lots of bullets
Whether they recognize it or not, salespeople are testing all the time. Trying new messages in voicemails, digging into new cold call lists, getting up every day thinking about how they might break through a new market, a new account. No matter how good a month you have, next month you start again at zero. This requires salespeople (and marketers) to be scrappy, to be creative every day, to fire a lot of bullets to see what sticks. There’s a level of discipline and measurement required to make sense of that scrappiness, but it’s the only way to eventually find what works better.

4. Keep the urgency to close business
In general, marketers don’t feel the same urgency as the sales team. If the month ends and the leads are down, everybody still gets paid. If the month ends and the sales rep doesn’t hit commission, it not only hits them in their pocketbook, but also likely means a conversation with the sales manager about performance and the next month’s plan. There’s a difference between staying scrappy and staying hungry. This is about staying hungry. Salespeople come to work every day and fight for their lives. Marketers could use some of the same fire, and former salespeople naturally bring that.

5. Use your active listening skills, internally and externally
Good salespeople spend more time listening than talking. They let their prospects answer questions, explain their problems and needs, and respond in kind with solutions. Active listening is, of course, a really good skill to have in any work environment, but especially in marketing when your job is to mobilize customers based on their inherent needs (which, by the way, are constantly changing). Listen more externally and you’ll be a better marketer. Listen more internally and your learning curve will accelerate more quickly.

6. Read….a lot
Quickly build a list of what your new peers are reading. Find other sources of information – about marketing and about your market – to dig into on a regular basis. Invest extra time at the beginning of the day, on the bus home and at night devouring as much information as you can. Ideally, you keep that hunger for more knowledge and information about your industry and your craft, but up front you’ll more quickly become a better marketer and contributor to your team by investing in what’s already been done and learned.

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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