Why Your Sales Team Doesn’t Use Marketing Data (And How To Fix It)

Frustrated that your marketing efforts and data aren’t being acted on by your sales team? You need to sell to the sellers!

Too often I hear marketers, managers, and company leaders bemoan the challenge of getting the attention of their sales team. Worse yet, without getting their attention, there is no action on the information, resources, and leads they provide. The time, money, and effort in providing quality leads and sales data isn’t valued or used as they should be.

How frustrating! Yet, how are the messages, data, and requests delivered to the sales team? Are they delivered in the same way you message your customers? Usually not.

There can be a disconnect in the way messages to the ‘outside’ are prepared and delivered compared to our internal teams. And there’s an easy fix that will greatly increase the probability that your sales team quickly and convincingly will use the sales-ready data you provide. Make sure your messages focus on THEM (your salespeople).

A message to anyone is more powerful when you connect the information to what is important to them. This connection makes the information both relevant and valuable for the audience you are talking to.

Connect information you provide (the “what”) to the benefits or what’s in it for them. I call these “Whats to WiifTs.”

[pullquote]Sales Tip: Connect the “what” to the benefits or “what’s in it for them” to drive action Tweet This![/pullquote]

“Whats to WiifTs” keep your salespeople from having to figure out why they should care; they ensure that the value of the information or request to do something is understood. Don’t assume they will put in the energy and effort to make these benefit connections; instead make it easy for the sales team to want to use the information by making the connection for them.

If you only communicate information or data, your sellers will not be moved to do anything with it, and can even become more distracted or indifferent.

What + WiifT = Action

“Whats to WiifTs” sound like this:

  • “The leads in this report have visited xxx pages, using this information to make your contact allows you to engage them with relevant conversation points.”
  •  “The report has up-to-date data that gives you current information to make your contact with the lead timely.”

How Whats to WiifTs Work

First, state what your information is or what it does.

The “whats” are the features or details of the information. They describe what you want them to know or to do. For example, “segmented lists,” “integrates with your CRM notes,” “sales-ready leads,” and “easy access to your customer history.”

Then answer the question, “So What?” to connect the “what” to the “WiifT”.

To identify relevant WiifTs, imagine that as each “what” is presented, the seller is thinking “so what?” or “so what does this have to do with me?” To answer the “so what?” question, connect a relevant WiifT to the “what”. This focuses them on what is important.

Connecting the “whats” of your information to them demonstrates that you understand what their challenges and needs are. Make it a seamless connection by using a connecting phrase that includes the words, “you” and “your.” This phrase becomes a spotlight illuminating the person, the value, or the benefits. It sends the message, “Hey, pay attention, this is about you!”

Connecting phrases you can use include:

  • For your situation . . .
  • What this means for you . . .
  • So you will be able to . . . or, So that you . . .
  • This allows you to . . . or, This allows your team to . . .

For example, if your sales team needs help in prioritizing their time and efforts, giving them more information that they are not sure what to do with won’t be acted on or even looked at.

Whats to WiifTs is an easy concept that is more powerful when you connect the right WiifTs. Keep in mind that the sales reps’ WiifTs may be very different from the sales managers.

Identify relevant WiifTs by determining specifically how your request for action:

  • Solves their problems.
  • Captures opportunities for them. (Time saving, more commission, etc.)
  • Fills their wants and needs.

Connecting the WiifTs to the “whats” answers the “so what?” and makes your statements powerful and relevant. So what does that mean to you? You will be more valuable to your company when your sales team uses the information and sales-ready leads you work so hard to cultivate and convert the leads to buyers.

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