Many volumes have been written about the fact that there is sometimes disagreement between sales and marketing departments about lead quantity and quality; I have nothing new under the sun to add to this topic. I just want to take this opportunity to say to my sales brethren out there; “I understand now.” In particular, I understand why in most cases it’s true that salespeople need more leads and better leads. It’s a rare salesperson who has more hot leads than s/he can handle. The funnel never seems big enough.
As a consultant I sometimes wear two hats simultaneously; that of a salesperson and of a marketer. Calling and emailing prospects to generate revenue is a big part of my work. When I feel like a lead is lousy, I look in the mirror and say, “get me more leads!” Similarly, when I look at the list of leads that has gone cold, I look in the mirror and say “follow up on those leads!”
I’ve always respected what sales people do day in and day out, but having to do a little bit of sales work as a consultant has given me a newfound appreciation for the challenges of being a salesperson. I think that understanding and perspective makes me a stronger marketer, a better complement to a sales team.
One other thing I want to mention…If there are any salespeople out there who have walked a mile in the shoes of a marketer, please kindly acknowledge that marketing is no walk in the park either.