Sujan Patel is the co-founder of Mailshake and Web Profits, both of which help businesses in their digital marketing efforts. He's also a partner of Ramp Ventures, a company that gives SaaS companies the tools to grow.
Overall, he has 14 years of sales and marketing experience, which includes leading digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit, and many others.
On the podcast, Sujan discusses how the sales team can leverage marketing assets and get the best results.
How Did Sujan Get Into Sales and Marketing?While Sujan has handled a lot of sales in his time, he considers himself to be a marketer. His first step to the marketing world was back in 2002 when he made a website, but there was one problem: no one was visiting it.
So, he set off to figure out how to market his website to the outside world and started his first agency, Single Grain. Eventually, he bought another business and took on its founder to handle sales. After this guy joined, their sales began going through the roof.
From this experience, Sujan not only learned the power of the sales but that a marketer needs a salesperson to have the best success.
How Do You Open Up the Channels Between Marketing and Sales?Sujan's company, Mailshake, is a cold email opt-on sales tool that he designed to help marketers with outreach. However, once the tool was on the market, he and his team found that most people were using it for sales, not marketing.
This shows just how entwined the two practices are, but this doesn't mean they're the same. According to Sujan, marketing is in charge of growth and sales is in charge of bringing in revenue.
To meld the two teams, Sujan suggests getting them in the mindset of the other. Then, he suggests having a weekly instance where the marketing team joins the sales calls and listens into the conversations. Knowing what the other side is going through helps create a better team.
Then, Sujans says to have the leaders of all the departments to sit down and talk through their biggest pain points. After a foundation is established, you can start inviting the salespeople and marketers into the meetings, as well.
As helpful as the meetings are, you shouldn't overdo them. Every week is probably too often to be having the meetings, as little new information is bound to come up. Sujan has had success with biweekly and monthly meetings.
How Can Sales Leverage Marketing Content?The first thing you should do, Sujan says, is to look for friction points in the conversation with the customers. That could be price, specific features, or any number of things. In order to prepare for these eventual friction points, you should be keeping a lot of data.
By keeping data on what customers react to, the sales team can access marketing content that addresses those specific friction points. Of course, this also requires an open-door policy for marketing content.
Not only can access the marketing content help the sales department, but it can also go the other way. By finding out from the salespeople what customers are reacting positively and negatively to, marketing can then adapt their content to that information.
Sujan also suggests that salespeople stay connected with the marketing team's output on their own. Google your own company and see what kind of content they're putting out.
Are There Any Real-World Examples of Marketing and Sales Working Together?At one of Sujan's companies, his marketing department did a great campaign that generated 150 leads through a trade show. Once the leads in the bag, the sales team started working on them.
However, out of the 150 leads, the sales team only closed two deals. This is an extremely low number. While the marketing team was happy on their end for getting the 150 leads, Sujan had to remind them that they ultimately failed.
That caused them to look at the leads they generated and figure out why the sales team weren't able to close. They figured out that many of the leads were duds from the start, so they ran another campaign that only got 15 leads.
However, once the sales team got to work on these 15 leads, they came out with far more than two.
As this example illustrates, the actions of one team are going to affect the other, so they might as well be working together.
Are There Any Tools That Can Help with Marketing and Sales?Sujan recommends a tool called Buffer. This tool allows the marketing team to control and upload all the good content from the blog to the sales reps. However, the sales reps could always just read the content as it's going up.
LinkedIn can also be very useful in salespeople building up a personal brand, which can be incredibly useful in attracting and dealing with new clients.
There's another service called QUU, which Sujan owns a piece of, that provides a curated feed of the most useful information on a variety of topics. For instance, if you're selling medical devices, then there's the medical category you can subscribe to.
Where Can You Learn More About Sujan's Ideas?The best place to find the latest and greatest of Sujan's marketing thoughts is the Mailshake blog. Unfortunately, there are no milkshakes.
If that's not enough for you, Sujan has another blog at his personal website, where he writes about everything he's learned in his career.
Follow Sujan on his social media channels, such as Twitter and LinkedIn.