A Modern Marketer conundrum – when Sales says Tomayto and Marketing says Tomahto

By Bill McGinnis

Is sales and marketing alignment elusive at your company? Do you go the extra mile to sit down with sales and collaborate, only to both walk away wondering if you just spent 2 hours talking past one another? Maybe it’s not you. Maybe it just comes down to what language you and sales are speaking! Are you using Eloqua and marketing automation terms? Is your lingo just languishing? Let’s listen in on a conversation between Mark in Marketing and Sue in Sales to see if we can find clues to the disconnect:

Mark: Hi Sue! Welcome to the company! Are you enjoying yourself so far?

              Sue: Sure thing, Mark. I’m excited to join such a quality company. Glad we got the chance to meet! So tell me what you do.

Mark: Well Sue, I’ve been working in our Demand Generation group for the past 3 years and really love it. We are the ones who use Eloqua to generate MQLs and then hopefully they turn into SQLs and into orders.

              Sue: Demand, huh? You know I had an uncle that worked for a logistics company and he was always doing those demand planning studies. I think he used a SQL Server database too. Do you like doing that?

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Mark: Well, uh, it’s not really demand in that sense. You know…. I should have said lead generation. We are the group that provides you with leads. In fact, we just implemented a new Nurturing program that should generate even more leads.

              Sue: Nurturing? Are you part of HR?

Mark: Eh, yeah, well, no. It’s a way to programmatically promote. Anyway, we are also implementing Lead Scoring to score the quality of each lead.

              Sue: Oh, that is really smart. It’s great to give sales a way to score the quality of each lead so that marketing knows if they are giving us good ones or not.

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Mark: Mm-hmm….yes, it sure would be. But…enough about me already, why don’t you tell me about your new sales job?

              Sue: Sure thing. We are given a territory, and it’s my job to penetrate it and grow sales. Also, they want me to focus on select target accounts. It’s a pretty big territory, and they only suggested a few target accounts. So I have to figure out who’s worth calling on and who my targets are going to be. Then, get on the phone and start smiling and dialing!

Mark: Ahhh. Yes. Hmmm. Well….you know, Sue….eh….I’m actually going to, uh, move into another group at the company. Yeah, a new group. And I think we are going to be able to help you!

              Sue: Really?

Mark: Yes, we have a new Data Management Platform, I mean – a database – that we can use to do sales territory analysis. It can help you with how and where you should be spending your time in your territory and what companies should be your top 10 targets! Then, we’re launching ABM to help you at target accounts!

              Sue: Anti-Ballistic Missiles?? That’s one way to knock’em off. Ha-ha! What is that again?

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Mark: NO! I mean…no. Account Based Mark….uh, “target account promotion” is really what it’s called. What we do is send communications that look like it comes from you to the key people at your target accounts. Really personalized and relevant to what that company does. Then we monitor how they react and what they’re doing on our website. Then you get great leads from your target accounts! You combine that with calling the right person at the right time and you’re golden!

              Sue: Man that is AWESOME Mark! Hey, what is this new “group” that you’re going to work for?

Mark: Um, it’s called the, uh, “Territory and Target Account Support Team”

              Sue: “Territory and Target Account Support”? Oh man, perfect. I’m really psyched. We are really going to work well with each other. How about lunch?

Mark: Sounds great. There’s this new place near the mall that has a great salad bar with fresh kuh-ribb-ean toe-mah-toes.

              Sue: What kind of toes?

Mark: Huh? Oh! Uh, care-i-bee-yan tuh-may-toes is what I meant to say.

              Sue: OOHH!!! Excellent, nothing like fresh tuh-may-toes, and I hear the care-i-bee-yan ones are delicious. Let’s go!

Mark: Yeah, let’s go.

Mark and Sue became BFFs, and Sue went on to win the sales contest.

Let’s hear it for Mark who understood that speaking a common language and set of terms was one of the keys to sales and marketing alignment.

About the author:

Bill McGinnis

Sales Consultant

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