Sales teams seem to get all the love in the corporate hierarchy of budgeting needs. Old habits die hard and most C-suites will go the extra mile to find more budget to inject into sales departments. Why? From their perspective, revenue is generated right at the injection site.
The Current Marketing and Sales Relationship
Reporting on total number of leads and total number of new clients has always been simple. But the ever elusive true marketing ROI report has kept marketers struggling to provide concrete evidence for increasing their budgets. This has placed many marketing and sales departments at odds with each other.
Businesses that maintain this siloed approach will lose their edge to competitors that work to unify these historically separate departments. So what can you do to improve marketing and sales relationship and bring your company’s platforms, processes and people into alignment?
Here are three insights into moving your organization toward a true Revenue Team. In which marketing and sales augment and improve each other, producing more new business faster.
The Cornerstone of a Successful Team is Communication
Both departments have the same end goal in mind: Acquire more of the best-fit clients for your company’s products/services. So when was the last time a sales manager or even top rep or two was brought into a marketing strategy meeting? If your answer is ‘never’ or ‘quite some time ago’ you may be hearing that the leads you’re sending over the fence just aren’t that great. That’s frustrating as a marketer, for sure, because that claim is devoid of any context. So go get that context!
Bring your sales leaders into the strategy meetings and let them explain what they’re coming across during their sales cycles. Regardless of organization size, every marketing strategy meeting should include sales leadership as well. Sales teams typically have their finger on the pulse of the best fit leads for your company. They are likely more up to date on direct conversations about prospects’ concerns or objections, and can provide great insight to the marketing team. Your team can then turn that into improved messaging and more attractive content. Win win.
Individual Rep Efficiency and Productivity Matter
To help your sales team perform, help them improve these two areas in the right way.
Quality over quantity is the key here. Sure, sales can hit reasonable quotas by engaging with every single lead that marketing hands over, but a large quantity of poor- or modest-fit leads can tempt an individual rep to cut corners, causing cookie-cutter connect attempts (the same approaches/scripts being used over and over again). That corner cutting eventually creates sales team churn. Reps quit when they are doing a lot of activities but aren’t seeing a lot of results.
Not all leads are the same and therefore not all leads should be treated the same. You can help your reps treat leads as individual cases by using lead scoring and a progressive form strategy. Those tactics will create a true hierarchy of leads. You can also empower sales reps with the necessary insight to determine a lead’s specific pain points through providing well-organized digital body language information.
Pain points provide insight into ways we salespeople can personalize our multiple attempts to connect with the prospect. Personalized connect attempts are always better received, and they create a more comfortable way for the prospect to engage with the salesperson.
Provide visibility into a prospect’s digital body language with a CRM that allows a rep to know which pages were visited and how frequently. The CRM should show details such as a recent visit to your company’s blog, or a couple of stops on a specific product or service page. This insight can fuel more conversations, increasing the number of opportunities created.
If a sales rep knows your product/service is a good fit because it will solve a prospect’s pain and it’s top of mind for the prospect, that knowledge creates high sales rep engagement (productivity) as well as thoughtful, personalized connect attempts to maximize the chance of a prospect responding (efficiency).
Always Be Improving Your Content
Sales should immediately work with the best-fit, most engaged leads who enter at the bottom of your marketing funnel (MQL notification workflows), ideally over a telephone. Leads converting on content at the top and middle of the funnel should be engaged by the marketer in both direct (email sequences) and indirect ways (webinars/events).
Build persona-specific content, measure results and improve. Audit your current content. Find out what sales leverages the most and why. A sales enablement strategy will help your reps stay on top of lead communication and bring more leads down the funnel toward customer territory.
Marketers are in a unique positions to magnify every sales reps’ efforts. Build a dialogue with your sales leaders and their teams. Leverage marketing platforms and help each rep with the insight to have more meaningful conversations with leads (via lead hierarchy and CRM). Continually measure the impact of the content you’re creating and make sure the sales team is leveraging it. If they aren’t, find out why, and improve. With those three insights in mind, invite that sales leader into your meeting this week and get started.
Ben is a former New Breeder.