Happy 2020! Time to quit marketing

Confession. You don’t have to quit marketing completely, but it’s highly likely sales are crucial to your organization. So instead of thinking marketing, think sales enablement.

Sales enablement is the process of equipping your sales team with the strategic resources they need to excel, from tools to technology to content and beyond.

Sales is about making the deal, marketing’s job is to help make that effort happen. Marketing sweeps the path for sales.

How might a sales enablement plan shift your thinking about your 2020 outreach?

As an example, everyone knows follow-up is the name of the game with 80% of sales requiring five calls after the meeting, yet 44% of sales reps give up after one additional follow-up. What materials and information are you creating to assist in the sales follow-up? (No one wants a call that continues to say buy, buy, buy.)

Since your outreach is thin on the budget, why are you wasting your cherished resources on something you know does nothing to close the sale – a pretty brochure? Yes, your sales folks may say they need a brochure, perhaps they really need a one-page sell sheet and a simple and informative white paper instead (to help with follow up). Even better, this information can be repurposed into an educational presentation, website lead magnet, contributed content to an industry newsletter and more.

If cold calling is mostly dead, warm calling is where it’s at. In fact, 89% of top performing sales people say online networking platforms are growing in importance as a way to warm up calls and enable sales. This means your social selling efforts must be intentional and focused. Map out ways to stay top of mind.

Finally, this article is packed with statistics and ideas on selling smarter in 2020 – such as on average, sales people made far more calls in the last month of the quarter than the first two. Idea: Front load your outreach efforts to land in the first two months of the quarter, and possibly find space above the noise.

Cheers to the New Year and your sales enablement success.

Blue Toenails and Courage

Actually the exact color is an OPI hue called “Fly.” I choose it, or a similar color, for every pedicure. Blue toenails are rather odd and sometimes folks comment on them. That’s when I explain that I paint them blue so when I look at my feet, I can say, “The sky’s the limit!”

This self-talk is just another way I remind myself that my “resistance” is strong. And I need all the help I can get to push past it.

Let me back up a bit and tell you about a book: War of Art by Steven Pressfield. In it he explains what keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do and identifies the roadblocks that exist in any creative endeavor. Steven is a prolific writer and knows all too well how we let ourselves be overcome by the naysayers renting space in our minds. Those voices, or naysayers, he identifies as the resistance. Sadly, letting the resistance win means playing it safe and comfortable. And no art happens in that cushy environment. 

Ask Seth Godin. He writes about the resistance quite often and in one blog post describes resistance as the lizard brain. “The resistance is the voice in the back of our head telling us to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise.

Right now I’m in an all-out battle with the resistance. I have loudly and publicly committed to creating a new podcast, Women Rocking Wall Street. I am passionate about helping the financial services industry engage and embrace more women in our ranksand particularly in leadership roles. But moving forward on that effort is obviously challenging. Who am I to be a voice for this effort? What will I say? What value can I possibly add? Boy oh boy, my lizard brain is loud these days. 

Many, many times in my career and life, I’ve had to push myself to jump across some chasm of fear. Sometimes the jump requires just a tiny hop. Other times–like right now–I feel like Evel Knievel on his Skycycle X-2 flying across the Snake River Canyon.

Why am I sharing this? Perhaps this is my way of acknowledging that I plan to feel the fear and do it anyway. (And I am guessing that you are challenged by the resistance in your life and work.)

A quote by George Addair sits right above my computer monitor: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Yep, George is right.

P.S. Here’s a great, five-minute videocast from the crew at Kajabi on their approach for managing the resistance.

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