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The Importance of Trust For Sales and Marketing Alignment

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 3/27/13 8:08 AM

Is this a Question of Smarketing Ethics?

One of my contacts sent me this story of self control and marksmanship with an itsy bitsy shooter by a woman against a fierce predator. How could such a little weapon be powerful enough to protect her? I'm sure he had his own interpretation of the lesson here, and you may have yours too (comment below to share it). Here's the story:

What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself?
While out hiking in Alberta Canada with my boyfriend we were surprised by a huge grizzly bear charging at us from out of no where. She must have been protecting her cubs because she was extremely aggressive. If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire with me I would not be here today! Just one shot to my boyfriend's knee cap was all it took…….the bear got him and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace. It's one of the best pistols in my collection...

What's the lesson? Is it that the boyfriend trusted the wrong person? Someone who was only out to cover their own well being? Dan Tyre commented recently that I should be more forceful with Smarketing and that companies were ignoring the alignment of sales and marketing at their own peril. Do you think he is polarizing when he says that? Then think on this...

Trust is a word that gets thrown around a lot lately. Forrester research recently published its findings that the majority of people don't trust ads, they trust the recommendations of their friends and family. Big surprise. Trust is a carefully earned and easily lost. Trusting the wrong person can be catastrophic.

Marketers, how would you have reacted when a sales manager refused to help with a webinar that would be recorded, saying that he didn't feel comfortable being recorded because he didn't have the same "deny-ability factor" as he did sitting at someone's kitchen table? Could you have really continued to work as hard as possible to find the right people (leads) to send to that guy? Or is it not your job, or not your problem, you just have to market it?

Sales, how would you have reacted if you gave a referral to a contact who brought the sales manager in, and with later follow up from you, the referral said that the sales manager was "pushy and didn't listen" and that your contact wanted nothing more to do with him? How would you have broken the news to your client that his sales manager was not trustworthy? Or would you have been fearful of how it would effect your relationship with him?

Business owners, how would you have wanted the bad news delivered to you? Sugar-coated or plain blunt English? What would you do after you got the news?

When the survival of many, and not just one, is on the line, you can't afford to be the nice guy. This is yet another reason why sales assessments are a crucial tool to coach sales people to be consultative. Weed out the untrustworthy before they spread like crabgrass on your new spring lawn.

Topics: smarketing, sales and marketing alignment