Marketers need to spend more time on presentations to close bigger deals
Do you ever wish you had more time to put deep work in on a custom presentation for the huge deal your reps are working?
If so, you’re not alone.
In fact the majority of Marketers we consult with regularly, tell us they need to be spending more time helping reps close the mega-deals that really drive revenue. The types of deals where the whole company celebrates and asks for a copy of the presentation materials.
Yet, time and time again we Marketers “can’t” set aside the time to really put the deep thought and effort into making these presentations super special and customized to the client.
As result, your company may win the deal, but credit will never be given to Marketing for their part in making it happen.
If this is you, then here’s what you’ll get from this article.
- What exactly Marketing people are so busy doing they can’t help on the big deal
- What savvy Marketers that value their time are doing to make sure they have a hand in the big deals
- What you can start doing tomorrow with the tools you already have to get more time back into your day
If you are comfortable in your job playing gopher for sales people and submitting a monthly leads report, then this article is not worth your effort.
However, if you want the respect of Sales and more Marketing budget next year, then getting more time to help out sales on the big deals is critical to your success.
What the heck are we Marketers so busy with?
As you are probably aware, a core marketing responsibility is supporting sales.
For many Marketers this means, answering 20-30 emails per week requesting sales collateral over and over again. Sometimes the same reps’ emails for the same collateral over and over again.
I call it playing Marketing whack a mole.
Recently, we were in a booth a major trade show with a client where the Marketing person was getting so many emails and texts on her phone from reps, she couldn’t get up from her stool and meet with prospects in the booth. I thought she was gonna pull her hair out she was so frazzled.
How much time wasted?
So let’s imagine you get 20 emails per week asking for collateral.
These emails, by and large are asking for something that has already been provided to your sales team on your website, in a sales portal, or by, gulp…USB drive.
It doesn’t take that long to respond, right?
Say 5 -6 minutes per email or phone call.
That’s just 100 minutes. So let’s call it 2 hrs per week (~120 minutes).
50 work weeks x 2 hrs means we Marketers are answering redundant emails from savvy sales reps accounting for about 100 hrs per year.
That poor woman in the trade show booth? I bet she spends 100 hrs a month responding.
So why were you unable to spend an extra 10 hours on a life altering big deal presentation again?
What savvy Marketers are doing to make sure they have a hand in the big deals?
What do you like doing better?
Using your creative skills and messaging mastery to create a custom presentation or answering emails from reps.
The real question is what should you be doing to make sure you are getting to work on the big deals and add your unique knowledge to them?
First, make sales aware you have a unique, valuable perspective.
If you want to get something approved in business, you call it “sales.”
If you want to get something rejected, you call it “marketing.”
We Marketers need to own this fact!
However, as Marketers, we typically have easier access to and a greater knowledge of what needs to be included in a big sales presentation and more important, how the pieces fit together to form a coherent message for the prospect.
Additionally, we are well-versed in Account-based marketing and know instinctively how to add proper messaging on an account by account level.
Second, be close to the landscape of deals in the funnel.
If you aren’t lucky enough to sit in on sales meetings, then you’re gonna have to dig in to CRM and stay up-to-date on the progress of big deals.
What’s the account value? When is the big presentation day? Who is the decision maker?
All these things take TIME. Time you might currently be spending playing whack-a-mole with your inbox.
Lastly, contribute before you are asked with account specific ideas.
Now you get to use your Marketing skills to get a seat at the table and be apart of the presentation team.
Notice, I recommended contribute before you are asked.
Send along your insights to the reps involved. Accidentally, bump into the VP Sales at the coffee machine. Ask about the deal your team passed over the wall.
Of course every situation is unique.
Maybe your company as built a huge wall between Sales and Marketing.
Maybe Marketing doesn’t get a Salesforce.com license.
I get it.
But if you want a seat at the table, you will find a way to get on board and contribute.
Finally, now that you are on the team and involved, you have to make the custom presentation the best it can be. And you can’t do that if you wasting time answering emails from reps on your iPhone every 15 minutes.
What you can start doing tomorrow with the tools you already have to get more time back into your day?
It’s pretty obvious you can’t give time you don’t have. So if you’re a Marketer that is already spending huge amounts of time responding to reps emails and want to stop, here’s some suggestions to get on the right path.
First, understand why reps email you instead of logging into your web portal, website, or last awesome new product email to find materials.
When sales reps are “on the road”, juggling a number of different prospects, they know their time is not well spent looking for collateral. Every second they can steal back into their day potentially means more money in their pockets, for their families, etc.
Sure you can say “lazy reps”, but that doesn’t change your reality that reps are directly responsible for sales. No sales = no jobs for anyone.
Second, understand the deeper reasons why you have become a pro-active helper for reps on the road.
A Marketer who consistently answers the call and provides the same collateral their sales reps will receive the praise from their sales team. You become known for your keenness to respond and the cycle repeats.
But is this where you should be spending your valuable time?
Furthermore, Marketers who complain, balk, and or challenge sales reps who persist in asking for the same material over and over again, create animosity between the sales and marketing teams and that leads to trouble in many organizations.
Third, become a guardian of your time.
Your company probably already has a sales portal or library that houses the most up to date sales materials reps would need.
Make sure it gets updated often!
If it isn’t, you can bet the first thing reps will do is stop using it and never log in again.
Once you solved your “updating problem”, then you need to get firm about telling reps where to look in the sales portal EVERY TIME they ask you.
Be patient at first.
“Yes, Bill here’s a link to the brochure in sales portal. If you have trouble logging in, give me a quick call.”
“Sure Mary, here’s the pricing for that product in the new brochure on our website. Here’s how I got to it. Can you pass this along to your peers so they can find it easily as well?”
Save those emails to a folder, so you can forward them to the next person that asks immediately. Soon enough, you’ll be saving yourself hours per week and getting more time to work on the important stuff like custom presentations for mega-deals.
While a marketer naturally wants to help their colleagues in sales, helping them in the right way is far more beneficial to both their company and their career than simply enabling a rep to lazily ask (or, smartly use you!) and receive the same information they already have access to while they are in between meetings on the road.