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Transparency between marketing and sales drives trust. Which creates alignment.

There’s an important line in a blog post by Christopher Penn, a noted digital marketing expert who writes regularly at www.christopherspenn.com:

Trust is the foundation of a relationship, and transparency is the currency of trust. Transparency is the open sharing of information among parties involved.

This sentiment applies to the age-old misalignment between marketing and sales.  You’ve probably seen a dozen or even a hundred blog posts on “how to align marketing and sales,” but most of the ones we’ve seen cover tactical ideas like shared incentives or job-swapping. They just don’t seem to get to the root of the problem

 

To get to the bottom of “misalignment,” we have to go beyond the rational (marketing and sales have different incentives that pull them in opposing directions) and philosophical (marketing and sales take have divergent approaches because they have fundamentally different personality types).

We have to get to the emotional driver of misalignment which is often lack of trust.  While sales and marketing may share the same intent (grow revenue), they don’t trust the others’ decisions or methods.  “Sales is too tactical, chasing every deal,” says the marketer.  For its part, sales says, “Marketing doesn’t understand the customers’ realities.”

 

When there is mistrust, Transparency is the Great Mediator.  The Ultimate Problem Solver.  Here’s how transparency works in sales enablement.  (Hint, it’s works the same as Amazon.com’s product ratings):

  • Create a simple 1-to-5 rating system for products (marketing content and sales support tools).
  • Give users (sales) a simple and fast way to rate every product (product sheet, case study, blog post, video, etc.).
  • Enable marketing to see usage statistics (i.e. downloads, page views, time spent per page) for every product (marketing content and sales support tools).
  • Create a mobile app to make it even easier for sales to rate content and marketing to see the results.
  • Aggregate the ratings and display them where everyone–sales, marketing and executive management–can see, in real-time.

After 90 or 120 days of transparency, depending on how many salespeople and how much content you have, there will be actionable data.  Either marketing or sales–or both–may not like what they see, but the results will certainly trump the long standing, silo-driven battles between marketing and sales about what works and what doesn’t.

But it’s about more than data. Just having such a transparent system shows that marketing is willing to take candid feedback–and have it displayed where other teams and management can see it.  Sales will appreciate this open kimono approach as a gesture of good faith.  Likewise, ratings help marketing understand that sales’ feedback isn’t personal–it’s business. Ratings are tangible; anecdotes can be misconstrued in both substance and tone.

Just as importantly, the data will yield important insights on how content is delivered, shared and used.  On what devices do salespeople access content?  Their office desktop PC?  Their laptop from home?  Their mobile tablet on the road?  Their smartphone?  This information will help you format the content so that it is accessible and useful in real-world settings.

The bottom line is this: Using the right approach and sales enablement tools (and of course a dose of effective leadership) can increase transparency.  When both parties see the same quantifiable data (not just anecdotal information), trust is gained and the problems can really get solved.

Welcome to the Appnetic Blog!

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Appnetic Blog!  Here you will find up-to-date on all Appnetic has to offer, as well as posts about industry news, trends in mobile sales and thought-provoking fodder from our enablement team.

Don’t know who we are yet? Appnetic has one simple mission: to make it easier for sales teams to Sell more.  If you aren’t familiar with the term mobile sales enablement, you will be soon.  Mobile is propelling sales to new heights and sales enablement tools like Appnetic are what’s making it all happen.

With Appnetic, marketing and sales come full circle in one powerful solution.  Using Appnetic you’ll be able to tap the full potential of the mobile devices your sales team is carrying around everyday.  Your sales and marketing content will be available whenever and wherever your sales team needs it, with just a couple clicks. It’s mind-bending.

Enough about us – for now. Let’s get to work – Happy Selling.

Appnetic’s Mission: Let’s make it easier for sales to sell more.

By Tien Wong
CEO, Appnetic

 

Appnetic’s mission: To help companies sell more by enabling salespeople to spend less time hunting for the right marketing and sales tools and more time selling.

I believe just about every great company has a clear mission that focuses and drives their efforts to address a need or solve a big problem.  I’m not talking about a mission statement that is created “because we need one” and just sits on a PowerPoint slide–but a genuine raison d’etre or reason for being that is part of the company’s DNA and guides their most important decisions.

Let’s start with the problem to be solved: Salespeople still spend too much of their precious time on non-sales activities and not enough time actually selling.   A recent study found that up to 71% of sales representative’s time is spent not selling. There are several reasons for this, but one of the primary ones is how much time and energy it takes for salespeople to find and use the right versions of their right content and tools–at the right time.

 

Sales enablement: It’s so important, yet still too complex

One major challenge according to CEOs, CMOs and senior sales executive we’ve talked to is that sales enablement–arming salespeople with the right content and tools at the right time–still isn’t user-friendly and often is just not effective in driving sales. Extranets and portals are outdated and usually too time consuming to navigate.  And marketing doesn’t really know what content works–and what doesn’t.

 

Sales Is Demanding Mobility–And Companies Are Listening

We know from our research that salespeople are demanding mobile access to their sales content and tools because their tablets and smartphones are the always-on devices they use every minute of every day.  And their employers are starting to listen: In a recent poll of its members the Corporate Executive Board found that 75% said they are already using tablet technology to support sales or plan to begin using tablets within the next 12 months.

 

My company gave me an iPad. Now what do I put on it?

Distributing tablets to your sales team is a great start, but it’s just part of the solution.  How can they get the right marketing content and sales tools–optimized for mobile–at the “point of persuasion?”  The answer is a custom mobile app that simple to use, fast and easy to update.

 

Which brings us to Appnetic’s mission:

To help companies sell more by helping salespeople spend more time selling and less time hunting for the right marketing and sales tools.

 

Appnetic: Mobile Sales Apps in 15 Minutes (No coding)

Our belief that sales should spend their time hunting for deals and not product sheets is why we built Appnetic, a platform that lets anyone create and distribute mobile sales enablement apps in a matter of minutes–with no technical ability whatsoever. Appnetic apps deliver everything sales needs–content, tools, templates, training, alerts–right on their tablet or smartphone. Literally right at their fingertips.

 

CEOs Hate Silos

Sales and marketing teams need help getting on the same page.  Appnetic believes this requires trust which comes from better transparency.   That’s why Appnetic enables real-time ratings and usage stats on marketing and sales tools and content, so sales and marketing can understand together what content works–and what doesn’t.

 

On behalf of the entire Appnetic team, we are excited about our mission to make it easier for sales teams to spend more time selling, and to foster more transparency–and trust–between marketing and sales.

 

We welcome your feedback and ideas–and we thank you for your continued support!