Sales and marketing often operate independently of each other — a dangerous practice when it comes to acquiring new customers.
For two separate departments that are essentially focused on the same goal, there’s a lot to be gained through collaboration.
Although it’s easier said than done, you’ll quickly see results if both sides are willing to put in the work. Here are five tips to align sales and marketing to acquire new customers:
Have your sales team regularly update a spreadsheet with objections from leads. The marketing team can create content that speaks to those objections.
If your marketing team is aware of your prospects’ concerns, then they’ll be able to create effective — and conversion-focused — content.
Give your marketing team an inside look at sales by having them sit in on calls with new customers. Marketers will benefit from insights into the sales process and will be able to create materials using customers’ language.
We’ve recently starting doing this at Influence & Co. By tracking user behavior, we can note when a website visitor downloads a whitepaper after reading a guest-contributed article from one of our team members.
We know where he came from, how long he stayed, and what he read on our site. If this person eventually requests a call, our salesperson will know exactly what he has read and which aspects of our services are most interesting to him.
Encourage your sales team to work with marketing to create content for different audiences.
Many prospective clients have the same needs, and your sales team will know the unique concerns, values, and pain points of various buyers.
Schedule periodic meetings to revise proposals based on feedback from leads.
Marketing may think the sales collateral is great, but if it’s not answering questions leads are asking, it’s really not worth much.
Likewise, sales might think a proposal is informative, but if marketing notices it’s visually unappealing or difficult to understand, your prospects probably will, too.
Good intentions aside, collaboration won’t work — much less generate future cooperation — if it feels like a chore. So, how can you make working together feel productive, not forced?
Buy-in is the key. Employees who understand the “why” of a project are more likely to get behind something. Because everyone at Influence & Co. wants to see us grow, it’s easy to get people on board when we make it clear how seemingly small individual actions can affect the bottom line.
The second important aspect of this is acknowledging personality differences between marketing and sales.
Instead of trying to make everyone think and act the same way, embrace these differences. Both sides are valuable when trying to reach a wide customer base and solve difficult problems.
Recently, our staff took the Myers-Briggs personality test, which, among other insightful revelations, showed us which “Harry Potter” character we were most like. It’s really helpful to have a Hermione around when you need someone who can analyze a problem from various angles, but it’s equally important to have a Draco-like person — someone who can think long-term — on staff.
While your sales and marketing teams might be divided, you should make sure all your “characters” commit to collaboration.
Post by Kelsey Meyer.