5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales

If you are a recently promoted senior marketing leader (CMO, VP of Marketing), and are looking for ways to dramatically improve your impact in your first six months, please join us for our next CMO breakfast:

“The Outsider: How CMOs Can Quickly Gain Credibility

and Transform an Existing Marketing Team

The days of the “hired gun” CMO have ended. SpencerStuart recently reported that, over the past six years, the average CMO tenure has nearly doubled to 45 months. CEOs are promoting marketing leaders who can demonstrate a broader set of skills, galvanize their (often virtual) teams, and connect deeply with their brand.

Does that describe you? If yes, how will you make your new position or promotion really count?

Paul GottsegenMy special guest, Paul Gottsegen, will provide some timely answers. Paul is the CMO of Infosys, a $7.4B provider of consulting and outsourcing.

This breakfast discussion will enable you to: 

  • Identify the essential quick wins in your first 90 days
  • Create defining moments
  • Conquer the challenges of leading virtual and global teams
  • Overcome team resistance to change

You will join companies such as Davis Construction, Aronson LLC, ICF International, Capital Bank, and Thompson Hospitality.

Click here for more information and to register.


How marketing and sales can collaborate to maximize sales.


Sellers who win sell radically differently than sellers who come in second place. That’s according to What Sales Winners Do Differently, a new research report from RAIN Group, a sales training and consulting firm. In its research, RAIN Group analyzed more than 700 business-to-business purchases to find out what separates sales winners from second-place finishers.

As I reviewed the results, it struck me just how much more marketing can do to help turbocharge results in this new world of selling.

Here are five things RAIN Group found that sales winners do better than second-place finishers, as well as how marketing and sales can collaborate to maximize sales results:

1. Sellers who win connect the dots between buyer needs and the seller’s solutions.

Mike Schultz, the coauthor of the report, notes the Harvard Business Review recently published an article titled, “The End of Solution Sales.” RAIN Group’s research, however, found quite the opposite. In many cases, sellers are often left to their own devices to make the connection between customers’ needs and how their products and services can act as solutions to those needs.

Yet, in most organizations, the marketers are assigned responsibility for analyzing and communicating how their company’s offerings can improve their customers’ condition. Marketers should create tools and playbooks that do this basic work for the sales team. These tools should include a grid of company offerings, how these offerings solve needs, the impact (or benefit) of solving those needs, and questions sellers can ask to uncover those needs. This has a huge impact on a seller’s ability to connect the dots between needs and solutions.

2. Sellers who win persuade buyers they will achieve worthwhile results.

Case studies that demonstrate how your company created client results are gold to sellers. When marketing can provide these studies, the new buyers will a) see the results are possible, b) desire the results for themselves, and c) go a long way to being convinced they can achieve similar results.

3. Sellers who win minimize buyers’ perception of risk.

This was a surprising finding. As Schultz said to me, “The concept of risk reduction has shot up in recent years in its importance to winning sales. Buyers have been burned in the past by promises not kept and are still feeling the sting of the Great Recession. Risk reduction is more important than ever.” While the seller is essential in building trust with the buyer, marketing needs to be responsible for its brand, thought leadership, and communicating a history of results that build trust in the company itself and its offerings.

4. Sellers who win convince buyers they are the best option.

In a word, this is differentiation. Marketers can have a huge impact on helping sales communicate how their offerings–and their company–are superior to other options. Getting competitive positioning right takes great effort, but produces great results. It’s often better for marketing to do it once and allow the whole sales team to leverage it, then it is for the sales team to try to get it done themselves in their spare time.

5. Sellers who win collaborate with buyers.

Consultants from CEB published The Challenger Sale, which recommends that sellers focus on challenging (and generally being more antagonistic) toward buyers. I wrote about this topic on FastCompany.com earlier this year. RAIN Group found the opposite in their research. RAIN researchers found that collaboration, not confrontation, gets better sales results. Creating events where buyers, prospects, and sellers can connect offline provides many possibilities. Blogs, private live events, and breakfasts; online meeting technologies such as Google Hangout; and online collaboration communities (like what CDW did here to improve sales prospecting) provide marketing leaders with myriad options.

All marketers should read What Sales Winners Do Differently. Consider sending the brief report to your sales and marketing teams. The more they know about how sales professionals and buyer behaviors are changing, the more they can sell like the top performers.

When marketing and sales collaborate with prospects, the race to the finish line happens with more ease. Don’t make selling more challenging than it needs to be.

Related Posts:

“Trends In B2B Sales And Marketing From ‘The Challenger Sale’ “

“Why CMOs Also Have To Be Thought Leaders”

“Four Essentials For Modern B2B Marketers”

[Image: Flickr user Pier-Luc Bergeron]

This post originally appeared in FastCompany.

Comments open: True

Related Posts

We’re living in a time of marketing liminality.  Some leaders feel as if they have one hand clinging to their Zoom rooms and one hand clinging to a dusty office HQ desk.

This messy middle moment is fueled by ever-changing customer expectations, dynamic workplace configurations, and  high team turnover. (I started to see these challenges emerge in 2018 and published 3 posts about them here.)

There is a silver lining to this liminal marketing moment….

Read More

The flurry of business activity– market selloffs, marketing planning, and volatile “back to work” policies—are putting a lot of us on edge. 

It’s even worse when you are faced with toxic team members or bosses. 

In this #Newsweek Livestream with Dorie Clark, I provide two steps you can immediately take to create more calm amidst the chaos:

Tell yourself a little mantra: “poise begins with a pause.” Set your clock and pause for one minute before your next big meeting….

Read More

How digital-ready is your team?

Take our 3 minute quiz to find out.