How Sales and Marketing live happily ever after.


In our article 'From lead to deal: The sales game has changed' we observed that successful organizations changed from controlling the sales cycle to facilitating the buying cycle. This approach requires a deep integration of marketing and sales. For many organizations this is a fundamentally new way of thinking. How can you arrange a successful marriage between marketing and sales?


Overcome the scepsis

First the bad news: another mindset, organization and usage of tools  is required. I hear a lot of sales guys think “yeah, yeah, yeah...” But remember: fail to adapt, prepare for death. 

So how to adapt in order to capture the opportunities within the financial services sector? First of all marketing needs to understand what activities result in revenue for the company. Secondly, sales in return should have a clear picture which leads they need to engage with first. And finally - and that is the good news: sales and marketing share responsibility on topics like target market selection, value proposition, positioning and other content and client related matters. Your sales and marketing should be closely working together as one team.


Before we come to play...

I will talk you through, but please remember that our assumption is that you have the tooling in place. And with tooling I mean tools that connect your marketing activities to your CRM. Plus I assume that your marketing and sales department truly interact with each other. So the marketeers are focussed and managed towards revenue and the sales people see the marketing department as the necessary part of sales to engage with new prospects. They are actively involved in lead generation and lead nurturing.


Outdated sales and marketing approach

Nine out of ten companies we walk into still have a separate marketing and sales department. With the marketeers managing (general) campaigns, branding and content. Most of the time they aren’t talking to clients nor are they accountable for revenue. All this while the big ‘swinging dick’ sales department exists of slick people who bring in the money, trusting their years long sales experience and (old boys) network. The bad news: das war einmal… But is no more.


How does it work these days?

Being married doesn’t mean you’re aligned. But nowadays a part of the sales cycle exists online, you have to find a way together… For a seamless alignment sales and marketing have to agree on certain points, like processes and definitions. For example the definition of a sales qualified lead: when is a lead warmed up enough for sales to step in? Sales people on the other hand play a large role in creating qualitative content. They  know the questions the marketeers have to answer. 


So… Hold on!

There are different ways to marry your sales and marketing. I will show them along the road. You’ll figure out which way is the best for you and fits your company the most. Stay tuned!

The Series

Mind the Gap.

  • From lead to deal
    1: The sales game has changed
    Facilitate the buyer's journey, change your mindset

    Lack of structure and a lot of creativity. Are these the characteristics that come to mind when asked to describe a great salesperson? Not really right? Yet, the best sales people I know in the industry are not very structured, not very organised nor disciplined. 

  • Branding & identity
    3: Who do you think you are?
    How to get your branding in place.

    Welcome to our ‘mind the gap’ article about brand & identity. Let’s first make sure we are all on the same page about the terminology because the language used is often misunderstood. Brand: Your brand is a combination of a visual identity, tone of voice and behaviour - most visibly expressed through your logo, taglines and images used in communication campaigns.

  • Positioning
    4: Finding the right position
    Positioning is all about differentiation.

    Welcome to our ‘mind the gap’ article about positioning. Here we will discuss the importance of positioning and how it can help you stand out from your competitors. How many times have you walked into a bank to pitch for a piece of business only to be told ‘we already have the functionality you offer’ or ‘we solved that problem a long time ago’.

  • Value proposition
    5: Value proposition: the extra mile
    What problem do we solve and for whom?

    In this ‘mind the gap’ article we will discuss the value proposition and how it will help your fintech sales efforts in the financial services sector. That is, if applied correctly... Going the extra mile...

  • Target markets
    6: Finding your target audience
    How do you enter the considerable and risk-averse market of banks?

    Most Fintechs face the same challenges in finding their target audience. They have a fantastic product which solves a problem for a bank. But how do they enter the considerable and risk-averse market of banks? A challenge like this isn’t a day at the beach, or is it?

  • Buying committee
    7: Not a shopaholic
    Get to know the buying committee

    Before banks buy your product (or service), you first need to convince the buying committee. The people on this committee make sure that the banks money is well spent. Here is how you deal with them in order to close a deal.

  • Competition analysis
    8: The illusion of the special snowflake
    Never underestimate your competition

    A lot of fintechs might feel the urge to skip the competition analysis. Simply because they feel they don’t have any competitors. Their product is a unique solution, so why bother with looking at what others do? Well, fintechs should worry because there is always some competition; ‘special snowflake-ness’ is an illusion.

  • Sales & Engagement approach
    9: Stop selling. Start giving!
    Just selling for the sake of it has and will never work.

    It might come as a surprise to you, but focusing on selling is sometimes the worst thing a sales organisation can do. A much better approach is to focus on the problem you solve for your customers and how can you help them navigate the deal through their own organisation.

  • Pipeline Optimization
    10: Hot or not?
    Optimize your sales pipeline and find the most effective way from lead to deal.

    Phrases like 'pipeline optimization' that we use in our Sales & Marketing businesses do not always sound exciting. Nevertheless, the topic of pipeline optimization is hot as can be! If you optimize your sales pipeline, you'll find the most effective way from lead to deal. Sounds like a plan, but how do you do it?

  • Sales Enablement
    11: Help your sales star win
    Sales enablement is everything you need to do to enable your sales people to sell more

    Let's have a look at 'Sales Enablement’. There seem to be many misunderstandings about this topic, but most companies don't even notice it.

  • Winning Sales
    12: Winning Sales is not everything: it is the only thing
    It is not that companies forget about sales, but rather that they don't know how to play the sales game.

    Sales is like playing tennis. Nobody cares about how many balls you hit, or services you make, how hard you hit the ball or how many miles you ran on the court. At Wimbledon, it is all about the performance: winning the game. And that's the same with winning sales.