I spoke yesterday at MarketingSherpa’s Demand Generation Summit and I felt led to go off topic for a bit to address why I do, what I do. Personally, I’ve been pondering the idea of passion and what role it plays in our careers as marketers or leaders.
In my short aside, I ended up talking about things we marketers often don’t talk about. Our heart. What drives us? What role does the heart play in our job as marketers?
How do we create relevance for ourselves, our colleagues, and those future customers we hope to reach and influence?
Can you market something without passion and still be successful? If so, why would you want to?
I’ve wondered how we can be passionate advocates to others outside our companies if we don’t have close relationships and trust inside our companies?
To me, disharmony is the enemy of execution. I liked something Seth wrote a while back, "…just about every successful venture is based on an unoriginal idea, beautifully executed." I agree.
In this age of automation, depersonalization, scoring and measurement, I’m not seeing the "human touch" in B2B marketing. So how can we humanize the process and actually build relationships?
I’m sincere in my vision to profoundly change the way people think about marketing and lead generation for the complex sale.
I believe the complex sale presents a set of unique sales and marketing problems that benefit by a shift away from the traditional lead generation mind-set to a new way of thinking centered on the following tenets:
- More ROI is reaped from the patient tending of potential customers (relationships) over time. Customers for life.
- Lead generation is a conversation, not a series of disjointed campaigns.
- Build relationships with the right people and companies regardless of their timing to buy.
- Engage people early (preferably before) in their buying process as possible so you can create and influence their vision.
- The first impression matters. So does the second. So does every single touch after that. Consistency and relevancy is key.
- Sales and marketing must work together as one team. Seeing each other as internal customers.
- A multi-modal and multi-touch lead generation portfolio will always outperform marketing tactics that stand alone.
- Sales and marketing should have a unified understanding and consensus in their language on things like ideal customers and universal lead definition.
- If used properly, the phone is the single best way to reach decision makers and to begin a dialog when you have a complex sale.
- Buy-in from sales and marketing as well as executive leadership is critical to the success of any lead generation program.
- Be willing and prepared to close the loop with every opportunity that is identified.
- The purpose of marketing is to help the sales team sell.
- Trusted advisers win more sales than slick brands.
- Companies don’t buy – people do. Don’t ever forget the human touch.
Again, I think the complex sale requires the human touch as a central element. It starts with our individual heart and our passion (Do I believe in what I’m doing?). Then we orient ourselves to our companies collective heart and passion (Do I believe in my company and what my company does?). Finally, we carry heart and passion outside our companies (Do we believe in what we’re doing?).