Linda Crawford, executive vice president and general manager of Salesforce.com’s Sales Cloud, talks with McKinsey partner Hugo Sarrazin about what a modern sales leader needs to do to sell better.
Highlights from the interview:
Top-performing sales leaders today focus on the very important relationship between themselves and the CMO. Companies need to get past fighting about leads versus closed deals and start focusing on the pipeline because that’s where the rubber meets the road between sales and marketing. Having strategic discussions between the sales leadership and the CMO about the way the pipeline gets built, how to turn great leads turn into an effective pipeline and a great pipeline into business is very important. The people who are nailing that are taking the lion’s share of business these days.
What happens between the first interest demonstrated by a perspective buyer and that engagement with the seller? That’s where marketing comes into play. Prospective buyers are sending you signals. They are hitting your website. They may be attending a webinar. The salesperson and the marketer need to get together to say, ‘How is that happening and where do we want to be in order to find those people earlier in the sales process?’ Because then if you can connect a salesperson to the right moment in the process, you have a better chance of differentiating your product and getting a higher price.
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