Sales 2.0: Also for Marketing?

Today I’m at the Sales 2.0 conference to learn more about new sales & marketing techniques. A sales conference while I’m in marketing? I told one of my sales coworkers yesterday, and the discussion went like this:

Jep: I’m going to the Sales 2.0 conference tomorrow

Coworker: [confused look] Why are you going to a sales conference?

Jep: It also covers sales development (lead qualification) and demand generation

Coworker: Oh really? That’s interesting.

So many people still think that “Sales 2.0” is only about sales. Not surprising, as it says “sales” and does not mention marketing.

The reality is different: successful implementation of Sales 2.0 requires close collaboration between sales and marketing. For example, David Solinger explained  that Ariba now has precise metrics how many leads they need to close a specific amount of business. That is only possible when sales and marketing work closely together.

Sales & Marketing: a single revenue cycle

I stopped by at Marketo‘s booth and had a nice chat with Deanna Deary (Sales) and Kelly Abner (Marketing Director) and asked them about their take. They see marketing & sales as a single revenue cycle. And with better tools (like Marketo) there is better insight in the revenue that marketing influences: so rather than seeing marketing as a cost center, it actually brings in money.

As marketing is getting their act together, sales is also more appreciative or marketing. David Satterwhite of NewScale mentioned an old quote of Larry Ellison: “If you’re not a sales rep and you’re not an engineer, then you’re overhead.”

Marketo’s Kelly mentioned that the first Sales 2.0 conference had a lot of “marketing bashing”. That has changed: today’s conference has a dedicated marketing session, and dozens of marketing people are attending.

Tom McCleary of GroupSwim sees the same trend: “marketing and sales need to be in lockstep, and the feedback needs to be instantaneous”. GroupSwim provides online collaboration software that results in better alignment of sales & marketing teams, regardless of the location of these teams.

We need a new type of marketing person…

Another trend is a change in people: I’ve seen traditional marketing VPs who do not like to be pinned down on a specific lead goals. They think it’s better to keep the goals vague, and focus on lead quantity rather than quality. Traditional Sales VPs then complain about the marketing leads and try to find ways to become self-sufficient and generate their own leads.

As Sales 2.0 is changing to a collaborative model, different skills and priorities are needed. For marketing specifically, I think we need more analytical skills: people who are not focused on pretty images, but on setting up efficient processes, with metrics to support this.

This analytical marketer is hard to find: I’ve been told that the best Eloqua sales rep is also placing demand-gen specialists with new Eloqua clients, to ensure that they have the skills need to make “Marketing 2.0” a success.

Marketers Unite

There are books and conferences on Sales 2.0, but – even though marketing is mentioned – are primarily about sales. But for successful implementation of Sales 2.0 you need both sales and marketing, and marketing seems to be behind.

How can we get more exposure for the role of marketing in Sales 2.0?

Let me know your ideas!

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10 thoughts on “Sales 2.0: Also for Marketing?

  1. Rasmus Madsen

    We don’t use sales at all – only marketing and PR.

    We’re offering SaaS-based analytics (, and believe that the true power of Saas is the ability to run a marketing/PR-driven sales process, where customers sign-up and adopt the service without sales rep interaction.

    We are very inspired by 37Signals (, most famous for their Basecamp project management tool) who have more than 1 mio. users but zero sales organization – it’s all marketing and PR.

  2. Dave Lee

    Jep – you nailed it. I, a marketer, am sitting no more than 5 inches from our head of sales @Infusionsoft. We are quite literally joined at the hip. We do everything together. He knows my marketing metrics, & I know his sales metrics. We watch our combined marketing & sales funnel like a couple of hawks.

    Why there are only a half-dozen or so marketers at the Sales 2.0 conference has me baffled.

    The dirty little secret about Sales 2.0 is that it’s not necessarily about sales… it’s about MARKETING! It’s empowering sales pros with marketing tools & strategies so they can engage prospects & convert them to deals.

    If marketing doesn’t come together with sales (and vice-versa), Sales 2.0 is destined to fail.

  3. Ardath Albee


    Great and timely post. And keep Tweeting – I would have loved to attend, so I’m enjoying being there vicariously through the #sales20 Twitter stream.

    Your post nailed it. As a B2B marketing strategist I see companies who are failing to align sales and marketing falling behind. Buyers don’t distinguish between marketing and sales. They judge based on the experiences they have and the fluidity of those experiences throughout their buying process.

    I think just as marketing can benefit from attending sales conferences and learning more about the sales side, so could sales benefit from learning more about marketing. Especially to get everyone on the same conversational page, if you will.

  4. matt lambert

    I’ve always thought marketing is sales – just to a wider audience. However, the demarkation is blurring, in that marketing is encroaching further into the sales cycle, with prospects educating themselves much more prior to engaging.

    Talking to sales later in the process also means that often, they are warmer and the deal is more likely to happen, although there are less leads available (unless web marketing is going particularly well)

  5. Scott Mersy

    Hi Jep,
    Great post. As to the previous Sales 2.0 conference and “marketing bashing”, I think Kelly may have missed the subtlety in the message. If there was any “bashing”, it was squashing the notion that Marketing can operate effectively in a silo or “black box” as some of the marketing automation system vendors have long preached. It was all about empowering Sales with information traditionally kep apart from Sales until marketing decided to send it over and the absurdity of that approach in a Sales 2.0 environment. It’s nice to see that more of the vendors are getting it – on the web, everyone is in Sales!

    RE: Books and getting the message out to Marketers: As you know, this is the conference and the message that founded. The updated Sales 2.0 for Dummies from David Thompson has lots of info about helping Marketing “get” that Sales 2.0 is about marketing AND sales.

    It’ll be launched at the cocktail party tonight.


  6. Martin Burns

    Great post – to me, I think it’s “Deal 2.0”. Great marketing and great sales close deals hand-in-hand. We (meaning ZoomInfo, not the royal we) are at Sales 2.0 right now – it’s our GM of Enterprise Products (Chip Terry), who runs marketing for us, and our President (Sam Zales), an instinctive marketer. Chip’s role is – among other things – heavily focused on lead gen. He sits with members of the sales team on a regular basis, getting their feedback and learning a ton about the market from them.

    In my humble opinion, marketing drives leads to sales, but sales is critical in providing customer and market feedback to marketing. When you do it right, it’s all of a piece.

  7. Jep Castelein Post author

    Dave: let’s see how we can get more marketers to the next Sales 2.0 conference!

    Anna: ‘sales & marketing mashup’, I like it :- )

    Ardath: I totally agree with your quote: “Buyers don’t distinguish between marketing and sales. They judge based on the experiences they have and the fluidity of those experiences throughout their buying process.” And nice to see you talking about the buying process, while sales 1.0 calls it the _selling_ process.

    Matt: good point that marketing is active further down the sales cycle. The sales person used to be the gatekeeper of all product information, which totally changed with the web.

    Scott: looking forward to read the Sales 2.0 for Dummies book!

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