The owner of the first marketing agency I worked for taught me the three Cs of sales reps. In my opinion, this is something that all marketers should know, especially those tasked with creating leads for their sales organization. The three Cs of sales reps are CONTROL, CREDIT, and COMPENSATION. Understanding these Cs has helped me create lead generation programs that sales organizations want and support.
Control: Sales reps are control freaks. Having sold our services for many years, I feel that I can make this statement without offending. Marketing managers can give sales a level of control by:
1.) Ensuring the sales organization has direct input in the campaign messaging, probing questions, and value propositions
2.) Getting sales management approval on the definition and criteria for sales-ready leads
3.) Giving sales the ability to remove any account (i.e., provide a suppression list)
These are just a few steps that will help your sales organization with a level of control, which will give them confidence in the campaign execution and a sense of ownership in working the leads that are produced.
Credit: Many sales reps also have egos, which gives them the drive to succeed. They also want recognition for a job well done. There are many ways to use this to impact lead follow-up positively. For instance, make it a point to formally communicate positive results, explicitly giving credit to sales reps who close marketing leads. I recently participated in one of our client’s sales meetings in which the sales manager announced a return on investment of 38: 1 on a lead generation initiative due to a significant pipeline win. He credited the account executive for closing the lead and boosting the ROI.
Compensation: Most account executives are driven to a great degree by monetary compensation. Thus, it important to make it known that the goal of your campaign is to build pipeline and increase sales revenue. Your success is rooted in their success. Plain and simple!