Honey, we need to talk…

When our CEO recruited you as Head of Marketing, I was very enthusiastic. Finally, my sales teams would benefit from a real support, along with a battle plan to generate leads, keep the pipeline flowing, and market our offers. We were asked to work together “as a couple”.

As time went by, things got complicated. “As a couple”, they had said… Sometimes I feel like we don’t understand each other anymore. And yet mutual respect and understanding are at the root of everything.

So now that you’re back from vacation, sun-kissed and relaxed, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a few things, so we can start over with a clean slate. Of course, this is my version of the story. Before you give me yours, it’s important that you listen to it:

·       Picking up the phone to call a stranger is one of the most difficult things in the world. Even if you have proof that this stranger has been on our website three times in the last two weeks.

·       The notions of “sales-ready lead” and “it’s only a question of signing it” tastes bitter in the mouth of my teams. At the very least, this shows lack of knowledge of the reality of their job.

·       Salespeople can be dishonest at times. They quibble about the quality of leads, quickly forgetting the good old days when they generated the leads themselves.

·       Like you, I’m angry at salespeople who complain when they return from appointments because “there’s no project”. In fact, it is precisely because there is no project yet that it is potentially an excellent prospect.

·       I can’t say I enjoyed the slide you presented to Comex on the sales process seen from your perspective: “Targeting – Inbound Campaign – Qualification – Transmission to sales – Signature”.

·       Selling is about changing what people think, sometimes even how they think. One person after another. That’s what makes this job beautiful. Not the commissions.

·       I can’t do anything without you. I need well marketed services, sexy presentations, leads, and marketing content. I need you so much, sometimes I blame you for that.

·       We no longer need selling arguments, we need talking points. We no longer present a series of arguments about services, we conduct conversations about how to transform our customers’ business. “Snack content” is not enough, we need fuel for conversations.

·       A qualified lead to a non-decision maker has no value. And don’t tell me we’ll just have to go up the organizational chart. It’s even more difficult than approaching Executives directly from above.

·       The salesperson is lazy and pragmatic. The first question he asks himself every morning is “how can I work less and earn more”. If you don’t get this, your wonderful sales intelligence plug-in or any other sales tech software will have a lifespan of one week.

·       You seem to think that salespeople don’t make much use of your new 31-slide presentation that you worked so hard on last year. The truth is, they don’t use it at all. On the other hand, it’s very useful for the integration of newcomers.

·       Prospects are versatile and hardly ever speak the truth. That’s why forecasting is a difficult art. Especially when predicting about the future

  • You “know” what the market wants because you’ve read market research reports. I “feel” what customers want because I meet with them every day. Maybe it’s time we combined our perspectives.

·       You probably think that if we sold through an online platform and had more salespeople, things would be easier. You’re right: it would. But it would also be less efficient. In order to build loyalty, to conquer, to convince, to change the world, we still have to put human beings in front of other human beings.

·       When you work hard to give us great leads, our job is to take over immediately. Sometimes, it’s true, we’re lagging. We’re going to improve.

Are you free for lunch sometime this week?
François Drillon



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