Why You Should Fire Your Sales Team Today.

You heard that right: Fire Your Sales Team Today! Better yet, fire your sales team AND your entire marketing department. Why? Because your sales and marketing departments are no longer aligned with the way buyers make purchase decisions.

Have I got your attention? Great! Now let me talk you off the ledge.

I don’t really want you to fire all those people. I want you to consider dramatically changing the way you market your company and sell your products or services. So fire them and then hire them back, not as two separate departments working independently -- fighting over the quality of the leads, telling two different stories in the market and eroding customer trust -- but as a single team redesigned around one strategic goal: driving revenue!

From the ashes of that old, divided approach the Revenue Department will rise. This team of sales and marketing professionals should focus on understanding the pains, problems, challenges, motivations and desires of their target market. The marketing people should be responsible for creating differentiating messaging that appeals to prospects emotionally and rationally. The sales people should be focused not on selling, but on educating, helping and advising prospects, understanding what they need and supporting them throughout the decision-making process.

No one buys anything until their pain becomes acute and they feel safe in the purchase decision they are about to make. The Revenue Department has to make them feel safe.

The marketing professionals in this new department should create content specifically designed to help target buyers make strong purchase decisions. This content should take the form of tip guides, white papers and seminars in a variety of formats (videos, podcasts, pdfs, webcasts, etc.) to appeal to all learning styles.

The sales people should stop pushing products and start “guiding” their prospects through the purchase process, asking direct and detailed questions in order to provide solutions to their specific issues or challenges. Together, your new Sales Guides should co-create the perfect solution with your prospects.

These Sales Guides should use the educational materials created by the marketing people to seamlessly support the prospect’s educational process. The stories the marketing team creates for their collateral and tactics are the same stories the Sales Guides use when they work with prospects directly. In the Revenue Department, everyone sings from the same song sheet.

The results would be historic.

  • Shorter Sales Cycles -- Since buyers are getting what they want, they’re working with only your Revenue Department instead of pitting company against company to get the best deal.
  • Increased Revenue -- Since prospects aren’t buying solely on price, profit-per-sale would soar. After all, prospects would get exactly what they’re looking for since they co-created the solution with your people.
  • Reduced Expenses -- Marketing ROI would rise because sales and marketing are consolidated under one budget and supporting each other instead of working independently toward different goals. That would result in a single set of tactics that are more targeted, more direct and less wasteful.
  • Exponential Referrals -- Not only would referrals increase for prospects that purchase, they would now be coming from prospects who DIDN’T select you. After all, your company won’t be right for everyone, but everyone would get the same truly remarkable experience.  

The Revenue Department isn’t just a mashup of two traditional departments. It’s a whole new way of thinking. To do it right you are going to need some new roles and a new leader: a Chief Revenue Officer who has control over both sales and marketing.

You’re also going to need a Director of Metrics responsible for tracking the key performance indicators that measure progress on both the sales and marketing side. Marketing and sales are a science now and the Revenue Department’s performance has to be measured.

Besides having Sales Guides instead of sales reps, you will need someone to manage your Marketing Machine. This machine is the strategic collection of marketing tactics designed to support the company’s revenue goals. This role has three major initiatives: create content, get found and get leads.

Finally, there is one additional role for your new Revenue Department. This role is responsible for making sure your company is remarkable. Marketing has to be intimate with the operations of the business and understand every aspect of the client experience. They have to be pushing the organization to make client experiences as remarkably positive as possible. This change agent has to ensure that your business “lives the remarkables.” The more remarkable the business, the more referrals, revenue, profit and success you will enjoy.

Guest Co-authors Mike Lieberman Eric Keiles are partners at Square 2 Marketing. Check out their new book, Fire Your Sales Team Today.  

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