What’s Marketing sending to Sales this Valentine’s?

We’ve discovered a reply to the mysterious Valentine’s letter revealed earlier this week – so how does Marketing really feel about Sales?

February 13, 2020

What’s Marketing sending to Sales this Valentine’s?

The mystery deepens. A few days ago, it was a secret Valentine’s letter from Sales to Marketing that appeared in B2B marketing departments everywhere. Then, this morning – a reply! Our Head of Sales came by with a box of heart-shaped cookies that had appeared in the communal area next to his team’s desks. Once again, there was a Valentine’s note attached. This time it was addressed simply ‘To Sales’ from ‘Marketing’. The handwriting matched nobody in our two teams. And once again, a quick call to friends and colleagues revealed similar Valentine’s messages appearing in sales departments where they worked.

Could this mysterious note reveal Marketing’s true feelings about Sales? We had to take a look:

Dear Sales,

I’d love to be your B2B Valentine! And that’s because there’s no other team and no other relationship that I care about more. As marketers, we spend so much of our time thinking about you: what you’re going through, what you need, how you’re feeling about the year ahead – and yes, what you think about us. I just wish we had better ways to show it.

Well now’s our chance. It’s Valentine’s Day – and the chance to reveal just how big a secret admirer Marketing is of Sales. So bouquets, bottles of champagne and heart-shaped cookies at the ready: here we go!

It’s a confidence thing…

Let’s say the most important thing first. We’ve always been smitten by you – and we’ve always assumed you knew it. It’s a confidence thing: you seem to have loads of it, and you use it to do things that no other team in the business can do. You’re independent, you’re self-starting, you’re straight-talking, you take the initiative. And you make our world add up – literally. Every percentage point of ROI that we calculate ultimately depends on you. It would be pointless my team talking about how our business can grow if we didn’t have you out there making that growth happen. You complete us.

The problem is: our own confidence seems to disappear when we’re dealing with you. My team feel over-awed, tiptoeing around eggshells, too eager to please, and too embarrassed to ask too many questions. We kid ourselves that hitting our MQL targets will magically make you happy. But when we only talk in terms of numbers, it sucks the spontaneity out of our relationship. We’re not being ourselves – and because we’re not being ourselves, we can’t give you the support that we want to.

Let’s start by trusting each other more. I know you have trouble believing the leads we give you are any good. We have trouble raising the quality because we have to deliver so many on a tight budget – and the reason we have to deliver so many is because you’re convinced most of them are worthless. This is crazy. It’s a vicious cycle that will drive us away from each other if we’re not careful. Instead of focusing on how many leads we give you, or how many you follow up on, let’s get together and figure out what a great lead looks like. Let’s spend more time talking about where they should come from. And let’s get together to help make sure more of them close.

Marketers spend a lot of time talking to other marketers. I think we need to find the right language for talking to you – and not just about sales, but about how marketing can help at every stage of selling.

We need to find a way to explain how our brand strategy will bring your targets closer. We need to stop talking about customer segments and start talking about the people and prospects you’ll be reaching out to and dealing with. We need to move on from leads and talk about all the other ways that we can help: from the start of the buying journey all the way through to helping you close a deal – and making sure customers feel special afterwards. You know what it’s like out there in the funnel. We’ve got loads of ideas we want to share about how it can be better.

Our Valentine’s wish

I’ve got this dream where we draw up a strategy for reaching everyone who might ever want to buy from you. It’s not just a plan for a quarter – it’s a plan for giving you what you need for years and years to come. In my dream, we’re both more patient and trusting. We’ve got confidence in what we’re doing and why. We spend hours together talking about different target accounts, different types of buyers, different ways we’re going to inspire them. We get people talking – and we get people wanting to talk to you.

That’s why I’m desperate for Sales to be our B2B Valentine this year – and I’d love Marketing to be yours. Let’s get together. Not just for this week or this month, but really long-term. For as long as we’ve got a brand and a business to build together.

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