02 Aug The Value of Unifying Your Marketing And Sales
Marketing and sales are often pitted against one another. They compete for budgets, technology, and for customers. This process, at one point in time, was an effective way to motivate employees to grow the business. However, in today’s consumer controlled selling process it stops being effective. Instead, when marketing and sales work against each other, they end up over selling, under explaining, and overlooking the customer.
In this post, we explore the areas in which marketing and sales need to join forces for greater outcomes. If the mission is about growing the business and increasing profits, then the two teams can work in harmony. If the mission is about one department being better than the other, then the entire strategy is likely to fall flat. Unifying marketing and sales in a specific, strategic process can increase lead generation, revenue growth, and business opportunities.
Unifying Your Marketing and Sales
Accomplishing this mission may not be easy for some businesses. Your sales and marketing teams have often competed for leads and for sales. They may have competed for budgets and new technologies because sometimes there just isn’t room for it all. However, when sales and marketing unify, they can achieve more than either department can achieve on their own. Bringing the knowledge and strategy of both departments together leads to better customer experiences, more leads, and a greater potential of closed sales.
To start unifying your marketing and sales department, implement the following tactics:
Your brand has a target audience. Right now, this audience, or buyer persona, may not be defined. However, if you talk to the sales department, you can bet that there’s a specific type of client they’re going after.
Here’s the issue: the marketing team may not know anything about the buyer that the sales department is going after. And, if your marketing team is just sending content out into the world without thinking about the person they want to become customers, then those messages will most likely fall on deaf ears.
Instead, the marketing and sales team should join forces and create a buyer persona.
What is a buyer persona?
In marketing, buyer personas help us better identify who the target customer is. By understanding who the customer is, what they’re looking for, and what pain points they have, you can better target content for them specifically. Typically, buyer personas cover 8 key areas:
- Common Objectives
- What Can We Do?
- Marketing Message
After you’ve built out your buyer personas, you start creating more effective and powerful marketing messages that connect with the sales department’s ideal customers.
Remember how we said it was a consumer controlled world? Well, this part of the process all comes back to that. You might think you know how customers find you, interact with your brand, and eventually choose your brand over the competition. But, the buyer’s journey is so much more.
The buyer’s journey starts with the first interaction a potential customer has with your brand. It could be a Facebook post, a Tweet, a blog post, or even an ad on Google. This is the point in the process where a potential customer becomes aware that you exist. They may not go any further than that right now, but it’s the first step in their journey.
Throughout their journey, they might visit your site, download content, send a contact form, reach out to a sales representative, or even visit your office. While each customer has a unique journey, there are still ways of controlling the path they take.
Sale and marketing need to work together to define the ideal buyer’s journey. How do you want them to get from point A to point B? What will you offer them and use to entice them to make this journey?
Understanding the buyer’s journey from initial awareness through purchase will help you nurture them, understand them, and better connect with them throughout the entire process.
Lead Generation and Nurturing
The marketer’s approach to lead generation and nurturing: increase brand awareness, send targeted content, implement a holistic approach. If you cast a wider net, you’ll end up with more leads.
The salesperson’s approach to lead generation and nurturing: pick up the phone and call someone, send a personal email, have lunch with a lead. If you put out a single line with great bait, you’re more likely to close the deal.
But, what happens if you combine those two processes? What if the net was full of incredible “bait” that potential leads simply couldn’t resist?
Unifying marketing and sales means creating a holistic process that results in more qualified leads. Sure, the marketing department might be bringing in more leads, but are they all qualified? Yes, sales is delivering qualified leads, but how long does that process take?
With lead generation and nurturing, you cast a wider net and steer leads down a strategic path that qualifies them for a sale. When they reach a certain point in the process, then sales can reach out to them. Doing it this way results in an increased number of leads and potential sales opportunities while still meeting the need of quality.
With sales and marketing departments aligned in their efforts, closing a sale becomes a well-oiled process. When you have a lead nurturing and generation pipeline in place, you need to set up a hand-off process from marketing to sales. The process needs to be customer focused. Marketing did everything they could to learn about the customer and followed their journey to discover what they were looking for.
This information should be passed off to the sales team to close the deal. If the customer has been tracked from the beginning of their journey, it should be simple to glean helpful insights about them, their pain points, and their needs. Sales can use this information when they connect with the lead as it makes starting and holding a conversation much easier because the tactics and conversation, in general, can be tailored to the specific customer.
Marketing + Sales = Strategy
It all comes down to having the right strategy behind your brand story. Slapping a website together, creating a logo, and cold calling 50 people every day isn’t a strategy. Your brand is so much more than that. When you realize and build your brand story, you can begin connecting with your audience on a new level. When you unify marketing and sales, you create a strategy to draw leads in, nurture them, direct them through your sales process, and close them with precision and efficiency. These two departments shouldn’t be butting heads. They should be working together to deliver a better customer experience.
Are you ready to get your marketing in line with your sales? We’re ready to help. Let’s talk!