At Compile, like most companies these days, we prefer an open office where engineering, sales and operations sit side-by-side. As a result, I am now spending a lot of time with developers (they will helpfully point out that this keeps me grounded in reality!).
In some ways it’s the classic yin and yang: methodical programmer versus instinctive marketer. But moving beyond the stereotypes, it seems to me that sales and marketing has evolved from a “gut-driven” discipline to a more “data-driven” science.
Whether it’s A/B testing your outreach, measuring lead conversion or tracking prospects, everything we do can be tracked and measured. So even though I’ll not admit it in front of the developers, there’s a lot we can learn from engineering. For instance, the concept of GIGO or garbage in, garbage out. This is a central tenant in computer science which says that a machine is only as good as the data you put in — the smartest computer will spit out nonsensical output if you feed it nonsensical input.
It’s the same with your sales pipeline. Your organization may have a great sales machine and well-defined processes, but if you feed your team bad leads, your conversions will be low. Besides losing revenue by tying up your sales team, poor leads demotivate even the most efficient and dedicated reps. And no amount of process or people optimization can undo the damage of a bad lead.