There are always a lot of discussions around why the sales team and the marketing team should be closely aligned but often companies are better at either sales OR marketing. Your customers expect and deserve a seamless service across the person they speak to (sales) and the message they see (marketing) but more importantly when your marketing department works with your sales department in parallel both teams will have more success. This will mean that both departments will have to learn skills from the other department and allow this experience to affect their role moving forward.
Understand the changing roles within Marketing and Sales
As the number of platforms and channels keep increasing, marketers are being pushed to engage directly with their audience while creating a significantly larger amount of content.
On the other hand, salespeople are now expected to engage with their prospects and customers via all the different platforms. Social selling has become one of the most powerful tools for relationship building in the salesperson’s arsenal.
This means that both salespeople and marketers need to share content and engage with customers, however most marketers are unfamiliar with speaking directly with a potential client and most sales people don’t have the training or experience needed to create valuable content.
For the first time in history, marketing initiatives can be easily assessed to quantify ROI. However, sales people still make comments that marketers don’t know what it’s like “on the front line”.
The first step is to address the feeling that each department is out of touch with the other and open a dialogue.
The sales team is in an ideal position to give true insight into the wants and needs of the customer. Clever marketers will make their jobs a lot easier by actively engaging with the sales department to focus on creating content that drives the customer relationship and compliments the sales team’s efforts.
Questions Marketing should be asking Sales
Firstly, marketers should not sit down with the Sales Director or Sales Manager. They should talk to each of the top sellers, the members of the team that are consistently hitting their targets, as these are the sales reps who are engaged with prospects every day they will find it easiest to answer the questions succinctly.
What is their Most Effective Story?
The best salespeople are storytellers. Their job is to connect with a person, discover what they need and align this need with a solution that your company provides. Storytelling helps them to connect with their customers and is the cornerstone of any marketing strategy.
Who is your Best Client?
By analysing who the best client of last year or last month was and why the sales rep was able to win the business, you can create a template to contact clients with a similar profile. Marketing directly to customers who are similar to recent wins will mean easier wins for the Sales team and easy wins for the Marketing department.
Why are people Objecting?
Understanding the objections the sales team are coming up against on a regular basis will allow the marketing department to create content that is directed at overcoming these objections and can help educate and inform customers before the sales team speak to them. This will make the entire sales process easily for everyone involved.
Create a Virtuous Cycle of Cooperation
Creating an environment where Sales and Marketing are happy to share their insights into how they think the other team should achieve their goals isn’t easy as both departments tend to think that they know better however when both teams are working harmoniously, both teams WILL be more informed and more effective.