Did you know 87% of the terms sales and marketing use to describe each other are negative?
So how can we embrace each other’s differences to increase customer acquisition together?
Over the past couple of months, our marketing and sales teams have grown significantly across both offices in the northern and southern hemisphere.
To foster greater alignment, we’ve implemented processes to ensure we become a more efficient and cohesive organisation. That said, I’m sure you're familiar with these statements:
Here are the four approaches that have allowed us to see an increase in the number of leads we acquire and close by improving the relationship between marketing and sales.
Review the Buyer’s Journey Together
In a recent post I mentioned I’d heard from Daniel Pink on his new approach to sales at the INBOUND 2015 Conference. His focus was that Inbound marketing methodology of acquiring leads by having customers identify you as a potential solution to their problem instead of sales going out to force a pitch into their heads.
Inbound marketing is our primary focus and it’s something we discuss and review with our sales team constantly. Below you’ll see an overview of the buyer’s journey.
Top of the funnel: Awareness Stage:
Potential customers have only just become ‘aware’ of a problem and are now in need of information to further learn about this issue and how they aim to resolve it. By developing helpful points of information like blogs or webinars you’re able to provide a resource your customers may be looking for.
Middle of the funnel: Consideration Stage:
Potential customers have now begun ‘considering’ a number of solutions as they have begun the search to solve their problem. It’s now too late for helpful information on the issue. Now, you’ll need to have an email nurturing campaign in place as well as case studies, demo videos, product webinars and product comparisons. So buyers can consume the information they need on the product or service.
Bottom of the funnel: Decision Stage:
This is the final stage of the funnel, where the sales team plays a significant role. The buyer is now ready to purchase a product or service and is looking to speak with someone directly. Making it easy to access demos, consultations, free trials and analysis so that they can get a better feel for the actual product.
By working together to understand the buyer’s journey, sales and marketing can identify what roles each department plays and when they need to act. This ensures that leads are getting the right information they want and are being contacted at the ideal time by sales teams.
Agree on Lead Quality
As marketers, we’re out to attract the right customers with ideal communication. We’re also meant to provide sales with all the information they need to ensure they can connect with buyers and provide the right solution to their problem.
By getting your marketing and sales team together, you’ll significantly benefit by mutually determining what makes a good lead and when the lead is ready to be approached. This topic is generally difficult ground for marketing and sales teams so it’s important that work together and identify shared opportunity and responsibility.
Increase Transparency Across Departments
We’re fortunate to have developed a tool that provides ultimate transparency across every department within companies. By having access to this information, we’ve allowed different departments to become more empathetic and supporting for those around them.
Giving sales access to marketing data and vice versa allows both teams to understand what's having success or what isn't not doing as well as hoped. Clearly delineating the roles and responsibilities allows both teams to discuss these issues together in a way that is constructive. This avoids any issue becoming too vast or too distant with a simple correction.
Integrating Tools to Measure and Improve Success
RESULTS.com (like the majority of SaaS companies) relies on marketing and sales automated processes. Most companies, however, struggle with leveraging these tools effectively. This is because your marketing or sales automation is only as good as the information put into it. If the wrong types of leads are given to sales, it’s important that marketing updates these triggers to become more effective.
This ties in closely with my previous comment about transparency. Being radically transparent makes it hard to avoid real issues and gives you and respective teams the ability to have meaningful and constructive conversations. Here's a screenshot of how RESULTS.com makes information accessible to everyone.
Most organisations will go through ups and downs (especially during periods of rapid growth), but by working together and implementing these four methods, businesses can mitigate issues as they arise and develop processes to increase productivity.
I’d love to hear from you about your experiences and potential solutions to issues facing your marketing and sales team in the comment section below.
Digital Marketing Strategist