If you want another blunt summary of sales and marketing’s never-ending lover’s spat, you can say sales is like the rigid higher-up that’s often sucking the joy out of hip and trend-savvy marketing.

That’s right. Because even in B2B marketing, the need to be a little hip is increasingly relevant. That’s a hard sell, not really so much for B2B prospects but for sales reps that might still be stuck in the land of suits, ties, and corporate politics. (They’re like the pixies from Fairly Odd Parents.)

So while your sales lead generation campaign can be hitting it off, the same prospects you attract might be in an awkward situation with a sales rep that seem to take a very opposite approach. It’s like the webinar they signed up for didn’t happen and they’re still being served the same old recipe of boardroom boredom.

Is there any hope of them finally ‘getting it?’

Well, you’d be happy to know there still is. You’re not going to realize it though if you keep on touting the fact that your sales reps aren’t as hot about trends as your marketers are. Convincing them might mean taking a route that it’s a little counterintuitive but it hits their right strings.

  • Present it as the new standard – Even the most professional of professional standards don’t stay the same forever. Writing, for instance, has changed within the context of marketing content. Your sales reps want facts? Show them the really hard ones. New standards are reflection of how prospects want to communicate with business these days. And if sales reps really want to connect, they’re going to have to catch up.
  • Show results – Typically, sales reps are results oriented so you need to show how playing along with weird trends actually helped you get a foot in the door. (Sharknado? Really?) If your sales reps have completely no clue on what kind of conversation took place prior to an appointment, it’s a wonder how they manage to close anything.
  • Emphasize connection – It’s not just about winning prospects over with fat stats and case studies. It’s about making that human, emotional connection. Content marketers do this not just by giving helpful content but that content is helpful exactly because it uses terms that are relevant to them. Say you’re targeting local aquariums and it’s currently Shark Week on Discovery Channel. Whatever your content, it’s obviously going to be much more interesting to read when you use a popularly relevant concept to demonstrate your point.
  • Improve performance – Remember, the purpose of your campaigns is to support sales reps, not alienate them. Make them understand how all the trends, the materials, and flair add up to actually help reps do what they do best. They’re still the ones who get to have longer conversations with prospects so you want them to be an extension of your efforts to connect your business with potential clients. They can close all the leads they get on their own but it always be preferable to add the numbers being generated by your campaign.

Perhaps the best part is there’s really no hard formula for using pop culture in B2B marketing. That only makes it easier for sales reps to catch up and finally get it. If they don’t, they may not be able to get the kind of prospects you attract.