Bridging Sales & Marketing pays off
Traditional sales often focused primarily on the product or service being sold, with the goal of convincing the customer to buy. Modern sales, on the other hand, places the buyer at the center of the process. This means understanding their needs and challenges, and offering solutions that align with their goals.
To accomplish this, modern sales often relies on technology to gather and analyze data about potential buyers, and to automate certain tasks like lead generation and follow-up. This can help sales and marketing teams work more efficiently, and ultimately provide a better customer experience.
Risks of misalignment between marketing and sales teams
To put your customers at the center, it is important that marketing and sales teams are fully aligned.
Misalignment can firstly result in a disconnect between the messaging and promises made by marketing and the actual capabilities of the product or service being sold by the sales team. This can lead to disappointment and frustration among customers, eroding trust and damaging the brand’s reputation.
Secondly, misalignment can create inefficiencies and waste resources. For example, if the marketing team is generating leads that the sales team is not equipped to handle, or if the sales team is pursuing leads that don’t align with the marketing message, time and resources may be wasted on efforts that are unlikely to result in successful conversions.
Clear roles & responsibilities
To make your sales a success, it is important to align on the roles and responsibilities for marketing and sales. A good way to do so is to map it in the buyer’s journey.
- Awareness: The marketing team is primarily responsible for this stage. Their goal is to attract potential customers’ attention and make them aware of the product or service. They can use tactics like content marketing, social media, SEO, and paid advertising to generate awareness.
- Consideration: Both the marketing and sales teams have a role in this stage. The marketing team’s focus shifts to creating content that helps potential customers understand how the product or service can solve their problem. They may use webinars, case studies, product demos, and other materials to educate customers. The sales team can step in at this point to answer questions and offer personalized guidance.
- Decision: The sales team takes the lead in this stage. They work closely with the customer to understand their specific needs and provide tailored solutions. The sales team may offer a trial or demo of the product or service to help the customer make their decision.
- Loyalty: Both teams play a role in fostering customer loyalty. The marketing team can continue to provide valuable content and resources to help customers get the most out of the product or service. The sales team can maintain contact with the customer and offer support as needed to ensure a positive experience.
Especially the consideration and decision phase are watchouts, as both marketing and sales teams come into play. Clearly define the expectations of each team so they know when exactly to take their hands off or jump in to ensure that potential customers have a seamless journey.
Technology to the rescue
Marketing automation and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can be powerful tools to align the efforts of the marketing and sales teams, as they provide a way to track and nurture leads through the entire sales funnel.
- Nurturing leads with marketing automation: Marketing automation software can help automate the process of nurturing leads by sending targeted messages at the right time based on the lead’s behavior or stage in the funnel. For example, if a lead downloads a white paper or attends a webinar, the marketing automation software can automatically send them related content that aligns with their interests. By providing valuable content and engaging with the lead throughout the funnel, the marketing team can help move the lead closer to a sale. This helps to keep the lead engaged and ensures that they are ready to speak to a sales rep when the time comes.
- Tracking lead data with CRM: A CRM system can be used to track all of the interactions that a lead has with a company, from the initial contact to the point of sale and beyond. By centralizing all of this data, the sales team can get a complete view of the lead’s behavior, interests, and needs, which can help them tailor their approach and improve the chances of closing the sale. The marketing team can also use this data to fine-tune their lead nurturing efforts, based on which messages are resonating with leads and which are not.
Sales enablement tools, like Showpad (www.showpad.com), can be incredibly helpful for sales teams, as it provides a centralized location for all sales materials, including presentations, documents, and videos.
- Simplify access to sales materials: One of the primary benefits of Showpad is that it simplifies access to sales materials. Sales reps can access all of the materials they need in one place, which can save them time and improve their productivity. As a result, they can spend more time engaging with prospects and less time searching for the right materials.
- Provide personalized recommendations: Showpad can be used to track how prospects are engaging with sales materials. By analyzing this data, the platform can provide personalized recommendations to sales reps on which materials are likely to be most effective for a given prospect. This can help sales reps tailor their approach and improve their chances of closing the sale.
- Improve collaboration with marketing teams: Showpad can be used to improve collaboration between sales and marketing teams. For example, marketing teams can use Showpad to share new materials with the sales team and track how they are being used. Sales teams can provide feedback on which materials are working best and which need improvement, which can help the marketing team fine-tune their efforts.
- Provide training and coaching: Showpad can be used to provide training and coaching to sales reps. For example, the platform can be used to deliver training videos or provide quizzes to test sales reps’ knowledge. Sales managers can also use the platform to review sales calls and provide feedback to help reps improve their skills.
- Improve sales performance tracking: Showpad can be used to track sales performance, which can help sales managers identify areas where reps may need additional coaching or support. For example, managers can track how many meetings a rep has booked, how many proposals have been sent, and how many deals have been closed.
Modern sales is about using technology and data to align marketing and sales teams; and helping sales teams in using the right materials to personalize the message and recommendation for their prospects.
With marketing automation and CRM, marketing and sales teams can work together more closely. For example, if a lead reaches a certain stage in the funnel, the marketing automation software can notify the sales team, so they can follow up with a personalized message or offer. Similarly, if a sales rep learns something new about a lead, they can update the CRM system, so the marketing team can adjust their messaging accordingly. Having a view on all lead history and information can come into the benefit of other teams like customer care as well.
Sales enablement tools simplify access to sales materials, in providing personalized recommendations, improving collaboration with marketing teams, providing training and coaching, and improving sales performance tracking. These tools help sales reps be more productive and effective.
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