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A sheep in wolf's clothing: a marketer meets sales

Published: January 12, 2012

Author: Hillary Read

Almost every single one of my PPC Associates colleagues works his/her tail off to make money for other companies. As the PPC Associates marketing manager, I’m the only employee here whose sole focus is to make us some money – by building awareness and getting qualified companies into our funnel and watching solid leads and partnerships emerge. I have a high standard to follow: our CEO, David Rodnitzky, preaches that marketing (including SEM, obviously) drives profit, not cost. And that’s what we deliver for our clients. That’s the story I get to relate.
It’s been a fun job, and I haven’t had to work too hard to convince folks that our SEM services are worth trying. It’s been all about spreading the good word (like a client-satisfaction rating of 91 on a recent Net Promoter survey) and letting the leads come to us. Since it takes a special type of person to enjoy sales, and I am not that type of person, the purity of my marketing role (no courageous cold calls, no glad-handing, no energetic sales banter) has been a great fit so far. If I’m being completely honest, there’s a little bit of snobbery to it – “We’re so good, they’ll come to us.”
And it’s all about to change – at least, a little.
Why? Well, we’re generating plenty of leads, all right; thanks to the company’s sterling rep and David’s burgeoning network, we’re getting all sorts of inquiries, and we’re on pace to double our client portfolio by the end of 2012. But because all of our leads have come to us, we’re filtering through a lot of unqualified stuff to find clients that fit our model. (As any decent SEM can tell you, only the right clients make for relationships worth keeping.) Not only that, but we’ve relied on others to contact us – even though we know there are some great partners out there who would be happy to meet us if we walked up to them and said hello.
The long and short of it is that for 2012, we’re going to start combining sales and marketing efforts – without compromising our marketing pitch by worrying about closing before we’ve even generated the leads. So along with marketing’s long-term goals – building a consistent brand, articulating a clear and compelling message, establishing  an impeccable image and strong community – I’ll try on a salesman’s hat. I’ll be assertive in reaching out. I’ll learn how to hear “no” and turn the page with a smile. I’ll recognize openings and learn how to work them.
A professional challenge? For sure. (Although…since this is, for now, a one-person department, we should avoid the pitfalls of having sales and marketing teams that don’t talk to each other.) A personal challenge? God, yes. But it comes down to another PPC Associates mantra: saving the world from bad SEM, one company at a time. We know you’re out there, needy companies. And SEM help is on the way, whether you know it yet or not.
Hillary Read, Marketing Manager
– Questions? Comments? Email us at blog at ppcassociates dot com.

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