Why you can’t rely on the gift of one big sale this Christmas


Beautiful wrapping, this one seems like a winner!

You pick it up and give it a little shake but you just can’t wait. It looks epic! Two quick tears and you catch your first glimpse. It’s… it’s… it’s… another box. A much smaller box. That’s OK, good things come in small packages so you rip open this one to see… well… yet another box. They’re teasing you now. Three boxes and a lot less fun later, you finally get to something soft, covered in tissue paper. Really? That’s OK, you’re almost there. Finally, you’re in! Your epic gift is… a new pair of “Best Dad in the “World” socks. Well, as a new dad (Check out my “Looking after a new born” blog), I guess it makes some sense but the only thing that was epic about this present was the epic waste of packaging. Gutted!

This is THE one

We’ve all had that same sinking feeling. One of your team is working on a deal from a tier one prospect, a unicorn. She’s certain this is THE one. It will close and it’s going to make sure you smash your EOY (End of year) revenue target. That deal doesn’t come in. Instead of smashing your target, you get a kindly worded rejection email promising future consideration. With just a few weeks to go until year end, you’re running around in circles, wondering what else could have been done.

It’s so rarely THE one

So much has changed in the past decade and a half. Sales and business development have transformed and evolved into a totally different beast and relying on one individual or one team has become a fool’s game. A sales leader should always be looking through the lens of a buyer and buying habits are not the same as they once were.

According to Marketing Sales Alignment research by the Content Marketing Institute in 2018:

  • 92% of buyers now start with information searches
  • 53% of buyers find that going online and researching is superior to interacting with a salesperson
  • 75% of buyers depend on social networks (referrals) to learn about choosing the right vendor
  • 90% of buyers won’t take a cold call

That’s why the days of calling 100+ blind leads, aka: “spray and pray” are gone and the Glengarry, Glen Ross “ABC (Always Be Closing)” techniques no longer work.

Success takes more than one individual or team

All areas of the company but especially marketing and sales need to make a combined effort to have a consistent message and to reach their audience. If each team focuses on their own tasks and agendas, they won’t understand each other, which means their audience won’t understand the business. Sadly, Hubspot tell us that 1 in 4 companies say their sales and marketing teams are either “misaligned” or “rarely aligned”, meaning that their actions are part of two separate sales “funnels”, meetings are infrequent and when they do happen, they are often spent resolving conflicts. As we approach a new decade, this will need to change in order to maximise growth and drive revenue.

Sales cycles are shorter, market-entry costs go down, and the cost of sales is lower – Harvard Business Review

Understanding your customer

With proper integration, marketing can still do the great work of creating marketing plans, building brand awareness and (the good ones) generating leads for sales but they can add so much more. Communicating properly with sales will help them to understand the deeper desires of the individual customer rather than just group segments. They can work with sales to come up with presentations and consistent messaging, which will give sales more time to build personal relationships and close leads. No more blame game, just a winning game.

Would you like to generate 32% higher revenue, retain 36% more customers and achieve 38% higher win rates? How about higher brand awareness and average deal size? COM’s Agenda report by Aberdeen group says this is all possible with integrated marketing and sales.

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Ready to discover more?

In my next blog, I’ll help you understand the alignment between your sales and marketing departments and provide steps to get them in sync. It doesn’t stop there, they are just two departments. Later on, we’ll focus on aligning customer success, finance, product and R&D departments. It’s all about incremental improvements that will help deliver a best of breed solution for success.

Who is Joshua Swerdlow?

I’m a growth consultant for b2b startups. I work global clients to get the most out of their teams. If you’d like some advice on how to scale up, how to lead a global sales team or how to make the most out of staff working from home, say hello. Even if you just want to connect to discuss Christmas hampers (I’m not overly knowledgeable), you can find me on LinkedIn, or Skype (joshswerdlow).

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