Friday, January 4, 2013

5 Things Marketers Can Learn from Glengarry Glen Ross

I was in a sales training meeting the other day, and Sales were all joking about the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. Anyone not familiar with the movie, here is the trailer:


I sat down to watch it the other night. Basically, it's about 4 real estate salesmen who have been having a tough time selling and are forced to enter a sales contest. Alec Baldwin's character puts it best:

"Cause we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anyone want to see second prize? Second prize's a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. You get the picture?"

Anyways, it's kind of a dark comedy, but there are some amazing lines from the movie, some laughs and lots of profanity. At the end of the day, its a movie about selling. Whether you're selling real-estate or software, anyone is Sales or Marketing could relate to a lot of the stuff they talk about. Hopefully the tactics you use to sell are less sleazy than the ones employed in this movie, but you get the picture.

In between all the f-bombs (128 of them), are some pretty good lessons for Marketing, so here it is:

5 THINGS MARKETERS CAN LEARN FROM GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS
  1. It's all about the leads
    Throughout the movie, Sales complains that they cannot meet their targets because they are either not getting enough leads, the leads are not good quality, or the leads are old. What really struck me is how much they talked about leads. There must be 100+ mentions of the word 'leads' in the movie. As Marketers, we should always be thinking that the leads we give Sales are their gold. It's is their fuel. We need to give them the best possible leads so they can do their job effectively.
  2. Not all leads are considered equal
    'Glengarry' is a new real estate project for the firm Sales works for, and they are considered the hot leads. Sales thinks that if they can get some of the Glengarry leads, they will be able to close more deals and meet their targets. At one point, one of the salesmen, Shelley, talks about actually paying to get some of the Glengarry leads. As a Marketer, this is the ideal perception we want Sales to have about the leads we hand-over to them. The reality is, most Sales organizations get the leads way too early, and prospects are not yet ready to be speaking with Sales. At this point, all you're doing is wasting everyone's time. Implementing a lead scoring system by Marketing Automation companies like Marketo can drastically help with this problem. They can help identify the ideal time a lead gets passed over to Sales, and create a 'Glengarry' like perception to your leads.
  3. Don't be like Kevin Spacey
    Kevin Spacey is one of my favorite actors, but in this movie he plays, John Williamson, the office manager who controls all of the leads. In the movie, Sales is starving for leads, and he bogarts them until the Sales proves that they can close the leads he's given them. Although I believe that Marketing should hold leads longer than what has historically been the norm, it is also important to keep your sales organization busy by providing them with enough leads to keep them busy. Furthermore, the sales team does not respect him. This is also something that is critically important for a good relationship between Sales and Marketing. There needs to be mutual respect and trust. Once this has been established, they can co-exist effectively. If you have a scenario like in Glengarry Glen Ross, it is almost impossible to make it work.
  4. Don't bother following up with 'the Patels'
    There are certain leads, that before you ever follow-up with them, you just know that they are not going to be a match for your product or service. There is no point of even sending these kind of leads to the sales team. This is where Marketing needs to work with Sales to determine the criteria for a 'lead' and also talk about leads that fit the 'wild goose chase' criteria. Then, this can be automated by using a Marketing Automation solution.
  5. ABC for Sales. ABP for Marketing.
    In the famous scene with Alec Baldwin, he talks about the ABC of sales. Always Be Closing. When you think about it, this is what all Sales is trying to do. As Marketers, we should strive to ABP. Always Build Pipeline. Leads build pipeline, and pipeline builds sales and revenue. At the end of the day, that is what we are all around to do.

10 comments:

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