5 Key Skills Marketing can Learn from B2B Sales

Published on Aug 31, 2020 by Jován Medina | 5 min(s) read time

Marketing and sales can be seen as a power couple that tends to pull in separate directions. That couple that does well individually but once they realize how much more they can achieve together, they can do truly amazing things. 

 

Both do great work towards acquiring and retaining customers, and sales has been working closely with marketing leaders to learn about inbound marketing. But what can marketing leaders learn from sales managers and SDRs?

 

Let’s explore both the tangible and intangible skills. 

 

 

Understanding the Market and Competitors

 

SDR’s are out in the trenches every single day. Their shift is a perpetual training session where they learn new customer pain points, objections, rebuttals and how to sell your products better.  

 

As a marketing leader or even as the company’s content writer, you’re going to need to learn as much about the market as possible. This doesn’t mean you should make cold calls along with sales but listening in on these calls and frequent meetings with SDR’s will help you come up with the right marketing material. 

 

Today’s customers are more knowledgeable than ever and the correlation between inbound marketing and inbound sales makes your success a one-way street. So, as marketing, it isn’t enough to know your product well. You also need to know your competitors and where the market is heading. 

 

Regardless of the industry you’re bound to have a handful of competitors offering the same or similar products at different prices. Therefore, prospects are buying based not just off of price, but also how you sell yourself via your landing pages. 

 

These landing pages need to answer the “why” question. Customers have heard the buzzwords, the best prices, the best products, the best everything, but have they heard why they should choose you? This is something your sales team is trained in. Answering the “Why choose us?” question. The sooner you understand this, the sooner your landing pages can convey the right message and get more inbound leads. 

 

 

Learn the Stories your Customers have to Share

 

As content writers, we often put into words what people in sales best express over the phone. Both are effective ways of communicating, but it is the little conversations and extra details on a call that make a customer’s experience feel unique. Customers open up to those they trust and share real life experiences and stories with reps. 

 

These stories are valuable not just for people in sales but also for marketing. Many of your customers have the same pain points but different stories to share. Stories like how your organization helped them generate x amount of leads which resulted in enough revenue to scale. Or more heartfelt stories like how they were on the brink of closing and how your product or service got them over difficult times. 

 

The more details, the better, and using these testimonials on your landing pages will answer every question a prospective customer needs: Why you do what you do, Who is your product for, and Who (have you) you’ve helped? 

 

You never know what prospect on the decision stage of the funnel is subconsciously looking for that heartfelt story to sway the balance towards your organization. 

 

 

Sales Pitch for Marketing

 

Sales pitches are often frowned upon as they’ve gained quite a negative connotation from sleazy sales people sales people back in the day. But sales pitches are very helpful not just for sales but also marketing. I’ll elaborate. 

 

After creating a fairly large number of landing pages, I’ve come to realize that we use our writing skills to summarize what an SDR conveys on the phone. A tried and true method of sparking interest among prospects. But how do we come up with these sales pitches for marketing?

 

Both marketing and sales departments are taught different ways of selling the sizzle vs the steak. Salespeople tailor their pitch to last no longer than 30 seconds in order to spark enough interest. Why not adjust their pitch into a 300 word landing page that yields the same results? 

 

We’re not big fans of scripts but we do believe in framing what works for your sales team and using it in multiple channels.

 

 

How to Build Partner Programs

 

Partnerships will be the trend in the near future and should account for 20% of an organization’s revenue, but what can you learn from sales that will help you get more partnerships?

 

Tenured salespeople don’t just become experts in selling your organization. They learn tricks of the trade to sell anything, including themselves. They do this by having confidence in their abilities and in your organization.

 

If you’re in marketing and you’re like me, you probably express yourself better in writing than you do via other communication channels. We need to work on this if you wish to acquire partners advocating for your organization. 

 

To create a partner program, according to Bryn Jones of PartnerStack, you must first build a partner persona. This job is reserved for marketing leaders that know exactly who would be the best fit to sell your product. 

 

Challenges encountered running Partner Programs (V1)-1

 

Once your partner persona has been established, you must then go out and pitch to these organizations on why and how to sell your product. You can always reach out via email but having the confidence to speak to these individuals either via phone call or video conference will help them get a feel for why you’re the right fit for each other. 

 

 

The Patience they Possess

 

After working the SDR role for a few months, I realized patience was not my forte. I learned a lot about this organization and felt that my pitch was good enough to have prospects know that it was the best answer for them. Unfortunately, prospects rarely agreed with me. 

 

I was in the role for 6 months before I realized I was better at writing than I was at selling. Luckily, the patience acquired resonated well in my new role. 

 

Both marketing and sales apply AB testing to their strategies and patience is required in both roles. From landing pages to running various ad campaigns, you can’t always expect to hit home runs and that was the mentality I adopted as an SDR. 

 

You can create dozens of landing pages all beautifully built. But if your CTAs aren’t as visible as you think, or even if your load time is a second too long, it can be a problem that results in not converting the same as inexperienced SDRs. The slightest issue can upset visitors. Embracing the patience of an SDR will allow you to be more successful in your marketing efforts. 

 

You’ll likely not pick up the patience or confidence of an SDR in a day, but you can learn about what it takes to survive in your market. Learn about your competitors, see the problems (both big and small) your customers and prospects face daily and put these in writing. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

In the end it’s not about who is more valuable than the other or what each department has done. It’s really about how both can learn skills to make both departments stronger. The better the communication between these two departments is, the more skilled your workforce will be. This will result in both short and long term success. 

 

Topics: sales, Marketing, B2B Sales