I wrote a well-received post awhile back on how marketers can and should take the time to learn as much as possible about their organization’s sales process and their individual sales reps’ pains, pitches and needs, entitled “Eating Nails for Breakfast.”
The sales and marketing alignment movement is on. Everyone talks about it in the blogosphere and at conferences. One of the keys to this sales and marketing “glasnost” is for both sides to understand as much as they can about not only what each other does in the organization but general best practices for each specialty. But, I know you’re thinking, “Where do you find the time?” There is never enough time. If you clock in at 9, eat an hour-long lunch and leave when the clock strikes 5, you’re right: you have no time and I can’t help you. (Who still does that by the way?) This post is for people who want to be the best at their job.
This post article is intended to expose marketers to some of my favorite sales blogs, but it’s also aiming at something more. The concept of learning from each other is a two-way street. Sales should learn from marketing. We just ran a Webinar on lead nurturing with Tony Jaros; 35 to 40 percent of the attendees were in sales. If sales and marketing alignment is key, sales needs to understand what marketing is trying to achieve on the lead nurturing side. It’s interesting – I am known as a demand gen/marketing guy, but recently I got named to the BTS411 list of top 15 sales bloggers and twitter users. What’s my point? Sales managers and individual contributors ARE taking the time to read and understand demand generation and marketing.
Marketers, please hear my out: After my “Eating Nails for Breakfast” post, I decided to “eat my own dog food” and became addicted to reading sales blogs and watching sales training videos. At the recent Sirius Decisions show in Scottsdale, I learned as much from the sales-centric presentations as I did the marketing ones. Sales 2.0 means a lot of things to a lot of different people, but to me what is most important is that sales, like marketing, is realizing they are “not in Kansas anymore” and that there are new ways of selling that involve technology, science and an understanding of today’s busy buyer. What that means is that there is some great content out there on the sales topic. Furthermore, I love reading about raw cold-calling techniques and basic blocking and tackling posts. In sum, the sales blogosphere has helped me think about my marketing practice in the right way, whether it’s lead nurturing, marketing programs, messaging, sales hand-off, etc. in the right way.
I’m going to start integrating more of my sales learning into The Funnelholic. We’ll all win from this.
In the meantime, here are some of the blogs I have been reading lately (and yes, some will make this year’s Top of the Funnel awards):
- Sales and Sales Management Blog
- Inside Sales Experts Blog
- Craig Elias’ Trigger Event Selling
- Understand the Sales Force
- The Sales Wars
- Jill Konrath’s Selling to Big Companies
- Cubicle Chronices
- The Queen of Cold Calling
- Art Sobczak’s TeleSales Blog
- Buying Facilitation Journal