Yes, I agree with many that believe MARKETING and SALES are two completely and different beasts. Both require a similar BUT yet very different skillset which in the end enables a potential customer to engage in conversation of a particular Product and/or a Service.
The obvious goal of both parties is to create new opportunities and engage in conversations. Or what I like to call, Creating the BUZZ!
Marketing is all about getting interest on new products and having customers give you that opportunity, while on the Sales side of things . . . . well . . . its always about CLOSING the opportunity.
I should add that I have made my entire living being a Sales professional BUT I will add that much of my last 30+ years have had me either deeply engaged with Marketing or having Marketing Teams reporting directly to me which meant living the Marketing world, day in and day out.
Without a doubt, I will say that good SALES professional learns to develops thick skin early on in the game as well understands that the more “No’s” you receive eventually will lead to getting that one “YES”! So accepting rejection and having resilient persistence to move forward after constant “No’s” is a trait that one develops over time.
A key factor in the “Art of Sales” is that one truly does becomes “in-tuned” to the ability of reading situations and scenarios much better. Things such as body language, tones of voice, identifying needs or what we like to call “pain points” and even reading upside down. Yes, I said it, “reading upside down”, a trait that I developed very well over the years.
The true sales role will definitely enhance your ability to create better people skills and will absolutely crush any fear you may once have had of speaking in public or to a group of 2 people or more.
Its funny when I think back as to how many different marketing reps I have actually worked with over my years, many of which today are doing very well in “sales” and working for some amazing corporations. The vast majority of them would always say “they couldn’t do it” or they could never nor would ever get in front of a customer to SELL.
Whenever I noticed an individual that I felt had all the right characteristics for sales but would give me these types of responses. I would be “that” person to try engage them without them knowing they were being thrown into the actual SALES SCENARIO. I just always felt they possibly needed that slight nudge to get them to try out the other side or at least show them that it wasn’t all that bad!
I have always valued the Marketing-Sales teams relationship. To me it was always so important to have a great bond between these two groups. If you stop to think about it, it was because of what they did that I made a living from and in the end I always felt it was a true TEAM effort.
So, why not invite them to a sales call!!!!
I would often let them know that I needed some support on the new product or service we were launching and would ask if they can come out to the field with me. I found that it was always the perfect opportunity to get them to accompany me on a sales call. I believe they came out 100% of the time. Always were delighted to get out and change up their day to day routine and venture out to meet a customer.
My job as a sales professional was to always create the perfect setting and climate for all of us. It was extremely important for my customers and my team to feel comfortable and simply be in an environment to have a friendly chat amongst us. What “marketing” didn’t realize is that as we dove deeper into a conversation with the customer, they would be engaging more and more and many times would talk more than me. I would simply smile at them and would simply just guide the conversation in the right direction with the ultimate goal of closing the opportunity!
After each meeting they would always all say the same thing . . . “that wasn’t bad at all”! LOL!
So these are my (5) reasons why over the years I have witnessed over and over again that Marketing Reps truly can become great Sales People.
- They already UNDERSTAND the importance of the product or service that is being offered. Who better suited to sell a product then someone who wrote the specs, reviewed every angle of the product, knows its features and benefits and can differentiate from the competition.
- Marketing reps are DETAIL ORIENTED. You can rest assure that no one knows a product or a service better than a marketing rep. In many cases they even know the behind the scenes and what it took to get a product to this point. Understanding the specifications and its history is huge in the world of sales. Even better this also enables them to answer the most challenging questions that sometimes come up in meetings where we as “sales reps” have a hard time responding to.
- They know how to LISTEN well. The one advantage I have learned about marketing reps is that in order to get a product to launch into a market, there is a lot of meetings and interviews that take place prior to the launch. This is what enables a product to be successful. The research, the questions, the endless meetings ALL require them to listen and learn to identify the need in the industry and HOW you can make something better and different from the rest. They acquired the skill of LISTENING without realizing it!
- They excel at always IMPROVING. It’s a trait that is required in sales and marketers already possess it. In marketing you are never just satisfied with the product. You are always looking at ways of making something better. Whether that means working with engineering teams, production or end users, the MINDSET is there and will quickly make a difference in the world of sales!
- You are not afraid to invest your TIME. If there is one thing I can say about sales, it’s that it’s a 24/7 gig! To be successful in this role means having to put hours in late at night, early mornings and many times weekends. This is something marketing reps have already been doing. Meeting all the change requirements and trying to hit all the deadlines meant putting in the hours. This piece becomes a very easy transition for a marketing rep.
Becoming a great and successful Sales person will still take practice, many hours and countless meetings to break all the new barriers BUT I want you to know that so marketing reps ALREADY have these 5 amazing traits that many Sales reps have to work hard at developing.
Like the saying goes, “Practice Makes Perfect” and whether its for you or not in the end It makes for a BETTER YOU for trying!
Good luck and wishing you GREAT SUCCESS!