A great sales pro is a great marketer, and a great marketer is a great sales pro. Yes, Bernie Borges told us Wednesday at the August Social Media Breakfast Madison, there are differences between sales and marketing, but the more we recognize the commonalities the more successful we will be as a team in making connections and closing the sale.
Bernie – who is CEO of Find and Convert in Tampa, Florida, and is host of the Social Business Engine podcast – says the qualities of a good sales pro are pretty much the same as those of a good marketing pro:
- good listener
- relationship builder
- good communicator
- good at follow-up
“You both have the same end goal in mind,” he said. “Marketing exists to sell a product or service. If you’re in marketing, you’re in sales, and if you’re in sales, you’re in marketing.”
Bernie, who long ago made the transition himself from sales to marketing, said, “I have come to an understanding and a realization that I never left sales.”
The 3 pillars of a successful sales pro, he said, are Branding, Visuals, and Conversions. And it is the job of the marketer to support those pillars.
The marketers and sales pros each have their own role in developing an understanding of the audience, developing messaging, communicating, and reinforcing the brand, all while appealing to the emotional needs of the buyer.
The marketing department, he said, has to equip the salesperson with tools “to be the brand.”
These tools include visuals and content that reinforce branding, highlight specific messages, and generate a call to action.
“If you ask sales people what they want from marketing the answer is I want more sales conversations,” Bernie said.
Great sales pros are great marketers, he said, but they may not think that way. Yet they are doing these three pillars, and they are doing it either consciously or unconsciously.
Bernie made a clear point that social (as in social media) is not the strict purview of the marketer. It is important for the sales pro to embrace social as well.
A great sales pro is digitally engaged and active online, he said, creating connections that lead to conversations.
“The mindset of a great sales pro is that he or she is a great marketer and he or she should embrace that,” he said.
They need to read content in their industry and then share content through their social channels They must have great social profiles, with a compelling headline, summary, and content. If done poorly, he warned, your social profile could be working against you.
“Give me a glimpse of who you are as a human being. Show some personality. And tell me little about how you’re going to solve my problems.”
“It should not be an online resume, it should be a sales asset.”
And don’t be a passive social media user; keep engaging with your audience, Bernie said. “You can’t be connected if you’re not engaging with people online.”
Bernie recommended between three and five “digital touchpoints” each day, adding that when you engage, add value to the conversation, not just extraneous comments such as, “Great article.”
Bernie said 75 percent of B2B buyers are influenced by information found on social channels, and 67 percent of the buyers’ journey is now done digitally, while 97 percent of the time cold calling is ineffective.
We’re now in the social age, and it’s more than a technology; its a culture, and we must have a strategy for engaging in it.
As sales pros and marketing pros, we must work closely together and evolve with the technology and cultural changes.
“The old ABC was Always Be Closing. The new ABC,” Bernie said, “is Always Be Connected.”
Written by Bill Hurley, (@billhurleymedia / billhurleymedia.com / beachmaniac.com) Editor, writer, social media strategist, website developer, digital publisher. BillHurleyMail@gmail.com, Bill@smbmad.org.
Bernie’s presentation slides:
SMBMAD Podcast with Bernie Borges:
Photos by Paulius Musteikis: