Just like any relationship, sales and marketing can have tough times. But by following these five tips, you can make sales and marketing live happily (and productively) ever after.
Sales and marketing, marketing and sales. Sure, they’re two individuals, but they share a close bond and a common purpose. When sales and marketing work together as one team, magic happens. Prospects are easier to pitch to. The sales process moves smoothly on a wave of scored leads. Close rates go up, campaign returns go up, revenue goes up. Smiles and joy are scattered all around.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that sales and marketing are too often viewed as separate teams rather than as two halves of the same whole. In this article, we’ll take a break from considering what the customer wants. Instead, we’ll focus on five things that the sales team wants out of the sales-marketing relationship.
Five Things Your Sales Team Wants Marketing to Do
What does your sales team really want? Maybe not your undying love and devotion, but they definitely want to start communicating. Here are five things marketing can do to make sales a happier team:
- Treat The Sales Team Like Clients. Know their needs and goals. Even better, know their problems. Is one of our products just not cutting it? Are we sending out content that isn’t tailored to our customer base? Consultants ask their clients these kinds of questions every day. Ask them to your sales team.
- Know Thy Sales Team. In a similar vein, meet with your sales counterparts. Unless you’re in a small organization where the sales and marketing teams are combined, you’re going to be missing out on valuable information if you skip face time with sales. Learn what’s working and what needs to be improved. Feedback is the name of the game here. And try to attend at least some sales meetings, both to learn and to share new ideas.
- Make Metrics About More Than Numbers. There are a couple of ways to do this. Perhaps the most important one is to deliver qualified leads as you would a tool or product. They’re not just metrics. Good leads drive your organization forward, via the purchases they make from sales reps. Another way (particularly in large organizations, where quality time with sales team leaders is scarce) is to look at your content analytics. If content isn’t attracting leads and delivering results, it’s probably not attuned to the right audience. Sales can help you fine-tune your approach.In other words, get the sales team leaders involved with marketing strategy. They’re on the front lines, dealing with customers. They have valuable insight
- Make Their Life Easier with the Right Content in the Right Place. Sales spends time finding the content that marketing creates. That’s a fact. So marketing needs to create useful content, as we’ve just mentioned. But it’s also incumbent upon marketing to place this content where sales personnel can easily find it. No busy professional likes to waste time looking for things. So make sales reps’ lives easier by making your content easy to locate, personalize, and use. And do this in a way that makes sense for them — for instance, segmenting content by industry, job role or title, and position in the sales process. As much as possible, make all information accessible, relevant, and searchable.
- Align Your Activities with Their Goals. And the Buyer Journey. As you’ve probably noticed, these steps flow into each other. By this point, you know the sales team. You know what they face and what they need to do their jobs. You’re supporting them with awesome content and leads, and they’re closing the deals. Now it’s important to sync up your marketing programs with the Buyer Journey. Work together to define and set goals for a revenue cycle. This can be potentially huge for your company.
When sales and marketing get together, great things happen. But first, it’s up to marketing to generate buyer-specific content, size up incoming leads, and put this information within the reach of sales. And like any relationship, there has to be communication. Sales is out there in the trenches. Their perspective is real, immediate, and valuable. When sales and marketing plan and proceed together, everyone in the company wins.