Your sales and marketing teams don't need to exist in separate silos. Interaction and collaboration between them is the key to unlocking the true potential of your business operations. It ensures that your marketing efforts are generating qualified leads that jump through the stages of your sales pipeline to finally convert and generate revenue.
Here are five ways you can combine the sales and marketing teams' efforts and close more deals.
1. Facilitate interdepartmental communication.
Poor communication is one of the major reasons for collaboration failure between sales and marketing. So how can you facilitate better interdepartmental communication?
Hold combined departmental meetings for sales and marketing teams.
Come up with a unified set of goals for both the teams and provide them with actionables to attain those goals.
Brainstorm the KPIs and measure the results as a unified team.
Invest in collaborative tools like Slack, Asana and Basecamp to foster communication between the teams.
Establish a feedback loop in which the sales team can communicate which leads to target while the marketing team can deliver on the content to improve the sales.
2. Create buyer personas.
Get your marketing and sales team to collaborate on creating buyer personas and defining the target customer. Use the research and analysis of the marketing team with customer insights from the sales team to profile your ideal buyer – the person whose problem your product or service intends to solve.
The marketing team is responsible for the initial contact with the potential customers through inbound and outbound marketing techniques, but the sales team is the true forerunner of your business. A discrepancy between the two teams' targeted customer can result in ineffective lead generation, culminating in failure to close the deal.
The efforts of the sales and marketing teams must be directed at the same prospects. The buyer personas help illustrate the customers who are an ideal fit at every stage in the sales funnel and provide invaluable information for designing marketing campaigns, leading to a killer sales pipeline.
3. Optimize your use of technology.
Share the data in the sales team's CRM software with the marketing team to generate more qualified leads. No matter how talented your sales reps are, unless they are given qualified leads to work with, the sales aren't going to happen.
The analytics of your CRM software are a great resource for figuring out why sales aren't taking off. Sharing this data with the marketing team would result in the creation of content that targets your ideal buyer.
Discord between the message sent out via the marketing team and the sales pitch can be rectified with effective use of sales pipeline management software. There are various sales and CRM software platforms to choose from, like Salesforce, BenchPoint and Pipedrive. You can choose the one that best meets your requirements and budget, and that makes analytics and data sharing between the sales and marketing teams easier. [Check out Business.com's reviews of the best CRM software on the market.]
4. Hand over lead nurturing to the marketing team.
Have your sales team evaluate your sales pipeline to determine the leads that aren't likely to convert. They might not have the need for your product or service offering, may require additional information to trigger the buy decision, or simply may not have the purchase authority.
Whatever the reason, don't let your sales pipeline get clogged with dead leads. Instead, hand them over to the marketing team. Ask them to generate relevant content to keep them engaged and for nurturing the lead so that, when the time is ripe and the prospect converts into a sales-qualified lead, the sales team can take over again.
The feedback from the sales team can also help in designing a marketing strategy for your business. For example, if you offer a SaaS product, the input from the sales team is a vital resource for redesigning or creating a SaaS website. It can also help the marketing team to create relevant content for inbound marketing through blog posts and social media marketing to generate new leads and nurture the existing ones. Knowing what the customers want brings you one step closer to delivering it, and this is only achievable with effective collaboration between sales and marketing teams.
5. Market your sales representatives.
The members of your sales team may be great at selling the features of your product or service to the customers, but they may not be their own advocates when it comes to demonstrating their expertise. Establishing the sales team as thought leaders within their niche gives them credibility and recognizes their expertise, which is essential for the client's trust. The sales team is, after all, the face of your business.
This is where the role of marketing comes into play. By providing them with relevant content generated as a result of marketing research, the members of your sales team can turn into thought leaders and industry experts, which would generate leads in an organic manner. Content is a powerful way to bolster the credibility of your sales team and, subsequently, an inexpensive way of boosting traffic and promoting your product or service offering.
Start combining your marketing and sales efforts right now and see the magic happening and deals closing.