The changing mindset of consumers has led to a change in the purchasing process. Old methods of marketing and selling your products are no longer relevant. The traditional process called for disjointed marketing and sales divisions, But today, the process requires them to be aligned for optimum results. Nearly 95% of world-class brands claim that they’ve aligned sales, marketing, and customer service to better meet the needs of their customers.
Aligning them led to the invention of the term “smarketing.” This means that the two departments are merged into a single department that works together to generate more revenue. Doing this makes it easier to track results and also make changes to both.
To help you align your sales and marketing, I’ve got with me, Pam Didner. She is a B2B tech marketing consultant, author, and speaker. She is a passionate B2B marketer with more than 20 years of experience in sales enablement and product, partner, and content marketing for clients such as Cisco, Intel, 3M, and Microsoft.
Here’s what you need to do for aligning your sales and marketing to achieve marketing success.
1. Develop a Single Customer Journey
The first and most important step for aligning your sales and marketing is that of developing a single customer journey. You need to restructure your current customer journey and develop one where the customer’s experiences aren’t siloed.
Right from the awareness stage to the bottom-of-the-funnel, they should be able to get a uniform brand experience.
This can help you create a single customer experience and help your team track your prospects throughout the funnel. A great way of facilitating this is through the use of CRM, marketing automation, email marketing, and analytics.
2. Meet Regularly
Whenever any new salesperson is joining your team, you should have an onboarding smarketing meeting. This is to help them understand the way your department functions and also to figure them out.
As Pam mentioned in the podcast, it’s crucial for organizations to understand the personas of their salespersons as well. This can help them figure out how to assist them in optimizing their output.
You should also conduct weekly sales meetings to track the progress of your sales team. That can help you understand where they’re excelling and where they’re lagging behind.
3. Create Content for Sales
When marketing and sales are disjointed, marketers usually concentrate on creating content to market the brand. A lot of the content that they may create is top-of-the-funnel content, which is practically of no use to the sales team.
To align your marketing and sales, you need to start creating content for the entire customer journey.
You should focus not just on the top-of-the-funnel but also on the bottom-of-the-funnel and create valuable content that your sales team can use. This way, you’ll not only be able to market your brand well but will also be able to generate more sales.
4. Adopt a “Marketing First” Approach
When marketing and sales are misaligned, both teams do their functions independently. Marketers create campaigns that are targeted towards a particular buyer persona. On the other hand, the sales team may end up conducting cold calls or sending out cold emails to a different target group.
When this happens, neither group of consumers has heard from you before. Due to this, you miss out on the chance to do brand reinforcement.
Instead, you should opt for the marketing first approach. In this, the marketers target potential customers and convert them into warm leads.
Once the leads are fully-informed about the features of your products or services, the sales team can take over. They can reinforce what the marketers have said and push them towards the bottom-of-the-funnel and close the deals.
One way of doing this is by coordinating your content marketing campaigns with the sales team. You should build a shared calendar and share the dates and times of your promotions on this with your sales team.
It’s also important to pass on the leads to your sales team as soon as you get them.
5. Show the Salesperson’s Expertise
Salespersons are your brand’s representatives who’ll be directly in touch with your leads. You need to prove their credibility to the leads to improve their chances of conversion.
This can be done by showcasing the expertise of your salespersons. You should consider ghostwriting under the name of your salesperson on topics related to your products and services.
Alternatively, you could ask them to use social media to share your company’s content. You could also create some messages that they can share on social media, so all they have to do is copy and paste them.
The goal should be to establish them as authorities in your product’s niche. This way, every word that they tell your leads will sound more believable.
6. Track KPIs
When sales and marketing are misaligned, it’s still crucial to track KPIs to understand their success.
Sales teams usually measure the number of new accounts, deals closed, retentions, and upsells. On the other hand, marketing teams track pipeline, lead quality and quantity, and brand awareness, among other things.
Tracking is also necessary when you align sales and marketing. However, you need to come up with joint KPIs for your smarketing team.
Through these, you can find out how your business is faring in both sales and marketing. It also helps you find any loopholes in your current strategy, and you can fix them to improve your sales.
The key is to find these KPIs by organizing regular meetings between your marketers and salespersons.
Sales and marketing may not be the same, but you should consider integrating them to offer a unified brand experience to your customers. Both teams can support each other and help strengthen your entire funnel to increase your revenue.
You must organize regular meetings between the teams and help them work together. It’s also necessary to build the reputation of your salespersons to improve your conversion rates. Create quality content that they can use and also track all the joint KPIs to understand where you stand.
What are the other ways through which you can align sales and marketing? Let me know in the comments.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.