Executive Coaching - Leadership

BIASED: No, Yes, Maybe?


Sometimes it seems easier to keep your mouth shut. Right? Our communities and work places can be overly “politically correct” environments these days, and it feels as though you can’t say anything anymore without risking offending someone. It’s easier to think if we don’t offend we will solve the issue of managing our differences, maximizing our work effectiveness, and mitigating risks of liability in our business, but the real solution to the problem lies below the surface, much deeper in our subconscious.

I started delivering training programs to educate about  Workplace sexual harassment  for companies in the early 90s at the ripe old age of 26.  I remember how unsettling it was then for people to shift how they viewed what was acceptable in a new and  ever-changing corporate climate. Raunchy birthday cards, calendars of scantily- clothed women pinned on cubicle walls, racial jokes, inappropriate comments about a women’s body or dress, believe it or not, were all a normal part of the workplace, and considered acceptable at the time.

In the 1960s, the statistics were that the typical U.S. workplace was made up of 29-year-old white males, it seemed more than not, that everyone was the same, so it was assumed offending someone was a non-issue. Over time, the corporate environment has gone through a transformation and changed drastically in terms of who makes up the workplace.  So how do we communicate and work effectively with people of different ages, nationalities, genders, religions and political beliefs without alienating or offending them?  I believe the answer is the same in 2018 as it was 25 years ago, it’s about understanding what story you tell yourself about others and understanding what story they tell themselves about you… it all comes down to BIAS.

No matter how open minded, evolved and unbiased you believe you are, like it or not, bias exists in all of us.  Why? Because we all have a life story that lives in our subconscious, our emotional brain. Our life stories are a collection of experiences that most of the time, without our awareness, inform how we think, act, and behave. Gaining awareness of these stories and our biases comes from improving our Emotional Intelligence, which while intangible, is “something real” in each of us. Our EQ affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions. When our subconscious or emotional brain is in charge, our biases inform our behavior. When we use our Emotional Intelligence to also engage our logical brain, we understand our stories, our biases, and enact judgement to overcome our biases and achieve positive results.

I grew up in rural PA in a place with very little cultural diversity, yet I always believed I wasn’t prejudice despite my very “white” upbringing. That all changed at 24 years old, living in Philadelphia while getting my Master’s in Psychology. I vividly remember one-night walking home to my apartment on University of Pennsylvania’s campus, when a group of young black men, were walking toward me on the same side of Locust Walk and my brain said, “danger!” But then I thought “this is ridiculous” and started to have a conversation with myself, “Why am I assuming these guys are dangerous? Would I feel the same way if they were white?”  And the honest answer was, NO. Was I prejudice, MAYBE, but, was I biased, YES!

I started to think about my life, and all the stories that informed me that “groups of black men are dangerous.”  I decided then, rather than to deny it, I would have to lean into this knowledge, own my prejudice, and create a new story to change my biases. This profound experience inspired me to work with people and businesses to transform into a more emotionally intelligent version of themselves.

Like the corporate environment has evolved over the years, I have seen first-hand how sexual harassment training has evolved as well.  Sexual harassment, became harassment and respect training, to present day “bias training.”  Thanks to technology and understanding how the brain functions, we are finally getting to the root of the problem. Our emotional, subconscious, brains rule us, and so therefore,  when only our emotions rule us, our judgement becomes impaired creating BIAS.

I have spent 3 decades of my career helping people in business understand their and other’s stories to be more effective leaders, managers, employees, salespeople and people. I have learned that most people are well-intended. They simply don’t know how to discover their stories to find a new way to behave to be more effective in dealing with diversity & bias.  You can tell people WHY they need to do something, and tell them WHAT they need to do, but without showing them a HOW to, I believe the efforts are for naught.

What I know, is that your subconscious is telling a story about every  person you encounter every day, and they are telling a story about you, or your business. And these stories are biased and can cost you. When executives help themselves and their people embrace their bias and understand their stories, they change the dialogue, increase emotional intelligence and people learn to connect rather than stopping successful communication.

Article By: Christine Miles, M.S. Ed – Co-Founder & Chief Architect

Additional Resources

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2018/04/17/starbucks-is-turning-to-a-type-of-workplace-training-that-really-took-off-after-ferguson/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6eeeab7ce9ca

Unconscious-bias training, meanwhile, starts by helping workers understand that many biases are ingrained, whether by giving them a test or generally helping them understand the science behind their inherent nature. That is followed by a discussion around how that plays out in the workplace and — hopefully — some strategies for tackling those ingrained biases at work.

https://www.witi.com/articles/993/How-to-Inspire-Yourself-When-You-are-the-Victim-of-Bias/

Transcend whatever bias you are facing by going deep within yourself and affirming and supporting your highest self and highest potential.

Leadership

Your Leading Edge Podcast: Emotional Intelligence – the Career Super Power


Your Leading Edge Podcast: Emotional Intelligence – the Career Super Power

This episode features Hank Boyer, CEO of Boyer Management Group and Christine Miles, M.S. Ed Founder of Ci Squared for an informal discussion about how emotional intelligence is defined and how it can change your leadership style. Tips and best practices discussed for leaders to develop EQ and change the trajectory of business through soft skills development.

Episode 2 – September 2018

Leadership - Uncategorized

Your Leading Edge Podcast – Multigenerational Communications in the Workplace


Your Leading Edge Podcast: Providing Current & Emerging Best Practices for Successful Leaders 

This episode features Hank Boyer, CEO of Boyer Management Group and Christine Miles, M.S. Ed Founder of Ci Squared for an informal discussion about communicating with a multigenerational workforce. Tips and best practices discussed for leaders to use to maximize communications and decrease bias.

Episode 1 – September 2018

 

Sales

Win Rates in a Complex B2B World: Are You Measuring and Using Them Effectively?


People in sales understand win rates. While most claim they measure and use them to drive execution improvements, this is not what we observe.

Win rates are the number of times you win deals that you have competed in. In a complex B2B sales world, these wins lead to revenue, customers, and confidence in your team. They are the one key metric that is easy to measure in sales cycles for every rep, pre-sales person, and products at the individual unit level. Win rates can be used for numerous roll ups depending upon organization structure, management and functions in your company. Many companies do this well and analyze this Big data with AI and BI tools. They use this metric as an after-action report on what has occurred to give the INSIGHTS to both predict the future and make necessary changes. However, we find that many hot growth SAAS companies are measuring it inaccurately; not using it to implement incremental improvement or innovation; or simply not measuring it at all. We believe that this can be dangerous; getting stuck with the wrong Status Quo as the competitive landscape shifts.

I recently asked Bill, the VP of sales of a $120M SAAS company, if he used this metric. He answered: “of course, doesn’t everyone?” My initial assumption then was that he understood this metric and knew how to use it effectively but was surprised when he told me his company’s win rate overall was 60%. As a healthily skeptical person, I told him that this was excellent, especially when Sirius Decisions research data reveals that best in class B2B enterprise sales companies have a 40% win rate, 30% loss rate, and 30% of the deals going away. How could this company have these awesome statistics? Unfortunately, I discovered they did not include all the total deals that quota sales people put time and effort into. Their numerator was skewed in a way that gave them a false sense of success, not looking deeper for operational improvements. As we helped them review this data more accurately, they discovered some ideas for improvement that caused large positive effects on their performance, revenues, and profit.  If Sirius research statistics are accurate, depending on your revenue curve, winning one or two more deals per person can have a tremendous affect on the company’s performance. Knowing the types of deals that you lose or never sign can be essential in collaborative planning discussions to qualify out early or change strategy and tactics.

Another VP of sales I interviewed mentioned sales has changed and asked if there were other activity measures that were more important to measure. At CI2, we believe both. Sales has changed with buyer 2.0 having the ability to get more information and less time to meet with vendors. What is not true is that we are still in a game where winning means something. Although MRR, ARR, and retention metrics are important today, the core KPI of win rates is still one of the most reliable ways to assess and measure performance. When reps know their win rates by year compared to their peers, they will become more curious about what the “best of the best” are doing to achieve higher performance. When product managers know their win rates they will get more curious about what they need to do to make the product more competitive. When sales managers and VPs of sales know their collective and individual win rates, they will be able to assess their sales leaders, teams and sales operations to determine needed changes. Win rates are a way to discuss what’s really happening and engage in a dialogue about how to continuously change to increase performance. It’s a number that everyone should know and be working hard to improve just as it is in all other team sports where millions of dollars are at stake.

At CI2, we believe there needs to be a rebirth of the Win Rate metric. With all the advanced technology tools and data available it should be easier than ever to capture, report and slice in dice in ways to help companies and peoples improve and innovate.

If you are interested in challenging your usage of this metric, click the questionnaire link below. We are here to help you unlock more of your potential.

https://sc280.infusionsoft.com/app/page/winratequestionnaire

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/walk-away-sales-strategy-john-geraci/

Leadership

Miscommunication and Misalignment are Rampant Today! What Role are you Playing?


Let me start with a Story of one of our key clients. XYZ is a fast-growing technology company, having problems between product development and product marketing. Product development certainly had a big job for their stable applications that were the backbone of the business. They were also quickly transitioning to a nimbler organization with design thinking and agile methodologies; but not quick enough for the functional units who relied on them.  Product management was actively working with the new digital customers, frequently needing changes to respond quickly. Customers were demanding digital experiences monthly, weekly, and daily. Jane, the head of Product management was constantly in Chip, the VP of development’s office, first requesting then demanding that they move faster. Shift what they were working on and change on a dime was always the theme to Chip. Jane could not listen or hear why development could not meet this pace.  Unfortunately, it got heated to the point that Jane and Chip stopped talking.  This spread like wildfire through watercooler conversations, cascading to other loyal members of their teams. Tough issues became harder to disagree on and discuss. The conflict was having a large effect on product development, speed, quality, and even affecting customer satisfaction. Fortunately, in this case, the relationship became so broken that it bubbled up to the CEO, Bill. He was first very angry. Did they just not like each other? Not want the company to succeed? Why could these two senior executives let this happen? Then an idea hit him like a bolt of lightning: what if it was his leadership problem?

We believe that this is not an isolated incident in our fast paced world.  Miscommunication and misalignment may be rampant in your organization. If so, it is sapping your company’s productivity, adding time and expense to large projects and slowing your organization down.  Multiple technology disruptions are affecting us rapidly in Cloud, Big Data and AI, IOT and Blockchain. This coupled with the multi-generational transfer in the workplace is creating unprecedented change. We call it Digital Disruption, and want to help you turn it into Digital Transformation.  How do you stay ahead, make sense of this chaos while exploring some new ways of communicating to increase productivity, move faster, reduce conflict, and drive real business results? By focusing on the human side.

Think about your workday and then extend it to the key people you interact with internally or externally. With not enough time to accomplish your important tasks and priorities shifting on a dime, you are frequently multi-tasking or transitioning between tasks. This creates a lot of opportunity for miscommunication and misunderstandings that result in doing things over. There is often not enough time to clarify for our understanding particularly when we disagree. Without this connection and empathic understanding, we are like runners in a relay race who constantly drop the baton.

The effects of our environment are making it harder and harder to communicate for real alignment.  And unfortunately, it is hard to detect.  These opportunities for miscommunication are unfortunately not as clear to your P&L as a lost piece of revenue, increasing costs, or an angry customer. The effects of undetected misalignment and miscommunication can be terrible with downstream affect on costs, employee morale, and your all important culture.

We understand that most of this miscommunication is occurring because the world is changing fast and we are all pressed for time. Unfortunately, the old communication tools and techniques that we have been taught are just not working. They do not teach the behavioral or psychological skills needed to connect with people or how to listen in a way to gain empathy and understanding. And they do not teach us how to slow down. When conflict starts happening, our urges to be right take over. Using communication skills 1.0 in this brave new 2.0 world are the root cause of many of our biggest problems. Why don’t we do something?

We believe that interventions and training that focus on the human side of change and communication will reap huge rewards for those leaders with the Insight to act now.

 

Other Resources

Digital Transformation

When businesses and the way they operate shift from their traditional mode of operation and management to the modern and technology oriented ways of operation, the transitions referred to as Digital Transformation or disruption.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianrashid/2017/06/13/digital-transformation-and-innovation-in-todays-business-world/#213087574905

Resistance

A new survey finds a “widespread stall” in digital transformation efforts, suggesting that its leadership is in crisis. 39% of the senior executives surveyed said they encounter resistance to new ways of working and feel overwhelmed by the complexity of digital transformation efforts.

https://www.cioinsight.com/it-management/slideshows/digital-transformation-is-in-chaos.html

Sales

Not Understanding Your Customer Can Hurt You


Connecting with and understanding customers’ business problems and personal implications is more important today than ever. But in this fast-paced world, bombardment of digital messages, priorities shifting on a dime and never enough time, it’s not easy. However, when you don’t fully understand your customer, you are at great risk.

One of CI Squared’s clients, a large software company, discovered the consequences of not taking the time to truly understand their customer. After an initial demo/presentation to this long-standing customer, CI Squared’s client received negative feedback that they were losing. They were given another chance and came back 8 months later with a renewed presentation. The 12 members of the team devoted their time and effort to the new presentation during these 8 months, but they were again rejected by the customer. What happened?

CI Squared’s lost deal analysis revealed that at the crux of why they lost this sale was a lack of understanding.  No one on the deal team connected with the operational team or key leaders. They were not able to uncover the real implications of their customer’s business problem and the time frame needed to solve it successfully. Without these insights, they were proposing a perceived solution they thought would fill their customer’s needs. However, from the customer’s viewpoint it did not hit the mark and would take too long. By contrast, the competition had built strong connections with workers and executives, they understood the business problem, motivations of the individuals, and the sense of urgency needed. The customer’s  team felt that the competitor “got them” and could deliver a better, timelier solution.

The damages were huge: time, resources, and opportunity cost. They could directly measure that they lost a 3-year, $1.5 million deal in an existing account, $4.5M. How about the investment in people and time or the opportunity cost?  How much did it affect their standing with the customer and confidence?

CI Squared believes that better discovery which leads to understanding the customer, both business and personal, is critical in today’s world.  How do you help your customer uncover their real problems and deliver insights when they don’t have time? Better human interaction through empathic communication can help you gather the Customer’s whole story and is at the heart of winning today. Customers want to be understood and want to buy from sales teams that give them insights and confidence. But we often rush to talking about our product or service vs staying in the moment and saying, “Tell me more.”

The world has changed and Buyer 2.0 with it. They do not want the same old sales teams who just pitch their products. They have seen that movie before. Your old sales techniques are not enough today to give you the ability to make a strong human connection and listen well enough to get their complete Story with empathy. However, most salespeople have not been exposed to new and innovative ideas and tools. Why not? Some don’t realize the magnitude of this problem on their performance. Some are complacent because change is hard. Some just won’t invest in their people to fill these GAPS. And some think they do it well already which the research debunks.

You can challenge yourself to see how big of a GAP this is individually or organizationally. Benchmark your win rate % against industry averages. Sirius Decisions statistics show that if you count every deal you work on, best in class B2B sales organizations win 40%, lose 30%, and the final 30% just do not buy. We believe that if you calculate this accurately, you will want to do something now. We can help you dramatically shift these ratios.

https://hbr.org/2017/06/6-reasons-salespeople-win-or-lose-a-sale

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/walk-away-sales-strategy-john-geraci/

https://www.insidesales.com/insider/inside-sales-virtual-summit-2/losing-deals/

Sales

Are You Breaking Through the Clutter?


Or, why aren’t you breaking through the clutter?

You may ask yourself this question after a series of unanswered emails or a promising deal cut short. Here’s why. People don’t have time. What our research shows us is that the amount of incoming content to every person is staggering.  “According to Time.com, the average person looks at his/her phone 46 times every day (up from 33 looks per day in 2014).  Our new-ish -“always on” culture, complete with the enormous pressure of the expectation of instant responses, effects everything from the quality of our sleep to the depth of our relationships”. (Forbes)

In a fast paced world filled with overwhelming amounts of external and internal stimuli, people are of course:

  • Busier than ever before
  • Shifting priorities constantly
  • Answering too many messages
  • Bombarded with content

But if you do not realize this, your message or attempt to get through to a customer will undoubtedly fall flat. The most important mission of sales people and sales methods & techniques is to break through the static. Many current sales methodologies are stuck in the past, not reflecting the new behaviors of Buyer 2.0


Lack of understanding and not connecting personally with customers is a trait that unsuccessful sales people possess in abundance. They hog the conversation with chatter, solutions, features and functions instead of listening. They do not listen to or understand the customer. Humans crave emotional connections and a conversation that uncovers insights. According to this article on Openview, the top sales performers listen 54% of the time and talk 46% of the time. It’s not just that a conversation (not an interrogation) is happening, but the interesting topics that weave in and out of the conversation. What kind of sales conversations are you having? Is it just product, solutions, features and functions?  Are you having trouble understanding and making a connection with your harried customers? Are you listening with empathy?

We believe that the world of work is changing dramatically and if you do not update your communication skills to have more insightful business conversations, you will struggle mightily.

Evaluate critically your business conversations to determine what needs to change and invest now to innovate and grow.

https://labs.openviewpartners.com/data-from-1-million-sales-calls-explains-the-difference-between-top-reps-and-everyone-else/?utm_campaign=General%20Newsletter&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=59005285&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8JhRuu1Dn9l8Lj_GtIvuOQnPB6ecTipkW4Nd0CKTDhhhErTvjhhO7cUuPK-gGQvyIzYCOMfIW2Ib4NsTsBFlZsWlZySQ&_hsmi=59005285#.WnjH8ZM-d25

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/72774

https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauljankowski/2016/08/24/5-ways-to-break-through-the-noise/#284305741d2f

Uncategorized

B2B Sales and the Herd Mentality: Are You Following or Leading?


B2B Sales is more challenging than ever. Are you following the old herd or leading the new pack?

Customers’ buying habits are changing. The fast pace of technology only accelerates this change with an overwhelming amount of messages and shifting priorities clamoring for people’s undivided attention.

There’s also an intergenerational shift in the workforce as boomers retire and millennials take over which creates a multitude of buyers with different needs. Every one of those individual buyers demands specific valuable insights; something they don’t know, for improved performance from sales teams.

Research from Gartner/CEB states in the shifting B2B executive landscape, alignment of critical stakeholders before any major purchase is highly important. So more people hop on the buying cycle and key people-not as far along in their Buyer’s Journey because of shifting priorities-come in late. Multiple buyers like this in the process result in delays due to repeated activities, frustrating sales teams.  Drawn out sales cycles negatively affect everyone involved in your sales campaigns, sales, presales, services and your executives, sapping productivity.

Our research shows the sales teams who struggle the most with the Buyer 2.0 exhibit these “old behaviors”:

  1. They don’t understand and connect with customers personally: People want human connection as well as business results. 90% of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously(crowdspring) so having the ability to emotionally connect with people in their harried world is more important than ever
  2. They don’t understand the customer’s business problems deep enough to provide insight: Because “customers are coming into the sale armed with better product knowledge than ever before. The average customer is more than halfway through the decision-making process by the time they talk with a sales rep, according to some estimates,” (Agile CRM) oftentimes they don’t have the time or energy to provide the finer points of their business problems. But without understanding the business problem it’s hard to offer insights and differentiation, so talk turns to a well-known subject: the product.
  3. They rush to demo features and functions: It’s not unusual. According to Gartner, 73% Sales reps focus too much on product. We observe that many sales teams rush to demo the features of the product because this is their wheelhouse, but jumping right to knowledge of the product will not cause them to win the deal. If anything, rushing to demo without digging in deep to the problems elongate the sales cycle, confuses the customer, halts progress, and many times causes you to miss the opportunity for understanding. But we all train on, know, and love our product.

Which behaviors are you most guilty of? Are you or sales and marketing guilty of using the same old process and methodology or are you adapting to the new buyer? Quickly adapting to align with shifting customer wants and needs is imperative. How will you leave the herd mentality, set yourself apart, and lead the pack?

CI Squared Sales Workshop

https://www.square2marketing.com/blog/solutions-to-the-6-biggest-sales-challenges-facing-sales-teams-today

4 Trends That Are Changing Sales

 

 

Uncategorized

Naughty or Nice?


xmas

Family can bring out the best and the worst in us!

Why is it that what is touted as the “most wonderful time of the year” can bring on such angst and anxiety?  According to psychologist Leonard Felder, author of When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People, “most Americans experience significant tension at one or more family events each year.”  Felder found, in a random sample of more than 1,350 people, 75% had at least 1 family member who gets on their nerves (Trespicio, CNN). At least 1? Try 5 or 6! 

The holiday season means different celebrations for people, but it always means togetherness, family, and a haul of interactions leading people to fall into two groups as they anticipate the holidays: those who struggle or those elated. With expectations set to have a wonderful time, different personalities, and overall heightened emotions, the holidays emphasize that struggle. How we react to those situations (naughty or nice?) stems from the core layers and building blocks of our personalities.

During the holidays with large groups of people around, understanding ourselves and others comes in handy. While it isn’t practical to start teaching emotional intelligence to each member of your family, slowing down a little to learn how to better understand the people in your life can make for a much happier holiday.

When we start to better understand what aspects of personality drives our loved-ones’ behavior, we can adapt our own behavior to allow more effective interaction, and put it in the right perspective.  For example, maybe your mom’s thorough detail-orientation for decorating the house drives you nuts. Why can’t she be like your sister who just takes the decorations and gets it done? But they do things 2 different ways, and approaching both your sister and your mom the same way will be ineffective. It is helpful to know who we’re dealing with, what drives their behavior, and therefore how to improve communication skills.

Having an insightful handle on different personalities, not just family dynamics, is invaluable. That insight will help you adapt to improve interactions, not just around the holiday dinner table but in every aspect of your professional/personal life. In the corporate world, having a positive, fruitful interaction with coworkers or clients begins with knowing who they are as people and their motivators. How effective could the sales and marketing be if they harnessed the knowledge of personality to improve communication skills for sales people and business sales techniques?

American automobile executive Lee Iacocca said it best: “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

Everyone has a core personality formed by the basic principles or nature, nurture, and a combination of the two. While we cannot change our personality, we can grow an acute awareness of who we are, and our nuances. To understand others, the first step is understanding ourselves. Do you accurately know your personality profile? Think about where yourself and others fall on the DiSC personality map below. Start looking at stressful holiday situations differently and they will change. Aim to understand, not escape.

Communication Style

 

“…we need to know our own personality, as well as others’ personality. That is, the characteristics of each and how to flex our styles for more effective interaction and communication.” (The Art of The Nudge, pg. 73)

Nudge: Whether you are naughty or nice, gather and communicate mindfully to make the most of your holidays.

Other Points of View

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/26/living/holiday-dinner-fights-martha-stewart/index.html

How Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Prepares For The Holidays

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-deal-difficult-family-members-during-holidays-ncna824706

http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2001/03/behavioral-style-understanding-communication-styles-can-advance-your-relationships-and

Good Communication Good Business

Uncategorized

Marketing vs Sales: No One Wins


2/3 of salespeople believe marketers are wasting time on fancy events and branding activities when they would be better served focusing on tactics that directly impact the sales pipeline. Similarly, the majority of marketing pros consider salespeople boastful and showmen.” (Dan Sincavage B2B Community)

Marketing and sales share the same end goal: gain and retain customers. But different time horizons for results, branding strategies, focus, and methods get in the way of a synchronized team leveraging content. The fast pace of communication in our Digital World exacerbates the conflict between sales and marketing.

Recently, a VP of Marketing relayed to us their marketing department’s discordance with sales. Though they thoroughly researched business sales techniques, Buyer Personae and competitive differentiators, worked with excellent editing and publishing, Marketing still felt like they were throwing clear, accessible content over the wall to Sales. And the VP of Sales agreed with that. His team did not use the provided content as it was too high level, not focused on the current prospect, and difficult to research and find.

Criticism of the current system helped the VP of Marketing understand why his team looked at the successful sales reps as “rogue Agents” blazing their own trail. Furthermore, the VP of Sales was astonished at the amount of time and effort to create usable tools for the sales teams. Both VPs started imagining the productivity gains they could deliver if this all worked differently and cohesively.

CI Squared inquired how this conflict was affecting revenue, costs and profit margins, customer satisfaction or employee engagement. The VPs both laughed and said, “besides the dirty looks in the hallway and exasperation on both sides?” But they began to analyze the effects on the aforementioned areas of business which aligned with major research on sales and marketing operations:

Energy and resources wasted. Though marketing invests in research, writing, editing, printing, and publishing content, according to Sirius Decisions, 65% remains unused by sales.

Opportunity wasted If marketing wasn’t spending time on unusable content, what could they be doing? Could these other activities increase productivity and lead to higher revenues?

Time wasted– According to Aberdeen Group, sales reps spend 43 hours per month searching for the right content instead of selling in front of the customer, wasting valuable selling and customer facing time.  What if those 43 hours were used to accelerate a deal, or find a new one?

Revenue lost-Misaligned content can result in delivering the wrong message that negatively affects the customer. It creates friction, misunderstanding of your solution, the customer not feeling heard leading to longer sales cycle, drawn out buy-in or even loss of a big deal.

Calculating these specific numbers caused these two executives to take action and develop an integrated sales team development plan and collaborative framework for Marketing to deliver content that Sales could use. In addition, they established improved communication skills in the form of a feedback loop for Sales to circle back to Marketing with constructive dialogue and questions. In effect, a common culture and language to increase productivity and revenue was created. CI2 was lucky enough to partner with them on this journey with astounding results.

Despite the enormity of this problem, most executives only see the tip of this massive iceberg.  Do you know the magnitude of this problem in your Company? If you think it’s smooth sailing, validate your intuitions with two groups Copyrighters and Sales people. Ask one of your copyrighters how and when sales uses their content. Ask 2 salespeople how they use marketing content and how much time they spend monthly building their own?

If these answers disturb you, we would love to help.

Other Points of View:

https://www.thebalance.com/marketing-vs-sales-what-is-the-difference-2294827

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/03/27/sales-content-vs-marketing-content-do-you-know-the-difference/2/#18f0581a884a

https://www.slideshare.net/Highspot/sales-enablement-infographic-resolve-the-marketing-vs-sales-content-dispute

https://www.tenfold.com/marketing/marketing-vs-sales-major-difference-work-together

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