Everybody's talking about sales and marketing alignment these days because it's still a big problem in many companies. Sales and marketing people aren't on the same page when it comes to strategy, process, messaging, lead quality or tactics. But what if you didn't have to worry about that because sales and marketing skills are merged into one person? What if you could find a person who is comfortable with both disciplines and motivated by a passion for success as measured by both sales and marketing? Does that person even exist? Well, if he or she does exist, here's what you have in a nutshell.
I think you have to start with sales, because that is the more difficult skill to find. Yes, there are lots of sales people, but how good are they? There are lots of qualities good sales reps have in common, but on my short list are:
Let's start with the basics—traits that employers look for these days.
Well, that's the $64K question isn't it? Do we start with a marketer and teach sales, or vice versa? Or maybe we should start from scratch and teach hybrid sales-and-marketing in school... I think it would be easier to start with a sales person and teach them marketing. Why? Because sales skills are more difficult to teach. Great sales reps have an innate ability to understand their customers and communicate with them. Yes, there are certain tricks to the trade, but the basic one is loving the "art" of sales. You either have that or you don't. I would argue that digital marketing is easier to learn, and some of the core disciplines can be outsourced, for example copywriting, graphic design, web design and social media. Some of the best marketers I know don't put their hands on any of these disciplines, but they lead teams that do. So, in principle, a great hybrid sales-marketer starts with a great sales person who is ready to take on more—to learn how to get better leads into the pipeline through a fundamental understanding of their needs and a willingness to lead a team to get that done. Then, this super sales rep can focus on what he/she does best, closing deals.
I hope I've inspired some of you sales reps to take the next step to become a hybrid by learning how to take advantage of modern digital marketing strategy and technology. I also hope those of you who have already taken the leap will gives us a shout. Yeah, we're looking for you.
Photo credit: HystericalMark
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. Connect with John via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus.