Historically, there has been an (invisible) wall between marketing and sales. This lack of alignment can cause friction between your team, preventing the growth you are reaching for and undermining the work you are accomplishing together. One way to close the gap is by optimizing your contact to suit the needs of your sales team.
What Do They Want?
If anyone knows your buyer persona, it is the sales team. These are your soldiers “in the field,” the ones who have one-on-one contact with your potential customers. Ask them first what leads are talking about, what kinds of material interest them. Be sure to send drafts of content to sales for their input. Consider the entire sales funnel, as there often comes a point at which sales need to be pushed forward with some enticing content, moving from an educational point of view to one which establishes authority. Also, don’t forget to discuss social media and how it can help build relationships with contacts—encourage them to set up social sites and participate in discussions online.
“Sell” Your Content to the Sales Team!
Bring your sales team to a meeting and sell the material to them. Break down the details of the content: WHO-WHAT-WHERE-WHEN-WHY. Help them to decide when the content might work in the funnel. Discuss the educational value, and ask them for possible topics based on their experience with leads. To guarantee relevancy, be sure that the content mimics the conversations they are having with their leads. Consider the entire sales funnel, taking into consideration that there is more to content than just blogs. Look for formats to fit the customer’s journey.
Simplify their Content Experience
Another idea is to help the sales team with their email campaigns. Show off your creativity with a tool the sales team uses regularly; provide enticing links within their emails to your content, marketed to the customer’s needs. For longer content such as eBooks, provide a summary to speed up the process. This will help your sales associates promote the content without bogging them down with lots of reading. Remember, marketers spend considerable time creating buyer-focused content, but the sales team needs to have material at the ready so they can work through their list of prospects.
Work Together to Track Results!
Assess the content on a regular basis to determine effectiveness. Let your automated processes work for you by tracking lead behavior. By creating lead scoring models, you will know what is appropriate and welcome at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Strong metrics will allow the marketing and sales teams to collaborate by providing statistics on successes and failures. There are several metrics to measure, so start with those that lead directly to your business goals. Also, don’t forget to survey the sales team, looking for suggestions based on individual sales experiences.
Appreciate and Cheer on the Sales Team
Always remind them how much their input is necessary. Work together whenever possible, encouraging them to share their successes and failures with the marketing team. Always remember that they know what resonates with buyers and understand what specific challenges potential buyers have. If they are working to upsell or cross-sell products and services, they can help expand your content library by providing avenues to explore. Further, when they have specific content requests, these should go to the top of the stack, as it could make or break a sale.
The connection between sales and marketing has been touted as paramount to maximizing sales, and you may tire of hearing about it. However, for each team to work at their maximum efficiency their alignment must go beyond the simple goal of increased revenue; they need to truly work as a team to create and measure the effectiveness of remarkable content for their buyers.
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.