Robin and the sales promotion budget

It is better to train ten people than to do the work of ten people. But it is harder. --Moody Trade-show-intro Here's an interesting decision. The VP of Marketing at Robin's company passed responsibility for promotional support directly to the salespeople, re-allocating the entire lead-generation budget to the sales channel. Each sales group had a budget for programs in its territory, allocated at roughly $4,000 per year per sales rep. A director of one sales territory went around the room and asked each sales rep how he planned to spend the $4,000. One said, "I plan to exhibit at the biggest conference in my territory." Another hoped to run a full-page ad in an industry publication. Another decided to create his own web site. Robin thought, "Are you kidding me?" Apparently, her salespeople have no idea what promotional marketing costs. A $4,000 budget won't pay for a booth--much less get it into a show. What kind of ad can you place for $4,000? Salespeople are truly shocked to learn the cost of all the printed materials they so casually throw away. Yes, product managers and product marketing managers should help sales people but not one at a time; marketing is about helping all sales people. Instead of each sales person being responsible for marketing in their territory, as in this case, the marketing department should be helping them all with cohesive programs across all territories. One web site, speaking engagements in the right venues, sales tools and customer collateral targeted to the buyer personas, ebooks leveraging the company's distinctive competence... with one common theme in all programs. Instead of helping sales people individually, product managers and product marketing managers should be helping them collectively. What can you do today to help your sales channels connect better with buyers?
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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