The topic for this month is competence, which is the 6th C of the SELLability 8 Cs of selling.

One factor of competence is the creation and increase of buyer trust. But guess what? That trust must begin internally—within the company.

It has been said by philosophers through the ages that if you don’t trust yourself, others will not trust you, either. The same could be said for a company—if there is internal distrust within the company, that company is going to have problems obtaining trust from prospects and customers. And the obtaining of that trust is the first task that must be accomplished, first by marketing, then by sales.
The 2 most vital areas of a company are marketing and sales. Marketing has the job of stoking up interest in the company’s products and services, and (in many cases) creating leads. It is sales’ job to take advantage of the interest created by marketing and sell the company’s products and services in ever-increasing volume.
It is crucially important that sales and marketing work hand-in-hand, in harmony. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. There is more often animosity and distrust between these two areas. As an example, marketing is designing and providing sales with spiffy collateral pieces. Sales is saying that those pieces aren’t helping, while marketing claims that sales is just not using them properly.
When it’s the job of marketing to provide leads, it’s usually the subject of leads that is at the root of the sales-marketing conflict. Sales is claiming that marketing is not providing high-quality leads or enough of them. Marketing claims that sales just is not selling to the leads that they provide. And so it goes, back and forth, on and on.
In actuality, the solution to this lead problem is not that difficult. It begins with just a willingness to communicate on each side. It can start with something as simple as sales informing marketing which leads are highest-quality, and why, so that marketing can make sure to procure or create more of them. Marketing can also pay attention to which leads cause sales to go up and strengthen that category of leads.
Or in the case of collateral, when was the last time marketing sat down with sales to discover what kind of collateral materials they really needed? Or, did sales ever reach out to marketing and request certain kinds of collateral? We’ve seen companies in which marketing parked one of their representatives in sales, to constantly communicate with salespeople and discover what they really need.
Whatever the cause of a rift between sales and marketing, it is this rift that is at the bottom of an incompetent marketing/sales process. When there is mistrust between the two, how can they possibly function competently as a team? And how can they then create trust with prospects?
When the 2 departments work in harmony, marketing is creating interest with prospects, and sales is then able to competently sell to them. Trust is created. And that, as will be seen in any company accomplishing it, is true competence.
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