January 11, 2018
While traditionally isolated, marketing and sales are positioned to become 2018’s dynamic duo when it comes to creating personalized experiences for customers. From the first marketing touch point to the moment the deal closes (and beyond), it’s important to make sure the barriers between marketing and sales are nonexistent.
We spoke with Chris Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of the sales engagement platform, Groove.co, and Theresa O’Neil, VP of Marketing of Showpad to curate 6 tips on breaking down barriers between your marketing and sales team.
Focus on messaging: While marketing is usually the department that develops a company’s messaging, sales reps are often the ones taking it to market. This can become a problem if marketing and sales departments have different interpretations of the messaging, or if the messaging works for marketing purposes but not for converting prospects to closed leads. To remedy this, each department should have the freedom to revise the verbiage to increase their chances of success when reaching their respective audiences.
Analyze data to create strong leads: While it’s important to move leads down the sales funnel quickly, the marketing team should share any data they’ve gathered on these opportunities, including past buying behavior, psychographic data, etc. with the sales team. Sales teams do not historically have access to this kind of information, but analyzing it allows them to create more targeted approaches to leads. To do this, companies should implement activity tracking software to allow marketing departments and sales teams to note all the touchpoints with a potential lead.
Make Pipeline and Revenue the top two Marketing metrics. The marketing team should feel accountable to sales not just for deliverables, but also for measurable results. By demonstrating its commitment – and its value – in terms of revenue, marketing will share the sales team’s number one goal. A shared goal builds trust and alignment.
Use content analytics to optimize investment in the Sales channel. Marketing has come to depend on detailed data and analytics to inform investments in digital channels. But when it comes to sales channels, marketing has little to no data about what content is helping sales close deals. Marketing needs to understand which content is used by sales and — most importantly — which content is tied to closed revenue. With these insights, marketing can invest more in the content that impacts revenue in the forgotten channel, sales. The same insights give sales confidence in the content marketing is producing.
Focus on a better buyer experience. Our experiences and expectations as consumers are changing our behavior as B2B buyers; we want information on demand and we want to interact with sales only when necessary. Most sellers have not adapted to changing buyer expectations and many marketers don’t focus on how they can improve interactions between sales and buyers. In many organizations a slide deck is all sales gets; lucky sales organizations get slide libraries. Marketing should work with sales to provide content-driven solutions that empower sales to do Guided Selling when they’re talking with a customer, along with branded micro-sites that contain all the content relevant to the prospect for buyers researching on their own. Focusing on the buyer is a great way to unite sales and marketing.
Go out for a drink. In addition to focusing on revenue, analytics, and the buyer, it’s important to build relationships and have fun. Agree to be direct, but kind. Lean on each other. Grab a coffee, go out for lunch, tell bad jokes, share war stories over a cold beverage. Be a team, partners in crime.