Does your sales hand know what the marketing hand is doing?

Bob Dearsley, CEO of The B2B Marketing Lab discusses how to integrate your marketing with your sales team 

There’s no question that the old school ‘outbound’ marketing methods which worked for businesses and salespeople many decades ago are quickly losing their effectiveness and the way prospects engage with businesses has completely changed.

Thanks to the internet, the ability to self-educate and find out information is easier than it has ever been, and many prospects are prepared to put in the legwork themselves before considering contacting a business.

As a result, marketing departments have to put more effort into providing the educational, informative and engaging content prospects will use to make a decision.

However, many sales teams are still working in the same old way, contacting every single person interested in your business and trying to close the sale in the quickest time possible.

It’s now more important than ever that marketing and sales departments are working together to nurture and convert these ‘inbound’ leads, as a disconnect between these departments will hamper your ability to carry out effective campaigns.

Selling is no longer just a sales role, it has become an overall business role.

Communication is key

Maybe the biggest problem with getting marketing and sales to work together is managing the transition phase when marketing has brought a new lead in via the website, and it’s engaged with enough content that it’s time for sales to get involved.

But failing to communicate between the two departments – and understanding the mutual value each one brings – only makes it harder to generate and nurture leads and could potentially lead to loss of sales.

Educate, educate, educate

Not all leads are created equal and because prospects are doing more research before coming to you some will be further through the purchase decision process than others. Because of this you need to define your criteria to create a journey for all your prospects, regardless of where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Think of your lead nurturing process like growing a plant.

A plant requires nutritious soil, water, sunlight, vitamins – these ingredients are essentially your marketing tools: social media, blog posts, whitepapers, offers, ebooks and events – to name a few. If you fail to nurture your leads, they will simply leave you for your competitors who also have a solution to their problem.

If you want to achieve alignment between marketing and sales, you need to appreciate the fact that they are the same side of a single coin – and must work together to drive performance.

If marketing can’t provide qualified leads or details on the leads they acquire, then sales can’t follow up with those leads and discuss their problems or concerns. In today’s marketing world, this level of detail is imperative and conducive to ensuring real engagement with potential prospects. In order to sell effectively, the sales team need to know exactly what web pages, blogs, videos, ebooks that the prospect has shown interest in.

Sales can educate marketing as well

Sales, as a department comprised of generally experienced salespeople, can identify which prospects are more qualified and ‘sales ready’ based on where they are in the buyer’s journey and how they have behaved thus far.

Not only this, but they can also help with content creation ideas, if there are questions the sales team is being asked on a regular basis, your marketing team should ideally create content to answer the question before it reaches your sales team.

Meet regularly

This one seems simple, but it’s worrying how often it can be overlooked.

Having regular meetings between departments is a simple but effective way to improve transparency, assess the quality of the leads you’ve obtained, and inform each other of what changes and trends have occurred recently.

By meeting regularly, you can troubleshoot any issues – whether there’s an issue with leads being passed from marketing to sales too early, or whether sales teams are being asked frequent questions that could be answered in marketing collateral.

Bob Dearsley, CEO of The B2B Marketing Lab discusses how to integrate your marketing with your sales team 

There’s no question that the old school ‘outbound’ marketing methods which worked for businesses and salespeople many decades ago are quickly losing their effectiveness and the way prospects engage with businesses has completely changed.

Thanks to the internet, the ability to self-educate and find out information is easier than it has ever been, and many prospects are prepared to put in the legwork themselves before considering contacting a business.

As a result, marketing departments have to put more effort into providing the educational, informative and engaging content prospects will use to make a decision.

However, many sales teams are still working in the same old way, contacting every single person interested in your business and trying to close the sale in the quickest time possible.

It’s now more important than ever that marketing and sales departments are working together to nurture and convert these ‘inbound’ leads, as a disconnect between these departments will hamper your ability to carry out effective campaigns.

Selling is no longer just a sales role, it has become an overall business role.

Communication is key

Maybe the biggest problem with getting marketing and sales to work together is managing the transition phase when marketing has brought a new lead in via the website, and it’s engaged with enough content that it’s time for sales to get involved.

But failing to communicate between the two departments – and understanding the mutual value each one brings – only makes it harder to generate and nurture leads and could potentially lead to loss of sales.

Educate, educate, educate

Not all leads are created equal and because prospects are doing more research before coming to you some will be further through the purchase decision process than others. Because of this you need to define your criteria to create a journey for all your prospects, regardless of where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Think of your lead nurturing process like growing a plant.

A plant requires nutritious soil, water, sunlight, vitamins – these ingredients are essentially your marketing tools: social media, blog posts, whitepapers, offers, ebooks and events – to name a few. If you fail to nurture your leads, they will simply leave you for your competitors who also have a solution to their problem.

If you want to achieve alignment between marketing and sales, you need to appreciate the fact that they are the same side of a single coin – and must work together to drive performance.

If marketing can’t provide qualified leads or details on the leads they acquire, then sales can’t follow up with those leads and discuss their problems or concerns. In today’s marketing world, this level of detail is imperative and conducive to ensuring real engagement with potential prospects. In order to sell effectively, the sales team need to know exactly what web pages, blogs, videos, ebooks that the prospect has shown interest in.

Sales can educate marketing as well

Sales, as a department comprised of generally experienced salespeople, can identify which prospects are more qualified and ‘sales ready’ based on where they are in the buyer’s journey and how they have behaved thus far.

Not only this, but they can also help with content creation ideas, if there are questions the sales team is being asked on a regular basis, your marketing team should ideally create content to answer the question before it reaches your sales team.

Meet regularly

This one seems simple, but it’s worrying how often it can be overlooked.

Having regular meetings between departments is a simple but effective way to improve transparency, assess the quality of the leads you’ve obtained, and inform each other of what changes and trends have occurred recently.

By meeting regularly, you can troubleshoot any issues – whether there’s an issue with leads being passed from marketing to sales too early, or whether sales teams are being asked frequent questions that could be answered in marketing collateral.

Ultimately marketing and sales need to remember they’re on the same team and like any business objective, the best results will be seen when they share resources, meet regularly and discuss plans and strategies together.

Author: Brandon

Hello! My name is Brandon and I am a business coach, here on the pages of this site I want to share with you by my many years work experience. I hope that my experience will one day be useful to you! And if the life of at least one reader of my site been better, I will been happy and will know that I'm doing it for good reason!