You may not believe it, but if you are in Marketing, you are also in Sales. Particularly if you’re implementing an ABM strategy.
If you’re a B2B marketer and you’ve never held a B2B sales job, you may feel like Sales is a completely different animal from Marketing. But is it?
Yes and No. Yes, because what a marketer does on a day-to-day basis is certainly different than what a salesperson does. No, because everyone on the marketing team, in some way, should be focused on developing or executing the go-to-market strategies that meet and exceed revenue goals. A great marketing team makes sure their company sells as efficiently and effectively as possible across all channels. And in B2B marketing, the channel that counts most is Sales.
So, just like you need in-depth understanding of your Personas and Buyers’ Journeys to know how your buyers buy, you also need to understand your Sales team and how your sellers sell. Getting to know Sales, how they sell to the buyers, what skills and strategies they use to engage their prospects and advance through the stages of their sales opportunities will help you. Specifically, it will help you understand more about how to serve their needs with better messaging, content, and sales tools at each stage of their sales funnel.
To get you started, we cataloged a Top 5 list of approaches to Sales (often referred to as Sales Methodologies.) These are resources Sales uses to learn about and structure Selling more effectively, particularly in complex, B2B environments.
Skimming through these resources can give you new insights into how Sales sells, the challenges Sales faces as they work with prospects, and how hard it is to both overcome natural enterprise inertia and battle competitors to win business for your company. Take a look and we are sure you will find insights that will arm you to help Sales sell.
About this resource list: The links below lead you to websites with free articles, presentations and summaries where possible, and to the original publication on Amazon in all cases.
- CEB’s research and findings on The Challenger Sale and The Challenger Customer are essential for modern B2B marketers to understand. The controversial articles published in the Harvard Business Review, The End of Solution Sales and The Consensus Sale, provide a pretty good overview of the underlying concepts.
- Published in 2014, The Collaborative Sale, Solution Selling in a Buyer-Driven World (on Amazon) is the most recent update to the world of Solution Selling that takes into account the power of buyers in defining their own journey and how Sales needs to respond to be successful. You can listen to an overview by the authors here. For those of you with an interest in history, this approach evolved over prior decades with The Solution-Centric Organization (2006) and New Solution Selling (2003). However….
- ….Their work originated from the classic, Solution Selling (1994) that most B2B sales people know. This came from Michael Bosworth’s work from the mid 80’s to 90’s. You can find an overview here. Michael Bosworth and John Holland’s follow-on book, Customer-Centric Selling (2004), is one of our favorites as it leads you straight to the concepts of the Buyers’ Journey.
- The New Strategic Selling and The New Conceptual Selling, by Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman, have both been updated many times (hence, the “New” in their titles) since the authors first published them in the 80’s. This provides a good overview of Strategic Selling and this is one for Conceptual Selling.
- Our last classic, started by Tom Reilly back in 1984 and evolved over the years, is Value Added Selling. There is a YouTube of the author talking about this approach and a summary slideshare.
+1 Another classic about conducting sales calls, Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling book (1988) and accompanying workbook (on Amazon) provides examples and suggestions on how to (and NOT to) conduct sales calls. A summary can be found here.