Sales’ secret Valentine’s message to Marketing
We’ve intercepted a Valentine’s letter revealing Sales’ true feelings about Marketing
February 11, 2020
It appeared mysteriously in the kitchen area next to the Marketing department, attached to a box of chocolate truffles. The envelope simply read ‘To Marketing’ and where the return address should be was the one word: ‘Sales’. The thing was: none of my colleagues on the sales team knew anything about it. Nobody recognised the handwriting. Nobody had the faintest idea who it was from.
Then, I got a call from an old colleague at another business saying that a similar message had appeared on their desk. A quick glance at social and there were stories of Valentine’s letters appearing in seemingly every B2B marketing department. All with the same simple envelope – and all with the same letter inside.
Could this really be the secret Valentine’s message revealing sales teams’ true feelings about their marketing colleagues? Had sales professionals everywhere somehow crowd-sourced their emotions and scribbled down their combined hopes for a better relationship?
I tore it open and read. Here’s what I found inside:
It’s the week for doing something about the relationships that matter most to us – even when those we admire don’t realise how much we care. And so I wanted to send a message of my own – because if I can’t tell you on Valentine’s Day, then when can I?
When businesses are young, it’s easy for my team to have a crush on yours. Everything is exciting, everything happens quickly – and when growth is easy to come by, nobody minds sharing the credit for it. We worry a lot less about targets when everybody’s hitting theirs – and alignment doesn’t feel like a headache when you’ve got a new proposition that the market really wants. It feels like Sales and Marketing are finishing each other’s sentences… your ads start the customer conversations and we know exactly how to close them.
Sooner or later though, it always seems to change. It’s easy to fall out of love with Marketing when you start to fall short of your quota – when you need to feel supported, and don’t. We end up operating on different wavelengths: the marketing messages don’t seem to back up what our sales teams are saying; my reps complain that you’re talking to different people to those we’re trying to sell to – and that you’re talking to them about different things. They feel that you hand us a list of cheap MQLs to work through and expect us to be happy, when your real attention is always somewhere else.
We appreciate you more than you know!
It’s easy for people to complain that Sales doesn’t appreciate Marketing, but it’s often the opposite that’s true. We know what a huge difference marketing support can make. The most successful sellers give Marketing huge credit for the deals they close, and buyers are always more open to talking when they’ve heard of our brand. That’s why we’re desperate for your attention. We come across as grumpy and controlling – when often we’re feeling frozen out and vulnerable. We know we’re missing out on what could be a special relationship. We want more of you, not less.
We don’t just want to talk about how many leads you’ll give us – and we don’t only care about campaigns with lots of pricing info and big, glaring calls to action. We don’t want marketing that feels like it was created by us. We love the kind of marketing that only you can create.
I think we’re guilty of expecting this to appear by magic. I know we get stuck in our ways, moan about meetings cutting into our time and act like we’re bored when you’re trying to present the digital marketing strategy or pitch new ideas for channels and campaigns. We’ll work on that – I promise we will.
We want to learn how it’s all going to work, what our prospects are going to experience, and how it’s going to make a difference. We want your marketing strategy – but we want you to help us believe in it. Please show us what to expect. Tell us what the next prospect we talk to will know about our business that we don’t know today. Help us find that confidence that the next time we reach out to an influencer on a deal, they’ll want to hear what we have to say.
When it clicks, it feels so right!
That’s why we love the quality time we spend together at events. We talk like at no other time. For a day or two, marketers are always asking how sales meetings went, who we’re seeing next, which prospects we care most about, and whether there’s anything you can do to help. I can see my team smiling because they feel like you really care: about their targets, about their careers, about their lives.
It’s the same when we have a meeting about ABM. We get to talk about the accounts we care about – and why we care about them. And we know you’re listening – because we can see you taking notes! We love those meetings. We get to talk about ideas that we’ll actually see in action: personalised campaigns to convince the hold-outs on a deal; creative ideas for events to make our top tier accounts feel special. The only trouble is, it can feel like we step back outside the meeting room and we’re in our different worlds again.
So Marketing – this is my Valentine’s Wish: please don’t imagine that we don’t care! You aren’t just a source of leads to us. You’re so much more. I know it feels like we don’t care about your strategy – but nothing could be further from the truth. We just need to know that you were thinking of us when you put it together – and we’re desperate for you to show us how it’s going to make a difference.
It can be lonely out there at the bottom of the funnel, and the end of the purchase journey. We need a partner and we need a plan. We need the confidence that the team that makes the magic happen is working on making the magic happen for us.
Please be our B2B Valentine this year.