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Is your sales and marketing alignment 'Smarter Than a 5th grader'?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 1/29/11 1:28 PM

Ever watch that game, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?". Seems like a ridiculous concept at first right? I mean of course I am smarter than a 5th grader!

Are you sure about that? Check out nervous Larry here, a college student with a reported 3.3 GPA.

Now in Larry's defense, I am not sure I would have done much better. I am terrible at spelling (in fact my answer would have been 3).

What is the point here? What was Larry's problem? It can't be that he is not intelligent, (if his 3.3 GPA is actual). Is he a bad speller like me?

At first glance, it is easy to see that he just wasn't listening. The adage, "You have 2 ears and one mouth, use them in proportion and you should be listening twice as much as you are talking." seems like such a common sense concept, but how many of us are like Larry and so easily forget?

Thankfully had Larry had the help of the host (business expert, consultant, teacher). He was able to slow him down and really got him to listen. Had he not done this, Larry's lack of listening would have cost him $1000.

Now listen again to Larry's complaint of why he could not immediately come up with the answer.

He couldn't write it down.

Simple. Powerful.

Have you written it down yet?

How much does marketing and sales listen to each other?

So this prompted many questions in my mind. (sometimes you find out the answers when you know what to ask...)

But the really big question for me was this.

How much faster could Larry have confidentely answered this seemingly simple question had he [been able to]:

  • WRITE it down: Is there a common system to create collaborative sales and marketing reports (the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, and everyone use the same terms to communicate)?
  • LISTEN! Ask "Does marketing listen to sales when they complain about lead quality? Does sales share information with marketing to improve the quality of leads? If not, then what tools do you have to make that easier for them?"
So...are your marketing and sales departments smarter than Larry? If so, (and more importantly) are they smarter than a 5th grader?


My next question to you? How well are you listening?

And if you can not figure it out by listening, will you use the help available to you from your team? How will you use it to increase leads and revenue?

Market on.


Topics: smarketing, sales and marketing alignment, advanced analytics