The New B-to-B Fundamentals (1,907 words)
This is particularly true when contacts are made with active customers. No salesperson feels comfortable with others in the company contacting "my customer," as they have a high sense of proprietary responsibility for all customer contact. On the other hand, they know that many decision influencers and users within customer companies haven't been called upon in some time. So, in the interest of building better customer relationships, non-salesperson contacts should be made. However, there must be a communication to the salesperson regarding the substance of the contact so that they are not caught off guard when making future calls.
Overall, a game plan will emerge for how marketing and sales will share the responsibility of acquiring and retaining customers.
5. Execute, measure and adjust.
Now comes the hard part: execution. Deploying a new sales coverage model will not be easy—or painless. Resistance will come from many who are tied to the old methods that, of course, are not working anymore. It will take the firm resolve of senior management and senior sales and marketing executives to execute the plan. (A product or market group could be used as a beta test, but that means it will take longer to achieve the improved results and increased productivity, and many companies can't afford to wait that long.)
Changing the basic sales and marketing processes within any company may, in fact, take several years. Whether it's a group or the whole company, it will be critical to institute a measurement system to ensure progress is being achieved. No doubt adjustments will be needed along the way, or in golf terms—play nine and adjust.
Only by real integration of the sales and marketing functions across the entire customer life cycle can B-to-B firms achieve the goal of selling more by spending less. At that point, real sales and marketing productivity improvements will be seen, with those improvements dropping directly to the profit line.