We talk a lot about B2B and B2C marketing here, but is sales just the lonely stepchild at the end of the inbound marketing funnel? Is marketing becoming so automated you don't need marketers anymore? The dynamics of sales and marketing have changed radically in recent years, putting far more emphasis on relationship building throughout the sales pipeline and turning classic sales and marketing processes on their aging heads.
I know I'm going to get a lot of classic sales people and die-hard marketers throwing darts and citing their tried-and-true methods for capturing leads and converting them to customers. I'm counting on that actually. I say it's time to throw out all of that garbage and start getting real about what sales and marketing means these days:
It ain't about your company - consumers across the board, whether in B2B or B2C, are looking for someone they can trust. You. That's it. Pure and simple.
Consumers don't want to be part of a process. Don't you hate it when the car salesman hands you off the accessories salesperson, then the Sales Manager comes in the room to close you? Just sell me the f$%^&ing car people!
Consumers want information, not fluff. Stow the fancy brochures, the special gifts, the sales events and the ads. Surveys show that stuff still works sometimes, but it's definitely on the way out.
Be there or be square. Be real. You have to be out there where the consumers are, talking to them and providing them with what they want, information from a trusted source. Yes, that means social media 24/7. Forget about your life. You are now part of the Matrix.
Which hat do I wear? So the conventional wisdom these days is, you need to do both marketing and sales at the same time via social media. Popeycock! Your job as sales/marketing person is not to do sales and marketing. Your job is to help consumers get what they want, hopefully from you, but if not, no big deal.
So what does the new B2B and B2C sales-and-marketing person do for a living?
We think before we act - yes you heard that right. We make ourselves available instead of hunting for prospects. We listen. We help. We educate. We present new ideas and we enable people to solve their own problems. We figure out how our stuff can help them do that and we offer it at a reasonable price.
This all sounds like pie-in-the-sky, but is it? I think the dinosaurs in the Jurassic age looked at the little mammals scurrying around and laughed at them. Yeah, there's a meteor on the way, and it's called Sales 2.0 or Marketing 2.0 or just plain common sense.
O.K. let fly those darts all you sales and marketing gurus.
With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.