13 Questions Marketing Should Ask the Sales Reps

by Eloqua on January 27, 2012 in Sales & Marketing Alignment

As marketers, we all want to deliver sales with the resources they need to close more deals…more often…and faster.

If you’re going to develop a marketing plan that really pushes sales enablement, you need to talk the sales reps out in the field. Yet, too often, marketers get bogged down by personal gripes and don’t have a strategic process for approaching sales.

If you want to understand what sales really needs, you have to know what questions to ask. Below we suggest 13 questions for sales reps that will help refine your marketing strategy.

1. “What are the top three things that you’ll need to make your number this quarter/year?”
Focus on the big umbrella content and resources your sales reps need. Force them to think about what they need versus what they want.

2. “If there were only three things that marketing can do for you this quarter/year, what would they be?”
Show that marketing cares about delivering the big needs by asking the reps to make a shortlist rather than a long list of missing pieces.

3. “If there were only three reports/dashboards that marketing could provide to get your job done and make your number, what would they be?”
Sales reps are results-oriented. Ask them what kind of data they need to see from marketing to achieve results, and what’s just filler.

4. “What markets/verticals/types of organizations would you like to sell more into? What’s holding you back from doing so now?”
Out in the field, reps might be seeing open opportunities that marketing isn’t prepared to sell into. Asking helps identify new revenue opportunities.

5. “What are your thoughts on the sales tools available to you now? Is there too much, too little?”
Sometimes sales feels underwhelmed, sometimes they feel overwhelmed. This question will help you discover whether marketing is not delivering the right assets, or even if sales just doesn’t know where to find them.

6. “How is marketing’s overall communication to the sales team? Do you have a good sense of what’s coming up from a marketing programs perspective?”
Similar to question five, sometimes you have rich resources for sales but your communication between teams is poor.

7. “What are the top two or three things that we do well from a product release and marketing perspective?”
At the end of the day, sales reps need to sell your products and services…not just your brand image. Find out what you’re delivering around specific products that are working.

8. “What are the two to three things that you’d like to see marketing do more of?”
Focusing first on what’s working, rather than what’s not, is a great way to change attitudes and plan ahead strategically.

competitive-marketing

Asking sales what scares them about competitors can help identify marketing blindspots.

9. “What are the two or three things that marketing should stop doing?”
If a certain tactic isn’t delivering the goods, why keep doing it? Have the reps name underperforming programs so you can cut the chord and move on.

10. “What are the top three things that keep you up at night in terms of your competition?”
Sometimes reps can get spooked and reactive when a competitor makes a move. Instead of focusing on short-term reactions, ask your reps to focus on the big strategies competitors’ employ time and time again.

11. “What can we do to improve your access to and use of contact data?”
Sales reps need data. They need to know leads’ prospects needs, buying actions…their digital body language. Find out how you can improve the flow of this information between teams.

12.“What are the top two to three areas where our current messaging works really well for you?”
Marketing is the messaging apparatus for the entire organization. Salespeople can usually tell you what messages are actually resonating and what’s falling flat.

13.“What are the top three things that marketing can do to leverage our alliances and partnerships in order to sell more?”
Many times your organization will have great partnerships in place that aren’t being tapped into. By asking sales, you can identify opportunities to drive more value out these alliances.

Asking sales reps about their needs in a focused manner can dramatically increase marketing’s overall value to the business. Just make you sure you adopt the right approach. And for more detailed tips download our free Grande Guide to Sales Enablement.

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