Sales and marketing, while both vital to your organization, often butt heads. Sales believes marketing is not giving them the right leads. Marketing thinks sales is not following up on the leads they have provided. Sound familiar? If so, then a way to help close more deals is to make sure your sales and marketing become more aligned. By understanding both department’s relation to the buyer and sharing data, they can become aligned. Here are a few ways to do that.
Getting both departments on the same page about the audience is key. If marketing material is not tailored to who sales is targeting, then it is a waste of time and money. Deciding who the ideal customer is will be crucial in this alignment. This, partnered with agreeing on your unique selling proposition and product positioning will help you sell more. One way to achieve this is through market segmentation.
Market segmentation is one way to help with sales and marketing alignment. An example of this would be grouping past customers and prospects into segments based on data from past conversations with them. Then, this data can be used to craft messaging that speaks towards each segment. This allows for specified marketing, rather than trying a one-size fits all approach. Marketing gets better, more efficient material and sales can target prospects easier.
Potentially the most threatening thing to accomplishing sales and marketing alignment is having a silo mentality. Storing information in each functional area will not accomplish anything. Likewise, sharing every email, data point, and metric will not work either. There must be give and take.
For example, letting marketing sit in on some sales calls can be very beneficial. This would allow them to get insight on problems customers are facing. This will allow for better, and more accurate, campaigns. Sales should also implement sales acceleration tools, such as a sales engagement platform. These help figure out what is working and why, which provides better information to marketing.
Buyers are more knowledgeable about the ever-expanding selection of products available to them. Due to this, it is crucial to have compelling content. Making yourself stand out against the crowd will be very beneficial to your bottom line. This will become easier if your sales and marketing teams are using aligned content. Marketing needs to go beyond basic lead generation and target the right audience. Sales then must go after that audience and keep marketing in the loop about whether it is working or not. The message can then be refined in the future as insights are gathered.
This is another spot sales engagement can help. By sales using one of these platforms, they can utilize the benefits of automating a custom message out to the right leads. Then, they can run the detailed reports and analysis to see what is working. This will pick up on the patterns needed to see trends in the results, allowing for a better message to be created by marketing.
Opportunity Management Alignment
Opportunity management is the process of tracking and managing new sales opportunities. More specifically, opportunities from current and prospective customers to the time the opportunity is generated in the pipeline to conversation. Knowing what tactics to use for the opportunity helps bring deals to a close.
Here are a few ways you can manage opportunities more effectively:
- Track and score leads: By looking at prospecting behavior, you should track and score your leads. Knowing whether they are highly likely to buy or may buy later can help you. Using business intelligence tools can help give a snapshot of what leads are doing on your site or how they are responding to your campaign. By being able to plan what your prospects will do or seeing what hits with them can help lead to more deals.
- Measure marketing impact: Knowing the marketing impact can help drive better campaigns in the future. By calculating how many opportunities come from a certain campaign, you can see how effective it is. The more opportunities, the better the campaign is working. Take the guesswork out of what is working and what is not to better understand how to move forward.
- Focus on prospect/customer behavior: Understanding your prospect’s preferences can help figure out how they will react. This, then helps determine the best next course of action. Seeing what path the prospect has taken from discovery to initial contact can help gauge how their commitment may progress.
Sales and Marketing Automation Alignment
Both sales and marketing solutions can be improved with automation. For marketing, this can help both departments achieve their targets and have a better understanding of where conversations are happening. For sales, this can provide valuable analytics from the sales cycle for the marketing department. This helps them make important decisions.
Here are a few ways the sales and marketing departments can benefit from aligning their automation solutions:
Quality vs Quantity
How good leads are is always a point of contention between sales and marketing. Marketing says they give sales the best leads, while sales thinks otherwise. This leads the pipeline to get clogged with either too many leads to reach, or too many bad leads that have no interest in buying. Not only does this slow down your sales team, but it can also cause a great lead to slip through the cracks. This can be trouble for both teams. But, with some teamwork, these issues can be avoided.
First, by identifying the ideal lead, everyone will be on the same page about what makes selling possible. Next, it is marketing’s job to utilize their automation to weed out the good leads from the bad. This way only leads with real potential get passed on into the funnel. This saves sales time because they will no longer have to waste time on bad leads.
Data On Demand
Automation allows for better real-time data collection. Marketing can use this to see how prospects are interacting with the website, what they are looking for, and what their interest level is. This information then helps put them into the correct stage in the funnel. Marketing can then send this information to sales, who can better target these prospects. Some examples of contact segments used to help tailor messaging are:
- Level of interest in the product/service
- Position in the funnel
From the sales side, they can then give marketing a better picture of what questions prospects are asking. This allows marketing to create better material to address common questions. Marketing, by knowing the sales cadence and what stage of the funnel a prospect is in, can also send specific messaging to them based on their current situation.
Have More + Better Conversations
Automated tasks allow sellers to spend more time doing high-value activity. Their time is no longer wanted on low-level administrative tasks. This allows for more calls, conversations, and potential deals. By also utilizing segmentation and targeting campaigns, reps can ensure each conversation counts. This also allows the top of the funnel to be handed over to marketing, so reps can put more focus into prospects closer to closing a deal.
The bottom line is that sales and marketing can both benefit from alignment. By reaching out and sharing valuable information, their efforts can be optimized. This becomes even more true when both departments implement automation, as that allows for more time to focus on the more important tasks at hand.
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