Salesperson gets on the phone to make a cold call. Salesperson uses script written by copywriter who has never had to make a cold call and who doesn't talk to real, live customers. Person on the other end of the line hears the script, and hangs up on the salesperson. Salesperson decides to ditch the canned pitch and start using his own from this point forward. Company has wasted a lot of time and money on pitches salespeople will never use. Does this sound familiar? Read morein Revenue Journal.
Either we hire sales people who understand the business with the expectation that they will create their own deliverables or we hire sales people who will rely on the pitches created by marketing. Frankly I prefer the former. I've long advocated that everyone who works for your company should know what we do here; they should care fervently about it. Developers, sales people, marketing, tech support, documentation, even finance and others who don't encounter customers should care. Companies that don't care seem to have more hand-offs and "not my job" problems than others.
If we choose to deploy sales people who do not know our products or understand the business, then we will have to rely on 'scripts' and and pitches and collateral and sales tools from marketing. And guess what? Marketing will have to understand the market and the products. They'll have to creategrounded in research. They'll need to speak in the buyer's voice using language that real buyers use.
Have you ever attended sales methodology training? The first day is marketing! Buyer personas, probing for pain questions, positioning. These are the things that the effective product marketer should already have documented long before the product is launched to the sales force. But when we don't--or when we use ineffective vendor language--the sales team must rely on their own skills and market knowledge to fill the void.
If product managers and marketers don't do their strategic jobs, the other departments will fill the void.