Marketing teams have the skills and knowledge to add great value to their sales teams but often don’t. Whether a sales role is business development, focused on opening up markets, or myopically trained on a few strategic accounts, there is great insight to be garnered and shared by product management, product marketing and marcom teams. A salesman is the CEO of his or her accounts. All CEOs need help to achieve success. Here is a list of questions that sales teams should expect their colleagues on the product management and marketing side of the house to answer:
- Which companies in my region have the greatest economic value for our products (economic value is defined as the monetary value of the Serviceable Available Market (SAM) or if you like the total amount of money your customer will spend on your types of products) ?
- What does the relevant organization chart look like for those high economic value accounts (including input from the sales teams) and who are the decision makers reporting all the way up to Board?
- What do the market research reports tell us about our markets, especially the major drivers that will make our customers successful?
- Can you translate point 3 into assessing what this means in terms of demand for our products?
- Can you build a specific competitive value proposition using relevant metrics and teach me how to use it with customers and prospects that captures the essence of value selling?
- Can you build a make Vs buy ROI% CAPEX calculator that contains inputs the customers can play with and shows our impressive ROI obtained by investing in our systems? Also can I see that against our competitors?
- Are there major developments involving my customers eg M&A that I should be aware of that might help me solve some of their challenges using our products?
- Could you help me compile a competitor cheat sheet that will allow me to reposition the competitors as potentially a bad fit for our customers’ needs in specific situations?
- Can I have your feedback on my Engagement Strategy that I’ve articulated for my top 10 accounts eg are their plays I may have missed, more of our team I should involve?
- Are there any group initiatives involving other subsidiaries or head office teams affecting my customers that I should be aware of?
- Can you share with me our Trade Show strategy for FY 19 and specific tactics of the bigger shows to ensure we maximize customer contact and prospect gathering?
- What marketing collateral/sales tools, eg on-line brochures, videos, powerpoint decks are being published soon that will help me win more business?
There are many more questions but that’s a great start. Of course its important that sales teams ask questions of other departments especially service departments to build a complete picture of the customer. Only then will sales teams truly fulfill their potential of assisting the customer to improve their performance.
Reach out at Ian@TPPboston.com