Salespeople Today Have It Easy!


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While reviewing a recent strategy document I had written regarding lead management, I found myself thinking back to when I was a salesperson. I was thinking about the lack of tools we had back then and how easy it must be for salespeople today.

I started my first BtoB sales job right after college. The year was 1988. I was given a sales territory, a file cabinet full of documents from a dozen current accounts, a phone, a desk, and a very large quota. It wasn’t much to work with, but it was all I had. The rest was up to me.

When I took over my territory I was handed a bunch of files filled with orders, invoices and a host of other documents that in no way gave me a good history of what had happened with the account before I took it over. I didn’t have a CRM system that had a complete account history and reminded me of who to follow up with and when. I wrote things down on a pad of paper and hoped I didn’t lose it.

Another thing I didn’t have was a marketing department to help me score and nurture leads. Back then, the corporate marketing would buy lists and then send them to salespeople in the field. This list had some good leads, but most of them were bad. The problem was that it was up to me to figure out which was which, and it took me a lot of time to do it. We didn’t use the term lead nurturing back then, but the concept of staying in touch with clients that weren’t ready to buy also fell on my shoulders. Sometimes I did a decent job at this, often times I didn’t. It all depended on how busy I was at the time. Nowadays, lead nurturing is done by the corporate marketing. They create the content and use marketing automation software to send out ebooks, webinar invitations, and blog posts; scoring the leads and sending only the sales-ready leads to sales. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that salespeople today really do have it easy.

I say all this this tongue-in-cheek. Salespeople today face a whole different set of challenges than I did twenty years ago. It is almost impossible to get a hold of anyone on the phone, vendor loyalty is a thing of the past, margins are razor thin, and decision by committee is now the norm. The point is that the field of marketing has come so far over the past 20 years. Today’s marketing professional has so many tools available to them to communicate with clients, build relationships, and help salespeople be more productive, and I think many of today’s salespeople take this for granted. It is the same thing as trying to explain to my 15 year old son how it was for me to be his age without a cell phone. He just doesn’t get it.

The sad part is, given all these advancements, there are still many BtoB marketing departments that are still acting as if we are back in the 80’s. They are not using the tools and strategies to generate, score, nurture, distribute and measure their lead generation activities. For many it is because of a resource issue, for others, it is a question of having the will to change.

David Corr
David Corr is a Marketing Director at Contech Engineered Solutions. He is an experienced marketing executive that helps organizations build awareness, generate leads, and engage their target audience. David has a rich work history that encompasses all aspects of BtoB marketing included sales, sales training, product management, marketing operations, branding, and communications. David holds Bachelor Degrees in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, and an MBA from the University of Dayton.


  1. While I may not have the complete breadth and widsom of a prior sales position, I completely relate to these sentiments and give this thought a two-thumbs up!


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