Top 6 Actionable Steps to Align Sales & Marketing Teams
The sales team gets to hear from buyers day in and day out.
Thus, the sales team is better aware of the buyer's pain-points.
The marketing team can create compelling content.
The sales team can use this content to engage effectively with buyers.
Active engagement with buyers can further result in more deal closures!
For all this to happen, the sales and marketing teams need to go hand in hand.
Here are the six actionable steps to achieve the alignment:
1. Codify Buyer Persona.
Knowing what drives the buyer helps you sell better.
However, knowing the right buyer is of utmost importance.
The sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page,
If you wish to attract the right prospects,
And to convert more prospects into buyers.
Let's observe the difference between:
Case 1: "I want a lollipop!"
Case 2: "I want a Chupa Chups brand, caramel flavor, small size lollipop!"
In case 2, I have made my choice very specific.
And whether the sales team brings this lollipop or the marketing team does, the chances of bringing the wrong lollipop are negligible!
There are various tools available to create buyer personas.
Just to present an example, Here is how our buyer persona looks like:
2. A Knowledge Repository
This platform shall serve 2 main purposes:
The instant accessibility of any content needed by the sales team. Example: Brochures, Ebooks, Presentations, Proposal Templates, Tutorials, etc.. Every piece of content created in collaboration with both teams.Content request feature.Example: The sales team needs a presentation on "Latest Technology trends in the entertainment domain".One of the reps can put up the request. Any available resource from the marketing team can collaborate with the sales rep to create the needed presentation.Once the presentation is ready. It is added to the repository forever.
3. Weekly Smarketing Connect.
The sales and marketing teams should meet once a week.
The main agenda of such a meeting should be:
"Help Each Other"
Sales contribute to creating more powerful content.
Marketing contributes to the aesthetics and appeal of the content.
There are a few more important things that can happen in smarketing meetings:
a) Clear goal setting: Marketing needs to generate n number of leads every month.
b) Check whether the sales team contacted each lead generated by the marketing team in the given time frame or not.
c) Discuss any issues related to the quality of leads.
4. A sales-driven content strategy.
Let me share a little story here:
A sales rep created the most useful piece of information for the buyers.
This piece of information was brilliant, yet ugly (just look-wise).
It was brilliant because the buyer's pain-points drove its creation.
It was ugly because of an improper choice of colors or a lack of design sense.
The Marketing team made that piece of information visually appealing.
That piece of information then became the most successful lead magnet ever for their business.
Such great collaboration between the two teams is what you need to achieve success.
Here is the tip:
Step 1: Appoint a junior member in the marketing team to interview the sales team members over a coffee. (A junior member with excellent interviewing skills)
Step 2: The interviewer then shares the insights gained with the whole marketing team.
Step 3: The marketing team can then creates blog-posts, videos, e-books, podcasts, or any other content which attracts more qualified leads.
It's a universal rule that works in every walk of life.
Act: You do something.
Reflect: Observe the consequences.
Improve: Change your actions by delta.
You solve a math problem.
Get an incorrect answer.
You try to find out where you went wrong.
You learn from your mistake.
And try not to commit it again.
Similarly, It's important to know which content worked and which didn't.
Based on the analytics, the teams can together brainstorm, on what works best for the business.
6. CRM tool like HubSpot
A lead goes through different stages before converting into a customer.
- Marketing Qualified
- Sales Accepted Lead
Is there a way to identify which stage a lead is in?
With wonderful tools like HubSpot's CRM, you have a provision of lead scoring.
Based on site visits and posts read a lead call be called:
Cold. Intermediate. Warm. Hot.
Until the lead becomes warm, sales have no part to play.
It's time for marketing to nurture the lead.
Once, the lead gains some confidence in you through the content and become warm.
It's time for sales to pitch in.
Sales can then play its role of discovering pain-points, suggesting solutions and converting into customers.
The biggest mistake that gets avoided with such a system in place is:
"Sales and Marketing reps reaching out to the same lead without knowing the lead status."
Which is otherwise hazardous.
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