For a truly successful, inbound approach, you need the combined efforts of your marketing and sales team — a Smarketing team if you will. It's no secret that marketing and sales haven't been playing on the same team, but if you want your business to grow, you'll have to take steps to overcome this mindset (and of course you want your business to grow!). It may take time to fully establish your Smarketing team, but the end result is well worth the journey.
Once your marketing and sales teams have become united, you can harness their relationship to improve your business's buyer personas. A successful Smarketing team should be the combination of the two groups of people who know and understand your personas the best. So, they should work together to developer (or re-evaluate) them.
Both teams bring something truly unique to the table.
Think about it this way: Your sales team has a solid understanding of what makes your target audience tick and your marketing team can leverage those pain points to create compelling key messages that continue to attract that type of audience. Once the attraction phase is complete, your sales team will nurture your audience with the right content, at the right time.
Both sales and marketing are involved in critical parts of every step in the inbound process; making the communication and collaboration between both teams essential to the success of your business.
Most B2B businesses don't, or can't, sell to every single person, they tend to only work best with a handful of very specific customers. Those very specific customers get distilled into that business's buyer personas. When you understand the needs, pain points, interests and challenges that your personas face, you can help to shape and develop content that is going to resonate with them. And when your business can develop content that resonates with your specific buyer personas, you have a greater chance of attracting them to your brand and converting them into your next customer!
So where does marketing and sales alignment come into play? Your sales team can provide insights to help your marketing team better understand your personas. Sales knows what is engaging to your audience and marketing can use this knowledge to continue to create content that speaks directly to all of your personas' pain points and unmet needs.
Whether your team is using Google Analytics, HubSpot or another reliable tool to measure the effectiveness of your content, it's important to monitor the success of your posts on a regular basis. Take it one step further and measure your content performance by persona in order to create more targeted content that you can arm your sales department with.
Using the data you have collected, your team can now turn it into actionable content so your target audience can start engaging with your business and you can position your solutions to speak directly to their interests.
Your sales team is interacting with your prospects and new customers on a daily basis. As such, they are likely going to face a number of different instances where your prospects and customers are going to have questions. Where are they going to turn? To the content that your marketing team has created.
When you take what your sales team already knows about your audience and develop content accordingly, your sales team can spend more time nurturing the right leads, with the right content, at the right time. Therefore, when your Smarketing team has a clear idea of who they are marketing and selling to, both teams can focus on delivering an experience that aligns with what your target audience needs.
Providing insight into buyer personas is only the first step of your unified marketing and sales team. A successful Smarketing team can play off each other throughout the entire marketing and sales funnel. Their unified relationship can lead to better blog content, email nurturing campaigns, sales outreach and, ultimately, better conversations with your prospects and customers.
Julia is a former New Breeder.