I live in New York and need to find a new place to live. This is a torturous, soul crushing, money-sucking process. I have a running list in my head of everything I’d rather do than visit shoebox-sized apartments with a lovely view of a brick wall. These include: taking an hour long ice bath, eating a bowl full of salt, and passing out religious pamphlets in Times Square.
Recently, I had an uncomfortable meeting at a broker’s office. Online, I saw pictures of a spacious looking apartment, in a safe neighborhood, at a reasonable price – the NYC holy trinity. When I went in to meet the broker and see the place, I was met with scoffs, sighs, and eye rolls.
The broker proceeded to bad-mouth the marketer who posted the listing. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She doesn’t understand the real estate industry. She didn’t verify this price with me. She should have never posted this.
I was uncomfortable and ended my relationship with the company right then and there. As a customer, how am I supposed to work with and trust a business that can’t even work with and trust each other? Simply put, I’m not going to give my money to someone I don’t like – and I don’t like combative people who talk behind their co-workers backs in front of me.
This applies to the B2B world as well.
Our leads and customers know way more about the internal intricacies of our organization than we give them credit for. They feel the tension right along with us, they catch the sarcastic comments you think breezed right by them, and they get uncomfortable and lose trust, too.
As sales and marketing quarrel, the customer becomes increasingly unhappy with their sales interactions. According to Forbes, B2B buyers have expressed that as many as 97 percent of their early sales interactions are unproductive.
This is often due to miscommunication, or total lack of communication, between the marketing and sales departments. Time is wasted as the departments each interact with the customer without any knowledge of what the other is saying. They may even be contradicting each other and the only one who knows is the customer.
A crucial step of successfully aligning your marketing and sales departments is defining the buyer’s role. Are they the epicenter of your business or just a vague figure that’s worth nothing more than their credit card number? I think you know what the right answer is…
Here are some tips to successfully align your marketing and sales process around the customer:
- Build your business’s process, technology, and culture around the customer experience.
- Access and update your marketing and sales methods to reflect modern buyer behavior for your industry.
- Have sales refocus their energy on relationship building, as most buyers today educate themselves through online content.
- Never discredit a colleague to a customer – always present a united, organized front.
- If you do have internal questions, discuss it openly, in person, at a later time. Then, contact the buyer together to maintain trust.
I was done with that broker as soon as his rant started. All it will take is a scathing Yelp review for him to learn the error of his ways. But, you’re better than that – adjust your company’s marketing and sales alignment around the customer before you read about your issues on an online forum.