BMA Young Professionals PanelChicago’s BMA chapter event schedule may be on summer hiatus, but young professional members are just getting started with a series of events designed to help facilitate quality connections and discuss relevant industry topics.

The most recent event was a panel event at ContextMedia on the topic of Best Practices and Pitfalls of Sales and Marketing Collaboration. Multiple networking opportunities and refreshments certainly befitting of young professionals (craft beer and Lou Malnati’s pizza) were made available to attendees of the event.

The panel featured:

Moderator Jeff Willinger asked panelists questions about how sales and marketing departments (and individuals) work together in each person’s respective company.

The BMA Young Professionals are lucky to have quality connections with employees in senior marketing and sales roles at well-known Chicago companies.

After going through a list of questions, the audience was given the opportunity to pick panelists’ minds. Attendees were encouraged to send in questions throughout the presentation using #BMAYP on Twitter — a great way to ask questions without forgetting what you wanted to say!

The discussion had many takeaways for attendees surrounding the idea of how sales and marketing teams work together. Part of working together is understanding, especially in terms of the length of a sales cycle, or the specific methods in which leads are generated. Open communication and expectations set between each department can lead to a happy “marriage” (our panelists’ favorite descriptor for this situation).

BMA Young Professionals


Here are some key takeaways from the ContextMedia event, by presenter:

Tony Lenhart
Partner, Sales Empowerment Group

By 2020, 85% of the buyer’s journey will be digital. On the front lines, salespeople deal with individual clients and prospects and then communicate concerns and interests to the marketing team, which develops content for different stages in the buyer’s journey.

Angela Ripinski
Director of Marketing, ContextMedia

Sales and marketing need to be on the same page when representing the company’s brand. It starts with the CEO and trickles down to every person and department from there. If a potential hire’s values don’t align — they’re not a good fit.

Jeff Willinger
Social Business Strategist, Rightpoint

Marketing and sales need to create processes to work together that aren’t a burden. Programs like Slack, texting, instant messaging and project management software are often more effective and personal than email.

Patrick Cuttica
Product Marketing Manager, Sprout Social

Patrick built on Jeff Willinger’s main point, but in regards to the client / prospect. If a client prefers to communicate via a specific medium (LinkedIn, text, etc.), adapt!

Cory Davis
Business Development Manager, UpTop Corporation

Social selling is a fusion of sales and marketing activities that can’t be ignored in the digital age. The focus is on using content and creating relationships — sales and marketing can work together to be very effective this way.

The BMA Young Professionals Board is busy planning the next event, which will likely be held at Sprout Social’s corporate headquarters and will focus on getting and acing an interview at the job of your dreams. Stay tuned for more details on breakout sessions and other relevant information.

If you were at our last event and have feedback to help us improve, we’d love to hear it below in the comments! We’re also open to topic suggestions. Look forward to many more interesting BMA Chicago Young Professional events coming in the near future!