Eric Gagnon has written an impressive Business Marketing Institute blog, where he advocates that marketers within corporations take some time to really listen to their organization’s best salespeople. The idea: By hearing how the sales reps communicate the company’s products/services value and to clients, the messaging lines can be distilled and translated into its marketing materials.
It is a good idea, but I think can be extended even further. What do you hear when you listen to your current and former clients and peers (who you might be able to meet through peer mentorship organizations or relevant trade associations — especially if you connect at the regional or national level and can communicate with similar-sized business leaders/owners in non-competitive markets)?
The idea here is to combine the ability to learn best (and perhaps new) practices with the freshness that arises when you break out of listening to your own mantra, or following the same-over, same-over strategy again and again. A bonus, especially with your sales team, is you’ll help them to be much more effective by more closely aligning your marketing and sales initiatives.