It is generally accepted that marketing is everything that a company does to reach and begin to persuade a sales opportunity, and sales is everything that a company does to close the sale and gain a customer.
Despite their common end goal – get more revenue and expand market share for the company – in many companies the Sales and Marketing teams are often at odds with each other.
Sales: “You haven’t sent us enough qualified leads.”
Marketing: “When you talk to potential customers, you don’t stay on message about the value of our product.”
Developing a respectful, productive working relationship between the two teams is not easy. But it’s necessary to strategically combine both efforts to experience a successful amount of business growth. Marketing typically needs to take the first step by thinking of Sales as an internal customer. At a trade show or event, the goal is to generate sales opportunities and increase the probability of sales. So what information does the Sales team need from Marketing to help reach the goal?
The Planning Phase
Gathering the information listed below should start at the very beginning of the planning process. This information is often available from the event organizer and from internal measurement records from previous events.
- Define for the Sales team who is “addressable” at the upcoming event.
- Detail how the strategy, messaging, products and content are being developed in consideration of the target audience.
- Describe what products are being featured and why these were chosen for this target audience.
- Identify which members of the Sales team will be attending this event.
- Identify which of your current customers will most likely attend the event.
- Construct and share with the Sales team a forecast of how many participants are expected at the booth, along with any available demographics about these attendees.
- Query Sales after they have reviewed this information to determine suggested modifications to the original plans, including tweaks to demonstrations or engagement opportunities.
- Let Sales help you determine the number of expected engagements based on the information you have provided. From there, involve the Sales team in helping estimate the “sales opportunity” value for the event.
Review the Results
- Report the actual attendance at the event in the same format as the forecast and share this critical information with the Sales team.
- Seek feedback as to steps for improvement at the next event.
With practice, and consistent collaboration between Marketing and the Sales team, your events will lead to better planning, greater sales opportunities and higher revenues for the benefit of all.