Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

 
The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

May 27, 2003 • Volume 2 Issue 48

"The" B-2-B lady is Ruth Stevens

I met Ruth when she was at IBM. She went to a hot dot.com ... when they were hot. And now both teaches Direct Marketing and runs her own consultancy.

And Ruth writes. I asked her to write to share with you ... this is one of her most interesting collection of thoughts.

Sales versus Marketing: Bridging the Gap

Couples Therapy for Sales and Marketing

For a direct marketer with roots in mail order and traditional DM, it can be a real shock to migrate into the world of B-to-B direct marketing. All of a sudden, you're in a service role. You're a cost center. Everyone complains about you. After a life running a P&L, it can be a real come-down. It sure took me some time to adjust.

I have a friend in B-to-B direct marketing who insists that he's an equal partner with his counterpart in sales. But I know better. In B-to-B, sales flies the plane. We in marketing serve the coffee.

This painful situation has its roots in the history of "industrial marketing," which is B-to-B's predecessor. Traditionally, a company that sells to other businesses has a manufacturing arm (or engineering, or merchandising), and a sales group. Manufacturing makes the product, and sales takes it to market.

Sales people operate on quotas, with incentives, and have complete responsibility for revenues. Beyond commissions, they might incur some other selling expenses, known as "sales support," like creating collateral material, running seminars, and what-not.

Eventually, sales support morphed into "marketing." But it continued to be viewed as an expense, something to be cut when times are tough. Hard to measure. Subject to great scrutiny at budget-setting time. Almost as fuzzy as advertising. Yuck.

By now, solid direct marketing tools and tactics have been widely introduced into the world of industrial marketing. Direct marketing generates leads, manages telesales operations, institutes customer relationship marketing, gathers and analyzes customer and prospect information. Direct marketing is everywhere in B-to-B, it's generally measurable, and it adds tremendous value. But it still lives in "marketing," and it's still the hand-maiden of sales.

The upshot is a wide chasm in understanding between sales and marketing. In short, they hate each other. OK, I am exaggerating to make a point. Sales people think marketing is irresponsible and irrelevant. Marketing thinks sales is arrogant and lazy. Sales says they never get anything useful from marketing. Marketing says sales ignores their contribution. It's not pretty.

But instead of moaning, what can we do about it? Here are some ideas for building bridges across the chasm.

  • Waiting for sales to change its stripes is an exercise in futility. They are who they are. If marketing has the problem, we have to find the solution. So it's up to us to get proactive, and make some changes.
  • Read the sales plan. If we are the hand-maiden of sales, we have to share their goals. Our objectives should mirror theirs.
  • Eliminate the marketing fuzz. Make every communication a direct response communication. Measure it, benchmark it, test, and seek regular improvements over last period.
  • Plan together. You don't have to sing Kumbaya, but you must bring the sales team in at every stage of the marketing process, to understand their needs, and gain their buy-in.
  • Get input from sales, but don't let them push you around. Some reps will say they want to be copied on every customer communication into their territories. You have to find a middle ground that makes sense economically, and satisfies the sales rep's need for account control.
  • No more unqualified leads. You must engage sales in defining the criteria for lead qualification, and deliver only leads that clearly meet those pre-agreed levels.
  • Insist that the sales compensation plan include rewards for follow up on marketing leads, and penalties for ignoring them.
  • Get senior management support. They consider marketing a cost center, too. Show them your numbers.
  • Take great care when claiming results. You may have the greatest closed-loop lead tracking system around, but it's a slippery slope when you brag that your marketing program drove the sale. Better to limit yourself to activity-based measures, like cost per qualified lead, and leave the revenue claims to sales. At least when you are in public.

Is this annoying you? Are you ready to quit and go back to mail order? Wait! There are plenty of rewards in B-to-B direct marketing. Think about how complex and interesting the data is. How gigantic the value of each account. This stuff is a blast. Especially when you get a well-deserved pat on the back from the sales team. It happens, sometimes.

(You can "talk" with Ruth by E-mail @ ruth.stevens@att.net)

... a loose thought

www.BestLetters.com is an interesting site.

A collection of stock letters. The worst of which is not bad - each with an idea you can build upon.

"Best Letters for Insurance Agents contains 101 fun, well-written letters proven to get results, get referrals, and make your customers feel important... Guaranteed!"

Well, that is what they say. The site lets you look at several sample letters. Each is focused, each has a specific purpose. With a tad of personalization, you can make it truly yours.

As I spin through these I don't think you have to be an insurance agent, or in the insurance industry, to get a thought or two you can use.

This from the site gives the idea behind the program;

"The letters are designed to be sent on a regular schedule (i.e. every 60 days) and can be programmed to give you a reminder when to send the next letter. You may also change or customize the letters to reflect your business or style. You will receive a computer disk with all the letters on it ready to install into your computer, as well as a book that contains all the letters and tips for getting maximum results using this system."

Sounds fair to me.

Coming soon are new best letter series for Mary Kay, Mortgage Brokers and Lenders, and Printing companies.

Take a spin through www.bestletters.com - you may find several good ideas you can use in your direct mail, E-mail and other prospecting and follow-up communications.

... another Idea

New business friend Gerry Sacks of Houston, Texas sent me here. It turns out this leading information resource from the financial world offers a collection of marketing & sales ideas. Still, no matter your business, you will find good material here. Offered by 80+ experts (including me!) ... visit ProducersWEB.com

"It IS What's Next!"

Already I've shared this story with health care organizations, a database marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a DM association - and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit It IS What's Next!)

When you have a need for a 40-90 minute program, I'll give you this different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation. To your club. Your company. Your organization. Your association. Any group you have. At any place. At any time. For any reason.

ItISWhat's Next!is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.

Interested? Visit the web site @ It IS WhatsNext! And E-mail me Ray@RayJutkins.com and let's make it happen. I look forward to hearing from you. Soon.

Thank you!

Anonymous

The Windy City (Chicago) recently hosted their 49th DM Days.

It's late spring in the northern hemisphere, meaning it's windy in many places. So, this thought from my favorite Anonymous seems to fit;

"If there's no wind ... row!"

"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.

Speaking of Speaking

Almost forever ago I met Lilly Walters.

She reminds me it was in South Africa. If YOU are interested in ways to enhance your speaking skills, and how to be a terrific presenter at your next meeting ... or want to look at the world of paid professional speaking - Lilly Walters can help.

She is the author of four best selling books on the subject. And Lilly has an interesting website, too: http://www.motivational-keynote-speakers.com/.

Drop in and visit. And tell Lilly "Ray sent me".

Magic Marketing Minutes

Add Some Splash To Your Direct Mail

Sometimes in your Direct Mail you need to make one large "splash".

You need to grab your audience's attention quickly. You have something dramatic to say. It's important. It's urgent. You know they will be interested ... and you must make one large "splash" to get their attention.

Here are a few ideas which you might wish to consider when you need to make a "splash":

Combine all the printing techniques you can imagine into one mail package ... such as personalization, rub-off, scratch-and-sniff, embossing, a stamp sheet, or anything else you can dream up.

Combine all the printing techniques you can imagine into one mail package ... such as personalization, rub-off, scratch-and-sniff, embossing, a stamp sheet, or anything else you can dream up.

Design your mail so it gets delivered in a paper sack, or a burlap bag, a tube, a box, a puffy envelope or anything "lumpy". Have you ever received a three dimensional package you didn't open? Of course not! Guess what? Your audience is just as curious as you. Send them something 3D and they are guaranteed to open it.

When you carefully select your audience, have a good offer, have a timely message, present benefits that your marketplace is interested in, and write all of this in an interesting to understand way ... you are well on your way to a successful Direct Mail package. The graphics can make it that much better.

Splash!

The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

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