As our behaviour as buyers has evolved over the years, your sale’s team also need to invite change, embrace digital or face going extinct.
Looking beyond the business world and into our personal lives, if we face a problem, we don’t want to bombarded with cold calls, emails or messages. We like to research the solution ourselves. By using search engines, we can find peoples and companies who exhibit credibility within their field and instil a trust that they can solve our problem. The same process is put into place when looking for a solution in business.
Working within marketing we are often asked why on the 50 leads we have generated there is such a low conversion rate by the sales team. Instead of creating a divide between sales and marketing the two should align to bridge the gap and work together to generate revenue.
What areas can both departments improve on to align?
Only Pass The Gold Dust
Sales is often a busy department and will often abandon avenues they feel are not fruitful. For example, if you pass on 50 leads and calling the first 10 provides unsuccessful, they will lose interest in the other 40. As a marketing department, you however recognise the strength of those remaining leads. By only passing on the stronger leads you guarantee a stronger conversion.
Never Forgetting Your Online Reputation.
Many sales reps will forget that everyone exists online, and everything stays online. Their actions when trying to push for a sale can lead to negative feedback on the various platforms on which your businesses exist online. For as many leads you can generate through digital marketing, how many of these will be put off when they Google your company and see one-star reviews?
Embrace A Change in Approach.
Inbound marketing requires a different sales approach. The attitude of needing to pick up the phone to cold call is now considered pre-historic. After a calculated and well thought out marketing strategy, customers are put off straight away with an unscheduled and unwelcome call. An alternative approach would be to send them a follow-up email thanking them for their download with follow up links and contacts for more information.
Creating a Mixed Buyer Persona
Both sales and marketing have a very different understanding of their businesses. Although marketing understands the industry as a whole and who should be targeted, a sales team will know exactly who’s buying your services and what’s motivating them to invest. The insights of both departments should be aligned when creating your ideal buyer personas. A consistent understanding of your potential customers will mean both departments are targeting and connecting with the right people.
Collaborate on Content.
It’s important to recognise the expertise a sales team has of your customer. They can predict what content they are likely to engage with and what resources they might need to follow up and close a deal with the customer. By working together both departments can streamline the sales process, using the time creating and engaging with content more efficiently. Having that feedback from sales could increase the effectiveness of inbound marketing.
KPIs That Support Each Other
The Key Performance Indicators of both your sales and marketing need not exist in separate sectors. Companies that are embracing the change to a new approach are finding they have a higher chance of increasing their return of investment but focusing on the performance of both sectors. For example, instead of focusing on the number of sales, focus on the customer experience of purchasing.
Delivering on Quality not Quantity of Communications
It’s an extremely outdated approach to send a constant stream of emails or phone calls to a potential customer. As we said earlier, no one likes to be cold-called but everyone hates to be cold-called constantly! Instead of constantly following up with potential leads, sales teams should be relying on marketing to generate new demand and leads whilst keeping those not yet committed to buying engaged.
Leaving Cold Leads To Marketing
In the past sales teams have been to know to hard push a borderline deal. This is where a sale’s rep will push too hard to close a sale in which the lead is not 100% committed and will often back out. Due to the pressure placed on them to buy, they will also look for an alternative company when purchasing in the future. A lead that is not 100% committed, a cold lead, should then be nurtured by your marketing department. By building a relationship with them within a structured marketing campaign they can not only keep them engaged in your services but can convince them to purchase down the line.
To find out more about how Predictable Marketing can help you achieve a more coherent approach between sales and marketing.