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In sales, everything should start and end with the customer. Unless you understand your customer’s perspective, you can’t possibly appreciate what’s important to her. Then you won’t know how to progress the sale. But your ability to serve your customer is often impacted by your own company’s velocity and your interaction with your colleagues. It is here that sometimes perspective breaks down.

Mutual respect and understanding between sales and marketing is essential if you want to be sure you have the right products to sell, the right marketing messages to communicate with your customer, and the ability to call on marketing when you need it.

So, here’s list of 10 things marketers should consider. (I borrowed some of this from a post by Seth Godin.)

  1. Selling is hard. If you have not been there – you can't fully appreciate that. It can be harder than you may ever realize. So, if I seem stressed, cut me some slack.
  2. Selling is personal. When I make a promise, I have to keep it. If you force me to break that promise (by changing processes, features or a rollout schedule), I will never forgive you.
  3. Selling is interpersonal. I am not moving bits, I’m trying to change people’s minds, one person at a time. So, no, I can’t always tell you when the sale will close.
  4. Use a sales methodology and smart sales playbook. This helps remove some of the uncertainty in #3. 
  5. We love selling. I particularly love selling great stuff, well marketed. Don’t let me down. Don’t ask me to sell lousy stuff.
  6. We're extremely focused on the reward half of the equation. Salespeople love to keep score. Don’t change the rules in the middle.
  7. We have no earthly idea what really works. I don’t know if it’s lunch or that PowerPoint or the Christmas card I sent last year. But you know what? You have no clue what works either. I’ll keep experimenting if you will.
  8. There is no comparison between an inbound call and a cold call. Your job is to make it so I never need to make a cold call.
  9. Talk to your sales colleagues. I talk to my colleagues in the sales team all of the time – and I learn a lot from them.  You should talk to them too.
  10. When we win or lose a deal, talk to the customer. Figure out the real reason.  They know more about why they made their decision than you do.

Remember Alan Kay’s advice. Perspective is worth 80 IQ points. You can get smarter by just thinking about it.



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