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August 6, 2009 / jasonpinto

Set Me Up!!

I am not a huge fan of volleyball.

That may be because I’m not very good at it. Or that I was penalized for “carrying” about 12 times in one game, and I still haven’t gotten over that.

But when it comes to the relationship between marketing and sales, volleyball is great activity to think about.

The marketing department loves to bring in leads. They get very excited as each email notification “dings”, informing the sales team of a new lead. They are happy to watch the speedometer move forward on the reporting dashboard as the response rate increases.

Sales people certainly would consider those items as good news as well. But it’s different. Yes, a quantity of leads may be necessary. But the quality of the leads is more important to the sales team.

Why Sales is Different than Marketing

Their job is to convert those leads into customers. That is much more important to them than following-up on all leads.

Thus, if marketing can deliver leads that are truly qualified, then it makes the job of the salesperson easier.

Let’s head to the beach

Alright, let’s now think about volleyball. You have the tall person that is great at spiking the ball, and converting hits into points.

But they can’t do it on their own. Sure, the teammate(s) can set up the “tall-person-that-spikes” all day… But if it’s a little low, or a little wide, or a little high, well, the person that scores the points will not be as productive as they could be.

Yes, if the rest of the team can improve the quality of their set-ups (or “sets”), then it increases the teams chances of converting each play into a point.

So… marketing departments should continue to rejoice over campaigns that bring in a lot of leads. But they can’t stop there. They need to always be pushing to ensure that the sales team truly has a chance to convert those people into customers.

Photo Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:9man_Volleyball.jpg

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