What do sales and marketing have in common? They're both working diligently to bring in new business for the company. That might be just about the only characteristic these two teams share. Although a company's sales and marketing teams both have that common goal (growing the business), the ways they go about reaching this common goal are completely different.
Sales is the direct process of reaching out to a prospect, meeting with them, and working face-to-face (or via phone or email) to close a sale. The process could be long, requiring several follow-ups over the course of weeks or months, or it could be as quick as pressing a button.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, marketing is the more indirect approach of putting your brand out into the world and drawing people in through campaigns and messaging. Although digital marketing allows for one-on-one conversations with customers, these are much fewer than the one-on-ones a salesperson will have with potential clients or customers.
Both of these departments are absolutely essential to a business, though they work in vastly different ways.
However, if you can set up a system to get your sales and marketing teams to work together, you can maximize growth within your business and increase both leads generated and leads closed.
Let's dive into a few ways that your sales and marketing teams should be working together.
1. Educate both teams about the others' role.
One of the biggest reasons sales and marketing tend not to get along is because they don't fully understand what the other team's actual purpose is. Salespeople and marketers feel pitted against each other, thinking that one has to win over the other, when the exact opposite is true.
A company cannot see healthy growth without cooperative sales and marketing teams. If the two are constantly butting heads, both current and potential clients and customers will be able to tell. It's not difficult to discern a sales and marketing team that cannot work together. Educating each other on their respective roles within the company is a great way to start.
Helping your teams to understand that sales and marketing are not in competition, but instead are integral to each other, is the perfect way to streamline all lead processes. Marketing should be thought of as the way to generate inbound leads, making the sales team's job easier. When marketing isn't bringing in leads, sales has to find outbound leads. When marketing is generating and nurturing leads, it's easier for the sales team to close sales and generate conversions.
When you make your sales and marketing teams realize how important it is to work together, you'll be watching the leads pour in.
2. Collaborate on content creation.
Surprisingly enough, the marketing team is not the only team that relies heavily on content. Marketing may involve more content overall, but sales and marketing both need content for their respective leads. Sales teams need information for their sales consultations, presentations, webinars, and seminars, while marketing teams need ideas for their lead magnets, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, etc.
In short, both teams need a lot of content.
The content for both teams to be similar enough that their messaging and objectives are in line with each other. It doesn't make sense if your marketing team is preaching one thing and once they bring a lead to your sales team, the sales team is taking an entirely different approach.
By having the two teams collaborate on content creation, your business can create streamlined content that matches both marketing and sales messaging. With more sets of eyes, ideas, and input on the content, you'll be able to create compatible content more efficiently.
Not only does this help to streamline content overall, but the sales team might have even more insight as to what potential clients and customers are looking for based on their direct conversations with prospects. Having a mutual understanding of each team's role within the company and within the buyer's journey can help the two teams to work together seamlessly.
3. Develop buyer personas.
A buyer persona is essentially a fictional profile of the company's ideal client or customer. It's a complete profile filled with demographics, interests, behaviors, and more that lets both the sales and marketing teams know who to target with their prospecting, with cold calls and emails from sales, and with digital ad targeting from marketing. Also known as an ideal customer profile, a buyer persona is meant to help you narrow down your targeting so that you know exactly who you're looking for with every new campaign.
The sales and marketing teams should work together to develop one buyer persona per customer type. Some businesses have a single customer type (i.e., mompreneurs), where other businesses have several different types of customers they're targeting. Each customer type should have its very own buyer persona or ideal customer profile.
This way there is no grey area between who the sales team thinks they're targeting and who the marketing team thinks they're targeting. Since both teams worked together to create a single buyer persona for the entire company, they're able to agree on each specific characteristic and offer input based on what they see from leads.
4. Synchronize outbound emails.
When your sales team is sending out emails, are they on the same page with how these leads were brought in from marketing? Although it may seem like a simple mistake, sending an outbound email to a potential client or customer that incorrectly labels where the sales team got their email address can be a definite turn off.
Instead, the sales and marketing teams should work together to create and synchronize each outbound email. The marketing team should create the bulk of the actual email content so that it's in line with the company's overall email marketing strategy and label it in the CRM based on where each lead came through the pipeline.
Then it's up to the sales team to personalize each email based on what they've learned from the lead in their communications. This is where CRMs are absolutely essential to a harmonious sales and marketing collaboration. Being able to label various emails and make notes about potential clients and customers makes all the difference in closing a sale.
5. Set up lead scoring.
There are several different ways that potential leads could come into your sales funnel. Marketing teams should have opt-ins that lead into each of the different steps in the buyer's journey, through the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. You can learn more about differentiating lead generation forms for each level of the funnel here.
Because not every new lead is going to be at the same stage of the buyer's journey, it's important for sales and marketing to discuss and agree on lead scoring with each different opt-in opportunity.
Sales should take the lead in letting the marketing department know which parts of the sales funnel or buyer's journey need more nurturing, and marketing should take the lead in giving sales a heads up as to where each existing pipeline brings leads in.
Setting up a lead scoring process helps to streamline the sales process. This way, the sales team is aware of all leads coming in that may be pre-qualified and need less nurturing to turn into clients or customers. This helps sales not to waste valuable time trying to qualify leads that don't need it. Instead, salespeople spend their time generating even more conversions.
6. Have regular meetings.
The only way to continue to have your sales and marketing teams work together seamlessly is to hold regular meetings among the departments. These meetings can vary based on what your needs are, but they should center around keeping all existing processes in place and up-to-date.
If the marketing team has created any new lead magnets or opt-in opportunities, they need to let the sales team know about these potential incoming leads. The two teams will have to work on an additional outbound email based on this pipeline, adding in lead scoring and determining if any new content should be created.
Essentially, each one of these items we've covered will have to be touched on regularly throughout the year. Your sales and marketing teams don't want your content to get stale, so regularly creating new lead magnets and sales funnel entries is a great strategy for continuing to bring in new leads and customer opportunities.
To take this a step further, you want to make any internal changes necessary to ensure that sales and marketing are always able to collaborate easily. Whether this means moving them into a more collaborative office environment, opening more lines of communication between the two teams, or encouraging team building, collaborative meetings, and brainstorm sessions among the teams, it's important for upper management to support this collaboration.
Sales and marketing go hand in hand within any business. Although sales and marketing teams are not always the best of friends, we're here to change that. You can't do marketing without sales, and you can't do sales without marketing. By having the two teams work together on every step of the buyer's journey within your company, you're helping to set the company up for success and maximized growth. To learn more about B2B marketing data and technology and how that can fit into your sales and marketing strategies, contact us.