While I was Marketing Manager in a division of Kodak, I often found myself in an awkward situation.
My predecessor, who had meanwhile moved to another business unit and became Sales Director, had warned me from day one:
– “Marketing is a difficult job, because you will find yourself with a lot of responsibility, but without power”.
Responsibility without power… who knows what it meant…
I confess that it wasn’t clear to me there and then.
But soon it became very clear:
- You are burdened with a thousand tasks, but the “heroes” in the company are the salesmen.
- The boss puts a series of delicate things on your desk, which Sales can’t take care of, but your work doesn’t seem to be appreciated.
- If you don’t put any initiative on the table, Sales will be muzzling.
- If you set up any initiative, Sales see the glass half empty: you do it in Rome… they wanted it in Milan; you do it on Product A… they wanted it on Product B; you propose special prices to acquire new customers… and they use them to upsell historical customers…
- The headquarters asks you for monthly sales forecasts, and there’s no way they’ll come once the forecasts are accurate, even after implementing an adaptive system based on the most sophisticated probabilistic formulas. And so, the next month you find yourself having to justify why those orders that were certain did not arrive.
Afterwards, when I also had responsibility for turnover, I realized that Sales have a thousand objective difficulties.
They really have reason to complain about how things are going on the market.
They really have the pressure of the Sales Director to bring home some turnover.
In addition, salespeople are almost always the only ones with measurable goals. And when they don’t reach them, they’re under pressure.
So, even sales have very good reasons to expect more from marketing, especially if they feel that they are not helping them enough, rightly or wrongly.
But what is then the point of balance between these two worlds apparently distant?
The solution passes through the implementation of a lead generation activity that works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
By doing so, Marketing becomes an oxygen generator for Sales, and little by little it becomes indispensable and appreciated.
Above all, it begins to gain “power”, in the sense that it finally becomes the creator and pilot of a daily commercial activity whose usefulness is recognized by all, starting with Sales.
To see how the lead generation service already adopted by many of our multinational customers works, click here: