Sunday, January 09, 2005

AMA Bringing Sales and Marketing Together

The American Marketing Association has been working hard at resolving one of the problems that most vex us as marketers -- the disconnect between sales and marketing.

AMA's began attacking this problem in 2002 with their Customer Message Management Forum where they brought together a group of sales and marketing experts and thought leaders to discuss this issue and begin building best practices that focused on how both groups could better facilitate the customer buying process .

Improving the "customer conversation" emerged as the key missing link, where Marketing and Sales could come together to increase a company's selling effectiveness."In today's highly competitive and perceived parity markets, it's not what you sell, but how you sell that matters," says Dennis Dunlap, the AMA's chief executive. "Salespeople will tell me: 'It's not about where I show up; it's about what I say when I get there that really counts.' The customer conversation has become the last bastion of competitive differentiation."

The AMA is doing us all a huge favor by bringing this discussion to the frontline.

There is nothing more destructive to a business than sales and marketing not being glued together and working at the same objective. Imagine the terrific cost to us all when sales reps don't support a marketing campaign in the field ... when they fail to followup on sales leads that cost us so much time and money to generate.

Only when sales and marketing are bonded can we hope to achieve such critical tasks as:
  1. Deliver the company's value propositions
  2. Elevate from product to solution-oriented marketing and sales
  3. Deliver more useful and accessible sales-ready support tools
  4. Establish consistent, high-quality "single voice" across multiple touch-points"

Visit the AMA's website for their Customer Message Management Forum initiative (www.marketingpower.com/cmm) to see the full program of activities they have planned for 2005.


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