I’ve enjoyed Eric Gagnon’s Business Marketing Institute newsletter. In his latest issue, among other tips, he makes this observation:
How to Begin: Go Out on Ten Sales Calls in Twenty Days, Starting Today
In addition to these steps, it’s not enough to sit in your cubicle and try to think up ways that you think will sell your product. You’ve got to get out there, listen and learn what your prospects have to say, and how your sales team sells your product—and the only way to do this is to get out there with your reps on their sales calls.
Going out on ten sales calls in 20 days (with a day in between to debrief yourself and reflect on the previous day) is the best on-the-job experience for learning what sells your product, and what you need to do to change your marketing program to achieve this goal and achieve an indispensable position as a marketing professional for your company or your client.
Obviously, this advice applies for larger companies, where the marketing department is often “separate” from the sales force — but, in giving his advice, Gagnon is quite correct in advocating that marketing professionals should always seek to be closer to the sales division to truly capture the essence of the business and, most importantly, understand the leads and processes the sales team really needs.
In smaller businesses, hopefully, things are more naturally integrated but the advice still holds water: Are your marketing initiatives truly contributing to the sales and business development process, or are you just satisfying your ego?