It’s been 27 years since the movie Glengarry Glen Ross came out.
The one with Alec Baldwin’s famous “Coffee is for closers” scene. Ever seen it? It’s in just about every sales kickoff.
In case you’ve only set eyes on the one scene, the rest of the movie is all about finding leads. Back then, marketing was a gut job. Today, marketing is a “whole other bag.”
In a recent talk Dave Bruno, Marketing Director at Aptos, talked about how marketers today seem to measure everything—except maybe the most important metric of all.
Here’s what he had to say.
What We’re Covering Here
- The Crucial Marketing Metric That Get Ignored Way Too Often
- What to Do When Your Message Gets Mangled by Sales
- 5 Ways to Build Trust With Sales and Help Them Improve Win Rates
The Crucial Marketing Metric That Get Ignored Way Too Often
Raise your hand if you’re measured or are measured by inquiries…
…Almost everybody, huh?
If I moved on to MQLs, SQLs, and marketing contribution to revenue, a lot of your hands would still be up. But how about those of you measured by win rates?
Suddenly, half the hands go down. Which is interesting, given the fact that so many of you have revenue in your metrics. We measure revenue, but we’re not measured on win rates. And, guess what? Our success on some of those other metrics depends on whether or not we win the damn deal, right?
How many days have passed since you went on a ride-along with sales? Since you sat in on a meeting? Every deal’s got that meeting big meeting in front of executives to give your pitch. These big meetings are everything marketing lives for—but when did you last attend one?
And, if it’s been a little while, brace yourself. You just might not like what you see.
In fairness, salespeople are some of the busiest people in your company, right? Just ask them.
They’re constantly on conference calls. And we keep sending them to far-flung and remote places where they have to go to meet prospects. And, of course, they’ve got to save time to count their commissions, you know?
If you’re not paying attention to win rates, let alone what the hell they’re actually saying in those meetings—you’re leaving a lot up to chance.
What to Do When Your Message Gets Mangled by Sales
Bad slides jump out and punch viewers in the face, like Batman. Customized content, in many ways, is a pipe dream—other than the stretched, low-res logo on the first slide.
What happens when our message gets mangled or misses the mark like that? Our win rates fall off the cliff. So what do we do about it?
First of all we don’t despair. Get on the road, do a ride-along, and see how bad or good it is in those meetings. Your “ride-along” might be a literal car ride or a conference call.
No matter how bad it is, don’t despair. This is a unique opportunity for you to be in front of your target audience. It’s a gigantic beaming spotlight on your audience.
Instead of guessing what their interests are, you’ll get a chance to know what their planned investments are. It’s a roadmap for your content.
You can talk about personalized ABM all day, but ultimately it’s a two-way street: we need to hear their personal stories in order to develop personal stories for them.
It’s a dream scenario for content marketing if we embrace it. Ride-alongs bring potential for targeted content that can impact your win rates.
And we can all make more money when we improve our win rates.
5 Ways to Build Trust With Sales and Help Them Improve Win Rates
If your message is being mangled by sales, there are five things you should do:
- Earn their trust.
- Join their team.
- Be a willing and active participant in helping them.
- Participate in discovery.
- Tell your stories without judgement.
Obviously, to change anything in anyone, you have to earn trust. There’s no magic checklist to doing this, but you’ve got to earn the trust of sales leadership to allow you to go on ride-alongs in the first place.
Part of the way that you do that is you join an account team. Not as your job, but as a function of your job. Get on an account team, and trust will come if you get into the scrum, do the work, and be a willing and active participant to help.
Go to a meeting. Don’t get in the middle of it, don’t try to steer things, don’t try to correct them, just be a fly on the wall. Understand their brand positioning and the product positioning. Understand the value messaging that they’re delivering to a specific client. Understand which assets they’re mangling (er, using), and, most of all, gauge the reaction.
Pay attention to the audience as much as the deliverer of the content. See how they’re reacting, see how they’re engaging or not, see how many phones are being picked up while your salesperson’s presenting. And remember this golden rule: throughout the process, at all times, there should be no judgment.
No judging. Period.
No talking amongst your colleagues saying, “I can’t believe Dave, he just put this awful deck in front of this client.” That will get out and, when that gets out, trust goes out as well. And this whole thing starts and ends with trust. So, no triangulation, no judgment. They’re doing the best they can.
Know that you’re going to see a horror show when you attend meetings. In fact, you should expect it. Don’t make your face look like that in the back of the room.
Expect the horror show because, if you don’t, you’re going to break their trust and, we can’t live up to step one if we break their trust on step five.
We’ll never get another shot.