Calls, pipelines, meetings, and more calls. This is what sales people do: make calls, make contacts, and build relationships. It seems simple, doesn’t it? So, when a marketing person comes in with charts and diagnostics, what happens? The eyes roll, the hands go back behind the head, and you can almost hear the brain turning off.
Why do you think salespeople don’t care about CI? What have you done to show them of their benefit? Salespeople work primarily in the business of relationships, and on the surface it doesn’t seem as if Competitive Intelligence matters. Therefore, they believe that what they need is to get themselves in front of the right people, and their sales abilities will finish the deal.
Therefore, when someone outside of sales approaches them with statistics and magic quadrants, they don’t see the correlation to their efforts at creating and maintaining their relationships with prospects.
Maybe a different tactic is needed. Maybe it’s time for the market research person to use a little salesmanship to promote CI to those who can use it most. Consider these questions before approaching the sales team:
- What information can I share that matters in a sales scenario?
- What can it tell them that impacts their ability to win more opportunities?
- What can I leave out that isn’t critical to their specific needs?
- How can I present this information in a way that gets their attention?