By Rory J. Thompson, Web Editor
To be honest, pretty much the last thing on a lot of working folks’ minds these days is, work. Chanukah is here, Christmas is coming, and New Year’s Eve is just down the road. It’s understandable if you’re distracted.
But don’t let that distraction blind you to the fact that 2015 will be here before you know it, and along with it will come the new challenges that a New Year always brings. It’s certainly something that Kevin Thornton has devoted some thought to.
Thornton is EVP of Sales and Marketing at VanillaSoft, providers of the industry's leading software for Sales by Phone (News - Alert). In a recent blog post, he looked at the big picture of sales in general.
“It’s a great time of year to catch your breath – for a minute – then dig in and start really preparing to hit the ground running in January,” Thornton wrote. “To help you make those preparations, I’ve put together my thoughts on … key areas where you can make an impact in 2015.”
In doing so, Thornton identifies what he calls the “Three P’s” of sales and marketing alignment, and spells them out. They are:
People: “Members of both the Sales team and the Marketing team need to be aligned,” Thornton notes. “This alignment occurs when both teams share a common language (build a list of definitions about what a marketing qualified lead is, what a sales accepted lead is, etc.); a common purpose (revenue goals, etc.); a common target (shared understanding of target personas); and a common culture (use complementary tools, understand product benefits/features in the same way, understand buyers in the same way).”
Processes: “As part of that common culture you build, you need to ensure the processes of both teams are aligned,” Thornton emphasizes. “Hold each team accountable to their part of the process through reporting and measurement.”
Platforms: “Many organizations try to force everyone in the Sales & Marketing organization into the same platforms,” he points out. “Marketing automation tools help the marketers; CRM solutions help customer service and account managers. Don’t forget that your ‘sales hunters’ need their own solution – queue-based lead management or sales automation tools that enables them to effectively and productively go after and close those leads that the marketing team is generating.”
In short, it’s all about making sales personal. As Thornton sums up, “The truly savvy sales teams will also take their messages to where the competition isn’t: the desks, the phones, and the face-to-face meetings with potential customers. They will seize the opportunity to build personal connections and help buyers filter through the clutter to find the right solutions to their problems.”
Edited by Stefania Viscusi