No tunnel-vision executive is going to wake up and decide sales and marketing is important, or that they should understand it. You’ve got to make the case for it consistently. You need your executives totally bought in – if they aren’t, you’ll end up in a bunch of pointless political battles and you won’t get much done – this is something we at D. White & Company have learned from experience.
While this step might seem obvious, it’s the first step for a reason – it’s really, really important. Asking people – especially sales people – to do things differently is a sure step into choppy waters. You must be ready to manage political issues on all side, anticipate them and be in front of them.
There are four ways to do this. In essence, you must control the narrative:
Show your results – It’s important to show your results to executives and other teams. Give metrics-driven reports in staff meetings and occasionally hold meetings or presentations for other groups where you explain what you’re doing. If you are in sales and marketing, your other job title could be “chief trainer.”
Show your work – It’s important to include others in your marketing and sales work. Use a feedback-driven model. Show them well-drafted work and ask for their thoughts. Never ask for open-ended feedback but ask for feedback on specific deliverables and projects. Otherwise, projects lose focus.
Find quick wins – Use the action priority matrix to find simple, revenue-driving wins. This is playing your short game. It’s important to be able to claim some quick, measurable wins. Be sure to celebrate them. You need quick wins to buy time and build momentum for your bigger-win projects.
Become an evangelist – Take responsibility for marketing and sales and be willing to represent its interests at meetings. Talk to everyone about marketing and sales, what you’re doing and why it’s in important.
Here’s the pep talk portion of the blog: If you are not telling marketing’s story, no one else will, and your results will be controlled by the whims of the rumor mill. You may think to yourself, “but I’m too busy,” and no doubt you are very busy, but, busy does not equal success. Find one thing you’re doing that produces no results, stop doing, and spend that time building the case for marketing.
Sometimes, however, you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall. Maybe your predecessor made such a mess of things that you’ve got your work cut out for you. Maybe people just think marketing is “fancy creative stuff.”
This is another area in which using a consultant can be very helpful. Oftentimes, hearing an outside voice reinforces the importance of discussions that are already happening inside the organization. Consultants are able to provide information on trends, best practices and research that can help you make the case for marketing with your executive staff.
D. White & Company helps organizations understand the importance of marketing. Have a marketing problem you need help solving? Schedule an appointment today.