Updated: Nov 22, 2021
In order to grow a successful business in a recovering economy, it’s critical that all elements of your professional strategy are working together to drive towards success. One of the most important components of a successful plan is the alignment between your sales and marketing approaches. In many industries, there’s a longstanding competition between sales and marketing efforts, but the key to ensuring maximum ROI is aligning both efforts under the same strategy.
Remember, marketing and sales are part of the same revenue generating process. These two sides of your revenue team need to work together continuously, especially during a time when prospects are driving the purchasing journey. This collaboration isn’t going to happen overnight, so it’s important to understand the needs of both functions and how to bring them together successfully.
In sales, the focus is on talking about the prospect, their needs, and how your product addresses those needs. For salespeople, the stakes can be high with monthly quotas and a need to meet other KPIs. In marketing on the other hand, the focus is on talking about the company and creating messaging to drive interest in your product and develop brand awareness. To maximize the success of your revenue team, you need to create a shared vocabulary to bridge the gap between sales and marketing and think about the customer’s overall journey with your company.
To help bring your sales and marketing teams together, you need to identify common ground and opportunities for collaboration. Here are three strategies to help you get started:
Develop A Lead History
As a prospect transitions between the marketing and sales teams, successful companies pivot and tailor their approach to get closer to the prospect’s needs. One way to embrace this strategic approach is by developing a lead history. As potential customers interact with your company, you’ll want to track each interaction in the customer journey. You want to know what they were doing in their research phase and how they engaged with you. To make the most of this approach, it’s critical for marketing teams to think about who they’re talking to and put potential prospects in context as they create content. Sales teams can pick up where marketing leaves off with human-to-human connection, and begin the conversation with the context of the prospect’s journey so far. This collaboration between the content framework and lead history allows for a more seamless prospect experience and best positions the sales team to close the deal.
Connect the Customer Journey
Once the sales team makes contact with a marketing lead, it’s crucial for them to use the information they have from the lead history to tailor their approach accordingly. One common mistake sales teams make is using the same pitch on all prospective leads. As a part of the revenue team, successful salespeople personalize their approach to fit the context of the prospect and use information from the content framework to develop more nuanced sales tactics. A lead follow-up library can be a great resource for salespeople by providing the building blocks they need to create smart customizations in their outreach. By referencing the specific buyer objective and focusing on their needs rather than pushing a product, sales teams can connect more authentically with prospects and increase the likelihood of successfully making a sale. Developing a lead follow-up library is a great opportunity for sales and marketing teams to work together as two sides of the same revenue team towards a common goal.
Create a Messaging Feedback Loop
As prospects make their way through the customer journey and transition from potential customer to closed sale, it’s important for revenue teams to establish a feedback loop to learn what’s working. Marketing teams can fall into the bad habit of making one-way messaging pushes – they create content and templates that get sent to sales, but they never hear back about what’s working and what’s not. Sales teams have the outreach experience and insight to know what messaging is working, but sometimes they make their own DIY content to fill in the gaps, rather than collaborating with marketing to make more of what works and improve what doesn’t. Successful revenue teams engage in mutual message refinement. Sales and marketing teams collaborate to leverage the closed-won analysis and learn which content and messaging drives customer engagement and purchasing behavior. By working together to continually refine and improve messaging, revenue teams can maximize their efforts and increase profit.
Hopefully these three strategies have inspired you to think critically about how to bring your sales and marketing efforts together. Remember, while sales and marketing may be different business functions, they are both part of the same revenue generating team. Aligning both functions as a part of your overall business strategy is a critical component of your success in 2021 and beyond.