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tug of war

Sales and Marketing Management doesn't have to be a Tug of War

Recently, one of our clients was fretting about how difficult it’s been for them to modernize their marketing management systems.  Six months into the process, and many of the sales reps still haven’t bought into the endeavor, and the process of collecting customer and prospect contact information from the sales force has been laborious to say the least.

From what we’ve seen, this kind of experience isn’t uncommon.  

While each company’s dynamics are different, usually you can boil down the issues of marketing management and its nexus with sales like this:  What’s in it for them?  

Until you can provide a good answer to that question, you’ll likely get nowhere.  From the sales reps’ perspective, they’re being asked to expend their energies in work upfront for no other benefit than losing control of their information.  

And let’s face it – when you modernize the sales and prospecting functions, you’re eliminating the job security that results from reps’ “ownership” of customer contact information.  

To gain true buy-in, the sales force needs to see how the new process supports their role and adds value, rather than feeling like it’ll decrease their control.

Let’s assume your new system actually provides value if it could only be given the chance. One way to prove that is to select one sales rep who is performing below quota, and use the new system to get him or her ahead of quota. Repeat for the next rep who’s behind quota. Success there will demonstrate the value to everyone else.

Finally, make sure the new system’s use is tied to performance metrics and compensation. If not, it will always be an uphill battle.


Contact Mullin/Ashley

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