Khadijah Plummer wholeheartedly believes that marketers need to develop strong working partnerships with sales teams. As a former Business Development Rep, she understands the roles of a marketer and salesperson inside and out. In today’s episode of The Content Callout, we talk about improving the relationship between sales and marketing, who to develop relationships with, and how a sales lens can make your marketing content more impactful.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:33] Khadijah’s three rapid-fire actionable tips
- [2:44] How to interview for a marketing position
- [4:47] How to improve the relationship between sales and marketing
- [7:22] You’re in a new marketing role: Who do you get to know?
- [10:06] Why develop relationships with product managers
- [11:23] How a sales role helped Khadija in marketing
- [14:44] Khadijah’s favorites in the content marketing space
- [19:44] Learn more about Khadijah and her podcast
Where to improve the relationship between sales and marketing
Khadijah has never been afraid to talk to anyone to understand their role and how it fits within the company. It helps her understand what their common goal is. How do people see the mission? How are things going? What does the future of the business look like? Even general conversations can be immensely helpful when you’re trying to tell a brand’s story. You don’t have to go into a conversation with an ulterior motive, but what you learn can be helpful for later content.
But how do you broach conversations with someone in sales who’s hesitant to speak with you? Start by doing your homework. How is the sales team set up? Who’s in it? How many Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) versus Account Executives (AEs) are there? What is the tenure of the salespeople? Talking to someone about a big client they’ve landed shows you’re paying attention to customers. You can learn some of these details if you listen to sales calls preemptively. If you can tell someone what a great job they’re doing, they’re more likely to open up to you.
Khadijah also notes they need to know that their view of the organization is essential to how the brand story evolves and how the business grows. For example, salespeople want to hit their quota and make more money, but they also want a great story to tell their customers. You can help craft that story by getting to know your salespeople.
You’re in a new marketing role: Who do you get to know?
Khadijah points out that you should start by getting to know AEs. Unless they’re brought in as an external hire, many AEs have been through the wringer. They’ve worked hard to get promoted to that role. They are also heavily invested in the business and often approach the organization as if it’s their own. They are a wealth of knowledge.
Secondly, they are convincing—they’ll help you become invested in the business and share the story about what the organization is doing. You can glean many talking points from what they’re passionate about. Most AEs have a good handle on copywriting. Because many have taken on that role, you’ll often see a deeper connection between AEs and marketers.
AEs are willing to invest time to make sure that you feel confident in the story. At the end of the day, as a content marketer with a good relationship with sales, you can be a lifesaver for them. You can make things more efficient, which leads to more deals and more money. Everyone wins when sales are happy. Who else should you develop a relationship with that will inform your copy? Listen to learn more!
How a sales role helped Khadijah in marketing
Khadijah moved into her role in marketing, knowing what sales teams needed. She knew how to make a message concise and help sales get their job done. When she was in sales, she rarely got fresh templates from marketing because they had a lot on their plate. So Khadijah became the email template point-person. She audited the sales content and understood how to make it more eye-catching. She was also able to measure the results directly. When she’s working with a team used to doing everything themselves, it helps to have the lens of an editor. She can help them refine and audit their message.
Khadijah has spent a lot of time on the phone. She’s one of the rare people that’s never had a bad cold-calling experience. She’s learned that people are open to sharing their problems, even if your solution can’t solve them. The wide range of sales conversations helped Khadijah learn how people wanted to be spoken to. People want to feel like what you offer is personalized to them. They want to see themselves in the story that’s being told. You have to have conversations versus responding to conversations.
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Khadijah Plummer
- Connect with Khadijah on Twitter
- Connect with Khadijah on LinkedIn
- Khadijah’s podcast: Content Corner