How to Manage Different Perspectives From One Sales Team

How to Manage Different Perspectives From One Sales Team

An interesting aspect of corporate life is how diverse talents across departments come together for the company’s greater good. Everybody contributes different experiences, skill sets and ideas regarding the best way for the company to thrive.

As a marketer, you collaborate with many areas of the company. Perhaps most intriguing is the symbiotic relationship with sales.

Sales needs marketing to provide the market insights, strategic direction and targeted materials to sell effectively. Marketing needs sales to provide feedback on how marketing resources are working in the field, and what gaps in support materials should be filled.

That’s where things can get complicated.

Challenges with alignment

The typical sales function in financial services is segmented by external and internal. The external team, which is out dealing with financial advisors, is made up of wholesalers and their immediate support staff.

The internal team is usually made up of inside sales reps and coordinators, plus those in practice management, business development and certain leadership roles who tend to be based at head office (although they also maintain an external presence).

The challenge is that the external and internal teams hold their own views on marketing requirements. The external team believes they can better gauge needs because they’re regularly meeting with advisors. The internal team, notably senior leadership, believes they have a better overall perspective because they’re not deep in the weeds.

With different views come different direction. For instance, internal sales leadership may want a brochure created on a particular product, while the external team says advisors want one-pagers. Marketing is left trying to reconcile competing requests.

So, while the internal team may be pushing to create a brochure, the external team is cranking out one-pagers to meet their own needs. Misalignment can also occur within teams (e.g., not all wholesalers share the same views or have the same needs).

Helping to gain alignment

This is just one example of many that you’ve likely experienced at some point. In such situations, marketing leadership can help.

Maybe they can have key sales members jump on a call with marketing to come up with an aligned approach that reasonably satisfies all parties. Or, sales leadership can be engaged to bring their teams together and align their marketing needs.

If possible, marketing should not proceed on initiatives until alignment is achieved, as it could waste time and effort – and cause friction within sales – to choose one group’s wishes over the other’s.

While marketers can voice their opinion on the best course of action and support it with rationale and related metrics or research, it’s wise not to “take sides” or pit one team against another.

After all, the marketing function runs smoother when all partners feel engaged and valued, which ultimately benefits the entire company.

Andrew Broadhead
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Andrew Broadhead is Communications Manager at Ext. Marketing Inc., where he creates content that helps financial services firms engage their customers and prospects. Andrew’ ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, April 17-21, 2017 

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Market Keeping You up at Night? Look for the Right Hedge

Like so many others in the industry, I was wrong. For years, I was certain that the bull market was nearing its end. I thought the market was over-extended, and that, surely, the wild equities run was coming to an end. But everyone else was bullish, and perhaps rightfully so. And while I’ve watched equities continue on their spectacular rise, I do think now is the time (really!) to put a hedge in place. Here’s why. Here’s how. — Adam Patti

2. How to Manage Bond Market Pain and Seek the Gain When Rates Are Rising

The realities for fixed income investors have changed. How is this being reflected in markets? Bond investing has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Markets have been heavily distorted by ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing, as well as by extreme risk aversion in response to the global economic crisis and the eurozone debt crisis. — Nick Gartside

3. Seven Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor

Is being a financial advisor worth it? I am an optimistic person and I encourage other people to keep a positive mental attitude (shout-out to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone). However, by taking a good, hard look at the negatives in life, we can successfully pivot towards the positive aspects that will help us achieve our goals. — James Pollard

4. The Secret to Turning Every Prospect into a Client

How do you treat one of your most valued, existing clients? Here’s a list of some things that come to mind. — Andrew Sobel

5. Why Do Clients Change Advisors?

According to many advisors I speak with, the only clients that leave are those who have died. And while attrition may not be a big problem in this industry, I have to assume that at least a few clients change advisors without doing so via the funeral home. — Julie Littlechild

6. Why You Should Focus on Getting Referral Sources

I was talking with an advisor last week about how to get into conversations about what he does. He was relaying the story of going jogging with a friend who could be a good client but is, more importantly, connected to a large network of people who fit this advisors ideal client description. — Stephen Wershing

7. How Big Picture Thinkers Seize More Opportunities in 7 Steps

Big picture thinkers are not unicorns - rare and mystical. And they were not born with the innate ability to think big. They do, however, pay attention to the broader landscape and take the time to think, analyze and evaluate. — Jill Houtman and Danny Domenighini

8. 5 Actions to Build Your Reputation

Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®.  Many of us take our image and reputation for granted.  Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities. — Stacey Hanke

9. How Are You Poised to Begin Welcoming GenZ to Your Workplace?

The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. — Shirley Engelmeier

10. Are Price Objections REALLY Price Objections?

Next time you hear your prospects give you price objections, it’s not because of the price. The give price objections because they don’t know the full value proposition that they’d be paying for. And it’s not based on their need, or your features and functions. It’s based on the buying criteria they want to meet internally. — Sofia Carter

11. Understanding the Economic Value of Transition Deals

Last week we wrote about the economic rationale behind going independent vs. moving to another major firm as an employee. As a follow-up topic, we thought it prudent to analyze transition packages attached to big firm moves and peel back the layers of the onion to show the components of these deals. — Louis Diamond

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio