29 responses

  1. Chris Marr
    February 12, 2014

    Hi Marcus, a very well timed article for me to read. I just had a conversation with a business owner yesterday and we were discussing complete transparency on his new website.

    The worry or anxiety was expressed when we discussed the competition ‘stealing’ information and getting information on pricing, services and products, etc.

    My argument was exactly what you’ve written here.

    People are comparing products and information anyway, and if you haven’t got the information they need readily available…then they’re off!

    It’s not something that you can control, and if you restrict the amount of information you give, then you are restricting the number of sales you can make, and thus the amount of money your company will make.

    It’s trying to break these industry ‘norms’ and change people’s thinking that’s the hard part.

    I’ll be sharing this for sure!

    Chris.

    • Marcus Sheridan
      February 15, 2014

      Chris, you’re a good man. I mean that. I love your vision and I hope it rubs off on all those folks you’re trying to help!!

      Keep going,

      Marcus

      • Chris Mar
        February 17, 2014

        Hi Marcus,

        Thanks for inspiring me to keep going!

        Have a great day.

        Chris.

  2. joe
    February 13, 2014

    I was reminded when you “pioneer” not really a brand new concept now with content marketing. But execs sure want to put arrows in your back if sales fall off at all.

    Instead of doing more content they screamed for more cold calls…Insanity.

    • Marcus Sheridan
      February 15, 2014

      Indeed Joe. We still have a ways to go my friend.

  3. David Zadareky
    February 13, 2014

    When people don’t know WHAT to do, they do what they know HOW to do. Marketers tend to over emphasize marketing and Sales tends to over emphasize selling. The reality is that no one wants to be marketed to or sold. They want to solve their problem and/or pain. Period. The real message of your article, to me, is that you have to tear down the walls in your organization and align the business assets around solving the client’s problem/pain as quickly and as efficiently as possible in a manner that leads them to use your service/product again while recommend it to others.

    • Marcus Sheridan
      February 15, 2014

      David, so glad you got this message, because you’re very right– that is the message. They need to be torn down…completely.

      Thanks for dropping by David and continued success,

      Marcus

  4. Chuck Gilmore
    February 13, 2014

    Hi Marcus. Many years ago I worked for Ethicon, Inc, one of the Johnson and Johnson companies which was, and remains today, the industry leader in its market. I believe one of the main reasons they were so successful as a company is that all of their marketing people…in fact everyone who progressed to any kind of leadership within the company…started out “carrying the bag”. As a result, our marketing people were so tuned-in to the needs of our customers and the sales people, that it enabled us to dominate the market. In other companies I’ve worked with, the very best in marketing had also come from sales.

    • Marcus Sheridan
      February 15, 2014

      Love, love, LOVE this example Chuck! Spot on my friend!!

      Best,

      Marcus

  5. Dave Rosenthal
    February 13, 2014

    Marcus, Another brilliant post! Love how you make your prospects invest their TIME…you really ask them if they watched and read? Do you know how if you can trust them? I make new clients answer a survey and read about working with me prior to quoting a trip.

    • Marcus Sheridan
      February 15, 2014

      I simply follow up with them Dave and ask again if they did their homework before we meet. It makes all the difference, that’s for sure.

      Good seeing you bud!

      Marcus

  6. Ian Altman
    February 13, 2014

    Marcus,

    Great post, my brother. You describe the perfect example of targeting those with whom you are most likely to find a great fit. Many companies waste time tracking activities (e.g., how many calls did you make, proposals did you send). They don’t spend enough time tracking efficiency (length of sales cycle). Those companies that employ assignment selling and pre-sell customers with valuable content will consistently see reduced sales cycles and improved efficiency.

    So why doesn’t everyone do it? The answer is simple: Targeting the right market requires intentional behavior and discipline. It is easy to just throw bodies at the problem. But, the companies that take the time to exercise restraint by not chasing everything are rewarded. You still need solid effort, just be sure to measure accomplishments rather than activity.

    Great topic!

  7. Tom Treanor
    February 13, 2014

    Marcus,
    Great post and I totally agree with you (but I’m slightly biased). Marketing departments that effectively use inbound marketing can scale a business more than any changes to the sales process or sales org (other than just hiring more salespeople).

  8. Christian Newman
    February 15, 2014

    Love this post. It’s going to touch a nerve for many, but I believe it’s necessary. I remember years ago, when the only way to increase sales in a B2B organization was to hire more sales reps to make more cold calls to make more appointments to send out more proposals to close more sales. What a waste! Yet, some companies still believe this today.

    • Marcus Sheridan
      February 15, 2014

      Christian, good to see you bud. And yes, many are still behind the curve on this. But times are a-changing ;-)

      Have a great weekend,

      Marcus

  9. Jenifer Kern
    February 15, 2014

    Marcus: Your posts continue to amaze and inspire me. I love this! And I agree, the title is not great. Last thing we need is to make our friends in Sales thing they’re not important :) But, on the other hand, it’s a brilliant title b/c it certainly got my attention. My CEO has read it as well (due to my urging) and wants to know how we can achieve 80% conversions. I am working on my plan now!!! Thanks for all your great visioning and marketing insight extraordinaire.

    • Marcus Sheridan
      February 15, 2014

      Jenifer, love your passion and appreciate your comment here. It made me smile and I’m really hoping you’re able to achieve those 80% conversions!!!

      Cheering you on,

      Marcus

  10. Jordan Owen
    February 20, 2014

    I would say you are trying to build the trust in customer’s mind before asking him to buy anything from your Pool company. This is a great approach in the digital marketing world. But do you think it works the same for a micro business? I am referring to a micro business which has a website with only few pages which are not being updated for last many months. I hope you understood my point here. There are many business owners who just have a website for the sake of having a website.

  11. Andi Schneiter
    February 20, 2014

    Marcus…love your article….not so much the title but it got me to read the article…so it worked! I totally agree that the real solution is a fully integrated Sales and Marketing team, not silos where each works independently. Unfortunately, I see that silos are still more often the case. I totally agree that Inbound Marketing is critical to reaching your next prospect and nurturing them thru their research stage in a consultative way. However, what I find all to often is that many of the new inbound marketers, thru no fault of their own, have gotten their experience thru social media and have not developed the skill of a seasoned sales person to know what to write and how to develop that consultative approach in their content. I believe there is a real skill to understanding your prospect and how to manage the information process that takes time to learn and most marketing people are not trained that way. Too much emphasis is placed on having so many blog posts and tweets weekly and not enough on understanding how people buy!

    • Marcus Sheridan
      February 23, 2014

      Andi, you make a GREAT point, which is exactly why everyone should either be crosstrained or they should be spending a heck of a lot of time w Sales— as it makes ALL the difference.

      Thanks so much for the tremendous comment!

      Marcus

  12. Alex Lobosky
    March 13, 2014

    I would definitely choose a super star marketing expert over superstar sales expert. The way I see it you can make a lot more money if you drive tons of traffic to your business where you have mediocre sales people. Your business is unlikely to make any money with super sales people but no customers coming through your doors. And unless your super sales people are willing to go door to door or make called calls your business in not going to survive.

  13. Alex Pavlov
    May 3, 2014

    Good point. Marketing comes first. Without public knowing about your product or service, you can have the best sales team but they will not have anyone to sell to as no one is coming through the door.

  14. Mike Bowers
    July 26, 2014

    Fantastic post and terrific comments from readers, too. I’d love to get Marcus’ comments on Jordan Owen’s question/comment. I work for a large B2B manufacturer and many of our clients are small businesses with limited resources. Thanks! Mike

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