Salespeople: 8 Things Marketers Wish You Would Stop Doing

July 2, 2014

Marketing and sales teams rely on each other every day. And like any relationship, they often butt heads. That’s why communication is key. OpenView’s CeCe Bazar digs into marketing’s biggest pet peeves, specifically when it comes to business development reps — and how to address them.

Let’s be honest, marketing and sales have a serious love-hate relationship. And while healthy tension between the departments keeps people on their toes and challenges leaders to constantly raise the bar, compromises still need to be made to strengthen the relationship and achieve better results.
Marketing and business development teams in particular rely heavily on one another. Marketing needs business development reps (BDRs) to follow up with the leads they are generating, and BDRs need marketing to support their efforts and keep bringing those leads in. However, what should be a harmonious relationship often turns into a game of “he said, she said”, which distracts from the ultimate goal: building a healthy pipeline.
In the spirit of getting it all out in the open, I reached out to a group of marketing leaders and asked them to identify their biggest pet peeve as it relates to business development teams. After all, BDR teams are generally the first point of human-contact, and need to be in perfect lockstep with marketing in order to be successful.

8 of Marketing’s Biggest Pet Peeves — And How to Address Them

1) Not updating fields in (or any other CRM)

If you learn something new, it needs to be in the CRM. Be it a prospect’s correct email address, persona, or solution of interest, BDRs need to take a moment to update the field and record the information. This is for your own health! Having updated information allows marketing to create nurture tracks that are relevant to the lead. This will only help a BDR team down the line, as the leads will be warmer and more receptive if the information they receive between touchpoints is meaningful and not just noise in their inbox.

2) Not giving feedback to marketing on inbound leads

If an inbound lead isn’t qualified, be sure to inform marketing as to why. There’s no need to be passive aggressive. Use your words (mark the appropriate fields!) and keep the lines of communication open.
When a marketing team is building out a demand generation function, an inbound marketing program iteration is key. BDR teams have the most contact with inbound leads and can quickly decipher which programs, content, and offers are working (and which aren’t). Sharing those insights with marketing is vital to the success of these efforts. Remember, caring is sharing.

3) Not touching inbound leads in a timely manner

Not following up with leads in a timely manner is a big problem. Why? Inbound leads close at a much higher rate the sooner you touch them. If there isn’t a sales and marketing SLA in place, stop reading this blog now and go create one. Formalizing the timeframe in which reps are expected to follow up with an inbound lead is the only way to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

4) Not including marketing on calls

BDRs, remember: You are on the front-lines with target buyers and prospects. If you want marketing to support you in your efforts, include them on calls and meetings. It’s really that simple. Rather than playing a game of telephone as to what it is your prospects want, get marketing directly involved in the conversation on a regular basis. Chances are, they probably want to hear what people have to say.

5) Not complying with SFDC process

Sloppy data entry. Inconsistent data entry. No data entry. It all effects the visibility a marketing team has into the effectiveness of their marketing program or campaign.
Keep in mind there are processes in place for a reason, and complying with them is hugely beneficial to all. When a VP of Marketing needs to pull statistics for a board meeting they generally start by going into Salesforce to run a report. If the information is incorrect, you are not only dealing with an unhappy marketing organization, but an unhappy board as well.

6) Expecting the product to sell itself

I hate to say it, but if that were the case there probably wouldn’t be a BDR team in place. You need to be persistent! You have to keep digging! Ask the right questions and follow through with your leads. Marketing’s job is to get them to the party, it’s your job to make sure they dance.

7) Not logging all activity

Do we really have to go over this again? When you don’t log touches that’s when the reporting problem we discussed rears it’s ugly head. And the consequences aren’t so hot for the sales organization. Not being able to tell what lead sources are valuable and what lead sources are not may result in a weak pipeline of MQLs and inevitably, a weak pipeline of appointments.

8) Changing the lead source field in the CRM

I don’t care what side you are on, this is a giant no-no and another key symptom of sales and marketing misalignment. Again, the solution is to get both teams on the same page and looking at the same numbers and reports. Certain fields like lead source should be locked down in the CRM and only editable by admins (not reps). Lead source should never be changed, as it inhibits marketing from properly tracking the efficacy of its programs.

What do you think, marketers? Are there any pet peeves I missed? Sales reps — what do you wish marketers would stop doing?

// Image courtesy of: Thomas Hawk


<strong>CeCe Bazar</strong> is an Associate on OpenView's investment team. She was previously a Sales Strategist also at OpenView.