I am somewhat new to the marketing game. When I started my selling career in 1993 (I really started in 1978, but that’s another story) the idea of marketing was left to the big companies and the companies I worked for didn’t advertise because they had salespeople. The idea was, “why would I want to spend money on marketing when I could just hire more salespeople?”
Times – Changing
I recently heard a stat that claimed 75% of all buying decisions are already made by the time a consumer picks up the phone and calls a company to inquire about their product. I believe we have the internet to thank for this. I know I personally do this when I am ready for a new car, house… you know major ticket item. I have also found myself doing research on minor ticket times as well… It has become a habit.
The big challenge with searching and doing research on something like AP Automation is all in the source. To get good information you must have a good, credible source. One of the biggest sources of research is a company’s website. The problem with that is a company won’t (and sometime can’t) tell you what their short falls are so you can objectively evaluate their software and service. I know this will sound like a personal plug, but this is the reason why I write books, and it’s also the reason why I think my books are popular because it takes a lot more effort and research to get a book published rather than getting a website published.
I could have spent more time on the problem, but to be clear when you don’t know about something you have a very difficult time researching objectively the pluses and minuses of the offering. This is why sales and marketing do the same thing but different. We are each in the business of teaching. The better we can teach the better we can, in marketing’s case, attract the right type of companies and in sales, work on the right deals. This is the key, qualification. Both sales and marketing has to be excellent qualifiers. Both groups are ultimately judged and how well each qualifies. The notion that a lead from marketing is fully qualified isn’t a possibility in our industry. The reason being, without a conversation, a salesperson is unable to know what the assumptions of the prospective company is. Plus, I like to tell young salespeople this, if we were able to generate fully qualified leads from marketing, why would we need salespeople?
To Be Clear
Sales and marketing do the same thing… teach. The better each is at communicating and diagnosing the customer’s needs the better each will do. The downside of this is, in order to be an effective teacher you really have to know your subject matter. That means, not only your product, which is where most sales and marketers start and stop, but to know how the customer uses the product and services, what the impact to the organization and the landscape of the industry including competition. There is a lot to know before you can teach!
Want to know more? Buy My Books!
To buy the book – The Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE Not Fire – click here to buy
(Also) To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy
How about a children’s book? The Princess and the Paper – click here to buy
About The Author:
Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people that started AvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact us for more information
Categories: Sales - Selling Process