Getting in the head of the sales team: how to effectively market to sales by stepping into their shoes

By March 2, 2019 Marketing

As a marketer, you’re well aware of the challenges that arise when it comes to creating an effective relationship with the sales team. Melissa Greco, Development Product Marketing Leader at Slack, admitted that she found it difficult to hone in one summation of these challenges that captured all of its nuances when she expertly presented the topic in a scaleup Q&A.

Ultimately, she summarized her approach as 6 tips for partnering with sales, in which she laid out actionable strategies for fostering a productive relationship on both sides. Focused on getting in the head of your sales team, her tips are useful for any scaling marketing team.

Learn to use a sales mindset

Through all of Greco’s helpful tips, the overall argument of her presentation was to put yourself in the sale team’s shoes. You know the profile of a sales rep, simply because of the nature of their work — use this to your advantage.

As we know the sales team to be incredibly focused on hitting targets, meeting quotas, and relying on numbers, you should show the value of marketing in the same way.

Concern yourself with speaking their language by backing new strategies with your previous results and linking everything back to how you influence pipeline revenue. Nothing will be more likely to get them on your side than showing them why they should be.

On that note, you can up the ante by eliciting the competitive side of your sales representatives through incentivizing their participation in marketing actions. Giving them a personal reason to get themselves in the marketing game will help you see positive results.

Finally, with a sales team mindset, you’ll recognize the importance of speaking in a clear, action-oriented and concise language. But there’s more to it than just how you say it. With the proposal, keep in mind when and why — in relation to their own cycle — and you’ll find success in the marketing to sales relationship.

Always tie it back to the sales cycle

If you can learn the nuances of the sales cycle, you’ll not only be reaching the sales team when they’d be much more likely to respond — but you’ll also be positively recognized for understanding their work and timeline. Exercise this timeliness and relevance by concerning yourself with when, within the sales cycle, you reach out to them and how.

Then, take a genuine and vested interest in what they do. Not only will it make the sales team feel more interested in working with you, but it will also improve your marketing strategies when you deeply understand how it fits into sales.

And if you’re not sure that you have enough perspective, try shadowing the sales team. Join them on calls or go to check-in meetings with prospects; anything that will help you identify friction or fill gaps with your marketing with this firsthand experience.

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