HomeBlog How to Tell if There’s Real Trust in Your Sales and Marketing Relationship

How to Tell if There’s Real Trust in Your Sales and Marketing Relationship

November 18, 2013|Megan Heuer

How do you know if trust is lacking? Here is a checklist for marketers to tell if they have the trust of sales when going forward with a change.

Do I trust you? That simple question, spoken or unspoken, is at the heart of every relationship. How would your sales and marketing teams respond to this question? Does their relationship have a foundation of trust? If you don’t know, you’d better find out.

We’ve been talking about how to save the sales/marketing relationship by updating the way these functions work together as sales’ needs and customers’ preferences change.  Account-based marketing (ABM) can be a great option, but do marketers have permission from sales to make this change? I’m not talking about literal permission here (i.e. whether leaders support the ABM concept). I’m talking about emotional permission at both the execution and leadership levels.

Change can be a non-starter without emotional permission, which is based on personal trust. Field or account-based marketers are the individuals who need to make a new account-based model work in real life. Their relationships with sales are as critical to success as any formal communication plan. A lack of emotional permission slows change, so building trust (if it is lacking) must part of the plan for building account-based marketing.

How do you know if trust is lacking? For marketers, here’s a checklist to tell if you have the trust of sales when you go forward with a change. How many of these statements could you or your team answer affirmatively today?

  • Will a salesperson (rep or leader) take a call or meeting with you, or is he or she always too busy?
  • Does sales respond to your email requests? Do salespeople provide feedback if asked?
  • Does sales invite you (or allow you if you ask) to join any of their meetings?
  • Does sales allow you to join them on prospect or customer calls if you ask?
  • Does sales use the information or tools you provide to them?
  • Does sales follow up on the leads you send, even if it’s to reject them?
  • Will a salesperson share an account plan with you if you ask?
  • Do you know what most salespeople would say if you asked them what they thought marketing did to help their productivity? Would you like the answer?
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    All of these questions clues on the marketing’s current level of emotional permission to make changes and execute in an account-based model. Remember, if marketing makes a mistake with an account, it’s the salesperson who can lose out on the source of his or her livelihood. Building trust means making sure sales knows you understand how account-level outcomes impact them personally as well as how they impact business growth.  If you don’t have trust between sales and marketing, it will take time and a series of positive steps to prove you’re both ready for and open to change.

    Megan Heuer

    Megan Heuer is Vice President of Research at SiriusDecisions. With more than 20 years of industry and professional services experience, she has worked both in – and for – organizations to build a wide variety of collaborative sales and marketing deliverables that drive systematic, predictable growth. Follow Megan on Twitter @megheuer.

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