Have you ever stopped to think about the relationship between sales and marketing? Often you will see separate mindsets, separate strategies and even separate goals between the two areas of a company but this dichotomy is seldom conducive to a a holistic business approach.
Don't believe us? check out some of these stats:
- 40% of the sales team's time is lost prospecting (Source: CEB)
- 79% of marketing leads never convert into sale (Source: MarketingSherpa)
- 50% of marketing generated leads are ignored by sales (Source: MIller Pierce)
- 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales but only 27% of them are qualified. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
Sales and marketing strategies should be completely intertwined if they have any hope of achieving mutual aims. Here are some simple steps to get everyone on the same page:
Creating an audience
Both sides of the table will have a target audience in mind, you need to ensure that everyone is fishing for the same kind of catch. The first task in creating a concrete target audience is to identify personas. Personas are assumed people that the team can visualise. Try segregating your personas into things like industry or company size then start to build a picture of who that person is. Ask your teams questions such as the persona's:
- Age, family life and interests outside of work
- Their job title, how much they get paid, who they answer to, their responsibilities and fears, their bug bears on a day to day basis and their ambitions in their role
From this you can start to build a picture of the person you're looking to speak to and create both sales strategies and marketing messaging around their wants and needs.
Creating a hit list
Make sure both teams jump in at the deep end, get their hands dirty and ensure team members from both sales and marketing work together on a list of target accounts. It may seem like you're both having to start from scratch but if your processes and strategies are stagnating, sometimes the best thing to do is to start with a clean slate.
Bring skills from both sides of the business together when creating your brand new hit list, you'll soon start to appreciate the fresh perspective, you can start by:
- Up-selling - Take a look at your existing accounts, sales and marketing would both do well to review what you already have in the pot and work together on exciting hooks to up-sell. You'll also gain a clearer perspective on why your current clients like you. Try to identify common attributes from your customer base, location, revenue, company ethos etc. This will allow you to create a more refined vision of the new companies you're likely to be able to sell in to.
- Go Beyond - Quite often with B2B sales and marketing you get stuck in a rut. For example, say you have always sold into a particular industry, you know everyone there, you speak the lingo and it's safe. You need to go beyond your point of knowledge and think about new and interesting industries that may also use your product or services. Have you read the most up to date articles in the industry? Is there an emerging niche that could be relevant to you? Add them to your list now before your competitors do!
Now that you have your list together you have to work on a strategy that both sales and marketing play their parts in getting things sorted.
One of the best ways to start bridging the gap is to align your reporting process. If both teams are being measured by similar metrics, a natural bond will start to form which will turn into a collaborative strategy. You could go as far as to creating a monthly reporting document that amalgamates the efforts of both teams, both of which are to be held accountable for the results.
Having separate teams brain storm the outline of a shared document and discuss the value of certain metrics allows for a more sympathetic and appreciative view of each other's work.