This post by David Dodd, “Will Technology Soon Turn Sales Reps Into Marketers?” helped validate my idea that sales reps have to be effective marketers.  This post was written in April 2015 and it shows how on track he was back then and what it’s like now.

“In his post, David suggested that the recent trend of marketing playing a larger role deeper into the sales funnel may have peaked, and that technology solutions now exist that enable salespeople to take a more active role earlier in the buying process. As one example, David pointed to a solution offered by MDCDOT, which gives marketing automation functions to sales reps.  David Raab speculated that these types of technology tools could enable salespeople to nurture leads themselves and eventually push marketing back to its more traditional role. He doesn’t argue that this change should happen, but rather that it could happen, especially given the tension that still exists between marketing and sales in some organizations. Given the market reach of Salesforce, its recent product moves makes this kind of change more likely.”

Although this is geared to organizations with lots of resources, it applies to individual contributors and small/med biz’s like VARs (hardware, software, telecom).  Today, you have to learn from the large companies and apply their lessons because ultimately, you may be competing with them in some form or making a lot of money selling their services.  Plus, marketing automation tools are affordable today.

When you think about it, salespeople, agents or VARs are running their own franchises.  It’s a win/win.

Some salespeople do the right things, but their company resources and processes may hinder them from seeing their potential.  That’s why this is so exciting because the SMB/Mid-Market can absolutely crush it by having their sales reps know how to execute a true omnichannel strategy.  Agility against the bigger co’s is a huge advantage.

Candidly, this re-enforces the agent or reseller model because they are the ones that can leverage the marketing from large corporations to build deep relationships by showing value (building a franchise).

Conversely, utilizing the marketing resources from big companies is a huge advantage as well.

But it all comes down to the salesperson executing a strong omnichannel strategy.

Content is still king for these campaigns.  Marketing could have prepared some great content about a product or service, but if you can’t demonstrate how it would show them value to their business, then great marketing automation tools are moot.  You have to hit them online and offline and make sure it’s executed well over time.

It’s a lot of work but pays big rewards, down to the individual contributor, VARs and agents.

If you can get the at bats, the sky is the limit.  But salespeople have to be effective marketers to do that.

Thank you David Dodd for articulating this well.