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The Sales Warrior Within | Season 2 Episode 30 – Sales & Marketing Unite For Great Outcomes
Andy Olen is a Sales & Leadership Trainer and High-Performance Coach. Andy works with talented salespeople, business teams, and leaders who seek empowerment, improvement, and insight. Andy’s clients strive to be the best in class.
“Good Selling, Good Leading, Good Living.” – Andy Olen
Sales & Marketing Unite For Great Outcomes
- Great commercial organizations win when sales and marketing work together to create great customer outcomes
- Andy Olen kicked off his career in marketing leadership roles
- Andy then joined the salesforce and built his business teaching sales skills to high-performing sales teams – he knows the importance of great sales AND marketing efforts
- Cooperation between the two functional teams is required to build and expand the top- and bottom line of the business
- Avoid channel conflict between sales and marketing that slows the commercial agenda
- Consider spending time in both sales and marketing to build a robust commercial career experience
- Sales + Marketing UNITE!
Speaker: Andy Olen
| 00:02 | There’s a sales warrior within each of us. My name is Andy Olen and I’m here to help you discover and empower the Sales Warrior within sales warriors. This is Andy Olen, and welcome to the Sales Warrior Within podcast. It’s on this podcast that we express and share the inner Sales warrior within each of us.
| 00:30 | No matter what you do in life, there’s a salesperson inside of you. You’ve interviewed for a job before. You have tried to persuade or convince a friend or a family member to take a course of action that you recommend. Those are all sales skills. And what’s really cool about it is that sales skills are just like relationship skills. You have to be able to connect with another person, effectively communicate and find cooperative win-win solutions together. Really simple stuff.
| 00:59 | And as I always like to say, it’s the simple things, the simple habits that we work on, the new muscle that we build, the new small muscle that we build, that compounds over time and that creates great outcomes, great results, both in our personal life and certainly as well within our professional and sales endeavors as well. Welcome to the podcast. Quick episode.
| 01:22 | Today what I want to talk about is the important relationship in a commercial organization between the sales team and the marketing team, the right foot and left foot of the commercial organization. Great organizations that win by taking market share, win by growing the top line, win by creating profits for everybody to enjoy the goodness of, they win.
| 01:51 | And we appeal it back a little bit and take a look. And one of the factors for success is that you have a unified, strong and highly engaged sales and marketing team working together. Now let me categorize marketing a little bit because someone might say, well, there’s upstream and downstream marketing. You’re absolutely right. So what I specifically mean here is the importance of the sales team and that relationship with the downstream marketers.
| 02:17 | Downstream being the ones who create the customer-facing promotions, collateral, brochures, messages, strategy define how the organization goes to market. I started my commercial career in sales analysis and analytics as a compensation analyst. So I worked at a great company called Guidance Corporation that was ultimately divided and bought half by Boston Scientific, half by Abbott Laboratories.
| 02:47 | But when I joined, I was responsible for a couple of hundred million dollars a year in sales incentives that were paid to its US sales organization. And that was a great way to jump into a sales organization and into a commercial team by being behind the numbers and designing the motivational and variable pay plans as pay salespeople. So I’m still very fond of that role and really learned a ton in that role that I still apply to different sales opportunities and consulting engagements today.
| 03:20 | And then from sales analysis I moved on to sales strategy and that dovetailed into a wonderful job in downstream product marketing I was the head of US. Marketing for Abbott Laboratories launch, an Abbot Vascular specific the division within Abbott Laboratories for the launch of the Zional looting. Stan, I still have on my wall here, I’m looking at it a framed picture of me on stage presenting to the salesforce a picture of the marketing team that I managed, the major branding of the Zion Fee stent that we created with a big time New York ad agency.
| 03:57 | And the news release saying that we got FDA approval for that product. That hangs proudly as one of my proudest career moments here in my office. But I love being in marketing. I loved the intersection of working with everybody in the organization to launch a product, from the manufacturing teams, operational teams, customer care teams, logistics teams, to the pricing teams, to the finance legal folks and of course, the sales people. I love setting the strategies in motion.
| 04:27 | And if you think about what great marketing does, is great product marketing, great downstream marketing gets out ahead of the sales organization maybe a week ahead, a month, a six months, two years, ten years out ahead, and helps define the strategy, how we’re going to allocate resources within our organization to create value both for our customers and for our organization itself.
| 04:52 | So the marketers job is to get out ahead of the sales organization, to get out ahead of the marketplace itself and build strategies that then guide and help direct the sales force. And once you have those strategies, you have to communicate it effectively to the sales team. As I look at that picture of me up on stage, I remember sharing the strategy for the Science V launch in the United States. And I remember it very vividly. It was that a choose, how did it go?
| 05:22 | Select, choose, stick, something like that. And it was three steps, of course, the rule of three, right? Three things, because that’s all human beings remember. And that’s all I remember when I’m presenting too. So the first thing is that you have to select the Everloomist platform. That was the drug that coded our stent. So you had to select that in terms of that’s the best stent to choose. But then we had an interesting arrangement where the exact same scent was sold by one of our competitors.
| 05:51 | So you also then had to choose to work. That’s what it was. Choose, Buy and Stick. Those are the three things. Choose Everolemis, Buy with Abid Vascular, and then stick to the platform after you have introduced it in your hospital. Choose, Buy, Stick. And I remember that I went out there and I think my line that I said over and over again was, this is our time, let us embrace it.
| 06:20 | This is the science fee evolution. Let us embrace it. So sort of pulling from some political rhetoric in there, as I used to run campaigns, but it’s one of the proudest presentations I’ve ever given in a corporate setting. And I recognize how important rolling out defining the strategy was for the sales team because then they could figure out locally how to execute the choose, buy and stick three step strategy and we would create tremendous value for customers and patients and tremendous value for our organization as well.
| 06:54 | And so marketing builds the strategy. Marketing then delivers the messages. Marketing clears internal barriers for the sales team so they can run faster and they can serve their customers better. Marketing responds to competitive topics. After we launched our product, the competitors all swung back and we had to be out ahead of them as well. Arguably we didn’t do that part as well as we did the initial launch piece of it, but that’s okay, you learn from it. Strong marketing, strong downstream marketing.
| 07:23 | Super important for enablement of a great commercial organization. The sales team is equally as important because they’re the ones who are out there in front of the customer, persuading that customer to go in the direction of the new product that they’re selling or of the portfolio that they’re advancing. The salesperson’s job is to persuade and convince a customer to do something different, to blow up the status quo if you’re buying from a competitor and do something new with our team, with our salesforce.
| 07:55 | And it’s that wonderful sort of dance, the right foot and the left foot. If you think of a sprinter or a runner, you only go as fast as the coordination of the 2ft, the two legs. Just like a good commercial organization as well. Great marketing, great sales. If you think about great marketing efforts, great sales efforts, all companies have both of those. Apple has great marketers. They created world class brands and made a real brand impression with iPhone, with iPad, with the MacBook all along the way with itunes.
| 08:28 | They also have great salespeople, sales people that are selling to the at and t’s the horizons of the world. There’s also selling in retail environment, they go through a ton of training so they can translate to the person stepping into an Apple store how valuable the products are. So it doesn’t matter what your salesforce looks like or how it’s configured, what’s important is that the salesforce and the marketing teams are running together one step after the other. It’s a synchronized dance, it’s really well done and competitive advantage comes to that.
| 09:00 | Now let’s not be polyannack about it. Let’s admit and share that there are challenges with that at times where a salesforce can point the finger at marketers and say you’re not doing enough of what you’re supposed to be doing. That’s why we’re not hitting our numbers. And the marketing team can say to the sales people all you do is lower price and that’s not how you sell. Use our messages, why aren’t you using our stuff? And back and forth you go so there can be some channel conflict as well.
| 09:24 | And that’s where also you need to have really good and thoughtful leaders in both marketing and in the salesforce that can come together, collaborate, learn how to cooperate with one another and move the agenda forward together. Everyone wins by moving forward together in that wonderful synchronous, one step, two step of cooperation between sales and marketing. Acknowledge that there can be conflict, acknowledge there can be problems and acknowledge that you’re going to work together to solve them.
| 09:56 | It’s also important for both groups to listen to each other. That’s part of problem solving and cooperation. But hey, before attentions grow or conflict rises here internally, let’s talk about the situation. Tell me what you’re learning. Marketers learn a lot from salespeople. They learn about voice of customer, they learn what’s going on in the marketplace. Salespeople learn a ton from marketers to hear about what’s happening in other parts of the region or the country or the world.
| 10:22 | And they work on ideas to better the brand and they work on a shared commitment to each other that when we work together, we win together as well. And if everyone is open, as vulnerable as up to listening, learning from each other, and if everyone carries their own weight, you got to work hard in this relationship. Marketing and sales neither is passive. It’s not a passive event where you wait for the other one to work or take action. You got to get out there yourself.
| 10:51 | And that makes the bonds of the sales folks and the marketers grow as well. Many people move from sales into marketing. I think that’s great. I think it’s great to bring salespeople into marketing groups to share perspectives and insights and learnings on how to better form their channel strategies and vice versa. I think marketers like myself who ultimately moved into sales bring a real appreciation for all the complexity of bringing a new product to market or servicing a challenging product that may be missing customer expectations.
| 11:23 | And so together it really is a great bond. And if you can spend some of your time as a salesperson in a marketing role, fantastic. It’s still marketing is very much a sales role and in fact, you have a lot of scale to deploy as well. If your budgets are pretty healthy, you can do a lot of cool things, especially with social media now and vice versa. If you’re a marketer and able to get out in sales to marketing, that is a really helpful experience. I encourage you to do a little bit of both.
| 11:53 | So the relationship and the dance and the sprinting of the left foot and the right foot between the sales and the marketing teams is a potent ingredient for a winning commercial organization. And I hope you work within an organization where that synchronization is really top notch, super efficient and highly effective as well.
| 12:15 | If it’s not, maybe you can take on a leadership disposition and a leadership style or role in order to try to bring the teams and the individuals together so you can get the most out of both organizations and ultimately share in the spoils of victory all the way around. Sales and marketing, it’s like peanut butter and jelly. That when it works. It’s fantastic and it is something that really creates great commercial and business outcomes.
| 12:45 | So with that said, happy to share more on this topic. If you want to hear more, email me. I always love hearing from you. Andy@AndyOlen.com certainly check out https://andyolen.com/ for my latest online courses and trainings and blog posts and all kinds of good stuff out there as well. Team, always great talking with you. Have a great day. Good selling, good leading and good living.