Sales vs Marketing | Grow Live 5 |


What’s their beef anyway?

Do you find that your sales and marketing departments spend more time battling each other than collaborating?

If you do, don’t worry—you’re not alone.  Would you like to better understand the growing disconnect between your two heavyweight champs?

What if you could get a ringside seat and see those arguments unfold? This week, our own marketing manager Joe Thompson moderated the debate of the century. Matt teamed up with Brady Price (SMS Director of eCommerce & Business Development) in an epic battle against Renia and Will Polliard (Senior Marketing Manager). Think you know the reasons why they don’t see eye to eye?

Watch, listen or read now and learn more about:

  • Which superhero is the best
  • Understanding the unique roles of sales and marketing
  • How marketing creates opportunities and sales convert those opportunities to revenue
  • The biggest challenges that industrial marketers face today
  • How to effectively track your marketing ROI
  • Why communication between sales and marketing is the secret to success

So, you’re a smaller industrial distribution company and you don’t have dedicated sales and marketing departments.  That’s ok, too. You can learn some valuable information to make your combined efforts work better. And earn more “dolla dolla bills” for your company.

Check out this week’s Grow Live Show to see the Safety Marketing Services sales department square off with the marketing department for a cut-throat debate. Can Joe keep them in line? Who will win?  You may be surprised at how it all plays out.


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Read the Grow Live transcript...

Joe:    Welcome, everybody, to Grow Live, with SMS. In case you haven't noticed, we're a little different set-up this week. I'm your guest host Joe Thompson. I'm a marketing manager here at Safety Marketing Services, and it's my job today to be the guest host/peacemaker. You have just walked into a very interesting board meeting. We're not even in our normal studio, we're actually in our conference room today.

On one side of the table we have our sales team, Matt and Brady. You remember Brady from episode two, he is our ecommerce and New Business Director. This will be the sales team. On the other side we have our marketing team. You know Renia, and we have our Senior Marketing Manager, Will. Today we have a very special episode for you. Today it is the battle of the budgets, sales versus marketing.

We're going to figure out what team is most important to making your company a success. It's kind of going to be a debate. They've chosen me to be the moderator because I can kind of keep them at bay, based off of our previous experiences, Matt and Renia can get kinda feisty whenever we have debates. Off-camera we have our HR division sitting close, keeping a mindful ear.

Matt:                     Hi, HR.

Joe:                        Making sure that nobody gets too rowdy.

Renia:                   No punches get to be thrown today.

Joe:                        Before we get started I just want to give Will a chance- you guys haven't met him yet, he will be probably involved in future shows, hopefully, depending on how he does this week he will be involved. I just want to give him a chance to introduce himself.

Will:                      Yeah, so, I'm Will [Pauliard 00:01:36], Senior Marketing Manager here at SMS. Been working here for almost three months, I have about two and half years in the industry, and the gloves are coming off today. Usually one team one dream, but sorry guys. Team Marketing. Team Marketing wins the budget today.

Renia:                   He's on my team.

Matt:                     Thanks for coming, Will, even if it's all in vain.

Joe:                        We've made a pact before the show started that no one can get fired during the live show. At least that's what I've been told, we will see what happens next week.

Before we get started let me explain how the game's gonna go. It's just going to be like a normal debate. I will read the question, we have two bells, on both sides. They will be very annoying to you, so we'll try to quiet them as quick as possible.

First team to ring the bell will have their opportunity to answer the question, and then after their question the opposing side will have a chance to rebuttal. Without ... farther adieu.

Matt:                     Rebut.

Joe:                        Rebut? Was that the word?

Renia:                   He's already correcting people.

Joe:                        Wow. I'm the host.

Renia:                   We haven't even started yet.

Matt:                     Just wait. It's coming, it's coming for you.

Joe:                        Rebut just feels weird. Okay, anyways. I will start actually with a sample question just to get us warmed up, if that's okay with everybody. The first question is, which super hero is best? Oh.

Renia:                   Captain America.

Joe:                        Nice, yeah. Captain America.

Matt:                     Are you going to give us any reasoning behind that decision?

Joe:                        And why.

Renia:                   Well, because.

Joe:                        This is a debate, you know.

Renia:                   He recently joined the SMS team, so I'm impartial.

Will:                      Don't blow my cover. Oh my gosh.

Matt:                     Oh wow.

Renia:                   Is Captain America's identity a secret? I don't read enough comics book.

Matt:                     I don't think so, he doesn't really ...

Will:                      But he's still the best, so it doesn't matter.

Renia:                   That's why he's the best.

Matt:                     I have a rebuttal. I don't know, I don't agree. I think it's Lego Batman because he has nine abs and he is awesome.

Joe:                        Lego Batman. All right, so obviously we've got a feel for it.

Renia:                   That is very specific.

Brady:                   I concur with that.

Joe:                        I concur with that, Lego Batman. Feel free to ask your opponent or your teammate before you just dive on in, because you might want to figure out your answer before you jump in there. All right, so we've got a feel for it, we're warmed up, let's dive right in. First question, what is a sales person's job?

Renia:                   You guys don't really understand how the bell works, do you?

Matt:                     Yeah.

Joe:                        Maybe we should have tested your bell.

Renia:                   No, excuse me, I get to speak first.

Joe:                        Marketing, you have the floor.

Brady:                   I thought Joe was going to be the one keeping us safe here.

Joe:                        Yeah, sorry. Already failing at my job here.

Renia:                   I get very aggressive in debates. Competitive, yes? Sales person's job is to pound the pavement and go out and knock on doors, and be as obnoxious as possible.

Matt:                     Yes, we make it rain. I think I'll take a chance at this one, so a sales person's job, primarily, is to drive top line revenue for the company. What that means is that they go out and they identify what are the best prospects for the company and they reach out to that prospect, connecting with them and walking them through as an expert walks a tourist, like as a guide walks somebody through a journey, that's what a sales person does. They walk the customer, the prospect through a journey so that they can make the best informed decision and ultimately we are responsible for top line revenue growth, AKA dollar bills.

Joe:                        Dollar bills, thank you for that one. All right, number two. What is the marketing team's job.

Brady:                   To play on social media all day long. Pretty pictures and Twitter and I don't know, probably even SnapChat. How's that. How's that Renia.

Renia:                   I look clean on Facebook.

Matt:                     Filters, can I say also since it is our term. I think we both, when we ring the bell, just to clarify we both get a shot at this.

Renia:                   Oh okay, is that how it works, okay.

Matt:                     We both got to get a shot at this. I would just also say that marketing really talks a good game, but ultimately we can't really prove their value.

Will:                      Incorrect sir.

Joe:                        All right.

Will:                      These social platforms that we play on, the channels that you are referring to, that we go out and attract valuable site visitors and leads to our company that then we perform our marketing magic and develop them into good leads for you guys to work so you can get your top line revenue. That's what we do. We don't just play, there's a strategy there to getting good leads for you guys to work. What do you think?

Renia:                   I think like when the sales team is still sleeping, because they don't have to get up and think about what they are doing the next day it is the marketing team that's like figuring out how they are going to get leads for that team for the next like two years.

Brady:                   Are we allowed to have another rebuttal?

Will:                      No. Just give the point to us and let's move on.

Brady:                   Are we going on?

Joe:                        I kind of want to see how the point plays out, so let's give you another chance here to bounce back.

Brady:                   What I would just say to that is, you said something interesting there, marketing magic. Okay. Well from our perspective it just seems like, you know, hocus pocus, here's what I hear, we go out and we create this plan to generate leads for you guys, yet those leads ultimately are meaningless unless they convert into actual business.

What I'm thinking is that it doesn't really matter where we get leads from. If you guys create them or I go out and I just cold call people, you know, at the end of the day it matters about what matter is, are we connecting with the customer and are we winning business? That's where I feel like I'm having a hard time understanding the value of the marketing team.

Renia:                   Well you know, science always seems like magic until somebody explains it to you.

Joe:                        All right, all right, all right. This is a perfect way to segue into our next question, we are just going to straight up ask it, just flat out, which job is more important. A sales ... A sales rep or marketing manager.

Matt:                     Sales rep.

Will:                      Marketing professional.

Joe:                        Marketing professional.

Matt:                     Was there more to your question? I feel like I cut you off?

Joe:                        No, that was the question.

Matt:                     Okay good, because we won then.

Will:                      Without marketing bringing the leads to sales, who are they supposed to close? Marketing clearly the victor.

Matt:                     Yeah, so I mean ... I've got to learn the bell thing. I mean I hear what you are saying, I hear what you are saying, but I'm not totally devaluing the idea of lead generation. Okay, I think you may have won me in that regard. I get it. Okay? Even if you are saying there may be some science behind it and yes like in the Medieval times we would say things were magical and then we found out, okay it is science, we looked under a microscope and we found out some legitimacy to it, but I guess what I'm saying is that even if you can get leads for our team, the question really is, what is more important? Which job is more important? Which role is more important? Sales rep or marketing manager?

I don't mean to diminish what you guys do, I really don't, but what's more important? You guys wouldn't have jobs if it weren't for us.

Will:                      Oh, there it is.

Matt:                     At the end of the day there would not be enough revenue to pay salaries if it were not for the sales rep. I would just be curious about what you guys think about that.

Renia:                   Well, I would say, Will, if you don't mind me to say.

Will:                      Go ahead.

Renia:                   That I don't want to devalue the sales person, but great marketing brings a customer all the way to the brink. It takes them all the way from having no idea who you are to ready to throw their money across the table because they are so excited to do business with you. At that point anyone can fill out a contract and have them sign it.

Will:                      You are saying we do 90% of the work.

Renia:                   Like 98% of the work. Yeah.

Will:                      That's approximate, and then also too I think on that, so marketing, like we have other things that we do as well. We are responsible for the branding of the company and that's huge and as that kind of ties into creating an experience for your leads or customers.

We're responsible for all of those things. I mean I get it, you guys close them, but it's kind of three parts to one, so ...

Renia:                   Yeah, I mean I love sales because it makes marketing's job easier, but if I was going to pick just one I think I'd need the marketing department, because without the marketing department there's no website, there's no blogs, there's no literature for the sales person to take out on their calls.

Will:                      That's a good point.

Renia:                   There's no brand awareness.

Matt:                     Who would actually pick up the phone and call these so called leads that you are generating?

Renia:                   A Facebook bot.

Matt:   Okay, just to make sure, because I ... I just want to clarify one thing, that you guys are very smart, and you're very nice people on the marketing side, no one would deny that.

Renia:                   When someone tells you you're a nice person they are about to drop the hammer.

Brady:                   Yeah, it's coming.

Matt:    But I don't see you guys actually picking up the phone and calling these leads, and then having the patience to schedule five meetings with them and go out and hold their hand. You guys are really great at the whole like social media thing and like messaging. You have millennials and they are constantly texting, and they are texting and they are SnapChatting blah blah blah, but at the end of the day you have to have some adults who actually pick up the phone and make calls.

Will:  What you said I don't think you completely understand what we do, so you pick up the phone, you call the lead, you hold their hand through the process while we go out, we create useful content, put it on the internet, and then someone comes to the site, they see our blog, they end up converting on one of the offers that we create on the side and then we hold their hand through lead nurturing, marketing automation emails and things like that and develop that lead, sometimes it depends on what we are selling, but sometimes that could take a month, two months, it takes a while, so we are kind of holding their hand, getting them ready in the incubator for you guys, and then you do whatever you do, but I think there's more to it than just playing on social media.

Brady:  Matt, what do you think came first, the chicken or the egg? Sales or marketing? Years ago, who was there to create the revenue, to create all these fancy gadgets that you guys get to play with?

Matt:                     Next question.

Joe:    I think we're ready to go to the next question. It is hard for me to know when to stop it, just because I am a marketing manager, but I have been in sales before, so I'm like on both sides understanding and it's hard. I've got to stay neutral and make sure no one gets hurt. Okay, so we are going to kind of relax a little bit and not take so many jabs. These next couple of questions are a little more in depth.

Matt:                     Way too much coffee, way too much coffee.

Joe:  I feel it, calm down. Okay, number four, what is the biggest challenge industrial marketers are facing right now?

Brady:   Industrial marketers, so if we're talking about industrial marketers I think the biggest challenge is proving ROI. I think, from my perspective, and I know this may seem, again I just am so nervous about stepping on your guys' toes too much here, but I feel like for as much as we pay in our marketing I feel like we could have two other sales people and what I'm thinking in my mind is, I've got two sales people, I know they are going to generate X amount of revenue on a yearly basis, so if I'm thinking if marketing could prove ROI then we would have a little bit more respect on this side of the table. What would you say to that?

Renia:                   Can I take this one?

Will:                      Absolutely, go ahead.

Renia:    I can feel your pain in proving ROI, in fact sometimes that's our pain too, because there are things that we have a lot of hard data around, like we can tell you things about traffic on a site, we can tell you things about leads generated, but there are other things that are softer, like brand awareness, that are harder to show you a concrete dollar at the end of the line for.

 I think of it kind of like it is hard to quantify love, right? But, on the other hand, we feel like we generate all of these leads all the time and we're doing all of this work all the time, so much work, and always on the other side from the sales team it is like, well I don't want to do that. I don't want to do that.

Will:                      I agree with that.

Renia:   I don't want to pick up the phone and call that person. They're not far enough down in the funnel, but if marketing is not important, so yeah, we can have two other sales reps, but it is kind of like in the short run, like right now I can have like a Kate Spade purse, or I can have a retirement fund later on, that's how I think about marketing versus sales, like sales is the Kate Spade purse right now, marketing is the retirement fund later on. 

Matt:                     What I just heard is that you can't prove ROI.

Renia:                   Really?

Matt:                     Am I right or wrong?

Renia:   No, we can definitely prove ROI on almost everything that we do in digital marketing. In fact it is a lot easier to prove ROI than ever before because we can track a user all the way from the first time that they see one of our ads on Facebook or LinkedIn, all the way through to the sales person's CRM until they close to see how valuable they are.

We have more tools than ever before to prove ROI, but the sales team has to be on board to close that loophole for us, because we can prove it all the way to the point that we hand it off to you guys, but then if you're not on our team we lose the trail of what's happening once we get handed off to you guys, and it's super frustrating for us because ...

Will:   You can track everything we do, and if they're not tracking what they do then we're the easy ones to blame.

Renia:   The sales guys are just like, well we're out there doing this and I've got this in my pipeline and look over here.

Brady:  All right, so I want to follow up on that, because that's a very specific question, we're having a mock debate here between sales and marketing internally, but you did say, a big challenge for industrial marketers.

Renia:                   You mean we went down a rabbit hole?

Brady:   We did, no, no, it was a good rabbit hole, but so what you are saying, if I understand all of this correctly is that those industrial distributors out there who have marketing departments may or may not be proving ROI, so a challenge they are facing right now is they are playing the role of a marketer without really proving their value internally.

If that's the case, and I'm sure it probably is, what do they need to do to prove their value to their organizations in this industrial space?

Renia:  Yeah, so I mean part of that, I would say half of that is half the challenge is the sales team not being on board to close those loop holes with them. It is easier for a sales person, because an owner understands the sales person. Most owners at least in our space I think, they started out as some version of a sales person, probably, right? They've been on that end and they understand it and they know what that's like, but when you start talking to them about like traffic and impressions and conversion rates, their eyes just glaze over.

We are constantly like climbing up hill trying to get that understanding of what we're doing and then the sales team on the other side is like, I don't want to use your tracking software. Yeah, I think most industrial marketing managers are really struggling to prove their ROI, not because the data isn't there, but because the talk, the way to explain it to an owner is in bottom line dollars and the sales team's got to be on board in order to get there.

Joe:  Okay, well since we are on the topic of tracking, let's talk about numbers. What's the most important numbers to start tracking or keep track of?

Matt:  Easy, and that is, two numbers I would focus on are our monthly revenue and I would focus on our close ratio, so how many opportunities are we able to close, and what's our top line revenue? I mean that's where we live on the sales side. We have quotas to hit, it is all very black and white to us. Like our world is not so kind of a gray area where it is just like, well, you know, we've got traffic and visitors and those could mean something one day, but for us it is very simple.

Brady:  Yeah, I would agree with that and I would also add growth goals. I mean if you're in a sales role you should have a goal for the year of what you need and then of course we're motivated by hitting that number, because there could be an issue if we don't. Yeah.

Matt: It is very simple for us. If our goal is to grow 10% or 20% for the year, whatever your number is, then we know we have to hit X number of revenue every month. In order to hit the X number of revenue every month we need to have X number of prospects in our pipeline. That's where we look to our marketing team and we say, hey, can you keep feeding us prospects?

We have enough in our current contact list, we have enough contacts where as long as we go out and make the phone calls and we set up deals and we convert a good percentage of them, we are going to grow and we are going to hit our quotas. Those are the numbers that we look at.

Will:  I would say, I mean he just talked about a few things, bring up three numbers that I think are important for us, I want to know what you think about that, so, traffic, traffic to the site. That's super important, top level. Then I'd say marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, one of those, if not both of those are super important, and also we want to track our visitor to lead conversion percentage to make sure we are bringing in these people and we are converting them at a good rate, because if we bring in more people and we aren't actually converting them, we are just having more people come to a site and leave, that doesn't contribute to the business' goals. Those three I think are really important.

Renia:   Yeah, so I think it is important to know that what we are doing on a website or even in traditional media, it sounds like the numbers that are the most important are pretty similar, they are just on different sides of the line. We need traffic just like you need us to feed you leads, and we need conversions on that traffic, just like you need to convert your leads, it is just on the front side.

 It is kind of like farming and hunting. Like the sales team, I think of you guys as like hunters, you are going out to kill the wildebeest and we are farming, meaning if we don't plant the seeds in early spring you won't have anything to eat come fall, because we've got to feed the sales team constantly.

 Those numbers are the same important to us, and the one other number that is the most important to me as a marketing person that wants to keep my job in the long run, is how profitable are those conversions. That's something I would encourage any marketing manager to be looking at, is not just like how many leads did we bring in, but how profitable are those conversions, because I can bring you a million leads, if none of them make any money I'm not going to keep my job very long. I want to see them be not just converted but be profitable conversions.

Will:                      Almost like a cost per customer acquisition type of number.

Renia:                   Yeah.

Will:  Customer only spends $20 and we are spending $80 to get the customer, you know, that's not the kind of customer that we want, we've got to fix something.

Matt:   Will, you talked about sales qualified leads as one of your important metrics, how do you go about determining what a sales qualified looks like from the marketing side?

Will:  Yeah, so we sit down and create a matrix or some sort of criteria of like what's an ideal lead for you to take over, like where are they located, what's their job title, how much money does their company make, all of this different kind of criteria that would make them like a really good fit for what you're selling.

We take that information, once we farm them and kind of get them into our system and start to nurture those leads a little bit and find out more information about them, once we have all those fields that we know we need and they meet the criteria that we have, we know that hey, this is what sales wants, so we have that and let's just hand it over the fence to you. We determine that together and it is based off of things that sales has already predetermined to be valuable, so yeah, once a lead just meets that information that's what we consider a sales qualified lead.

Matt:                     Am I still doing ... I just like to ring it.

Joe:                        We'll find out if you like it after the show. Sorry Podcast ...

Matt:  Are you saying that if we're sitting over here as a sales team and we're not happy with the quality of leads that you are giving us, like there's some sort of disconnect happening, because you are giving all these leads over to us and you're all happy like, oh look at us, we're doing our job, and we're sitting here looking at these leads and we're going, yeah, that's not somebody I'm going to really call on, so what do you think is happening there Renia, why are we not getting the right leads from you guys?

Renia:  I think that that happens and maybe I'm a little bit prejudiced here, because we're not getting feedback. Like I think that the sales team, that the sales people I know, and I mean I was a sales person for a while, so I feel a little bit of that pain, but I think they tend to think of marketing as, maybe if not the enemy, but as like the obnoxious little sister or something. They are the ones that go out and get everything done and they are always bothering them and so we don't know in our world if it is converting according to whatever parameters we set up, that's great, but if we are not ever getting any feedback and great feedback is coming to us and saying, hey, this isn't really working for me, what can we ... Can we do something to make these better, not going to my boss and saying, these leads suck.

Brady:                   Are you saying on Friday we should not go play golf and call you instead?

Renia:                   You know, I am saying that the sales team ...

Will:                      No, she is not saying that.

Renia:   The sales team always seems to be playing golf while I'm stuck behind ... I like golf, but I'm always stuck behind a computer and you guys are always playing golf.

Will:                      Brady, why did you bring this up man?

Brady:                   You can ...

Will:                      You are sabotaging us.

Brady:                   You can bring your cell phone with you and you can do your Facebook on the golf cart while we play a round.

Will:                      Do your Facebook ...

Brady:                   Facebook live while I'm hitting a chip shot.

Renia:                   Listen, it seems like every sales rep I know has a credit card where they can wine and dine and all this stuff with their customers, but I can't get a five dollar a month tool I need to make your leads better. I'm always fighting for budget as a marketing person. Every sales person has a credit card that they can do whatever they need to do with their customers and on my side I'm always fighting for budget.

Joe:                        Next question, all right.

Matt:                     Before you go to the next question, there's one more point I just wanted to dig in a little bit on that, about the quality of leads. Because this is, I think, and other sales people out there might relate to me on this topic, why are we not getting the right kind of leads? It sounds like what I'm hearing from you is, you may not know all the information you need to drive the right leads to us, so my assumption is that we are working on the same team here, we are working on the same company, or if you're an agency clearly you know my business, so my assumption is that you know what kind of customers I'm after and what kind of leads I'm after. Is that too much to assume?

Renia:                   I think sometimes it maybe is. I mean hopefully there's been some stuff done up front, but if I'm a marketing manager that's been brought into the middle of a company, or brought into the middle of a situation, nobody's magically sprinkled fairy dust on me to make me intimately acquainted with that company.

 When you bring in a new sales rep, they get training, they get to go with the veteran sales rep out on their calls and they get maybe even some training on how to actually do sales and they get product training. Nobody ever invites the marketing team to product training. Nobody ever takes the marketing team on a sales call.

They may not actually have what they need, especially internal teams. You know, agencies, at least as like now working at an agency I at least have some tools to go out and find more information and I may have a CEO's ear or something that I can get information out of their head, because I've been trained to do that, but most internal marketing managers, they're thought of as like magic fairy dust that they should just know this stuff, so if they haven't ever been out with the sales team or been through product knowledge training, they probably don't know. They are guessing based on what else they find on the internet.

Matt:                     That's a really good point, in fact, it reminds me of my previous experience working at [Acuform 00:30:16], they did a really good job of making this happen. It wasn't a classic sales versus marketing, two silos, marketing team was actually invited into product training, the marketing team was invited, in fact I went on a couple of sales trips with our sales teams, outside sales reps, who made calls with end users and that, seeing what they do and how they use the tools was invaluable to me as a marketer. Yes, I'm stepping out of my sales, for a minute, just to acknowledge how important it was that if you are a company or you are a marketing manager at your business.

If they're not creating those opportunities, to create them yourself, or to at least raise your hand and say, I think I'd like to be on that product training, or is it okay if I shadow a sales rep for a day. That would be pretty valuable, I would imagine, right?

Will:                      Yeah, absolutely, I totally agree with that, even though we are on opposite sides of the table.

Matt:                     Yeah, I'm giving you one there.

Joe: All right, next question, we're going to take a step back here. What matters most to the company's bottom line?

Matt:                     There's no bottom line if there's no top line revenue. Again, I just have to keep coming back to the idea that ultimately we are driving the dollar bills at the company. When it comes to bottom line, there literally is no profit if we don't create the deals and we don't close those deals.

Renia:                   You had something you were going to say?

Will:                      No, I was just going to say he's right.

Brady:                   We have an extra chair over here.

Will:                      This one's on you if you have a solid rebuttal, something that's more important.

Matt:                     Come on Will.

Renia:                   Well I'm going to put it this way ...

Matt:                     Join the dark side.

Renia: When I get the feeling, I'm going to put it this way, if you are new business, just going into business for yourself, what's the first thing that you do? Like you go and you incorporate and you get your business documents, what is almost the first thing that almost every new business does?

Brady:                   Hire Matt or meet myself to be the sales team.

Renia:                   Out of order. Yeah, they design a logo.

Will:                      Logo, website.

Renia:  Right? They may not even start with the website. I know a lot of businesses don't and in this day an age I think it is less and less, but they do always start with some kind of a logo or a business card, because nobody is going to buy from just me, standing here like, I'm Renia, want to buy some widgets from me? Like who are you? Where did you come from? They have to put something behind them, some kind of infrastructure that makes them look like a real business. That is all marketing. That first initial brand is all marketing.

Will:                      I'm back on this side.

Brady:                   Are you back on that side?

Will:                      Strong, my teammate.

Matt: Okay, I guess I'll give you that. You are right. I can't imagine going out and making a call if I didn't have some sort of collateral that made me look like a legit business person.

Will:                      Have to have a brand.

Matt:                     Okay, I'll concede that point.

Will:                      Awesome.

Brady:                   All right, next question Joe.

Joe:   Well we had a good back and forth, you both brought something good to the table, wasn't just bashing each other the entire time.

Renia:                   My teammate tried to betray me.

Joe:                        Except for Will, he wavered a little bit in loyalty.

Will:                      Getting a little emotional.

Brady:                   It's lunchtime here at SMS.

Joe:                        Okay, next question, what is the most important potential ... Sorry, what is the most important thing potential customers need to understand in order to make a buying decision?

Renia:                   How we can solve their pain.

Will:                      Absolutely.

Brady:                   That they can trust in our advisement, the sales team.

Renia:                   How do you get that trust?

Brady: By being there for them and uncovering the actual root of the reason they called.

Will:  Yeah, so that's solving their pain and like they have to trust in the company as a whole, not just the sales team. I think you might be a little off there.

Matt:  I think I understand what Brady is saying here, is that, you know ... The question is, I might understand the question a little better, the most important thing to potential customers, what do they need to understand in order to make a buying decision. The most important thing is that they have all of this information out there in the world. You guys put this website up, you've told them about our products and services, they can go look at your products on our website, they can go shop us around with a competitor, 10 competitors for all we know, so the marketing fluff, if you'll pardon my language there, that you guys create is not important, what is important today is that they connect with somebody who can lead them through the buyers journey.

Who can cut away all of that marketing noise, and give them a very clear vision of what they need, so that it can make their buying decision so easy and ultimately it allows them to become a customer.

Will:                      You can go first.

Renia:                   I'm exploding, no, go ahead. [crosstalk 00:36:26].

Will: One statement, and then you can take it away. Marketing fluff, and all the stuff you are talking about, I think you are an effective, good marketer, you do everything that you just talked about before even having to talk to somebody so ...

Renia:  I was going to say it this way, when was the last time you met a sales rep from Apple? Amazon?

Will:   Yeah, they sell a lot of things, those two companies, you may have heard of them.

Matt:                     Next question.

Joe:                        We want the next question, all right.

Brady:                   I'm thirsty right now. I've got a frog in my throat.

Joe:   All right, next question, what are the most important tools a company can use to reach out to those potential customers?

Renia: I would say that the most important tools right now are Google, and email and still the old fashioned telephone.

Matt:                     Are you answering for us?

Brady:                   Yeah, that's interesting.

Matt:  Because it sounded like you are answering for us, because I would say telephone, because you marketers aren't picking up no phones, I know that.

Renia: I don't need to pick up the phone I can send you a text message automatically.

Matt:                     I know you are not picking up the phones.

Will:                      Walked him into that one.

Matt:                     Phone, networking, and I would also say email.

Brady:  Yeah, you've got to hit them where they are, and we use the tools, those three are great tools, depending on who they are, not everybody wants you to call. Some like a good old fashioned phone call, some like an email, so yeah, those are the tools I would use all day, every day.

Will:                      I like that ... Oh, go ahead.

Matt: No, I was just going to try to pull more out of Brady here, because I think the value of networking and building relationships, as far as I can tell, that can't happen through your Facebook, Twitter, Tweet, Twits, Twits that they have.

Renia:  It is actually a lot easier and more effective on Facebook and LinkedIn to network and it takes a lot less time [crosstalk 00:38:42] ...

Matt:                     Wait a second, I was asking Brady a question here.

Brady:                   I agree, you've got to meet them face to face, and I know you're going to talk about scalability, but there's just nothing more important than a good old fashioned handshake sometimes and meeting a person face to face and having maybe a cocktail or maybe a nice dinner to really get to know your prospect and show them that it's more about that relationship.

I think today connections are currency. I will take one lunch with a good prospect over 10,000 Facebook messages that you guys put out, because face to face you realize, that's a real human being, they can look you in the eyes, they can shake your hand and you're building all kinds of relational currency, and what I would say is that I get it, I understand that you can network on social media, so that is probably what you are going to say, but ultimately compare the two in value.

Renia:  Okay, I just have to say something on this here. Because you guys know if you've looked at my LinkedIn bio, I used to train people on how to network, so I really believe in networking, it is very important to me [crosstalk 00:40:00]. But let me ask you, when you go ...

Brady:                   Thank you, point done.

Renia:  No, not point done, because I want to take this one step farther. When you go out to lunch with that person, and I'm with you, I want that in person connection and I think every marketer's dream is to bring their team to that point where they are getting that experience with the customer.

Now, there are ways to do it besides physically standing in the same place, but, when you go to lunch with that great prospect, what happens as soon as you leave lunch?

Matt:                     I go write emails and ...

Renia:                   Yeah, you go onto the next thing and so do they. How many times do you talk to that customer or that prospect? If you are really good you might follow up with an email the next day. If you are even better you might follow up again in a week, maybe a week after that, but when you're connected with them on LinkedIn or connected with them on Facebook, you're getting exposure to that person every single day.

It is not about taking networking away. We don't want to take networking away. Networking is a phenomenal tool, but networks become stronger when you connect with them on LinkedIn and on Facebook because you're getting that awareness with that person every single day, because they are going to see your posts on LinkedIn, they are going to interact with you, like your stuff, comment on your stuff, at least every couple of days, and you can't do that on your own.

Matt:  Okay, time out. Really smooth marketing words right there, really smooth. Classic marketer, sounds very good, very theoretical, but sorry Renia, well my prospects are just not on social media. It takes a real human being to actually reach them.

Will: I mean Brady said this when he was going, you want to go where your prospects, your leads, your customers are, and I mean I see you all the time, where are you always at? You are always looking at your phone and then you are usually on like three apps, Facebook, and LinkedIn and Twitter, so that's what everybody else is doing too.

Brady:                   Are you stalking me?

Will: There's that. That's just where everybody's at, they're on social networks, and like Renia said, that constant engagement, you'll always be in the back of their head, things like that, then also kind of a little off target, but as we were talking about this and talking about going out to lunch and meeting people in person, scaling the unscalable, things like that. A little while ago we were talking about how much money it actually costs to acquire a customer and that cost per lead, well, just because you go out to lunch with someone doesn't mean you're going to necessarily close them.

 If you go out to lunch with all of these people you've got to pay for the meal, travel expenses, time out of the office, things like that.

Brady:                   Close rate 100%.

Will:                      That just increases that cost, so another thing to be aware of.

Renia:                   It does feel like the sales job is very cushy, doesn't it?

Will:                      It is. Go play golf, eat steak.

Matt:  Let's see how cushy it is when you go to a trade show and you walk 12 miles in three days and you talk to people the entire day for 12 hours.

Will:                      Connect with them on LinkedIn.

Matt:                     See how cushy that feels.

Renia:                   How many sales do you get as a result of that trade show?

Matt:                     It would depend on how big it is, number one.

Will:                      Five, on a good day.

Renia:  If there's no marketing behind you. By the way, what are you doing in a trade show without any marketing?

Will:                      Just wandering around?

Renia:                   Just wandering?

Will:                      Just creeping?

Renia:                   You are a creeper at the trade show.

Matt:                     I confess, I did my fair share of creeping, but that's marketing's job to worry about how many ... What's the result of the trade show.

Renia:                   Oh so you mean when you are drinking at the bar after your 12 miles of walking around at the trade show and we're still working your leads ...

Will:                      We'll figure out the ROI, no big deal.

Renia:                   We'll figure out the ROI, yeah.

Joe:                        All right, final question here.

Matt:                     Ah, it is just getting started.

Joe:                        This is just going to fuel the fire here. Here we go, why is your team the most important one to the companies success?

Will:                      I'll let you go first.

Renia:   I don't think there are very many companies out there anymore that can afford to run entirely on a sales team with no marketing. Because a sales team is not scalable very easily. There's training and salary and commissions, and benefits and things like that involved that most companies just can't afford to have an army of thousands of sales reps all over the place.

It is just not a scalable model. Marketing teams are essential to allow a lot of the things that sales people used to have to do before marketing got more sophisticated, so that a company can stay agile and have a bigger bottom line. I mean I don't feel like ... Sitting here listening to you guys and I came into this all like ... I feel a little bit more of your pain now, and I don't know if I want to be in the ... I don't think I'm Apple, I don't think I want to be in the world where there are no sales reps, but I also don't think a company can live without a robust marketing team anymore either. I think it is going to die, because the scalability of a sales team is just not there in today's world.

Will:   Yeah, and if you're just trying to close everybody you are not creating any brand or anything like that.

Matt:                     ABC's Will, Always Be Closing.

Renia:                   You become a vacuum cleaner sales reps. That's all I'm saying.

Joe:                        All right, do you have any thoughts over here, Brady?

Brady:   I mean I feel like a lot of these questions were similar to some degree. I feel like Joe is trying to divide us.

Matt:                     Very divisive.

Brady:  He's been on both sides of this thing, so yeah. I agree. I don't know, after hearing your side Renia I also agree that maybe it's not just one side. Maybe it is just a combination of the two. We do have to consider scalability, I mean there's a lot of things happening in the marketplace.

Obviously we're seeing the big brands move away from facilities all over the country, which not only house salesmen but employees in general, so I think people are starting to realize if you are going to scale, like tremendous scale, like on an Apple level, you have to start thinking a little bit differently on how you are going to do that. I think it comes down to a combination of aligning, a better alignment of the company's organizational goals. I don't know, I just don't feel like I want to necessarily win this one. What do you think?

Matt:  Well there's a lot to be said here at the end, because I am concerned like Renia said, there is a scalability issue, and the biggest thing in our world is that we're dealing with products that have to be communicated well. Like we are not selling pencils, we are not selling raw materials, we are selling things that need expert advice to be able to make a good purchasing decision.

That's why I do believe that sales people will always play an important role, but the difficulty is, how can we service the number of businesses that we want to service when I only have a limited number of bodies that can go out and hit the pavement, that can call people on the phone and that can set up appointments. That requires a tremendous amount of effort on their part, so what I'm hearing is that in the world that we live in now, digital marketing enables our sales team to reach far more people than we could ever possibly hope to reach by ourselves.

That makes a lot of sense. I guess I am coming around to this idea of playing well with the marketing team. There's a lot to be said with this idea of marketing, we call it smarketing. This alignment.

Renia:                   Some marketers made up that word.

Matt:   The alignment between sales and marketing. I can speak to this as well as anybody, because one foot is firmly in marketing. I'm over here and I'm working with Renia's team and Will's team and I'm working on looking at their campaigns and looking at client's websites and on the other hand I'm over here with Brady and we're selling. We're selling our services, we're not just selling our services, but we're teaching our clients how to sell and how to align their sales team with their marketing team.

 There's a few things I would just say kind of as we are closing up, I don't know how much time we have, give me an idea? About five minutes left, so there's a few things that we can do here.

If your company is sort of feeling this pain that we kind of just mocked up here today. We were all just joking around and it is all just fun and games and stuff. Obviously we are smarketers, we are the definition of smarketing, so we are sales, they are marketing, but we are both.

 We have a really good alignment between ourselves, but some companies don't have such great alignment, so what I would say for you, if you are in a place where you don't have great alignment and maybe there's this disconnect, maybe the sales team isn't trusting you as much, maybe they re questioning your value if you're a marketer, they are wondering what your bringing to the table, and on the other hand if you're the marketing team and you're going looking at sales and you are saying, well you guys just aren't closing the leads that we're sending you and you're lazy and you're not doing the job that you should be doing, well then there's a disconnect there.

 What I would say is, let's bring everybody together, let's get everybody on the same team, because we are on the same team. We are both on team revenue. We are both about driving revenue for the company, and so what that means is that we need to communicate well together. We need to have very clear understanding of what marketing's going to do and what sales' is going to do.

If we drew on a board here this idea of a funnel, this funnel, at the top of the funnel, would be all marketing. That's you guys. At the bottom of the funnel would be all sales, that's us. At the top of the funnel you guys are attracting visitors, whether that's through the website or maybe it's a trade show, you guys are drawing traffic in, and not only are you drawing traffic in that is qualified traffic, because you know who we are looking to attract, because you've talked to us and you've understood who our buyer persona is, who our ideal buyer is, but you've converted them into leads.

We've got that contact information and you've sorted out into our CRM and now we have in the middle of the funnel, Brady and I have this nice pipeline of qualified leads that we can work and we wouldn't be able to do our job if we did not have you guys producing, generating the traffic and producing leads, and qualifying those leads. Because we don't want to spend all of our day. I mean we are not a big company but we have over 3,000 contacts in our list and there's no way we could go and look at all of the leads that we have.

There's a thousand leads and we could go through those leads, there's no way we would have time to go look at each one, email them or call them. That would be ridiculous, so what you guys are doing is qualifying those leads and only giving us the cream of the crop and then from there we're able to do our job.

We pick up the phone, we schedule the meetings, the consultations, and we close out the deals. Things are great. But that's not where it ends, right? Where it ends and where it effectively works together is to create closed loop reporting. What we do is using our CRM and we are not the typical lazy sales people, we do log our activity in the CRM, so that we can close the loop with our marketing team and that's the important thing.

They need to know what's working. They need to know, hey, that live show we just did last week produced a lead and now we are working that lead and we are about to close that lead. They need to know that so they understand what works and what doesn't, or hey, those leads didn't turn out so good. Let's do something about that.

As we wrap up, I would suggest guys that, and this isn't a suggestion actually, this is a fact, that companies that have solid marketing and sales alignment grow on average over 20% a year and those that do not have sales and marketing alignment don't grow any a year. There's a stat and I'll have to go find you the link to it.

Renia:                   We'll put it in the show notes.

Matt:  We'll find the link to that stat, but that's the fact. If we're on the same team and we care about growing the company and we care about success together, we have to work together. One of the basic ways that you can do that is, there's a couple of things, one is to set up a service level agreement between sales and marketing. It is as simple as this, you get together with marketing and sales, after you guys have figured out the goals for the year and sales said, well I need to grow by 20%, and marketing says, great, here's how many leads that we need to deliver to you guys on a monthly basis in order for you to close those into customers.

You say, I will deliver 10 leads for you and Brady every month. We say great, you give us those 10 leads, we are going to follow up within four hours and we're going to follow up five times before we give up on that lead. If you give us good leads we promise to follow up and do our job. That way we are working together and we know what to expect from each other.

The other thing, and this is the real practical thing, and I'll just leave this as a challenge to you guys out there watching this or listening to this. If you are a marketing manager right now at an industrial supply distributor, I want you, if you haven't done this already, I want you to go find your sales director, or your VP of sales and I want you to go take them out to lunch and say to them, listen, we need to get on the same page. How can we set up a regular meeting schedule where we can get together, maybe once a week or maybe just start off once a month, but ultimately get to the point where you can do once a week check ins with your sales team so you can talk about what's working, what's not, are we on track to meet our goals, how can I help you?

Having that service mentality and working together as a team is going to go a long way towards helping you reach your goals. That's my challenge for you guys out there listening, is to schedule a meeting with your VP of sales or director of sales and start bringing together sales and marketing.

Renia:                   I like it.

Joe:  Awesome, well it looks like that's all the time we have for today, thank you sales team, thank you marketing team. I think it's safe to say that we are all working together. We are all still friends right?

Matt:                     Give me a hug guys. 

Brady:                   Good job.

Renia:                   Well played.

Brady:                   Well played guys.

Joe:   Thank you guys for tuning in today, we hope you enjoyed the show, and don't forget to tune in next week for episode six, where we will have a somewhat of a behind the scenes experience.

Matt:                     He's thinking about it.

Joe:   If we get a certain amount of likes on this video Brandon will join ... We'll see if that works or not, but we appreciate you guys coming and watching this show and find the podcast and all of our future content coming out later this week and thank you guys for tuning in. Have a good one.

Renia:                   Bye bye everybody.

Matt:                     Thanks Joe, thanks for hosting man.

Joe:                        Thank you. It was fun.

Matt:                     That was hard. I hated pretending like I didn't like marketing.

Brady:                   Are we off now? Yeah, that was really hard for me.

Will:                      It really was.

Brady:   I just kept deferring to you, because you seemed to know what you were doing.

Renia:                   I love to debate.

Matt:   I like marketing, so I was like, man I have to pretend like I don't like what they are saying, but it makes a lot of sense.

Brady:                   That's how I felt too, I was like, I want to say I agree.

Joe:                        You guys were getting soft like halfway through.

Renia:                   Yeah, we did get ...


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Topics: Grow Live, industrial marketing, content writing, writing for the web