B2B businesses that align their sales and marketing strategies, processes and people are statistically more likely to maximise business results and lead customers through the buyer journey successfully. Highly aligned organisations can help an organisation become 67% better and closing deals and generate 209% more revenue from marketing. To understand what both Sales and Marketing do, let’s break it down.
The role of a marketing team is to spark interest in your product or service through brand awareness and generate leads through lead generation. Generally, marketing professionals use emotive tactics to resonate with individuals and deliver value, alongside analytics to help target the right prospects and convert them into qualified leads. The sales team focus on selling a product or service to the consumer. It is their responsibility to qualify prospects, build and maintain relationships and deliver on solutions. It is crucial that the sales team understand customer pain points and can demonstrate how their product/service can best resolve their problems.
The reality is, one cannot successfully exist without the other. Sales team members cannot do their jobs without efforts from their marketing teams to build interest around their products or services. B2B marketing becomes irrelevant if there is not a dedicated team of sales members ready and prepared to sell the product or service and lead qualified prospects down the sales funnel.
Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing teams experience 36% higher customer retention rates – Hubspot
So, how can B2B organisations bridge the gap between sales and marketing to ensure both departments are working towards a common and unified goal?
1. Work together to develop buyer personas
Undeniably, marketing professionals will have a firm pulse on the consumer, their needs, behavioural insights and how they engage with marketing content. However, it is unlikely that they have spoken directly to a prospect or lead their efforts generated. This is where sales come in to play. To get a full picture of the consumer, both departments need to be involved. Sales will be able to provide greater insight into customer pain points and identifying common customer problems that your B2B organisation can solve. Work together to identify and develop buyer personas that your B2B marketing strategy can leverage for successful marketing executions.
2. Be customer-centric in your communication
Keeping the customer at the forefront of all communication is crucial. Sales and marketing should work together to identify what it is that your customers want. For example, before a sales member picks up the phone, consider what problem you are trying to solve for that customer rather than focusing on making a sale. Similarly, for marketing, before emailing a prospect, consider if that email is going to be helpful for them. Be customer-centric in all of your communications.
3. Catch-up regularly
Sales and marketing should catch up regularly – whether that is weekly or fortnightly, set a recurring meeting. The purpose of the meeting should be to determine how the leads that marketing is generating are travelling, changes to pain points or personas and assess the success and analytics of the campaigns that are currently running. These meetings could also be used to brainstorm and determine the strategy for future marketing campaigns.
Having a unified strategy and consistent communication between sales and marketing ensures your B2B organisation can maximise business outcomes and successfully manage every lead through the buyer journey. Both departments can work together to achieve successful outcomes for the organisations; but furthermore, by aligning sales and marketing, you are more likely to keep your customers happy for longer.