Koen is part of the Perpetos team from beginning of December and has over 30 years of experience in sales & marketing management.
What is a typical challenge today, that touches both Sales and Marketing
Throughout my career I have seen the need for a better collaboration between the two, and this is where I believe I made a difference. All too often Sales and Marketing are still siloed in many organisations, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities.
Looking at today’s marketplace, where the increased complexity to reach existing or new clients requires a commercial approach with different sets of sales messaging. This has become more than ever one of the big challenges to tackle.
I have all too often seen a disconnect between (product) marketing and sales, limiting the messaging to the traditional presentation, brochure, data sheet as usual suspects. When considering the current speed of the market, most ‘sales collateral’ is not adapted to the context at hand or gets outdated quickly, often leading to every salesperson adapting marketing materials to their own insights and not using the latest approved versions.
This leads to a multitude of messages that are not necessarily representing – completely or partially – what the company, products or solutions stand for. Add to this the need to align sales messaging to the different buying phases individual stakeholders are in. And it’s clear why in this continuous change and increasing complexity the gap between Sales & Marketing remains in many cases.
At Perpetos we implement journeys that align sales and marketing actions in every buying phase of each stakeholder. This allows the use of a common language and process, which automatically lowers complexity and eliminates the silos.
Can you give an example of a challenge you see in the market today that is industry neutral?
During my career, I noticed that in each of the companies I worked for, the (sales) processes were different but the customer buying processes showed even more differences. It is necessary to observe and interact with all people involved aligned with their individual buying cycle as not everyone is on the same page nor evolves through their buying cycle at the same speed. Hence the need of a common sales and marketing approach, including process, which stimulates aligned activities with the right messaging.
Scientific research has shown buyers go through the same buying phases while taking decisions. The sales challenge is that everyone goes through these different phases at a different speed depending on the experience and impact your product or service has on each stakeholder. Read more on this topic: Improve your sales with a better understanding of the buying cycle
In my experience, 9 out of 10 salespeople, and sales organizations in general, still pitch too much from their or the company’s point of view and the reason why customers should choose them. While actually many opportunities require an approach taking into account that the customer hasn’t decided yet or that they want change.
Starting from the needs and aspirations, influencing the need for change, can shorten the decision-making process and increase conversion ratios. Read more on this topic: 3 answers that every Sales rep needs to know
Knowing what you know today, what would be your suggestion to do differently?
When companies look at optimizing their commercial performance, they usually focus on max 1 or 2 aspects. A typical example, of course, is sales training focusing on closing skills and objection handling or with more emphasis on the sales process itself.
Historically there has been a focus on improving the individual sales while today, more and more, we should score as a team.
Over the years, I’ve seen the best results coming from a systemic approach to increasing commercial performance.
Each day, I see more and more proof that a systemic approach spaced in time, delivers the best and most sustainable results. An important additional advantage is that the changes are implemented at the speed people can absorb and translate the new approach to their workplace.
This leads to a much higher adoption. This also remedies budgetary issues and increases return.