Today I’m at the Sales 2.0 conference to learn more about new sales & marketing techniques. A sales conference while I’m in marketing? I told one of my sales coworkers yesterday, and the discussion went like this:
Jep: I’m going to the Sales 2.0 conference tomorrow
Coworker: [confused look] Why are you going to a sales conference?
Jep: It also covers sales development (lead qualification) and demand generation
Coworker: Oh really? That’s interesting.
So many people still think that “Sales 2.0” is only about sales. Not surprising, as it says “sales” and does not mention marketing.
The reality is different: successful implementation of Sales 2.0 requires close collaboration between sales and marketing. For example, David Solinger explained that Ariba now has precise metrics how many leads they need to close a specific amount of business. That is only possible when sales and marketing work closely together.
Sales & Marketing: a single revenue cycle
I stopped by at Marketo‘s booth and had a nice chat with Deanna Deary (Sales) and Kelly Abner (Marketing Director) and asked them about their take. They see marketing & sales as a single revenue cycle. And with better tools (like Marketo) there is better insight in the revenue that marketing influences: so rather than seeing marketing as a cost center, it actually brings in money.
As marketing is getting their act together, sales is also more appreciative or marketing. David Satterwhite of NewScale mentioned an old quote of Larry Ellison: “If you’re not a sales rep and you’re not an engineer, then you’re overhead.”
Marketo’s Kelly mentioned that the first Sales 2.0 conference had a lot of “marketing bashing”. That has changed: today’s conference has a dedicated marketing session, and dozens of marketing people are attending.
Tom McCleary of GroupSwim sees the same trend: “marketing and sales need to be in lockstep, and the feedback needs to be instantaneous”. GroupSwim provides online collaboration software that results in better alignment of sales & marketing teams, regardless of the location of these teams.
We need a new type of marketing person…
Another trend is a change in people: I’ve seen traditional marketing VPs who do not like to be pinned down on a specific lead goals. They think it’s better to keep the goals vague, and focus on lead quantity rather than quality. Traditional Sales VPs then complain about the marketing leads and try to find ways to become self-sufficient and generate their own leads.
As Sales 2.0 is changing to a collaborative model, different skills and priorities are needed. For marketing specifically, I think we need more analytical skills: people who are not focused on pretty images, but on setting up efficient processes, with metrics to support this.
This analytical marketer is hard to find: I’ve been told that the best Eloqua sales rep is also placing demand-gen specialists with new Eloqua clients, to ensure that they have the skills need to make “Marketing 2.0” a success.
There are books and conferences on Sales 2.0, but – even though marketing is mentioned – are primarily about sales. But for successful implementation of Sales 2.0 you need both sales and marketing, and marketing seems to be behind.
How can we get more exposure for the role of marketing in Sales 2.0?
Let me know your ideas!